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  1. #1
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    Angry Radian didn't fit on Continental Airplane RR

    Today (7/12) I went to board my Continental Airlines flight from Houston, TX to Tampa, FL. I was taking along my 7 months old child and had bought him his own seat. I did a lot of research and decided that the Radian XTSL would be the best seat for him, given that the width of the seat is less then other car seats I looked at and the airlines says the seat should be around 16" wide.

    According to the "Childproof you flight" brochure published by US Department of Transportation and FAA I should have been able to install this seat RF for my 16 pound child. www.faa.gov/passengers/media/childsafety.pdf

    The car seat touched the airplane seat only under the boot. The top of the back was jammed into the seat in front. I used the seat belt to install it.

    I asked for help from the flight attendant and got all kinds of comments from flight personel "I don't know anything about car seats", "Turn the seat FF" (my reply, "He is too small to fit in the car seat FF"), "Just carry him on your lap" (I said, "What happens if we have turbulence?"- To which they said "Just hold on to him").

    There was an off duty pilot in uniform across my aisle and he said that it is safer for the baby to fly in my lap. I questioned him and he restated that this was true. My husband said "So you are saying it is safer for him to ride on my lap in a car as well?" He had no response to this. Insert Curse Words Here!!!!!!!

    So, we got off the plane, after making it late for departure. They had to cut the plane seatbelt to get the seat out. For proper seat installation we needed a seat-belt extender which the flight attendant should have provided.

    After telling them it was against FAA regulations to so strongly "encourage" us to fly with him on our lap. They re-booked us for tomorrow on a bigger plane where they say the car seat might fit in the bulkhead seats. I am still skeptical that it will work, we will have to wait and see.

    Also one of the flight attendants said that they recently moved the seats closer together to accommodate more passengers, and that may be why our car seat even though it is FAA approved wouldn't fit. -- I don't know if what she said is accurate -- because half the stuff they said to us was just wrong (i.e., it is safer for him to sit on our lap).

    Take home message... if you need to use a car seat RF make sure that you are either in the bulkhead or in first class. If we had known this ahead of time, we would have made different arrangements.

    I am very annoyed by all of this!!!!

    Suzy

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Radian didn't fit on Continental Airplane RR

    Bulkhead seats are terrible for carseats, except maybe for Radians. The immovable armrests make it so you can't get your hands in to install a seat, and if you can't move the armrests you can't use a wider seat like a Marathon or Nautilus. Radians don't fit rear facing on airplanes. But other seats do. I'd go out and get a Scenera, that'll fit rear facing anywhere. My Combi Coccoro fits rear facing beautifully at a nice recline, but it's not a long lasting seat.

    I'm sorry you had a tough time. It's known the Radians don't fit rear facing on planes. They're GREAT long term rear facing seats in cars, and unbelievably easy travel seats forward facing, so just hold tight and you'll be fine. But for the next few months, I would plan on a different travel seat. When Laine was born I put our Radian into storage and bought a Safety 1st Avenue, then sold both the Radian (I had lent it out and the lady asked to buy it off of me) and the Avenue and bought myself a Coccoro for travel. Which I love. But it won't last as long as our Radian did, that's for sure.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  4. #3
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    Re: Radian didn't fit on Continental Airplane RR

    IME, You have to ask/beg for the belt extender - and explain why you need one. Flight attendants don't hand them out automatically. And yes, the majority of flight attendants (very few, since I seldom fly) know next to nothing about child restraints.

    It's not safer for you to have a lap baby, but it certainly easier for them to not have to wait for you to install/remove a CR from their flight.

  5. #4
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    Re: Radian didn't fit on Continental Airplane RR

    We just told our story to one of our friends who is a recently retired continental airlines attendant and she told us that continental trains flight attendants that it is safer for the baby to travel on your lap because car seats are not designed for airplanes. That's BS

    Thanks for your replies, we are going to go get a Scenera for our trip.
    Last edited by SuzBeau; 07-14-2011 at 03:15 PM.

  6. #5
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    Read this, print out the link, and highlight the pertinent parts. http://carseatblog.com/8037/guest-bl...w-your-rights/

    The airline is required to move you to another seat if your approved child restraint won't fit in the seat you've been assigned. I do worry, though, that with a Radian it's possible it won't fit in any seat due to its height. Hopefully the bulkhead will work, though.

  7. #6
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Radian didn't fit on Continental Airplane RR

    It is BS. Carseats are designed for cars, it's true. They're also tested to be FAA approved. So I don't see how holding your baby on your lap is safer, knowing those. Like you said, most parents wouldn't hold their baby on their laps at 30 mph going to the store while wearing a shoulder belt. A lap belt only at 150 mph (runway emergencies) seems fine, though. The baby is either a projectile or an airbag at that point. Neither is good for the baby.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  8. #7
    CPS Technician Brigala's Avatar
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    Re: Radian didn't fit on Continental Airplane RR

    I think if I were stuck in that situation, I would probably just use the seat FF on the plane if my child had good enough head control to sit upright for the entire flight.

    That said, since you have a little time I'd run out and grab a Scenera to take with you instead. I wouldn't attempt to RF a Radian on an airplane unless I had no other choice.

    We used the infant seat (without the base) when we flew to Hawaii with our then-8-month-old baby. Do you still have your infant seat, and does your baby still fit in it by height?

  9. #8
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    Re: Radian didn't fit on Continental Airplane RR

    The car seat got stuck because they didn't give us an extension, so they had to literally cut out the airplane seat belt. So by the time the car seat was cut free, they made it clear that we were holding up the plane. So FF was not an option at that point. But I am not sure, I would have been comfortable with him FF.

    We have his infant car seat, but we are going to go get a Scenera.

  10. #9
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    may not be so critical to RF on a plane

    The rationale for strapping in on a plane is somewhat different than in a car. You're not as likely to have a head-on collision in a plane, so the belt is really more to keep you from flying around the interior if you crash land and skid, or more likely to keep you in your seat during turbulence.

    I was quite comfortable FFing my son in a Radian on a plane when I normally RF him in the car.

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  12. #10
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    Re: Radian didn't fit on Continental Airplane RR

    Annoying situation.

    Could you please give me some information on the benefits of using a car seat on the plane? Here in Europe we're only allowed to bring infant seats on the plane, we always get a big NO when we ask to bring convertibles. This means that the child has to sit in an extra lap-belt connected with the adult lap belt, and the convertible car seat has to be sent with the luggage. I don't feel comfortable with that, but I have to do it when we go on vacation.

  13. #11
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    Re: Radian didn't fit on Continental Airplane RR

    I might ff a child sooner in a plane than in a car but I still wouldn't ff a 7 month old. I might see ff as an option in a few months but not right now.

  14. #12
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: Radian didn't fit on Continental Airplane RR

    Quote Originally Posted by emin View Post
    Annoying situation.

    Could you please give me some information on the benefits of using a car seat on the plane? Here in Europe we're only allowed to bring infant seats on the plane, we always get a big NO when we ask to bring convertibles. This means that the child has to sit in an extra lap-belt connected with the adult lap belt, and the convertible car seat has to be sent with the luggage. I don't feel comfortable with that, but I have to do it when we go on vacation.
    Yesterday in Boston two planes clipped each other on the runway. Sounds like a car crash, yeah? A couple of months ago another situation happened that was similar. Aborted take offs or landings, or landing gear failures, where the physics are just like a car crash are the main reason. Europe requires you to have your baby be your airbag. You'll slam into them. The only good thing about the belly belts is that your baby may not be a projectile and kill others.

    Europe is so bad about this, I won't fly European carriers until my kids are older. And ideally, I won't fly them at all, since I don't want to be hit in the head by a 20 pound baby in a 150 mph collision on a runway (that'd be fatal to us both).

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  15. #13
    CPS Fanatic Morganthe's Avatar
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    Re: Radian didn't fit on Continental Airplane RR

    If you don't mind my asking, were you rfing with the rfing attachment boot on the radian? That changes a lot of factors, imo. It adds width and length to the seat positioning thus making it difficult to impossible to fit. Quite useless, in my non-expert flying opinion for aircraft installation situation. If you were and you're looking at flying again, try it without that thing. I'd use a towel and install it like that for my child -- (I know I'm going out on a limb and being controversial, but it's true)

    No, it's not Radian approved, but it has been tested safe as an "incorrect vehicular installment" by their experts. Aircraft has a different need for seating and imo, the purpose of a rfing carseat is to safely confine the tot, not worry about impacts directly around the seating area.

    If you weren't and the seat wasn't fitting at all, then that's the fault of the Airline dictating to the aircraft manufacturers their seating specs wishlist to pack more people on the plane. Moooo.
    I don't sit in bulkhead or emergency row seats anymore because they are narrower with the fixed, much thicker armrests.

    Flying these days is an absolute miserable experience. I'm sorry yours didn't even hit the higher 'miserable' level but fell into traumatic & embarassing category.
    My Munchkin -- Nov 2008--5 years, 45.5", 42lbs
    Current Stats: 12 years old /5'5/ 115lbs/ Seatbelt

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Phillip K. Dick

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