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Guide: Child “car” seat or safety restraint / harness on AA (not OK in oblique seats)

Guide: Child “car” seat or safety restraint / harness on AA (not OK in oblique seats)

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Old Aug 5, 20, 2:12 pm   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: JDiver
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Child Safety Seats & Restraints on American Airlines
See aa.com here.

For discussion about AA and infant / lap child fares, see here.

For discussion of baby bassinets, see here.

Acceptable child restraint / harness

Only approved harnesses are Aviation Child Safety Devices (ACSD) showing the FAA aircraft approval label, such as the CARES child safety harness (link); these are not approved for oblique / angled seats (see below).

The CARES child safety harness is for children weighing between 22 and 44 lbs, up to 40 inches tall and occupying their own seat.

Acceptable safety seats

Most safety seats that are approved for use in motor vehicles are acceptable for use in aircraft, but must be approved for aviation use according to the label. The seat must have a solid back and seat, restraint straps installed to securely hold the child and a label indicating approval for use on an aircraft.

The label may include:
  • These notes: “This child restraint system conforms to all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards” and “this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircrafts” or “this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”
  • Approval of a foreign government or a label showing that the seat was manufactured under the standards of the United Nations.

Safety seat requirements
  • The safety seat can't be used in an exit row or in the rows on either side of an exit row.

  • Install the seat in the direction appropriate for the size of the child and according to the instructions on the label.

  • The child must remain in the safety seat with the harness fastened during taxi, takeoff, landing and whenever the “fasten seatbelt” sign is on.

  • To carry on a safety seat, you must have bought a seat for the child, or a seat must be available next to you. If an unoccupied, adjoining seat is not available, the gate agent will check the safety seat to your final destination.


Aircraft with Business seats not allowing safety seat or restraint use

FAA: "Several air carriers have installed, or plan to install, oblique seats (over an 18 degree angle and up to a 28 degree angle from the aircraft centerline) in their premium class cabins. However, the provisions of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91, § 91.107, part 121, § 121.311, part 125, § 125.211 and part 135, § 135.128 only allow CRSs to be secured to a forward-facing seat (seats that are installed up to an 18 degree angle from the aircraft centerline)."

"In the future, based on additional dynamic tesing data, the FAA may revise the current requirements. At this time, however, the use of a CRS in an oblique seat is not in compliance with FAA regulations, which require all FAA-approved CRSs be properly secured to an approved forward-facing seat or berth."
The FAA has not certified ANY car seat or child restraint system for use on oblique / angled seats. Link to FAA advice. Approved child safety seats CAN NOT be used in the oblique / angled Business seats on the following AA aircraft:

  • Airbus A330-200 (or A330-300)

  • Boeing 777-300ER ("77W")

  • Boeing 777-200ER ("772") with all aisle access Business seats

  • Boeing 787-8 or 787-9 aircraft


See this page. Under "Safety seat requirements" swipe or click on "View seat width dimensions". Business seats not certified for safety seats show thusly:

Swipe or click on manufacturer, e.g. Airbus

A330-200 Business class 20*/ 20.5" Main Cabin 238 / 16.3 - 17.8"

*Not forward facing seats and not authorized for child restraint systems

REASON: These seats do not face forward (they are oblique / at an angle to the fuselage center line); on at least some of these aircraft, forward facing seats are at an angle requiring supplemental shoulder belt restraints during taxi, takeoff and landing.


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Old May 27, 16, 9:19 am
  #1  
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Guide: Child “car” seat or safety restraint / harness on AA (not OK in oblique seats)

So I was on a plane last night in international business class. PAID seat for the baby. The flight attendants were SO unfriendly and hostile. I got sick of being told he was a lap child and treated like a second class citizen. I did not get a menu, and was not offered a welcome drink unlike every other passenger. Rather than a welcome aboard at the door the guy just leered at me and tried to block me going to business class!

long story short the service sucked (other passengers loved the 1.5 year old baby but the flight attendants clearly felt we did not deserve to be in business...even though we bought 3 tickets), but that is not my issue.
Here is my question - we were told NO car seat allowed in the A330 business class seat due to the airbag. This makes sense, however, on the back of the actual seatbelt car seat instructions for a child are clearly printed. The use of the seatbelt extender disarms the airbag and allows the car seat to be used - there was even pictures on the seatbelt showing how to use it! I told the cabin crew and since the flight attendants seemed to hate babies they claimed they would not let us use it as even though it was within FAA policy it is apparently against AA policy. I am calling BS, as they did not even know the seatbelt had the child seat instructions printed on it until I showed them, and they clearly just had no training or care to learn about childrens safety in business class.

So my question is, can children use the car seat in AA business and First class? The seatbelt and FAA say yes, and AA sold me the seat for the child. I have a few more flights in first class to Asia this summer with AA for him and I, and if they really dont allow it per AA policy, I will cancel and fly with another carrier.
So is this policy or lack of training and just bad service?
please help.

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 31, 17 at 11:45 am Reason: Restore original post title
CLTF is offline  
Old May 27, 16, 11:23 am
  #2  
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Exclamation

We will not tolerate "child bashing" in this thread; posts opining children should be banned in Business or First are unwelcoming and also are pointless given American Airlines sells tickets to and permits children in all cabins of service. Such posts have been and will be summarily deleted.

Please remain on topic with replies to the OP.

/Moderator
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Old May 27, 16, 11:35 am
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I'm curious, did you call AA customer service? If so, what did they say?
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Old May 27, 16, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by CLTF View Post
So my question is, can children use the car seat in AA business and First class? The seatbelt and FAA say yes, and AA sold me the seat for the child. I have a few more flights in first class to Asia this summer with AA for him and I, and if they really dont allow it per AA policy, I will cancel and fly with another carrier.
So is this policy or lack of training and just bad service?
please help.
Just be careful -- foreign carriers are not required to allow FAA-approved child safety restraint devices, i.e., harnesses and child seats. If you rebook to another carrier, call and confirm you'll be allowed to use the seat lest you encounter another problem.
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Old May 27, 16, 11:48 am
  #5  
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If I were you, I would contact AA about the holding of service and different treatment (not the safety seat, as these can not be used on the A330 series aircraft), offering your ticket numbers, flight information, a summary of facts and your concerns over your future bookings. You may gain some compensation, but IMO and more importantly, these FAs should receive proper training (and they should receive some "attitude readjustment", but no telling to what extent they might).

Use the online form here:

Or, write

Sean Bentel
Vice President, Customer and Relations
4333 Amon Carter Blvd
Fort Worth, TX 76155
Rest assured this attitude is pretty rare in my experience (and I've been flying AA since the 1940s). I'm pretty sure you won't see this apparent negative attitude and service discrimination because of your being a parent on your future flights (and such discriminatory service practices are undoubtedly not allowed by AA).

American's infant and safety restraint policy may be read here. Approved seats are allowed to be used on AA. While I do seem to recollect there may be an aircraft type where approved infant seats may not be used, given the instructions you describe I'm not sure it's the A330.

LATER: approved child safety seats CAN NOT be used on the following AA aircraft:
  • Airbus A330-200 or A330-300

  • Boeing 777-300ER ("77W")

  • Boeing 777-200ER ("772") with refurbished cabins and all aisle access Business seats (16 of 47 refurbished to date)
  • Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 (added)
See this page. Under "Safety seat requirements" swipe or click on "View seat width dimensions". Business seats not certified for safety seats show thusly:

Swipe or click on manufacturer, e.g. Airbus

A330-200 Business class 20*/ 20.5" Main Cabin 238 / 16.3 - 17.8"

*Not forward facing seats and not authorized for child restraint systems

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 31, 17 at 12:33 pm Reason: Add
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Old May 27, 16, 11:52 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by zitsky View Post
I'm curious, did you call AA customer service? If so, what did they say?
One can not call Customer Relations, and Customer Service would have only been appropriate before the fact.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...er-thread.html

The OP now has the link to AA policy about approved child restraints and safety seats, which are allowed in most aircraft.
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Old May 27, 16, 11:53 am
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My personal experience flying AA, and specifically A330 with LUS crew, with an 8yr-old and a 2yr-old would certainly indicate the OP's experience was an exception. My kids were welcomed by the crew, treated well, and received extra attention by the FAs chatting up the 2yr-old.
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Old May 27, 16, 12:44 pm
  #8  
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When flight attendants are rude or even hostile, my approach is to gently ask them if there is a problem. Call them out (nicely). Let them know that you know that they're not performing up to expectations. Do this preferably within earshot of a witness so you don't get accused of disregarding a flight crew's instructions or worse.
Barring that, things are not likely to get any *more* uncomfortable, and maybe the gentle goading will help them realize their behavior is not being perceived well.

Of course if service is just indifferent, it's harder to address directly IMHO.

I guess the question for the OP is whether the real issue was the FA behavior, or primarily the car seat. Didn't hear many specifics on the behavior issue in the OP. I've been skipped over for PDBs, usually it's not intentional, and I'll just flag someone down and ask for a drink. And I would think once you showed boarding passes for business class, the greeter would have let you through.
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Old May 27, 16, 12:53 pm
  #9  
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The DOT (as of February this year) requires carriers to post info on minimum seat width, and for infant car seat suitability, on the web site. AA's pages for Airbus aircraft note that the A330 seats are not forward facing in Business and that car seats shall not be used.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/aboutUs/ourP...seatdimensions
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Old May 27, 16, 2:01 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
The DOT (as of February this year) requires carriers to post info on minimum seat width, and for infant car seat suitability, on the web site. AA's pages for Airbus aircraft note that the A330 seats are not forward facing in Business and that car seats shall not be used.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/aboutUs/ourP...seatdimensions
Thanks for that. I knew one aircraft type was an exception, anyway, and you managed to find the information and link to it. (The information is revealed when one clicks on the "Seat dimensions" in-page link; look for an asterisk immediately following the first dimension.)

This means FAA certification for car type seats has not been granted by the FAA for the A330 seats because they are angled in relation to the fuselage and not forward facing..

Note that the same page indicates the "772" refurbished Boeing 777-200ER (16 of 47 777-200ER hulls currently), the Boeing 777-300ER "77W" and the Boeing 787-8 "Dreamliner" Business class also do not permit use of car seats.
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Old May 27, 16, 2:19 pm
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Originally Posted by akcae View Post
AA's page on traveling with children has no exceptions for car seats being placed in business/lie-flat seats.
Follow the link from that page for seat dimensions, it is detailed there and no, the seats the OP was in are not approved for a child restraint device.
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Old May 27, 16, 2:26 pm
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I'm surprised by the FA's reactions! every flight I've been on where babies to small children where in J (that's not a large number of flights tho), the FA's all tend to fawn over the cute little ones.

but as others have stated, forwarned is forearmed... so best to check the fine print about car seats and kids in general before ticketing.
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Old May 27, 16, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by billgrates3 View Post
so best to check the fine print about car seats and kids in general before ticketing.
IIRC the CFR actually demands a web page - 'Call for more info' doesn't cut it. Props to the DOT on this one.
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Old May 27, 16, 3:37 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
IIRC the CFR actually demands a web page - 'Call for more info' doesn't cut it. Props to the DOT on this one.
The seats are listed on the page on aa.com, but the links to use are not obvious.

I've added a wikipost. The thread is retitled and rededicated to the use of child safety seats on American Airlines.

/Moderator

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 31, 17 at 12:42 pm
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Old May 27, 16, 3:39 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
The seats are listed on the page on aa.com, but the links to use are not obvious.
I agree that the links weren't obvious, and the little stars that indicate child restraints can't be used are hard to see.
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