Car seat for air travel


New member
I will be flying to india via continental airlines. It's going to be a 3hr connecting flight followed by the 14 hr non stop flight meaning that I will have to change planes once during the trip. I'm flying alone with my 8 month old DS who is approx 20 lbs. I have booked bulkhead seats and am planning to take his car seat along....he currently is still able to fit in his graco snugride click connect 30 (we have a travel system with a stroller which accommodates the graco bucket seat ). I'm concerned about the following:

1. Would it be easier to take the graco travel system on this trip than buying a new car seat just for travel.Im planning to baby wear him and carry the stroller also as 2nd option.Im slightly concerned about the lack of sufficient padding on this seat which may be uncomfortable for such a long trip.Also not sure if it would fit in the bulkhead seat . The airplane seat width is 18 in.

2.He is close to retiring from the graco infant seat by height criteria which may happen in the 6 weeks we have left for the trip. If he no longer fits in the graco then I was looking at buying a lighter weight travel car seat like cosco scenera/ evenflo sure ride/safety 1st guide 65 IN addition to a umbrella stroller.I plan to buy a diono radian for our regular use afterwards but don't feel I can lug it around for travel.Any suggestions on these or any other car seats which are light and easy to install . I plan to RF if possible but will consider FF if RF doesn't work out. I felt the cosco scenera also doesn't have sufficient padding for such a long trip but seems to be quite easy to install.may an extra layer of blanket underneath mite help?

3. Do I need to buy a car seat extender . I have heard that the buckle in some seats ends up behind the back(not sure in RF v/s FF. ) which may be uncomfortable... I think scenera is one of them.

Any help would be much appreciated.
Thank you.


New member
Hi there! So it sounds to me like you have bought your son a seat rather than planning to travel with him as a "lap infant," right? That is a good decision.

I would not recommend traveling with the Graco infant seat, particularly not if you are concerned that he could outgrow the seat during your trip. Bucket seats and travel systems can be very cumbersome for air travel anyway. I would definitely recommend purchasing a narrow, FAA-approved convertible seat (something that is 17" wide will fit both through aircraft aisles and in any aircraft seat) and an umbrella stroller.

Strap the carseat to a rolling carry-on bag for transport through the airports. You can either purchase the "Traveling Toddler" ([ame=""] : Traveling Toddler Car Seat Travel Accessory : Child Safety Car Seat Accessories : Baby[/ame]) or PM me for an alternative that will allow you to pull your bag like usual rather than pushing it, as the Traveling Toddler requires you to do. Pushing a 2-wheeled rolling bag puts stress on the wheels in a way that they are not built to take it. Either way, with your carseat strapped to your bag you can set your child in it while you are seated to give your back a break, or even pull your child through the airport in his carseat if you have a solid connection between the seat and the bag and if you are comfortable doing so.

I'd either check the umbrella stroller at the ticket counter, or have one shipped to your destination. They're so cheap, it may be easier to order one ahead and have it waiting for you when you get there.

We have traveled with Diono Radians and other narrow convertible carseats. The Radian is a fine travel seat IF you're using it FF, and if you strap it to your bag as I've said. The "fold it flat and wear it as a backpack" idea is laughable. My husband will wear it occasionally but it's miserable, and there's no way you could travel alone with a baby and do that. It installs great, FF, in aircraft. RF, it's probably too tall in the back to fit between the rows, even in many bulkheads. You could call Continental and check front-to-back distance in the bulkhead seat you've reserved.

You don't need to buy a car seat extender. If buckle placement is an issue while you're installing the seat on the airplane, ask your flight attendant for a seatbelt extender.

Let me know if you have more questions, and enjoy your trip!


New member
Out of the Scenera, Guide 65 and SureRide, I'd probabaly go with the Scenera, it is the shortest lasting of the seats, but the SureRide can have troubles fitting in some cars RF, and the Guide 65 often needs noodles to get it at the right angle RF (especially if your son is under 22 pounds)

You can also babywear and strap the car seat into a cheap umbrella stroller or your suitcase to get it through the airport.

The problem with the airplane seatbelt is mainly with car seats that have a "closed belt path" so that you buckle it inside the seat and then you don't have enough room to unbuckle it. The Scenera has an open belt path, which means that the buckle when FF will be right at the LO's back - IMO another great reason to RF on the plane. I think if you RF it will be by his feet or under his butt.

If you think your LO will want more padding I would bring along an extra blanket and just use it on top of him unless he gets fussy then put underneath him, (Note only pad seat on plane, not in car). I wouldnt worry too much about padding personally, that between the new experince of flying, pressure change, and all the new sounds and people around him, lack of padding will be the least of his concerns.


New member
Thank you minimalistmama and 1mommy for your suggestions. I have decided to buy the cosco scenera and an umbrella stroller. Between the stroller and my ergo hopefully it will work for carrying the baby. As far as car seat is concerned I'm thinking of strapping that to the stroller with a bungee cord when the stroller is not being used by baby.. I'm not sure if the travel toddler accessory would work for strapping the seat to the stroller ? I'm just thinking not to carry a rolling suitcase carryon and instead just have a backpack..... Let's see if all the stuff will fit into it though:)

Also the cosco width is 17.75 in ....hopefully that won't be an issue!

thanks again:)


New member
The Cosco looks like a good choice. It should fit fine through the aircraft aisle and will fit in the seat.

I don't think I'd try a Traveling Toddler accessory for attaching the seat to an umbrella stroller. Better to use a bungee for this. Your child won't be able to sit in the seat while you're strollering it through the airport anyway but if you remove the seat at the gate he can at least rest in the stroller.

If you do find you need more than a backpack for luggage, feel free to PM me re: an attachment solution.

Have a great trip!

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