CARES Harness -- how do you make your child comfy on the plane?

calihannah

New member
I am considering getting a CARES harness as a backup in case the airline (SAS) does not let us take our DC on the plane (it exceeds the dimensions stated on their website as allowable for carseats, but that's another post).

If you've used a CARES harness, how did you make your child more comfortable, especially if you have a toddler? DD will be 25 months at the time of our trip and sleeps well in her car seat, which we typically fly with in the US, but I'm not sure she would sleep in the CARES harness (and our flight is a 7-hour redeye from the East Coast to Sweden).

Thanks for any advice!
 
ADS

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
The seat will fit on the plane. Just put the armrest up. We've traveled with a big Britax all over the world and they fit in anything. Don't get a bulkhead seat, though. However, "because it's FAA approved" won't work with a non American airline. They shouldn't have a problem with it, though.

I'd bring a pillow or a rolled blanket or something to lean against. Otherwise no idea. Piper just started using the plane's belt a few months ago and she's big enough to lean against the sides or me when she sleeps.

Wendy
 

calihannah

New member
The seat will fit on the plane. Just put the armrest up. We've traveled with a big Britax all over the world and they fit in anything. Don't get a bulkhead seat, though. However, "because it's FAA approved" won't work with a non American airline. They shouldn't have a problem with it, though.

That's good to hear. We've flown with it 20+ times in the US, but I guess the airline's website freaked me out because they list specific permitted dimensions for carseats, and ours definitely exceeds that! I'll just do what we always do -- put the armrest up, FF on the plane (it NEVER fits RF, unfortunately), and hope for kind flight attendants who don't hassle us (we once had a flight attendant who told us we had to FF our SS1 -- um, NO WAY!).

I think I'll still consider packing a CARES harness in my carry-on just in case...I would hate for her to be unrestrained in the worst case!
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
It'll fit rear facing. Again, just put the armrest up. I hated traveling with a forward facing Britax. The uninstallation was SO awful. Installation a rear facing Britax was always a breeze, and it always fit (Piper rode rear facing until she was 3.5).

Wendy
 

Sceason1972

New member
My MA always fit rf. It was more upright than in the car, but she was still quite comfortable.

As for FF and the uninstall; you need to ask for a belt extender. With that you can position a buckle in a reachable position so that it is MUCH easier to unlatch the seat belt.
 

calihannah

New member
It'll fit rear facing. Again, just put the armrest up. I hated traveling with a forward facing Britax. The uninstallation was SO awful. Installation a rear facing Britax was always a breeze, and it always fit (Piper rode rear facing until she was 3.5).

REALLY? I don't see how! I have flown on United, American, Southwest, JetBlue, and Continental with my Decathlon, and I have only been able to get it to install RF if we were sitting in Economy Plus or the equivalent (where the seats have extra room). Otherwise it was flush up against the seat in front of it, drawing complaints from the other passenger who couldn't recline (sometimes), and from the flight attendants, who refused to let us prevent another passenger from reclining (far more often). I get so annoyed with flight attendants who put passenger comfort over passenger safety, but I digress.

In any case, I've not had a problem getting a tight install FF with the DC on the plane -- I just flip the seat belt buckle upside down before I buckle it so I can release it when the flight is over, and then I kneel on the seat while pulling the belt tight (or DH pulls while I kneel LOL!).

I'd prefer that she RF on the plane, so I'll give it another shot on our next flight in a couple of weeks, but I really am skeptical given all the trouble we've had in the past!

Thanks again for the encouragement :)
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
If they hassle you ask them politely that you'd like to see in the manual where it says that 1) you have to forward face her and 2) every passenger has the right to recline. Tell the FA that while they're looking that up you'll start to switch her around. When they can't find it there's nothing they'll be able to do to make you turn her forward. If that passenger in front of you had been sitting in front of an exit row, or in the last row of the cabin they would not have had reclining seats. Their ticket does not buy them recline. It buys them transport from point A to point B. It does not buy comfort. It does not buy food. So tough dooty on them.

I've asked the FAs to look in the manual. On British Midlands sure enough it was there that I couldn't have a rear facing seat. On American Airlines, surprise surprise, she couldn't find where it said that a child over 20 pounds and one year has to be forward facing. In her words, "In 38 years of doing this there's still more I have to learn." I've had people tell me that I'm killing her, that the person can't recline, that it's not FAA approved. They're all wrong, and Piper rode rear facing until we switched to the Radian.

Wendy
 

waterbaby

New member
I feel highly encouraged-- thanks for that, Wendy!

How does the Radian fit on the plane?

Radians are a breeze for traveling! We travel with two Radians and a Marathon most all the time without problems or comments or any push-back. They could even use the drop-down trays, which was a welcome change from traveling with two Marathons and a SnugRide. :D I think our next flight will be one or two CARES harnesses and Radian(s), depending on what I can convince my DH is worth hauling through the airport.

And the Marathon... we've used that RF and FF on flights with no issues. We've never been questioned about it or any other seat we've traveled with. And reclining the seat has never come up. Those seats recline, what... an whole extra 1.5 inches, if that? Big whoop. But ditto whomever said RF install on the plane is easier than FF. Make sure to ask for a buckle extender. That makes is a lot easier, esp. FF.
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Rear facing the Radian doesn't fit. Too big front to back. Forward facing it fits beautifully. Low and within the seat. As the PP said, you can use the tray and everything. You can put the armrest down. I love sitting next to the Radian.

Wendy
 

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