Does RFing or FFing on a plane matter?


New member
A friend of mine asked me this (she is flying with her 9 month old soon) when she mentioned she was going to put his car seat (Scenera, I believe) FFing on the plane even though he's RFing in the car. Her reasoning was that he can see the TV monitor on the seatback in front of him. Is there any reason why it's safer for him to RF on the plane at this age (he is over 20 pounds)? FWIW, she has him RFing in the car still and will for as long as possible.



New member
Yes, a child of nine months still needs to be rearfacing, even on the plane. I don't harp so much about ERF on the plane, but at 9 months his spinal structure is still very weak and even a rough landing or take off could cause neck injury.


I always found it was much easier to entertain a child rearfacing since they are facing me. My kids preferred when I played with them instead of watching a TV screen. I also found that there were less items dropped onto the floor when rearfacing. I also don't think I would want to deal with moving the straps up for the plane ride and then back down once at the destination.


New member
I would be somewhat comfortable with FF on a plane, but only because the risk assessment would be totally different. Planes crash much less frequently than cars. But if a crash were to occur, RFing would protect the child much better for the reasons mentioned above.

I think that the standards for the seat still apply when on planes, however, and FFing requires 22lbs AND i year of age, so if she were to put the baby FFing she would be disregarding the instructions of the seat, which means that the outcome of a crash isn't known/tested for FF at that age, and if anything did happen there could be legal implications for disregarding the manufacturer's instructions on the seat.

Someone who knows more about plane travel can probably offer more info, but I personally would keep her RFing and obey the instructions of the seat.


New member
FWIW, most 9 month olds really don't care about a DVD screen, especially if it's not even something for babies/kids.

That aside, while I may put a 12+ month AND 20/22+ lb baby FFing on a plane I would never put one below the minimums FFing. Besides that, baby will be pretty upright FFing and most likely won't sleep well or be comfortable.


New member
Anne -

No one else mentioned this. I know some airlines specially state that you can use the car seat according to manufacture's instructions (which is the language I used when I wanted to have my 2 1/2 year old rf on the plane).

I'm pretty sure that the Scenera requires children to be at least 1 year old, 20 or 22lbs and 34 in tall in order to be able to ride ff. So the car seat manufacturer requires children to be rf at his age and size.

I thought there were some other good reasons for keeping a child rf on an airplane too. Here's a good link...


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