The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends that parents secure a child in a child restraint system (CRS) or device based on the child’s weight. Parents are encouraged to take this tips sheet with them when they travel by air with small children.
Tips for Parents :
Make sure your CRS or device is government-approved for use on airplanes and has “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft” printed on it. Otherwise, you may be asked to check the CRS as baggage.
• While booster seats and harness vests enhance safety in vehicles, the FAA prohibits passengers from using these types of restraints on airplanes during taxi, take-off and landing. These restraints should be checked as baggage. Supplemental lap restraints or “belly belts” are not approved for use in both airplanes and vehicles in the United States.
• The CARES Child Safety Device is the only FAA-approved harness-type restraint for children weighing between 22 and 44 pounds. It will have “FAA Approved in Accordance with 14CFR 21.305(d), Approved for Aircraft Use Only” on it.
• If your child weighs… Use a… Less than 20 pounds Rear-facing CRS 20 to 40 pounds Forward-facing CRS 22 to 44 pounds CARES child safety device More than 40 pounds Airplane seat belt
• Measure the width of your CRS. It should fit in most airplane seats if it is no wider than 16 inches.
• Ask your airline for a discounted fare. Buying a ticket for your child is the only way to guarantee that you will be able to use a CRS.
• Reserve adjoining seats. A CRS should be placed in a window seat so it will not block the escape path in an emergency. Do not place a CRS in an exit row.
• If you do not buy a ticket for your child, ask if your airline will allow you to use an empty seat. If your airline’s policy allows this, avoid the busiest days and times to increase the likelihood of finding an empty seat next to you.
• Arrange for your airline to help you if you need help making a connecting flight. Carrying a CRS, a child, and luggage through a busy airport can be challenging.
• Pack a bag of toys and snacks to keep your child occupied during the flight.
• Always use a CRS when driving to and from the airport.
• Wear your seat belt at all times.