FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - 6yo and lap baby - carryons, strollers, and carseats, oh my!
Old Sep 8, 11, 1:38 pm
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: France
Programs: United Plus
Posts: 1,761
As for the baby's carseat, the document also says children should be restrained in the car seats at all times during the flight

As long as the seat belt sign is on and for take-off and landing. Just like other passengers, she can be out of it when the seat belt sign is off. Mine were very wiggly and spent more of their waking time in my arms and they really hated being strapped down. But boy, was it good to be able to put the baby down when he or she fell asleep! It gave my arms a break and on 11 1/2 hour flights, I wanted to sleep too!

I have a ergo-type baby carrier that I can wear on the front, but from what I read in the FAA document, they would not let me wear the baby?

If it's a U.S. company, you're not allowed to have the baby attached to you in any way. This is to keep the child from being crushed by your body in forward impact if say, the plane slid off the runway. Some foreign companies use "belly belts" that attach to your seat belt but these are banned in the U.S. and Canada. You don't have to even remove the baby from the Ergo, for example if she falls asleep. Just detach it from you for those phases of the flight. When that seat belt sign goes off, you can use your Ergo again.

Is a carseat really going to make a significant difference?

Yes. There was a crash a few year's ago where the only survivor was a baby in a car seat (small plane). Since more people are surviving plane crashes these days, than those getting killed, it's a good idea. The reality is that there is little chance of even being in a plane crash at all. The safety record is so good that lap babies continue to be allowed. What is much more common is a car seat broken or lost by being checked as luggage.

The only reason the Regent wasn't FAA approved was that they thought it was too big and heavy. Basically, Britax wrote me and said that since it's for older kids, they didn't even go through the hoops to get approval since few would bring one on board anyway. So there's nothing that prevents the seat from being used on board IYSWIM. For example, infant bucket seats in Europe need a shoulder strap for installation so they can't be used in aircraft. There is no... shall we say "design inhibition"?? that makes the Regent not useful on an airplane.

About the strollers, find out your airlines' policy. Also find out if your son's "stroller" is not counted as a medical device, which would exempt it from any restrictions. I assume that it's not a standard model.

In your case, you might find it easier to pull the baby's car seat on a metal luggage cart, pile the carry-on's on there, wear the baby in the Ergo and push your son in his stroller. Check the baby's stroller as luggage. Bring the bottom booster seat as a carry-on just so that you have it right away on arrival (if you opt out of bringing the regent).

A CARES harness might be a good option for your son if he'll use the booster on your trip. Dig around their site because I know I read that the FAA has exempted the size limit for special needs children. Confirm that with them, perhaps by contacting them directly. Having the extra restraint is helpful for many children.

See question on special needs children;

I understand that the airlines consider autism to be a "disability" but again, confirm that. I do know that the airlines do like to know about any "impairment" (for lack of a better word) that could hinder an emergency evacuation. That was the criteria when I flew. I'm sure you've already been through the definition game...

One mother told me that if she can't get a bulkhead seat for her son with autism spectrum disorder, she puts her husband in the seat in front. Her son tends to kick and move around a lot so this way, they don't disturb a stranger in the row in front.

Luckily it's a nice, short flight. Also, Orlando flights are infamously filled with children. Much better than if you were flying with a bunch of businesspeople!

I have a cousin with autism who has been to Hawaii (from California) with her parents. She's very sensitive to noise but she did great and had a good time. You know your son's triggers so hopefully with some planning and a little luck, it'll work well for you too!
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