Anyone who has ever tried to fly with an infant knows that it is far from an easy task. In fact, it can quickly become a nightmare. In most cases, even adults aren’t extremely comfortable when crammed on an airplane for a long flight, so imagine what your infant is going through. The key is to make them as comfortable as possible during the flight.
That’s where your car seat comes in.
Many travelers don’t realize that you can actually bring a car seat for your infant on board a plane, although there are some rules. We’ll touch on those in a bit.
Airlines also allow infants to be held on the parents’ laps for the entire flight, and that’s something that most folks are aware of. What you may not be aware of is that falling from laps is the second most common cause of injury when it comes to infants on airplanes. In other words, while it’s the most common form of travel for infants, lap sitting is also dangerous.
There are a couple of car seat-related bits of info that most people aren’t aware of. First, most airlines will allow you to check a car seat as part of your baggage for free. Second, you can actually use that car seat on board the plane as long as you’ve paid for a seat to put it in.
Here’s where the rules come in. The car seat has to be labeled as an FAA approved device to be used. That usually just means that the car seat has restraint straps and a solid back. Also, most airlines won’t allow the car seats to be used in emergency exit rows and when the seatbelt sign is on, the children will need to be strapped into their seats. Other than that, the airlines are pretty open as to when and how you can use car seats. Delta Airlines will even recommend which seats work best for car seats.
Again, you’ll pay for the luxury because you’ll have to buy an extra seat, but if you can keep your infant comfortable and happy while globetrotting it’s likely a small price to pay for your sanity!