British Airways/Carseats

U

Unregistered

Guest
Looking for info regarding traveling with car seats on British Airways. I have 3 Britax Marathons.

1) will I be required to FF them? I've seen the letter that supposed to state you can use the seat however you want, but I don't get that from the letter. When flying before, the seat would only fit RF (Turkish)

2) is there anything that states my child can be restrained in their seat during take off and landing? I've encountered this before on Turkish, refused to take them out of their seats, and they left me alone. Sounds like BA is a little more particular though.

3) will the seats fit?
 

creideamh

New member
Welcome :)

I can't answer all of those questions, but if you're referencing the FAA circular letter about car seats, that only applies to US-based airlines. British Airways' rules are stickier, and involve their built-in cots/car seats/using your own FF car seat... I don't believe they allow rear-facing seats at all, period.

Where are you located, and what are the ages/weights/heights of your children? The Marathon may fit if you can raise the armrests, but we can offer some alternatives that might be lighter and narrower.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Located in Phoenix. I have a 14 mo old 22lbs, 30 in. Twins that are 48mo, 32 lbs and 38in. We will be traveling in 4 mos. I think my biggest issue at this point is they don't allow car seats for 3 and over. I called today and they said it would be at the airports discretion. But if I take my seats and have to gate check them I wouldn't feel comfortable using them again. I need carseats at our Destination (Kenya) and am Leary about buying there. Plus they would have to ride from the airport to hotel without a seat.
 

creideamh

New member
Have you already booked the flight? If you can go with an American airline (no idea if one even flies to Kenya), I'd do that and avoid the issues altogether.
If you're stuck on BA, the first idea that comes to my mind is an Evenflo SureRide or Tribute for the youngest (you can RF in the cars, but would FF on the plane...she meets the mins on these seats, but wouldn't on any Dorel seat until she hits 34".) Then I'd buy a couple of Evenflo Maestros for the twins and either A) keep them in the boxes and check them through, or B) get a couple of heavy-duty car seat bags (JL Childress makes a padded one), wrap them in a few layers of bubble wrap, and try to use them on the plane first but have the padded bag & bubble wrap as a backup plan in case of mandatory gate check.
All of these seats would require the use of a locking clip in a car without locking seatbelts (which I'm guessing aren't too common in Kenya but don't know firsthand.) Just something to keep in mind so you can practice beforehand.
Someone else might have more input! :)

ETA- duh, if it's in your budget, the Ride Safer Travel Vest might be the best option for the twins! You can carry them on easily, aren't used on the plane, and are great to travel with.
 

newyorkDOC

New member
I'd be looking at the RSTV for your twins. So long as you know you will have three point belts in Kenya anyway... If you are using a lap belt the RSTV requires a top tether which you likely won't have.
 

Adventuredad

New member
Located in Phoenix. I have a 14 mo old 22lbs, 30 in. Twins that are 48mo, 32 lbs and 38in. We will be traveling in 4 mos. I think my biggest issue at this point is they don't allow car seats for 3 and over. I called today and they said it would be at the airports discretion. But if I take my seats and have to gate check them I wouldn't feel comfortable using them again. I need carseats at our Destination (Kenya) and am Leary about buying there. Plus they would have to ride from the airport to hotel without a seat.
Gate checking seats works well. The seats are usually, but not always, carried by hand to the aircraft. Another option is to check your car seats as regular luggage in car seats bags with bubble wrap and extra padding of clothing. Also works very well.

Using car seat on board an aircraft is not relevant for safety regardless of age. For your "old" kids a car seat on board it's especially not relevant. We have lots of FAA data and stats showing this very clearly.

If you have good quality car seats these will handle the forces associated with traveling well.

Best of luck in Africa.
 

mbithid

New member
So, in wrapping with bubble wrap or packaging in original boxes, does that make the carseats safe to use after being checked? I've read several places that you should never check your car seats, not even at the gate.

Does anyone have any specific experience with BA? Are they very particular about their policies or might they allow me to bring me carseats on the plane for the 4yo? Also, someone mentioned stowing them in the overhead compartment? Anyone have any experience with that?
 

creideamh

New member
Packing in original boxes really isn't any different than companies shipping to stores, stores shipping to you. It's not like shipping companies are extraordinarily careful with them ;) And I'd personally be fine checking a lightweight seat wrapped in tons of bubble wrap in a heavy bag when necessary, like in this case. You should not check your car seats, even gate check, without any protection. The handlers may or may not be gentle with them, but luggage is tossed around below in take off/landing and turbulence.

BA is very particular about their policies, yes. I don't know if they'll actually pull you aside and demand your children's ages, but it's not outside the realm of possibility. The only seats you'd likely be able to stow overhead are boosters and possibly Radians... I highly doubt Marathons or even Maestros would fit (plus, the FAs would likely raise a stink.)

Again, though, if Kenya has lap/shoulder belts, I'd be opting for RSTVs simply for convenience.
 

cantabdad

New member
So, in wrapping with bubble wrap or packaging in original boxes, does that make the carseats safe to use after being checked? I've read several places that you should never check your car seats, not even at the gate.

Does anyone have any specific experience with BA? Are they very particular about their policies or might they allow me to bring me carseats on the plane for the 4yo? Also, someone mentioned stowing them in the overhead compartment? Anyone have any experience with that?
Last summer the carseat manufacturers' group, MCASP, issued a statement saying that it was OK to gate-check carseats. They are designed to withstand the forces that they would typically experience as checked luggage.

http://saferidenews.com/srndnn/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=zNnkSQCE0ks=&tabid=352

I personally still feel, as you do, that it makes sense to try to avoid checking them wherever possible. However, flying on a foreign airline is one situation where you may not have any choice.

I've taken BA a few times and my experience is that they are strict and fussy about everything. On another airline I could see the flight crew letting something "slide" or just being too busy pre-departure to notice something, but not on BA. I have heard that they are strict about their rule on no carseats for kids 3 and over. And the FF-only rule is actually dicated by the UK CAA (their equivalent of FAA) -- so my understanding is that BA couldn't waive that aspect even if they wanted to.

As for your question #2 - I wouldn't anticipate trouble on this aspect from BA. CAA regulations require that child passengers in carseats be buckled in whenever the seatbelt sign is on, including takeoff and landing.

Question #3 -- A Marathon should fit as long as you raise the armrest, so would work in anything but a bulkhead row. You've also got some good suggestions on alternative seats.
 

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