How old is too old for a car seat



My twins girls are 3 1/2 year old. They weight 33 and 32 lbs respectively. My husband and I are planning to fly from South Korea to Fort Lauderdale Florida ( a very long flight)and was wondering if any one know the age restriction for putting children in car seats on the plane. They have a regular toddler car seat and fit well in them. They will also be below the 40 lb limit for the seat.

We travelled from South Korea to Japan and then to Guam with them just sitting in the seat and uing the plane lap belt when they were 32 months and it was a disaster. We paid fo two seat for them and they practically rode in our lap when they weren't trying to stand urp in the seat and tap the person before and behind them in the head.

When we came to Korea they were 23 months and we used their car seat all the way and the trip was great. I couldn't have asked for a better travel.

I would appreciate any suggestion or info.


Probably at 3.5, they might be okay in a regular seatbelt for short flights, but for a longer flight, I think they would do better in their familiar carseats. They will probably sleep better since the carseat offers more support for their body then an airplane seat. Also, with you using the carseats on the plane, there is less chance of them getting broken or lost when they are checked as baggage.

I hope you have a great flight.


Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
It depends on the airline as well. Some don't allow carseats after 36 months. Others don't care. Check their websites so you're not caught checking a seat you meant to bring on board.

Bringing Piper's seat from the US to China when she was 4.5 was a lifesaver. She slept seven hours straight in it. She traveled with a seat until she was six and a half.



New member
If you paid for a seat for your child, and have a carseat approved for use in an airplane for said child (like Wendy said, so long as the airline permits) I would absolutely use that seat. It *probably* wont make much difference at all in a significant crash, but *will* help them ride out turbulence, as well as keeping them restrained in something they are already familiar with. (You and your husband may have to split the aise, and each of you sit with one child at the bulkhead- where there is nobody in front of you and you have a little more room). Good luck!

Here is something handy to print out, read through, and take WITH you as well. HTH.$FILE/AC%20120-87A.pdf

(I pulled the following from the article)

e. Under the provisions in parts 121, 125, and 135, no certificate holder may prohibit a child from using an approved CRS when the parent/guardian purchases a ticket for the child. (Certificate holders are encouraged to allow the use of empty seats to accommodate CRS. However, they are not required to allow unticketed children to occupy empty passenger seats, even if the child uses a CRS.)

23. CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING THE USE OF AN APPROVED CRS FOR A CHILD WITH DISABILITIES. The majority of individuals using CRSs on aircraft are young children typically weighing 40 pounds or less. However, there are some people who, because of physical challenges, need the support and security a restraint system provides in order to travel safely on aircraft. Aircraft operators should ensure flight attendants are aware that older children (who have not reached their eighteenth birthday) may use a properly approved CRS appropriate for that child’s size and weight. In this case, the aircraft operator may not prohibit the use of the CRS. There are several companies manufacturing CRSs approved for use on aircraft specifically designed for larger children who are physically challenged


New member
If you are flying a U.S. company, you have the right to use car seats for them, assuming that they are U.S. car seats and are FAA approved (most, if not all sold in the U.S. are). The age limit is 18, which is explained in the link the pp so conveniently provided. As long as the seat is being used per the manufacturers' instuctions.

If you are flying a foreign company, the rules may not be the same. You need to check.

I have flown with my 5 1/2 year old in a car seat on international flights. We do a lot of driving while in California and she prefered it to a booster (at that time). I always try to fly U.S. companies when taking car seats but Lufthansa has been good about my U.S. seats.

I've also flown with younger children without a car seat. I used to keep them at my parents' in California and only took one for the youngest (I'm alone with a connection or long bus ride plus the 11 1/2 hour flight). They were good about buckling in.

How horrible having to connect in both Japan and Guam! I hope you can get something non-stop into the U.S. At least not head south (since it adds a lot of time) since you have to connect somewhere... I doubt any child would stay put having to go through all that!


New member
Just a note--I'm in Ft. Lauderdale right now. If you will need to go to a rental car company and have US approved seats, give yourself extra time for any post-airport plans. You have to take an airport shuttle bus from the terminal to the rental car garage--with *all* your luggage. Small luggage carts (folding) will be invaluable for toting those car seats and the kiddos. ;)

My 3.5yo is riding in his carseat today, but it's a domestic flight on a US airline.

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