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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy mommy2jasmine's Avatar
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    Thumbs up RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    On the last trip I took, back home, we stopped to do the let people off, and more people on thing. We didn't get off the plane. Anyway, they did their count, and I asked if I could move up to bulkhead, so my daughter wouldn't have the urge to push on the seat in front of her and bother the passenger sitting there. They agreed, not knowing what my true intentions were. (I totally took care of the seat kick thing on the way TOO Oregon, so she hadn't even touched it on the way back, lol...I just knew if I said, "I'd like to rear face my 2 1/2 year old on the last 2 hour leg of this trip. Can I move up to bulkhead?" They'd be like...Uh...what!? No...

    There were 3 lady people who do the safety stuff (what are they called?) and when I started to put it in RF they wondered what I was doing. I told them, and 2 of them tried to tell me I couldn't. I told THEM that my tech friends (you guys are my friends now ) had read their manual, and it states that a car seat must be installed in a forward facing seat (or whatever it says (i didn't say whatever it says, but you know)...Which just meant that if we were on a plane with rear facing passenger seats, which some have, I couldn't put her car seat in that seat. Lady person #3 said it was parental decision, and checked the manual, and told the other 2 off. Ha!

    So... I got it in RF and it was probably EXACTLY 45 degrees, if I had to guess. It was kind of bouncy though, if I remember right. It didn't move from side to side at all, so no 1 inch of movement. I got it in safe, and didn't do much more than that, because the other 2 stewardesses were hanging around the corner, ready to tell me to just FF her so we could get going, or who knows why...Just because I think they were annoyed I knew more than them maybe?

    So, yeah...I would have to say a Radian can be installed RF on the plane (bulkhead only, of course). What sucks though, and maybe this makes it not compatible for RF on the plane, but there is no seat bite, to speak of. I mean, there is, but it goes down, not parallel to the ground like normal car bites, if that makes sense.

    Also, is bouncy-ness bad? Because if a little bounce (since no where to RF tether) is no bueno, then I guess, again, I probably shouldn't have RF'd her. As far as I could tell, and that's my untrained eye, it worked. When I set the car seat down first, in one of the farther rows back, I set it in RFing, just to see...There's no way. And of course, you can't put car seats in the emergency isles.

    Bulkhead is reserved for old people, handicap (disabled) and such. I just got lucky. I definitely wouldn't count on RF on the plane with that seat. It has a FF recline, which didn't recline enough to keep my dd's head from flopping down when she was FF during the first leg, and all the way to Oregon. I had to rig up a blanket dealy thing to keep her head up when she slept. It just looked so uncomfy, and I'm not used to seeing that.

    I may be flying again soon (Feb or so), and will see if I can manage another bulkhead arrangement and take video and pictures and stuff. I don't think I have any, unfortunately, from this last time. I totally meant to, but I think my camera died. That's the only reason I can think of why I wouldn't have 45 pictures of her RFing on the plane (or anywhere that day for that matter :P )

    I do like it FF on the plane though. And since the #1 issue on planes isn't crashing, but rather the turbulence, I felt pretty good about her FFing. Some kids where walking up and down the isles . However, throwing stuff on the ground, and major head floppage was pretty lame. I did like how I could ball up her wrap and stick it between me and her seat (ff) and take a nap myself. When it was RF, and when we RF'd her previous seats, I ended up in her lap and I have to say, adult backs are not made to do the things we see our tiny ones do.

    (There should be a character limit on posts. Sorry for so much rambling and talking. I hope that wasn't too much. I just read a post that mentioned no ones first hand experience with bulkhead RF Radian, and thought I would post this to get it out there that (i think) it's possible. Oh how I wish I was a tech, so I would be able to say "yes, it worked in bulkhead. DO IT!" or "nah, you should probably just stick with the FF anywhere on the plane")

    Again, hope that helps someone, and I hope someone pipes in here about whether the bounce and the bite, or lack thereof, issue is ok. later gator
    Jen - Proud mommy to
    Jasmine - 3.5 yrs 32 lbs & 36 inches. Torso = 12 inches. RF in a Graco MyRide 65



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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    I always wondered if this would work. Thanks for posting. And sometimes the bulkhead is reserved for families. It depends on the airline.
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  4. #3
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    Bouciness is not a problem. The only movement we care about is at the belt path, nowhere else. The seat bight thing isn't an issue either. It sounds like you got a perfect install.

    Do you remember about how much room was between the top of the RFing Radian and the bulkhead? I'm wondering if it's reasonable to think that it would work on different planes, or if it's just the plane you happened to be on. What airline, and what aircraft?
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy mommy2jasmine's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    Oops! Totally forgot I had posted this :P

    Thanks for answering my questions. I'm glad it was ok to use like that.

    There was quite a bit of room between the top of the seat and that wall in front of us (which I'm guessing is the bulkhead. lol) I'd say about a foot, if not more. I was more than able to stand behind it, if I remember right. There might have even been more. (I'll try to remember to check this next time)

    We flew Southwest Airlines, and it was a 737, I believe. It has 3 seats on each side of the 1 aisle that goes down the middle. I'm pretty sure it's the 737. It flew from Portland, OR, to Sacramento, then on to San Diego. (If maybe that helps someone verify which plane it is. Hope so!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixels View Post
    Bouciness is not a problem. The only movement we care about is at the belt path, nowhere else. The seat bight thing isn't an issue either. It sounds like you got a perfect install.

    Do you remember about how much room was between the top of the RFing Radian and the bulkhead? I'm wondering if it's reasonable to think that it would work on different planes, or if it's just the plane you happened to be on. What airline, and what aircraft?
    Jen - Proud mommy to
    Jasmine - 3.5 yrs 32 lbs & 36 inches. Torso = 12 inches. RF in a Graco MyRide 65


  6. #5
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    Wow, this shows that it really matters what plane you're on. I RFed a ComfortSport in the bulkhead on a plane last summer and there wasn't enough room for an adult to get between it and the wall. (A little kid did manage to squeeze through. ) So maybe on that plane it wouldn't have fit...
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  7. #6
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    I would think it would definitely depend on the plane. I've been on some planes where the bulkhead seats seemed to have even less room than the regular ones.

    Depending on the airline, I think anyone can request bulkheads. I personally don't like them because I like to keep my stuff under the seat.

    I'm 100% fine with FFing a 2.5-year-old on a plane, but if you want to/can install RF, that's great too.

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy mommy2jasmine's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    I've been in a plane before where there was not a lot of room up front. Sitting, buckled in and everything, I could reach my legs out and maybe touch the wall. I fit behind the seat, BUT, I'm small. There was definitely room, though, because I did stand behind her seat.

    Southwest seats by first come first serve. Old people and disabled go first, then they go by groups, A through C. Between A and B, they allow family boarding. This is why I couldn't get the bulkhead. I would have to be one of the first on the plane to get that seat, and I am the worst procrastinator so by the time I get my boarding pass, if I didn't have a kid, I'd be the last on the plane. Thank goodness for family boarding .

    Thanks to this board I am perfectly comfortable having her FF on the plane, safety wise. I just find it's kind of inconvenient, because her head slouched when she slept, and the dropping stuff got old too.

    Quote Originally Posted by LISmama810 View Post
    I would think it would definitely depend on the plane. I've been on some planes where the bulkhead seats seemed to have even less room than the regular ones.

    Depending on the airline, I think anyone can request bulkheads. I personally don't like them because I like to keep my stuff under the seat.

    I'm 100% fine with FFing a 2.5-year-old on a plane, but if you want to/can install RF, that's great too.
    Jen - Proud mommy to
    Jasmine - 3.5 yrs 32 lbs & 36 inches. Torso = 12 inches. RF in a Graco MyRide 65


  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    So if you can't get bulkhead and you have a child under 1 and a Radian, what do you do?

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    Wow, you got lucky. I've tried to RF a radian, scenera and a Marathon on a plane--no one would ever let me >:
    Me & DH FF'ing in seatbelts
    DS 6/04 in a PWSG HBB
    DS 09/10 ERF in RA50

  11. #10
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    I just flew Southwest two weeks ago from LA to Sacramento and rear faced my 18 mth old in his Boulevard both there and back. No one said a word about it to me. I did ask for the seat belt extender as I got on the flight (thanks to a tip from someone on this site ) and the flight attendant said "oh they work great for installing carseats but no one ever asks for one." I guess it depends on who is working on the flight as to whether they give you grief about rear facing.

  12. #11
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    Quote Originally Posted by TracyRee View Post
    So if you can't get bulkhead and you have a child under 1 and a Radian, what do you do?
    Cry?

    Seriously, if I had a different seat that would travel reasonably well and that fit the child, I would bring the other seat. If the bulkhead seat would be big enough but they don't want to give it to you, well, they have to. It's FAA policy that they have to move you to a different seat in the same class of service (from one coach seat to another, but not from coach to first class for example) if the carseat won't fit in the seat you are assigned but will fit in a different seat.

    If your only reasonable choice is Radian, and there are no seats on the plane that fit the Radian RFing, you're left with two choices. FF the seat, or check it. For a child who was very close to 1yo, I would FF the seat. I'm not sure what I would do with a young infant.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  13. #12
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    thanks, this is great info. i am considering the radian for my 5 month old and thought it would be great for airline travel, but apparently not.

  14. #13
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    Quote Originally Posted by TracyRee View Post
    So if you can't get bulkhead and you have a child under 1 and a Radian, what do you do?
    Buy a Coccoro

  15. #14
    Carseat Crazy mommy2jasmine's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    Next time argue All those seats will fit RF, as far as I know. My old Boulevard fit, but it was snug. The Scenera would DEF fit, and the Radian would probably only fit in some bulkhead arrangements. So, fitting them RF is not a problem at all, except possibly the Radian in some cases. As long as they fit RF, and are FAA approved, then you're good to go. Just tell them to check their manual, and that you have tech friends that have gone over their manual, and that it only says you have to put them in forward facing (plane) seats.

    GL!

    Quote Originally Posted by a_js View Post
    Wow, you got lucky. I've tried to RF a radian, scenera and a Marathon on a plane--no one would ever let me >:
    Jen - Proud mommy to
    Jasmine - 3.5 yrs 32 lbs & 36 inches. Torso = 12 inches. RF in a Graco MyRide 65


  16. #15
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixels View Post
    Seriously, if I had a different seat that would travel reasonably well and that fit the child, I would bring the other seat. If the bulkhead seat would be big enough but they don't want to give it to you, well, they have to. It's FAA policy that they have to move you to a different seat in the same class of service (from one coach seat to another, but not from coach to first class for example) if the carseat won't fit in the seat you are assigned but will fit in a different seat.
    The policy actually says that you may be moved to the bulkhead so that you can rear face your carseat. They are not required to move you. I had a conversation with the head FA on the last international flight I was on and he said it is entirely within his discretion to tell you that you can't RF on the plane if your child can use it FF. He just can't tell you that you can't use your carseat (so if it's an RF-only seat like a bucket seat they have to let you RF.) I would definitely print a copy of the policy and discuss it with them if you want to RF though because sometimes they don't even realize that RF is allowed. (There is sometimes misunderstanding because the policy says the carseat has to be on a forward facing airplane seat.)

    I agree with the PP, I would buy a Coccoro for the 5-month-old if they don't still fit into a bucket until they are old enough for the Radian. Or an Avenue or Scenera if the Coccoro is too much $$$, but the Coccoro will probably be a better RF fit and you'll be less likely to get grief. The best though is a bucket if they still fit because then nobody can say anything against it.
    Last edited by InternationalMama; 11-11-2009 at 12:30 AM.
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  17. #16
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    No operator may prohibit a child (an individual who has not reached his or her 18th birthday) from using an approved CRS when the parent or guardian purchases a seat for the child, the child is accompanied by a parent or guardian and the child is within the weight limits for the CRS. If an approved CRS, for which a ticket has been purchased, does not fit in a particular seat on the aircraft, it is the responsibility of the aircraft operator to accommodate the CRS in another seat. The regulations also permit an operator to use its discretion in identifying the most appropriate forward-facing passenger seat location, considering safe operating practices. For example:

    <snip>

    2) An aft-facing CRS that cannot be installed properly because of minimal pitch (distance between seats) between rows can be moved to a bulkhead seat or a seat in a row with additional pitch.
    It's sort of a gray area. I think it goes along with them having to allow you to RF a child who fits either way. As long as you are using the CRS according to the manufacturer's directions, and there is a seat on the plane in the same class of service that would accommodate the CRS, it is the "responsibility" of the airline to move your seat.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  18. #17
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    I take this to mean that as long as a child is within the weight limits, the airline MUST accommodate the seat. I carry this with me when I fly because flight attendants don't always know the car seat regs. (This also applies only to US carriers).

  19. #18
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    Yeah, but it says "to use its discretion in identifying...blah blah blah." That's a nice way of saying, the FAA thinks it would be nice if they let you RF in the bulkhead, but they are not obligated to let you. It's a gray area, but they way I read it it's gray on purpose. It's not gray in the sense of maybe they have to let you, it's just gray in the sense of they can but they are not obligated. That is at least what this head flight attendant told me, how I read the document, and also what I have experienced and heard of others experiencing. I would be prepared to FF a child on a flight who fit FF according to the instruction manual and I think other parents should be prepared to as well. I do really like this document though because it makes clear that you can RF on the plane and that you can RF in the bulkhead if it's not an exit row. I think there is a lot of confusion about that among FAs.
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

  20. #19
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    "it is the responsibility of the aircraft operator to accommodate the CRS in another seat"

    I think the part about using its discretion means that the airline is the final authority on which seats are appropriate for CRSes. There's no appealing directly to the FAA about it, KWIM?
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  21. #20
    CPS Technician skipspin's Avatar
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    Re: RFing a Radian on airplanes.

    Personally I wouldn't take a RN for a child under 1 or that I would not FF on a plane if I was flying. It's too risky. Even if it is a legal right you could be asked to get off the plane if you don't cooperate with the flight attendant. Sure, it may be wrong, but it can happen. Also, if the seat doesn't fit they could ask you to fly with the baby in your lap since they are under 2 yrs.

    I'd happily take a Radian for an older child and try to RF if it worked out, but be okay with FFing them if necessary. Besides that there are many seats that are IMO much easier to fly with if you have a smaller Rfing child. Infant seats, Scenera, Coccoro, etc.


    9 yr old in a pink zebra NBB and 5-stepping
    6 yr DS1 old in a Harmony
    4 yr old DS2 in a Nautilus and Radian
    18 mo DS3 rfing in a MyRide65

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