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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    So, we just got back from Disney, and for the second time, I was harrassed about having DD2 RFing in a carseat on the plane.

    I tried explaining the science behind it, I tried asking them to show me their policy where it said she had to be FFing, I tried telling them this was how she rode every day and would be happiest. Finally, they gave up, and let me leave her since I was not backing down. We were in the bulkhead with a Scenera, so space nor seat recline were issues. (Although, had I had her FFing in another row, someone would have complained about her kicking their seat... )

    It seems flight attendants, who themselves ride rearfacing in a 4/5 point harness, should allow children the courtesy of the same level of protection. Anyone else deal with this issue? Suggestions for next time? I was just so frustrated that a flight attendant who RIDES REAR FACING, and tells families how to secure their children all day long, would be so ignorant about this!

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  3. #2
    Moderator MomToEliEm's Avatar
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    You may want to keep a copy of these FAA documents in your diaper bag:

    Official FAA guidelines on carseats on planes

    New FAA clarification memo on carseats on planes
    Katy

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    I had a funny one where I had a flight attendant try to tell me that I *had* to take my son out of his car seat for take off and landing and hold him in my lap. I said, "But take off and landing are the most dangerous parts of the flight." And she said, "You don't have to tell me that." But still insisted this was their policy!

    Just as an aside, I was wondering: Did you find it hard installing the Scenera RF in the bulkhead? I'm worried about sitting there because the armrests are immovable.

  5. #4
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    The Scenera fits great in bulkhead seats, it's a pretty narrow seat.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  6. #5
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    I used to stick to... the FAA requires me to use the car seat according to manufacturer's instructions... and then I would pull out the instructions to the already marked page where it says to rear face until XX lbs.

    The only time I had a problem the FA actually told me that the ONLY seat that could rear face was an infant seat. Thankfully dd was barely 20lbs at the time so having her be that tiny was helpful.

    We didn't have any problem rfing ds at just 2yo (flew down days before his bday and back days after) in his BLVD 1.5yrs ago though.

    I'm glad you were able to wear the FA down and rf your dd!
    Christine
    CPST
    Mom to Bethany, 7.5yo - Monterey/Nautilus and Benjamin, 3yo - Regent/Nautilus

  7. #6
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    Thanks so much for those links. I was just going to post on this same topic. I have (small) two year old girl/boy twins (23 and 26 lbs respectively) and on recent flights I have really had to go to the mat with the Flight Attendant to allow us to ride rear facing. Primary argument has been that the other passenger can't recline...or that the seats are not infant seats. We are flying again in two weeks and I will go armed with my manual and a print out of this revised FAA policy. Thanks a million! Sotto

  8. #7
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    Oh, I am fond of the "oh, but it's SO HARD to switch it around to make it forward facing. It might take me an hour" ploy.

    (Even though it's not. )
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  9. #8
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    What airline?

    I am a former flight attendant, my DH is an airline Captain, we fly ALL the time.

    I had an FA argue with me (I was no longer an FA), my DH gave me the "shut up or we are going to get kicked off the flight" look, a few years back, DS#1 ws 13 months and we had him RF in his MA. He wasn't even 20 lbs., and the male FA who admitted he did not have kids, was telling me we had to turn him FF because the person in front of us, whom we had already spoken with and offered to buy a beer for his inconvenience, could not recline his seat. Note, that seats in front of an exit row typically do not recline, what about those poor people. Reclining seats are NOT a requirment of a flight. Anyway, my DH actually whipped out his pilot ID and asked to see the Captain, who in the end has the final say, and happened to be a guy DH knew. It was great, the Captain told the FA, they know best, leave the seat the way it was. Mind you when we got to our destination, the FA asked for DH's name and employee number, DH happily supplied it for him, nothing ever came out of it.
    Not long after that, my DH asked to view one of the FAs manuals during a trip. When he talked with her about it, she had a 2yo at the time, she told DH that the manual contradicts itself. That in one place it explains that only infant seats can be RF, and then in another place is says, to install the seat per the manufacturer's instructions. SO some FAs who only read one part, may could be the ones that argue.
    BUT I recall in my training, 13 years ago, we were told to allow the parents to install the seats per the seat's manual. End of story.
    Just a side note, not all FAs ride aft facing, and they have a 5pt harness. On planes where you have more than 1 FA, and 1 or 2 of them ride in the back of the plane, they do sit forward facing. So just be sure you don't use that arguement on some on planes with more than 2 FAs.
    BTW, my DH flies for US Airways. I don't know anything about training or manuals for other airlines.
    Lori (I drive Cadillac Escalade ESV) SAHM to Brooks 9/13/01 seatbelt only, Brady 7/4/03 seatbelt only, Kinsadie 2/23/08 Pink Britax Frontier, and Brakin David 6/7/10 FF in a cowmooflage Britax Frontier Clicktight

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    Sorry about your frustrations. Traveling is hard enough w/out extra hassels.

    Just something I want to mention. Flight Attendants are seated rear facing and forward facing. You just rarely notice the forward facing ones because they are in the back. The flight attendant jumpseats are positioned so the flight attendants can see the cabin and passengers. So in the front of the plan they face rear, in the back they face forward. It has nothing to do w/rear facing being safer. The crash dynamics are totally different then in a car so rf isn't as important on the plane.

    Realize since 99% of the population turns their kids around at 1. So it's very rare for a flight attendant to see an older child or even a convertible on the plane rear facing. They pretty much only see infant seats rf. So it catches their attention and looks bizarre/wrong. To us, it doesn't but to them it does. Anyhow, that's no excuse as they should be trained (and they are, I can assure you that) but it's such a small piece of what they learn.

    I sure hope you don't think I'm saying you weren't right, because you were. I just wanted to provide some additional information I gained in the 9 years of my previous life as a Flight Attendant and Flight Attendant Training Supervisor.

    I suggest like the pp said and have the documentation readily available and do the best you can to be friendly while showing them the manuals and FAA information.

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    Quote Originally Posted by lovemyfamily View Post
    What airline?

    I am a former flight attendant, my DH is an airline Captain, we fly ALL the time.

    I had an FA argue with me (I was no longer an FA), my DH gave me the "shut up or we are going to get kicked off the flight" look, a few years back, DS#1 ws 13 months and we had him RF in his MA. He wasn't even 20 lbs., and the male FA who admitted he did not have kids, was telling me we had to turn him FF because the person in front of us, whom we had already spoken with and offered to buy a beer for his inconvenience, could not recline his seat. Note, that seats in front of an exit row typically do not recline, what about those poor people. Reclining seats are NOT a requirment of a flight. Anyway, my DH actually whipped out his pilot ID and asked to see the Captain, who in the end has the final say, and happened to be a guy DH knew. It was great, the Captain told the FA, they know best, leave the seat the way it was. Mind you when we got to our destination, the FA asked for DH's name and employee number, DH happily supplied it for him, nothing ever came out of it.
    Not long after that, my DH asked to view one of the FAs manuals during a trip. When he talked with her about it, she had a 2yo at the time, she told DH that the manual contradicts itself. That in one place it explains that only infant seats can be RF, and then in another place is says, to install the seat per the manufacturer's instructions. SO some FAs who only read one part, may could be the ones that argue.
    BUT I recall in my training, 13 years ago, we were told to allow the parents to install the seats per the seat's manual. End of story.
    Just a side note, not all FAs ride aft facing, and they have a 5pt harness. On planes where you have more than 1 FA, and 1 or 2 of them ride in the back of the plane, they do sit forward facing. So just be sure you don't use that arguement on some on planes with more than 2 FAs.
    BTW, my DH flies for US Airways. I don't know anything about training or manuals for other airlines.
    Too funny, we must have been typing at the same time! At the 4 airlines I flew (none of them US Airways) for they all said the same to allow the parent to install it per the manual. Yep, most f/a's don't have young children and no hands on knowledge of carseats.

  12. #11
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    Quote Originally Posted by kbud View Post
    Too funny, we must have been typing at the same time! At the 4 airlines I flew (none of them US Airways) for they all said the same to allow the parent to install it per the manual. Yep, most f/a's don't have young children and no hands on knowledge of carseats.
    LOL We must have been.
    Lori (I drive Cadillac Escalade ESV) SAHM to Brooks 9/13/01 seatbelt only, Brady 7/4/03 seatbelt only, Kinsadie 2/23/08 Pink Britax Frontier, and Brakin David 6/7/10 FF in a cowmooflage Britax Frontier Clicktight

  13. #12
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    Quote Originally Posted by MomToEliEm View Post
    You may want to keep a copy of these FAA documents in your diaper bag:

    Official FAA guidelines on carseats on planes

    New FAA clarification memo on carseats on planes
    Oh wow, I wish I had had those a couple of weeks ago when we flew to Scandinavia (though would they be relevant? It was not a US airline.)! The person in front of DD's RFing Scenera complained to the purser (head flight attendant) about not being able to recline her seat, and the purser came over and told me I *had* to turn DD's seat around. I resisted, saying that she was safer RF and that it was what she was used to, but the woman (and the man seated next to her) got all in my face about how they had 6 kids, had traveled a lot, blah blah blah...anyhow, I got so frustrated, and the purser was right there and on *their* side, and I ended up turning her around FF. She of course kicked the person's seat, and I didn't stop her

    (It was a redeye to Europe, and at one point DD woke up and was a bit upset, and the passenger sitting next to the woman whose seat was being kicked actually had the nerve to turn around and tell MY child to "shut up" -- literally, those were his words! I nearly had a fit.)
    Ruthie, 3/29/07 - 63lbs, 49.5" FF Britax Frontier 90 harnessed and Diono Monterey HBB (ERF to 3y7mo)
    Zevi, 11/10/10 - 38lbs, 41" RF RXT and Peg Convertible, FF Frontier 90
    and a Safety 1st Go Hybrid, Bubble Bum, or RSTV for frequent travel

  14. #13
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    Quote Originally Posted by calihannah View Post
    Oh wow, I wish I had had those a couple of weeks ago when we flew to Scandinavia (though would they be relevant? It was not a US airline.)! The person in front of DD's RFing Scenera complained to the purser (head flight attendant) about not being able to recline her seat, and the purser came over and told me I *had* to turn DD's seat around. I resisted, saying that she was safer RF and that it was what she was used to, but the woman (and the man seated next to her) got all in my face about how they had 6 kids, had traveled a lot, blah blah blah...anyhow, I got so frustrated, and the purser was right there and on *their* side, and I ended up turning her around FF. She of course kicked the person's seat, and I didn't stop her

    (It was a redeye to Europe, and at one point DD woke up and was a bit upset, and the passenger sitting next to the woman whose seat was being kicked actually had the nerve to turn around and tell MY child to "shut up" -- literally, those were his words! I nearly had a fit.)
    Oh I SO would have let my child kick that seat as hard as she wanted during the flight after that. I also would have spilled a drink on the a$$ that told your child to shut up!
    Lori (I drive Cadillac Escalade ESV) SAHM to Brooks 9/13/01 seatbelt only, Brady 7/4/03 seatbelt only, Kinsadie 2/23/08 Pink Britax Frontier, and Brakin David 6/7/10 FF in a cowmooflage Britax Frontier Clicktight

  15. #14
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    No, the FAA regulations would not be applicable to a foreign airline. They operate under their country's regulations.

    Kim

  16. #15
    CPS Technician waterbaby's Avatar
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    What a pain! I'm sorry they had an issue with it.

    No one has ever said anything to us about RF on a plane (and we've never sat in the bulkhead). I guess after watching me and DH lug three carseats and three kids onto the plane, along with carry-ons, they don't want to take the chance on really putting me over the edge, lol! And it just might.

    That said, I do keep a copy of the FAA regulations and carseat manual(s) with us for that very reason.
    DD10 (Diono Santa Fe), DD8.5 (Diono Santa Fe), DD6 (Recaro Vivo), DD2 (Britax Marathon/Boulevard), and DD5wk. (Bella Chicco Keyfit)!

  17. #16
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    Quote Originally Posted by calihannah View Post
    Oh wow, I wish I had had those a couple of weeks ago when we flew to Scandinavia (though would they be relevant? It was not a US airline.)! The person in front of DD's RFing Scenera complained to the purser (head flight attendant) about not being able to recline her seat, and the purser came over and told me I *had* to turn DD's seat around. I resisted, saying that she was safer RF and that it was what she was used to, but the woman (and the man seated next to her) got all in my face about how they had 6 kids, had traveled a lot, blah blah blah...anyhow, I got so frustrated, and the purser was right there and on *their* side, and I ended up turning her around FF. She of course kicked the person's seat, and I didn't stop her

    (It was a redeye to Europe, and at one point DD woke up and was a bit upset, and the passenger sitting next to the woman whose seat was being kicked actually had the nerve to turn around and tell MY child to "shut up" -- literally, those were his words! I nearly had a fit.)

    After that, I would have hung a target on the back of the seat and offered my child a chocolate for every 10 kicks dead center.

  18. #17
    CPS Technician xursusmaritimusx's Avatar
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    Re: Flight Attendants! Ugh!

    Quote Originally Posted by InternationalMama View Post
    I had a funny one where I had a flight attendant try to tell me that I *had* to take my son out of his car seat for take off and landing and hold him in my lap. I said, "But take off and landing are the most dangerous parts of the flight." And she said, "You don't have to tell me that." But still insisted this was their policy!

    Just as an aside, I was wondering: Did you find it hard installing the Scenera RF in the bulkhead? I'm worried about sitting there because the armrests are immovable.
    I was told i had to take my daughter out of her seat during take off and landing by a FA before too. it pissed me off. funny how the 6 or so times i'd flown before, on the same airline, on the same route, i was never told before or since then.



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