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Car seats for kids - opinions

drsmithy

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Feb 23, 2011
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Hi, folks,

I'm after some opinions on whether or not it's worth dragging car seats onto the plane to use when flying with kids.

We have 3yo (as of a couple of days ago) twins and are heading from Brisbane down to Melbourne & surrounds for a holiday at the end of the week. We're flying VA down and QF back.

I've just been going through the motions of calling up to verify the child seats will be OK and I'm wondering whether the (few) people who have travelled with them have an opinion on whether or not it's worth it.

I found this older thread: Car seats on QF: 2016 edition and based on that my thinking is for a relatively short domestic flight where they probably wouldn't sleep anyway (due to time of day) then it's probably not worth the hassle.
 

Vic

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Jan 31, 2017
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I struggle to see the point of a car seat on an aircraft.
It can't be for safety reasons: Car accidents happen at max 120 to 150. Aircraft are generally much faster. I doubt the car seat is designed for the forces involved at much higher speeds.
So what is the car seat going to do? What is the purpose?
 

blackcat20

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I struggle to see the point of a car seat on an aircraft.
It can't be for safety reasons: Car accidents happen at max 120 to 150. Aircraft are generally much faster. I doubt the car seat is designed for the forces involved at much higher speeds.
So what is the car seat going to do? What is the purpose?
Better comfort for the child as the car seat better suits their size.
 

LadyC

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I never used one with MasterC who is now 5. He has travelled quite extensively but I always make an effort to educate him about what to expect before a trip (eg discussing going through security, what the plane looks like etc). The main thing you would want to be sure of is whether Virgin/Qantas will actually let you use them on the plane anyway.
 

offshore171

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Better comfort for the child as the car seat better suits their size.

I know the Americans do this and that must be the thought process but I don’t think it’s right.

By that measure an economy seat should be more comfortable than business for an average sized adult!

I’ve taken my kids on many flights both long and short haul since they were infants, and couldn’t fathom bringing a car seat in the cabin, let alone jamming it into the seat next to me.

I’m usually jealous of all the extra seat space our kids have, and usually “steal” some of it!
 

drsmithy

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Feb 23, 2011
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Comfort was the main reason - if they did fall asleep they'd have some head/body support rather than just lolling all over the seat.

That said we are in J so they'll probably be able to just curl up on the seat itself.

There's also containment - they can't undo the car seat buckle but I've little doubt they'll be able to undo the standard seat one.

Was mainly interested in hearing other people's opinions.
 

Vic

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Jan 31, 2017
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I wasn't sure of the style of seat you were considering until you mentioned the car seat buckle. Most of those style of seats, with buckles require attachment of the top of the seat. So I'm not sure how you're going to adequately secure the seat in that case.

The other style of seat for older chidlren that just use the car seat belt are not at all comfortable for a couple of hours because they generally are hard and have no padding. At least based on the complaints from my children.

As you mentioned a 3 yo, I was thinking of the different style seat rather than a capsule. But capsules didn't see to be that comfortable either. Also by the time my kids were 3 they could unbuckle themselves.
 
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blackcat20

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I wasn't sure of the style of seat you were considering until you mentioned the car seat buckle. Most of those style of seats, with buckles require attachment of the top of the seat. So I'm not sure how you're going to adequately secure the seat in that case.

The other style of seat for older chidlren that just use the care seat belt are not at all comfortable for a couple of hours because they generally are hard and have no padding. At least based on the complaints from my children.

As you mentioned a 3 yo, I was thinking of the different style seat rather than a capsule. But capsules didn't see to be that comfortable either. Also by the time my kids were 3 they could unbuckle themselves.
It had to be an airline approved seat; ours has instructions for installation on the plane.
 

sinophile888

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You will need the car seats when you arrive at your destination. So book the seats through as luggage. I don't think Qantas charge for child car seats.
 

drsmithy

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Feb 23, 2011
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You will need the car seats when you arrive at your destination. So book the seats through as luggage. I don't think Qantas charge for child car seats.
No they don't.

We're taking the seats regardless for exactly that reason - I'm just trying to decide if there's any point in putting the kids in them on the plane. Definitely leaning towards "no" at this point.
 

Denali

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I applaud you for saying 3yrs and not 36mths and 1 day :)

Good luck with whatever you decide
 

western flyer

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Have travelled using car seat on the plane for our then 2 year old on long haul Y European trips (few years ago). Elected not to do it on our European trip earlier this year (for our 2nd child 18 months) as too much hassle (both with educating gate and cabin crew that it is within their Reg’s plus faffing through security and on plane). - I check the car seats in hold but do use planepals for long haul (on QF and EK discretely). For short haul, not worth car seat (or planepal) particularly if you’re in J in IMO.
 

maccaisking

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My experience was that we took a car seat onboard for MstrMac when he was 18 months, flying overnight MEL - HNL with JQ. Our theory was he is likely to sleep better in it (as he slept well in the car) than he would in a normal seat. The plan was sound, MstrMac however was not interested and barely slept for the whole flight. I, along with several other dads, spent a several hours pacing the rear gallery trying to get kids off to sleep and we gave up on the idea of using the car seat on board after that.

I imagine this would be a very child specific

@western flyer, I agree that convincing ground staff we are allowed to use the seat was not an easy task, despite having confirmed with the call centre we are bringing one.
 

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