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  1. #1
    Senior Community Member emars002's Avatar
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    What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    I need suggestions/help. I have not flown with the kids since DD2 was 4 months old and don't flame me, i wasn't aware you should bring your seats on the plane. I just had my mom pick us up at the airport with seats in her car. This time we are taking our own and renting a car. Dh is coming too this time so i'll have an extra set of hands. I need to know what would be the best 2 seats to take, I guess weight wise for carrying but easy installation on the plane and whatever rental car we may end up with. i am going to ask for midsize so who knows what car we will get. We aren't going until July 3rd so i have a little while to figure this out. here are the seats I have:

    2 marathons
    1 boulevard
    1 safeguard child seat
    1 nautilus
    1 frontier

    what 2 do I take? i was thinking a marathon and the nauti becasue I thought they would be the lightest

    Also, any tricks for installing 2 seats on planes?
    Should i turn DD2 FF for the plane ride so she can use the tray?
    Can they refuse to let me take the seat on for a then be 6 year old?
    how should I carry the seats through the sirport? I have one traveling toddler strap, should I buy another one?

    Sorry so many questions, i want to be prepared!
    Erin, mom to 2 great girls:
    ---------------10 forester--10 Odyssey
    M: 8y1m 41 lbs-----TB---------cybex
    S: 5y1m 39 lbs----80SL-------FN85

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    Marathon and Nautilus.

    No need to FF on the plane, she won't be able to use the tray anyway. RFing, it will be harder to drop things. Also, if you FF on the plane and RF in the car, you would have to move the harness straps up, and then back down.

    They can't refuse to let you use a restraint with FAA approval for a child who has a plane seat and who fits the carseat weight/height limits. They also can't refuse to let you RF DD2. If they give you a hard time, ask to see in their manual where it says that you can't use a seat/RF. Or you can print out and take the FAA statement that clarifies their position specifically allowing it.

    You can get another travelling toddler if you like. Some people have had success just using the seat's LATCH straps hooked to themselves around a rolling carryon, or you could put one carseat upside down on top of the other, and strap them together that way.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member emars002's Avatar
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    No need to FF on the plane, she won't be able to use the tray anyway. RFing, it will be harder to drop things. Also, if you FF on the plane and RF in the car, you would have to move the harness straps up, and then back down.
    true, i didn't think about her dropping things - maybe i will buy one of those car seat trays just for the plane trip

    They can't refuse to let you use a restraint with FAA approval for a child who has a plane seat and who fits the carseat weight/height limits. They also can't refuse to let you RF DD2. If they give you a hard time, ask to see in their manual where it says that you can't use a seat/RF. Or you can print out and take the FAA statement that clarifies their position specifically allowing it.
    I remember reading a thread about this awhile ago and a flight attendant gave them a hard time but they had that flyer with them - does anyone have a link to it and i will print it out. Also, will the FAA stciker be sufficient or should I have the manuals with me?

    You can get another travelling toddler if you like. Some people have had success just using the seat's LATCH straps hooked to themselves around a rolling carryon, or you could put one carseat upside down on top of the other, and strap them together that way
    I think i will try to turn the marathon upside down on the nauti - i didn't think of that - thank you! - I still would liek to take a stroller so we have one at my mom's - plus we have the P3 so ODD can stand on the back - Atlanta airport is so much walking - avoiding a luggage cart would be good b/c we will have the stroller and 2 rolling suitcases plus a backpack and a diaper bag!

    Any tips for install - do i need a seatbelt extender? Will they have 2 avaialble?
    Erin, mom to 2 great girls:
    ---------------10 forester--10 Odyssey
    M: 8y1m 41 lbs-----TB---------cybex
    S: 5y1m 39 lbs----80SL-------FN85

  5. #4
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    I'd take the Nauti and Marathon too. I have a pic somewhere of my kiddos in those exact seats on a plane and they fit great. On one flight the FA refused to let me use the Nauti on the plane because it turned into a booster. She was actually carrying the seat on the plane for me, and instead of bringing it to me put it under the plane so I couldn't argue. Other than that lady we didn't have any problems flying with it.
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  6. #5
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    Here's the pic (sorry, crappy cell phone pic)

    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  7. #6
    Senior Community Member emars002's Avatar
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by An Aurora View Post
    Here's the pic (sorry, crappy cell phone pic)
    Thank you so much for the pic! I will show it to DH tonight b/c he doesn't think her seat will rearfacing - Now I have eveidence!
    Erin, mom to 2 great girls:
    ---------------10 forester--10 Odyssey
    M: 8y1m 41 lbs-----TB---------cybex
    S: 5y1m 39 lbs----80SL-------FN85

  8. #7
    CPS Fanatic vonfirmath's Avatar
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    At Christmas time we rear-faced our MArathon with our then-16 month old son in it.

    Seat went in great. No problems with flight attendants.

    --Sarah & D.J. (3-20-04)
    DS (08/07) ~ 8 ~ 52 pound ~ Graco Highback Turbobooster -- 3rd Grade!
    DD (08/11) ~ 4 yr ~ 32 lb ~ Britax Roundabout 50, Maestro -- Pre-K!

  9. #8
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    I'd play around with the handling issues, there are multitudes of ways to transport your kids and your seats through the airport; stroller, traveling toddler, carry strpas, carry bag, folding luggage cart, etc. The first thing I would try is stacking two carseats and trying to bunji them together on one folding luggage cart or stroller. If you have two traveling toddlers, then you have the two carry on bags, you need to stow the bags while you are trying to watch the kids and install the seats, sounds a bit stressful, imo. I'm pretty sure MA's stack well, but ultimately, whichever combination of seats transports well for your situation is the way to go.

    I couldn't find an affordable folding luggage cart for my last trip, but recently realized they had dozens of them at all the discount Marshalls/TJMaxx places but they are like carts with attached canvas bags for groceries that the other day a light bulb came on in my head that DUH the canvas bags are removable so voila, without the bag you have a luggage cart.

    One thing that has worked really well for me recently is for me and the carseat only to preboard. I get the seat installed without having to watch the kids, then when it is time for them to board, I'm seated and situated, the carseat is all ready for my dd to climb in and get strapped in. We used to all preboard and I'd install the seat while my toddler was climbing all over me - wasn't fun. Worse was the airlines that didn't let us preboard. I guess that was what started me going on alone, they'd stay families couldn't preboard, so I'd leave my family and stand right at the gate with my carseat looking at them with a pathetic/hopeful sad puppy dog type of look until they let me on.

    The only other "trick" I can think of is that sometimes a seat belt extender is helpful, both for installing and unfastening the belt. I've only really needed it once, but it is nice to know they are available.

  10. #9
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    We have a cheapy luggage cart from Walmart. I clipped the LATCH straps from the Nauti on there, flipped the MA around backwards on top, bungeed it, and clipped the top tether to the luggage cart.
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  11. #10
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    If your oldest still fits in a Marathon, I'd take two of those. They are the lightest and easiest to use seats you listed.
    "If you don't know how to fix it, please stop breaking it." Severn Suzuki, age 12

  12. #11
    Moderator - CPST Instructor
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gypsy View Post
    If your oldest still fits in a Marathon, I'd take two of those. They are the lightest and easiest to use seats you listed.


    And yes, a foldable luggage cart and the 2 MAs upside down and facing each other on the luggage cart work. Picture is of 2 RAs, but I've done WZ/MA or 2 MAs in the same manner too.



    But if one MA and the Nautilus and if they don't fit upside down, then you might have to do 2 luggage carts for the 2 seats.

    Tam
    Certified Canadian CRS Technician-Instructor

    DD#1, Aug 1999
    DS, May 2001
    DD#2, Aug 2007

  13. #12
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by emars002 View Post
    I remember reading a thread about this awhile ago and a flight attendant gave them a hard time but they had that flyer with them - does anyone have a link to it and i will print it out. Also, will the FAA stciker be sufficient or should I have the manuals with me?

    Any tips for install - do i need a seatbelt extender? Will they have 2 avaialble?
    The FAA sticker is what you need. If the sticker has come off the seat or is unreadable, then you are supposed to have a letter from the manufacturer stating that the carseat is FAA approved and information specifically tying that statement to that particular carseat (like model numbers). It's possible that the manual, full of pictures of the carseat, and with the statement about FAA approval, would fill that need. Of course, it's always a good idea to keep the manual with the carseat, especially when you are traveling and installing the seat in unfamiliar places (airplanes and different vehicles).

    I looked for the FAA statement but wasn't able to find it. I know I've seen it, though. While I was looking, I did come across information that it's even more important to rear-face on an airplane than in a car, because of the small space between the seats. Subtract a few more inches of room due to a forward facing carseat, and even in moderate turbulence, it's not uncommon for the child's head to strike the seat in front. [Using a forward facing carseat is better than none at all, because of the harness that helps to hold the torso back. But using the carseat rear-facing, when the child fits, is better than forward-facing.]

    For a forward-facing Marathon, you need to either use a seatbelt extender or flip the latchplate over (1/2 turn). Otherwise it will be darn near impossible to get undone. They should have seatbelt extenders available. You know the little seatbelt that they hold in the air to demonstrate how to buckle, tighten, and unbuckle your seatbelt? That's a seatbelt extender.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  14. #13
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    Re: What seats for plane trip? any tips?

    Quote Originally Posted by An Aurora View Post
    I'd take the Nauti and Marathon too. On one flight the FA refused to let me use the Nauti on the plane because it turned into a booster.
    I saw this FAA "Advisory Circular" on another thread. This solves the "booster" issue. it states that just because graco or another company markets the seat as a booster seat doesn't mean that it does not comply. if a booster has an internal harness, it complies.

    i counldn't find anything in this about having children other then infants be read facing. i will keep looking

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