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  1. #1

    Flying with 2 Frontier 90s

    I will be flying from Hawaii to Atlanta in September with my 2 sons who are both in Britax Frontiers and we will need them at our destination since we will be driving all over the Southeast for 6 weeks. They are 3.5yo (40", 37 lbs) and 4.5yo (45", 42 lbs) and both definitely still need to be in a harness. They would sit decently in a plane seat (though we might give up some sleep), but I am so scared to check the seats with the luggage, or even at the gate. Assuming I can stack and bungee them on a folding hand truck/dolly, is it even possible for me to install both seats on the plane (without splitting us up)?

    I know the plane is a Delta Airbus A330 and, according to, the airline seats are 18 inches. The Frontiers are 19" at the widest part of the base, but I've read several posts where people successfully installed with the armrests up. I reserved one of the back middle rows where we the plane changes from a 2/4/2 configuration to to a 2/3/2 configuration, so it would only be the 3 of us across and we wouldn't be invading anyone else's space (I'm pretty small, so was planning to squeeze between the 2 seats). But then I read that seats can't (or shouldn't - the wording varies by website) be installed in the aisle where they are blocking anyone's access to an exit, so does that mean they won't allow me to install both seats? I assume I also would not be allowed to do a window/aisle/aisle configuration either. Could I put the seats next to each other, and would they even fit that way? Is it worth a try, and then gate check if I can't get it to work?

    Or would it be wiser to save the original Britax boxes they shipped to us in and wrap them up and check them at the airport curb? I'm stressing about this but have some time to figure it out. I did ask the Delta customer service agent when I was booking the flight, but she really had no idea.

    Also, has anyone tried rolling their Frontier down the aisle of an A330 and did it fit? Or will I have to carry the seats one by one over my head to the back of the plane? I know Delta allows families with car seats to board first, but it won't be an easy task to wrangle my kids and carry these 2 seats separately to the back of the plane...(and then possibly back to the front if it doesn't work).

    Thanks for your advice/experience on this!

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  3. #2
    CPS Fanatic Keeanh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Salmon Arm, BC

    Re: Flying with 2 Frontier 90s

    I'm sorry I can't answer your questions as I've never flown with car seats. Actually I haven't been on a plane at all in over a decade LOL.

    What I did want to say is that if *I* was flying with 2 kids, I would probably buy 2 cheap light seats to take along and leave the Frontiers at home. Either Maestros or Titan65s or one of each. If you get Maestros (assuming 4yo still fits in one -- you might want to try it), you can take the cupholders off and then the trays should be able to come down on the airplane.

    It would be worth $140 to me to not cart Frontiers around. If you sold the seats afterwards, you could probably get at least half of it back. Or keep one or both for spares or for grandparents' vehicles etc..
    17yrs, 15yrs, 13yrs, 11yrs , 9yrs (58", 75lbs, Incognito), 7yrs (46", 50lbs, Dreamtime), 5yrs (41", 35lbs, RN), 3yrs (30lbs, RF Marathon), NB (Peg 4-35)
    '14 Mazda5, '06 Chevy Express, '08 Toyota Tundra

  4. #3
    CPS Fanatic bubbaray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    BC Canada
    Id buy two lightweight seats like a Maestro and gate check them. There is zero chance I would fly with one FR let alone two. And having just flown an Airbus (IIRC it was the 330, had a 2/4/2 configuration), I highly doubt a FR would fit down the aisle.

    DD#1, April 2004, FFg in a Pink Harmony Literider & Onyx Parkway SG
    DD#2, January 2007, FFg in a Pink Monterey & Purple with Pink Hearts HBTB

    Riding in my 2010 Toyota RAV4 and DH's 2011 Ford 150 Crew Cab

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  6. #4
    Carseat Crazy seb3244's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Can you buy the 2 lighter car seats and have them shipped to your destination? Then have your mom or whoever you are visiting bring them with to the airport to pick you all up?

    Would your kids even stay seated in just a lap belt on the plane? Or maybe you could buy those vests things and use those instead of car seats?
    Blessed Mama to
    DD1 T 29 months RF - Britax Advocate
    DD2 J 6 months RF - Britax B Safe

  7. #5

    Re: Flying with 2 Frontier 90s

    Yes, the kids will sit in the plane fine with just lap belt - I'm not too worried about that. I'm more interested in how on earth to get the Frontiers safely to the mainland, because they are my preferred seat by far.

    We do already have an Evenflo Sureride as a spare for my oldest (that we use for short trips to school in husband's car), but it just seems so flimsy in comparison to his Frontier and I know it's not as comfortable for him. I know it has met all the same standards, but we will be making long trips, up and down I95, from NC to GA to FL, back to GA, and, after recently being in a moderate collision, it is hard to convince my brain that the sureride is as safe as the frontier. And, unless I have them shipped way ahead of time (takes forever to mail packages from Hawaii), I feel like I would still need a dolly to wheel even 2 cheaper and lighter seats through the airport and face the same issues - risk of damage if I check them or the configuration and installation of 2 seats in relation to one adult (except maybe the width problem would be solved). But I suppose if I bought the spare for for my younger one and had it shipped to my dad, then I would potentially only have one seat to worry about on the plane.

  8. #6
    CPS Fanatic
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    I would seriously consider a couple of tethered RSTVs for them. Unless you're worried they're likely to unbuckle themselves.

  9. #7
    CPST Instructor
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Re: Flying with 2 Frontier 90s

    First, thank you for wanting to keep your kids and everyone on the plane safest! Carseats and airplane safety is one of my soap boxes

    I have flown frequently and with seats, and I would avoid flying with the FR 90, if you can. They are so big and bulky, plus were not originally FAA approved, so you may get some flight attendants that don't want to let it on.

    I have used RSTVs many times while traveling, but every day for a week is a pain, for 6 weeks it may get to be quite tedious. I second buying a cheaper light weight seat if that is at all in your budget.

    If not, or you really want to keep your kids in their Frontiers while traveling (and I do understand that). They are FAA approved and will fit on most planes, esp an A330. I would make sure you are carrying official documentation from Britax that it is FAA approved, as I have had that checked (usually at smaller regional airlines, but any can ask). If I were you, I would try to reserve the outside 3 row seating at the back of the plane (window-carseat-carseat-you) That way you are not impeding anyone's way and they are more likely to not bother you than if you are in the middle of the plane.
    Jess, CPST and mom to 6 girls
    W(7/28) is rocking an Aton, S(3) rides in a Nextfit or RXT, O(6) has a Frontier 90, the big girls (9, 11) have Monterey Boosters and incognitos, and the oldest is 15, wears a seat belt and is driving!

  10. #8
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Flying with 2 Frontier 90s

    Quote Originally Posted by J-max View Post
    If I were you, I would try to reserve the outside 3 row seating at the back of the plane (window-carseat-carseat-you) That way you are not impeding anyone's way and they are more likely to not bother you than if you are in the middle of the plane.
    I agree -- there is no official FAA policy on exactly what to do for situations with multiple carseats; the guidance simpy says that airlines should excercise good judgment. In practice, I've never had a problem putting 2 adjacent carseats in a window seat and a middle seat (in a typical 3x3 setup), with the parent in the aisle seat.

    On your dual-aisle aircraft, I'd be surprised if Delta allowed you to put carseats in 2 out of the 3 seats in the center section, since at least one of them would have to be at an aisle. Having a carseat on the aisle or at/near an exit row seem to be the only firm prohibitions.

    If you really want the center section for some reason, I'd move forward to where there are 4 seats across. You can then sit on one of the aisles and have the carseats on the 2 inboard seats. (A middle seat in the center section doesn't impede anyone else's access to the aisle.)

    Since you're visiting relatives, to me it makes more sense (as long as your budget allows) to buy some inexpensive carseats and have them shipped straight to your dad -- perhaps you could use them on future visits or other cousins/grandkids could make use of them.

    Finally, this might be an unpopular position, but I would not totally rule out the idea of gate-checking the Frontiers. The carseat industry group, MACPS, of which Britax is a member, issued a statement in 2012 that gate-checking is OK because the carseats are designed to withstand the forces that they would typically encounter. They should still be inspected on arrival. And of course, the more likely and mundane thing that can happen is that there is a delay with your baggage -- but perhaps you'd have a backup plan since you are visiting relatives.

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