Car seat on planes and windows


New member
Must a forward facing car seat be installed next to the window on a plane or can it be installed in the middle seat?
What about a rear facing seat?

Does anyone have a link stating this?


Well-known member
This link says a car seat should (but doesn't say must) be next to the window so as to not hinder escape in an emergency. It doesn't matter whether it is ffing or rfing.

I have heard some say that it could go in the middle if it is only blocking someone in your family, but didn't see anything stating that, so not sure where that info came from.

This page from Southwest says it only can't be in the aisle (or in/near exit rows), doesn't say anything about being next to the window.

This page from Delta says it can't be at the aisle but can be in the middle if an accompanying adult is in the window seat:

Interesting because my last flights we were specifically told to put it in the window seat (our preference anyway).

I think one of our flights was United and they do say it must be at the window or in the center of a row if it is a two aisle plane.

Guess the FAA guideline is up for interpretation by each airline. At least each airline seems to specify their stance on their Web site.


New member
Hi Julia, I don't have any links for you but when I traveled with my LO at 18 months old I took her Chicco NextFit and rear-faced it on the plane in a window seat. The flight attendant was present at the time of installation b/c she had helped me bring the seat onto the plane and then she watched LO while I installed it. The manual states to install either RF or FF as you would in a car and with lap belts so since I RF LO, that's exactly how I installed it. Hope that helps. But I have heard of some airlines requiring you to FF. I'm not sure which ones though; I went on Alaska Airlines if that helps. Oh and I told the person sitting in front of LO that she was in a car seat so that person was unable to adjust their seat but they didn't have a problem with it. Everyone was very nice and luckily my LO had a pleasant experience on the plane roundtrip.


Admin - CPS Technician


JetBlue did not allow me to RF my 1 year old on a flight last January. I emailed them with the FAA regulations (and sent a letter to the FAA) and they refunded the cost of her ticket.

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