July 25, 2006

What Carseats Do Euros Use On The Plane?

We just flew in from Las Vegas, and boy, are my arms tired. Seriously, we've been--to use the Henry Rollins phrase that launched a thousand dadblog--baby roadies all day, hauling the car seat around from rental car to shuttle to airport to plane and on to airport again.

While we were waiting for our Maxi-Cosi Priori to show up, we needed another carseat, so we got a totally cheap Graco. It's light and narrow, and barely comfortable, but it sure makes a great airplane carseat. I see guys sherpa-ing those giant Britaxes through the terminal, and I feel a little guilty. If you have a hefty carseat and you fly even semi-regularly with the kid, I'd say it's worth it to look at getting a second, barebones/budget/light plane-only car seat, too.

And that seems to be what Izaak's Mom needs, too. They're flying from Holland to China, and KLM isn't going to let the bigger Maxi-Cosi on the plane:

We are desperate. We don't know how a three-point installation car seat can fit on airplane seat. It seems that there is no European standard for car seat fitting in an airplane. And KLM requires less than 42 cm/16.5 inch width, which almost kills all the American seats.

[BTW, my son was 78cm&10.3kg@6month -- Cabrio is definite out for his trip to China, as he came back at 11 month old and he does almost not fit in Cabrio already.]

So we'd love to hear from anyone who has tried Maxi-cosi on air plane.

We are also willing to travel to the nearby countries (UK, Germany, �Ķ) to buy a guaranteed fit one for KLM. So we'd be happy to know any other model fits in KLM.

So what carseats DO Europeans fly with? And is it just me, or does anyone else out there have a plane-only carseat?


Hi, I'm in the UK and have done flights to the US, Spain, France and Italy with baby. When flying in Europe, we don't use any carseats, never did - just live dangerously and have less to schlepp around. When my daughter was under 2, she sat on my lap with the double seat belt thingie the airlines provide. When doing long hauls to/from US, she was on my lap and went into the box (sky cot - in front of the bulk head seats)whenever possible. We weren't rich enough to pay for a seat for herself. Now that she's over 2, she gets her own seat and she just buckles up (and then usually sleeps spreading herself out across 3 seats (mine, hers, and husbands!)

And when we arrive in the US to see my parents, they've got a cheapie Costco Cosco carseat for use - it's great.

The same is true for trains - I don't think I've ever seen a baby car seat on Eurostar. Nor the Tube, never on a bus.


is what a friend of mine uses.

Apparently, it's approved by German TUEV for use in aircraft.

Greg...from the description ("narrow", specifically), it sounds like you're describing the Grace Turbo Booster? We have that too, but have been prohibited from using it on airplanes.

The side of the seat does say that it's not rated for airline use but if the plane crashes it's hard for me to think that this seat will make the difference between my son surviving or not.

Oh, another annoyance is that it also tends to deconstruct as you schlep it around the airport.

On the plus side, once broken down into its two pieces, it's on the small side and we've been able to fit it in our suitcases.

[we have the ComfortSport, which is certified, although only one flight attendant's ever challenged me on it. it's 17" wide, though, which doesn't help our foreign friend. -ed.]

Heh, I was that very Sherpa last week when we hauled our asses (and our children, and their asses) across Canada. If the trip itself hadn't cost us $2,700 I might consider
a) the benefits of getting a smaller, airplane-friendly carseat for The Toddler, and
b) actually making that horrendous trip again.

Only next time, I'm bringing the Gravol. Whether I get to it before the Toddler does is another question altogether.

We bought a Swedish Britax carseat (much nicer looking than the US models and allow rearfacing use up to 25kg)for regular use. For our recent plane ride we got a Cosco Scenera and attached it to our carry-on suitcase with a belt from travelingtoddler.com

This Euro never used a carseat on a plane. We used the bassinet on transatlantic flights and our laps on domestic flights. When our daughter turned 2 she just buckled up in her own seat. But I'm guessing Euros in general are less risk-averse than Americans...

I don't think it's about risk-aversion. Carseats in the car are for safety (and for not getting arrested). Carseats in the plane are about securing your child so that you can read Entertainment Weekly.

Hi, we never used car seats on aircraft or trains. We traveled Asia and Europe with my son, and until 18 months, we got the bassinet that hooks on up front, and used the child seat belts that loop through ours. After 18 months, 3 out of 6 flights, he sat in his own seat and we prompted him to clip on his own 'big boy seat belt'. 2 of the flights, he was cranky and we used the child seat belt and 1 flight he slept through it on my lap with the child seat belt around him.

Not Euros, but we have a travel-only Graco Snugride too because it is a heck of a lot lighter and bulky and a bit shorter than the Britax Boulevard(s) we have in the cars. We got it originally b/c we feared (probably correctly) that the Britax would not fit well on the regional jet we were about to fly. I hate the Snugride, especially when we try to put it in a rental car (compared to the Britax the LATCH is terrible), and when Gus's head flops forward and I have to hold it against the back of the seat during the entire plane ride to prevent him from waking up.

As a side note, we do consider it risk aversion- the FAA recommends using a carseat for an infant b/c of turbulence, not magazine reading! If US airlines and the FAA would allow the use of the infant belt mentioned by Sandy during takeoff and landing (as is permitted and required on some international carriers, like Cathay) we'd forgo the seat altogether.

Gus and Moms- ridingthegusbus.blogspot.com

This UK-based yank flies with a UK-sourced Britax Renaissance Si. Or at least we did, until Delta somehow contrived to lose it between NYC and Orlando in the one time we checked it as a daytime flight meant we weren't going to let our boy take advantage of the higher seating position to kick the seat ahead to pass the time. Now we fly with whatever crap loaner it is that Delta gave us.

This is a great seat for flying--the Sunshine. it folds and has a carry bag. It sits low enough in the seat so the child can use the tray on the plane.


I have always put my children on the carseats whenever we travel. I am a flight attendant, and I really don't think the bassinets are all that safe. Besides, they sleep better in their carseats. Anyways, after my daughter outgrew her bucket, I bought a Sit N Stroll. GREAT for travelling,except it doesn't really fit through the aisles as it claimed. So far, only the 747 aisles are wide enough for it. But sure is a breeze going through the airports!!

I think "Baby Roadies" would be a great name for a dadblog!

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