How To Carry A Car Seat Through The Airport

How To Carry A Car Seat Through The Airport

Using a lightweight travel car seat can be the safest way to travel on an aircraft with a small child. We’ve traveled the world with our kids since they were several months old, and we have some car seat suggestions to make life easier.

It can be inconvenient to carry a child’s safety seat, diaper bag, or any other baby items through the airport, but it can be a great option for safety during the flight.

One of the safest ways to travel with small children is taking an infant carrier, which can provide additional protection for the child in turbulence or an emergency.

Every parent must know how to carry a car seat through an airport for safe and easy travel. With FAA guidance, rules, and regulations for domestic flights to international travel, first-time parents will have confidence knowing they are using the correct child safety restraint system. Other important things to know are how to secure the car seat to the aircraft seat belts, get through security with a car seat, and what to do in the event of unexpected turbulence.

How To Carry A Car Seat Through The Airport

Best Ways to Carry a Car Seat Through the Airport

Getting through airport security, boarding the airline, and finding the safest place to stow a car seat can be stressful. The good news is that a few approaches can simplify and streamline this procedure for convertible and booster seats.

Using a car seat strap, travel bag, or cart is one of the easiest methods to transport a convertible car seat. Car seats can be carried through the airport with the help of these specially prepared bags and trolleys.

Cheapest Option: Car Seat Straps

One of the cheapest options is straps that let you strap your car seat to your suitcase. This is an easy option if you don’t want to bring extra gear, and it’s easy to store in a suitcase when you’re done. However, it doesn’t allow your kid to ride in the car seat through the airport, and larger car seats tend to overpower lightweight carry-on suitcases, especially 4-wheel spinner-style bags.

Carts: Rolling Carriers for Child Safety Seats

A car seat travel cart can simplify taking a car seat through the airport, especially if you have to walk a long distance. These carts have holders for the car seats, making them much easier to transport, and they also add stability to the car seats, so they don’t move about too much. Car seat travel carts can also simplify getting through airport security and boarding the plane.

  • Car seat travel cart advantages: One of the easiest ways to carry a seat through an airport is with one of these carts or trolleys that allow you to pull it behind you, like a suitcase. These carts work great, especially if you plan on using the car seat on the plane.
  • Car seat travel car downside: The downside of these carts is if you’re planning on gate-checking your car seat and not using it on the plane, there’s no bag to protect the car seat in the cargo hold. One of the top-rated carts is this one that folds up to a compact size and is made by the well-known Britax company.

Ensure the car seat is safely fastened and sturdy on the cart before utilizing a car seat travel cart. Several travel carts include additional straps or harnesses. Parents should also verify airline policy on bringing car seat travel carts on board and make sure the cart is correctly labeled.

Bags / Backpacks

Parents who want to keep their hands free during air travel may find wearing a car seat as a bag convenient. With this technique, parents can keep their hands free to handle items like baggage or a stroller while carrying the car seat close to their body.

  • The advantages of using a car seat as a backpack: We often gate-checked our car seat or checked it at the ticket counter. We used a carrying bag for years to keep the car seat from getting dirty, damaged, or wet.
  • Car seat backpack downsides: The downside to these bags is some car seats aren’t light, and you can feel the weight after walking around the airport with one for a while. Some of the cheaper bags, such as our older version of the KangoKids bag, also have thin shoulder straps, which could dig into our shoulders. It was always a relief to drop this thing off and have that weight gone!

Parents should let the gate agent know they will be flying with a convertible car seat when they check in at the ticket counter, and they should make sure the car seat is properly branded and labeled. Parents should also check with the airline to see if they allow onboard convertible car seats and ensure the seat is FAA-approved.

How To Carry A Car Seat Through The Airport

How to Transport A Booster Seat Through An Airport

Like being able to leave the pack-n-play crib at home, traveling parents often celebrate when their kids graduate from a car seat to a booster seat, as this can make travel much lighter! Although it is relatively simple to transport a booster seat through an airport, Using a car seat bag or cart to transport the booster seat through the airport is one of the most crucial recommendations. These customized bags and trolleys are made to transport the car seat safely.

You can carry a booster seat using the built-in handle or attach it to their carry-on suitcase with bungee cords if a car seat travel bag or cart is unavailable. Still, the best way to protect it is to put it in a protective bag like the one below, which can be hooked around the handle of a rolling suitcase.

Parents should notify the gate agent at the check-in counter when their traveling with a booster seat and verify that the seat is appropriately tagged. Parents should also check with their airline to see if they allow booster seats on flights, and they should make sure their booster seat meets FAA requirements.

Booster seats are intended for older kids who have outgrown their infant seats but are still too small for a conventional car seat. Using a booster seat is prohibited from use on board.

Another great option is buying a cheap booster seat to use at your destination; you can often buy one more affordable than it costs to rent one through a rental car company:

Best Car Seats for Travelling

Parents may make air travel with infants or small children more pleasurable and stress-free by buying an extra seat to ensure their child is secure the entire flight.

Best Travel Car Seat

The Nuna Stokke PIPA Infant may be one of the best car seats for air travel, though it comes at a cost (around $350).

For a lower-priced alternative, check out the Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat at around $90.

Other Kids Air Travel Essentials

Here are some other things we’ve found helpful traveling with kids.

Lusso Gear No-Drop Traveling Airplane Tray: This travel tray is a lifesaver for parents traveling with kids. It’s sturdy, easy to install, and provides a flat surface for eating, playing, or drawing. The no-drop design is a standout feature, securely keeping everything from snacks to toys in place even during a turbulent flight.

Busy Board for Toddlers – Montessori Travel Essentials: The Busy Board is an engaging and educational tool for toddlers. With its various buckles, zippers, and laces, it helps develop fine motor skills while keeping kids entertained. It’s compact and lightweight, making it perfect for travel. However, some parents might find it doesn’t hold their child’s attention as long as they’d like.

Dramamine Motion Sickness Relief for Kids, Grape Flavor: Dramamine for Kids is a trusted product for preventing motion sickness. The chewable format and grape flavor make it kid-friendly, and most parents report that it effectively prevents nausea and dizziness. However, some children may not like the taste, and it’s important to remember that it can cause drowsiness.

Car Seat Types for Air Travel

Benefits of using a convertible car seat for air travel: Convertible car seats are versatile, both rear-facing and forward-facing, making them suitable for usage from infancy through toddlerhood. Employing a convertible car seat for air travel may be a good option due to safety and security for the child for the whole trip as well as additional protection during takeoff, landing, and turbulence.

Convertible car seats are a practical choice for flight travel because they are compact, light, and simple to transport through the airport. Parents who would rather keep their child in their seat for the flight will find that many modern convertible car seats are compact enough to fit in the overhead compartment of most airplanes.

How To Carry Car Seat Through Airport? Family On A Plane

Car Seats on Planes: FAA Requirements and Recommendations

Definition of FAA-Approved Car Seats

All child safety seats used on aircraft must be authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). To guarantee that they fulfill the same safety criteria as car seats used in a different vehicle, FAA-approved car seats are put through rigorous testing. Parents should look for a marking or sticker on the car seat indicating that it complies with FAA guidelines for airplane travel. While most modern car seats have been certified for use on aircraft, verifying this fact before purchasing or utilizing a car seat for air travel is always a good idea.

Car seats can be utilized during takeoff, landing, and turbulence by FAA regulations. The youngster must be fastened in the car seat using the airline seat belt during these hours. During takeoff, landing, and turbulence, booster and backless booster seats are prohibited aboard aircraft.

Infants and 1-year-olds under 40 pounds must be kept on an adult’s lap or use a CARES harness. While holding a child on your lap during plane travel is not advised, it may be required in an emergency to guarantee the youngster’s safety.

How To Carry A Car Seat Through The Airport

Lap Children

According to FAA regulations, infants under two can ride on an adult’s lap rather than in a car seat. The FAA highly recommends that children under two years of age have their seats and parents purchase an empty chair while on board an aircraft. It is far safer for the child to be fastened in an FAA-approved car seat during the whole trip because the lap belt provided by the airplane is not designed to protect the child during turbulence or an emergency.

Navigating FAA rules and regulations

Parents should first learn about the airline’s policy on car seats and child restraint systems before travel. It is crucial to be informed of any car seat limits or requirements that an airline may have before making a reservation. Parents should also check that their child’s car seat is FAA-approved and fits correctly in the aircraft seat. Parents should also be ready to present the airline with essential information or documents, such as proof of FAA approval for the car seat or a doctor’s note for a child with a medical problem. Parents may ensure their child is safe and secure during air travel by following these suggestions and being informed of FAA rules and regulations.

Flight Travel Advice for Small Children

With the correct attitude and preparation, parents may make traveling with small children more pleasurable for the whole family.

  • When traveling with young children, it is crucial to reserve seats in advance so parents can select the most convenient seats for their families. Parents could prefer a window or aisle seat depending on their child’s demands. In addition, reserving tickets ahead of time helps guarantee that the whole family can sit together and that everyone will be at ease during the flight.
  • When traveling with young children, it is crucial to be at the airport early. This means parents can take their time going through airport security and boarding the plane. Also, getting there early can give parents more time to prepare their kids for the flight and deal with any problems.
  • While traveling with young children, it might be difficult to get through security checkpoints, but several tricks can help. Parents should ensure their child’s car seat and stroller are clearly marked and be prepared to take off their child’s shoes, coat, and other clothing items during the screening process. Parents should also label and store any unique items, such as breast milk or formula, and be ready to explain them to security officers.
  • Air travel may be made considerably easier for parents using strollers and baby carriers, especially when traveling through airports. Parents should make sure their baby carrier is FAA-approved and that they have a place to put it during the journey.
  • Strollers and infant carriers can be checked in at the gate by many airlines.

Rental Car Advice

When traveling with young children, getting a rental car at the final destination might be difficult, but you can do a few things to make the process go more smoothly. Parents should ensure their rental automobile has a suitable car seat or carry their car seat from home. Parents should also double-check with the rental car business to ensure their policies on child restraint devices align with federal safety standards.

Check Discover Cars for some of the best rental car deals:

Other Car Seat Travel Tips

  • It’s crucial to take extra care when traveling with a car seat to ensure it stays in place and is safe during plane travel.
  • For the child’s safety during air travel, the car seat must be installed correctly in the aircraft seat. Parents are responsible for ensuring their child’s car seat is properly fastened to the airplane’s seat belt. They should also ensure that the car seat is not touching any other sections of the aircraft seat, as this can make the car seat unstable.
  • The belt path must be used correctly for the car seat to be properly mounted in the aircraft seat. Parents should check that the car seat is securely fastened to the aircraft seat and that the aircraft seat belt is routed via the appropriate belt passage on the car seat.
  • After flying travel, it’s necessary to inspect the vehicle seat for any damage that may have happened. This involves looking for cracks, broken pieces, or other harm that could jeopardize the car seat’s safety. Parents should replace the car seat if any damage is discovered before using it again.
  • Unexpected turbulence can be a concern when traveling with car seats, especially during takeoff and landing. Parents should take the following actions to prepare for unforeseen turbulence:
  • Follow the airline’s recommendations for securing the youngster in the car seat during turbulence.

Parents can rest easy knowing that their child is safe and sound throughout the journey if they adhere to the guidelines above for air travel with car seats.


To ensure that everyone has a good time while traveling with young children, thorough planning and preparation are essential. Parents and their young children can enjoy air travel better if they plan, leave for the airport with plenty of spare time, and bring a stroller or baby carrier. Check rental car rules for kid restraint devices to ensure they adhere to all safety laws. By adhering to these guidelines, parents can rest easy knowing their child is safe and sound throughout the flight.

In conclusion, plane travel with young children might be difficult, but with the correct attitude, it can be a positive experience for the whole family. Parents may ensure their child is safe, comfortable, and happy during the trip by following the advice and suggestions presented in this article.

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