Airline won't allow car seat. Thoughts?

nanners

New member
We are planning to fly to the Azores this summer and we are only able to take one airline (Sata) They have informed me that we are unable to use a car seat on the airline due to a safety hazard. My son will be 21 months at the time and I find this bizarre that my only other option is to use a lap belt on him? So now we will have to "check" his car seat. They told me it can put in held baggage with our stroller but what does this mean? I am worried they are going to break it! Does anyone know any other options? Using a lap belt seems really unsafe to me, not to mention he will probably find a way out.
 

Brigala

Well-known member
I would think that "held baggage" sounds like it's like gate checking it. But I'm not sure.

I suggest getting an inexpensive car seat to take with you in case something happens to it. Of course hopefully nothing will happen since you'll need it when you get there! Are you in the US? You can buy a Cosco Scenera for $39 at Walmart that should fit if your child is average in size (or smaller). It comes in a plastic carry bag; I would adjust it to your child and then put it back in the bag for travel, just to make it a little easier for the airline personnel to carry it so they're not swinging it around by its straps or something.
 

morgaine108

New member
I used the CARES harness when I flew last year with my just turned 3 year old and it worked great. I bought a red fabric bag to protect my Marathon and checked it since I had two kids by myself and I was moving cross country, I knew it would be EXTREMELY difficult to drag that through the airport and try to install in those little seats.
 

Eclipsepearl

New member
Taking the car seat is not a big deal if you're organized. I've flown alone with three kids on 11 1/2 hour flights and I took the car seat. Checking could have resulted in arriving at your destination without any car seat. No bag will protect against rerouting! Just saying!

Some foreign airlines don't allow car seats at all in the cabin. I've run into this and opted to either use public transport or borrowed a reliable one at my destination. The CARES harness can be used on the flight. The lap belt isn't safe but will your child have a seat?
 

nanners

New member
I'm in Canada. He will have his own seat, there is no way he will stay still for 5-6 hours on my lap. He is around 21 pounds right now so he is averageish. After reeming them out a little about what i was supposed to do they responded with this.

Similar to what is regulated for automobiles, special chairs (car-type infant seat) exists to be used in air transport with the purpose of carrying babies and children that were built to fit the aircraft seats.



Car-type infant seat may be accepted considering the following:



- Has to approved for use on-board aircraft by an official state department, such as the European Regulation R44/03 (contains the label" ECE R44/03);

- Must have vertically shoulder belts for the infant and allow fixation with the aircraft belt;

- This service may be rendered only if previously booked by the passenger and accepted by SATA. During booking arrangements the passenger shall inform the chair dimensions that intent to use;

- Babies travelling in car-type infant seat pay a child fare, being aware that one seat is occupied;

- The acceptance of a car-type infant seat, in the cabin, does not oblige to pay for any service or excess baggage fare.

- Passengers with babies may only be seated on seats where a supplementary oxygen mask is available;

- Car-type infant seat may never be positioned at emergency exit rows, nor on the row immediately in front of or immediately behind the emergency row;

- A window seat shall be allocated, so when possible a pre-seat allocation should be done;

- Car-type infant seat should be fixed to aircraft seat using aircraft seat belt, before takeoff and till disembark.

- Car-type infant seat are widely used in United States of America and the Department of Transportation recommends that all children should travel using that special car-type infant seat.



Below there´s an example of a chair (CRS) and a child safety fastening device (CDS), both approved by USA Federal Aviation Authority:



Child Restraint System (CRS) – Children car-type infant seat with back, USA approved for use in automobiles and aircrafts. Usually these car-type infant seats are less than 40,6 cm (16 inches) wide, so, they usually fit aircraft seat;



Child Safety Device (CSD) – Fastening Children System device, FAA approved for aircraft use only. Recommended for children between 10 and 20 Kg



Without any of the mentioned devices, take-off and landing the infant has to be placed on an adult lap. During the flight will be placed on his purchased seat.



i am a little confused now though as they said it was a safety hazard and then now it's ok? i think i might print that out and bring it with me. i will be po'd if i show up and they make me check it lol.
 

Brigala

Well-known member
I know even a Scenera is relatively expensive in Canada, but if you can swing it I would still probably recommend grabbing one to take with you instead of hauling your "good" car seat. Just in case.
I don't suppose there's any way to have a reliable car seat waiting for you at your destination and using the CARES harness on the plane...
 

Eclipsepearl

New member
Where did you read that it was a "safety hazard" or what it over the phone?

Never call with these kinds of questions. I can't tell you how many times revs agents give bad information. Some of the call centers are in remote locations. In one case, the agent spitted off U.K. regulations for a caller flying a U.S. company.

I think that company is out of the Azores, or at least Portuguese. I stopped in the Azores once but it was only for refueling on South Africa Airlines.
 

nanners

New member
yes, it is an azores airline, Portugese. The islands are pretty remote especially the one we are going to so i doubt we could get a car seat there. i would be surprised if they even sold them there lol.

Earlier in the e-mail they told me it was a safety hazard.

Even if you buy an extra seat for your son, (what means that he can travel on his own seat), he must travel seated on the aircraft chair, because for safety reasons, car seats are not allowed on board.

 

Morganthe

New member
yes, it is an azores airline, Portugese. The islands are pretty remote especially the one we are going to so i doubt we could get a car seat there. i would be surprised if they even sold them there lol.

Earlier in the e-mail they told me it was a safety hazard.

Even if you buy an extra seat for your son, (what means that he can travel on his own seat), he must travel seated on the aircraft chair, because for safety reasons, car seats are not allowed on board.

Azores are remote. Not a lot of amenities and there's a lot of social/cultural differences because of it. No way would I count on purchasing a decent carseat in that locale. Could be surprised, but it's not worth it.

Honestly,in your situation, I'd stop asking questions, but just bring the carseat aboard. Then act completely confident while installing it. If they ask, tell them it was allowed... be as vague as they are :whistle: No hesitation or trepidation. It's always easier to ask forgiveness than permission, in my book. ;)

I would not have it set up for rear facing though, only forward face, if he's not already. rear facing is where you'll get the puzzled and annoyed looks f rom everyone and the attendants will get ruffled because the person in front must remain upright.

IF there's any issues, you can always point out your child will be more wiggly, verbal, kicking, etc... out of a seat that fits him and is familiar than if he's contained within. I'm sure the other passengers will gratefully agree. It's a long flight. He needs somewhere he might possibly sleep.

:shrug-shoulders: Anyway, that's the path I'd take.

It might not be their policy, there might be debates, but imo, it's always easier to negotiate in person than by some faceless entity through email and phone conversations. At least by that point, it will be gatechecked which is better than going through regular baggage handling. Not much, but usually a slight improvement.

good luck :)
 
D

danielfernandes

Guest
Hi Nanners. Do you have the link with that information on the Sata website? I can't find it and i have a flight coming up in the summer.
 

Nedra

Car-Seat.org Ambassador
yes, it is an azores airline, Portugese. The islands are pretty remote especially the one we are going to so i doubt we could get a car seat there. i would be surprised if they even sold them there lol.

Earlier in the e-mail they told me it was a safety hazard.

Even if you buy an extra seat for your son, (what means that he can travel on his own seat), he must travel seated on the aircraft chair, because for safety reasons, car seats are not allowed on board.

Looking at the two emails, I see that they say "car seats" are not allowed on board and then refer to the seats that ARE allowed on board as "car-type infant seats." Judging by the description of a "car-type infant seat," I am guessing that they probably either initially thought you were asking if you could bring a booster , or they were perhaps assuming that it is unlikely that your car seat is approved for airline travel. I don't know anything about car seat use in Portugal -- is it possible that there are fewer airline-approved car seats, or that the more popular brands there are not airline-approved?

That's my best guess as to what's going on -- just miscommunication about boosters vs car seats or maybe some differences in the frequency with which they encounter airline-approved seats. As long as you have whatever sticker is necessary for approval in Canada, it sounds like you're fine. I would maybe take a picture of the sticker, email it to them, and ask them for the dimensions of the seat so you can verify that it will fit. What seat do you have?
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
In Europe very few car seats can be installed properly with a lap only belt, so few are approved for plane use. They are likely unaware that almost all US and Canadian seats are approved for plane use.
 

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