I didn't originally look at US Airlines outside of the Alliances when I compiled the posts on Airlines and Carseats because there is generally far more information available about car seat use on planes for the US market, however as I am hoping to bridge the gap for lack of information especially in the UK I get that others may like to know just what US airlines allow:-) If there's any Airlines in the US that others think would be useful to include please do comment!
Alaska Airlines (AS)
Infants traveling on a regular fare are strongly recommended to be secured in an appropriate child restraint system (CRS). Lap infants sharing a seat with their parent may bring a child restraint seat on board provided there is an empty seat available for the infant. If the flight is full, the car seat will be checked at the gate using a claim-at-gate tag. The car seat will be returned to you at the gate upon arrival.
All child restraint systems must bear the following two required labels:
1. This restraint system conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety conditions.
2. This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft. (in red lettering) (NOTE: Labels that indicate U.S. or Foreign Government approval or show the seat was manufactured under the standards of the United Nations are also valid.)
In addition to the standard CRS mentioned above, children between 22 to 44 pounds and 40 inches or less may use an Aircraft Safety Device (ACSD) for added security. Currently the AmSafe CARES Restraint is the only approved ACSD and must bear a label that reads:
FAA APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH
14 CFR 21.302(d) APPROVED FOR
AIRCRAFT USE ONLY
Use of the ACSD is the same as use of any approved CRS. Any other child booster seats and other types of child restraints may not be used during take-off, landing, and surface movements regardless of what stamp/seal of approval these booster or harness devices carry.
The window seat is the preferred location for a child restraint system, although it may be placed in the middle seat if the window seat is vacant, or if the restraint system does not block access to the aisle. If you are uncertain, the Flight Attendant can assist in determining if middle seat is acceptable. For safety, a child restraint system must not be placed in the aisle seat. Child restraint systems are not permitted in the emergency exit rows, in the rows forward or aft of exit rows on any Alaska Airlines flight or in any bulkhead row seat (rows 1 and 6) on Alaska Airlines flights 001-999.
Hawaiian Airlines (HA)
For the safety of your child, Hawaiian Airlines recommends purchasing a seat for children under the age of two and using an approved child restraint system. A seat must be purchased for infants traveling in a child restraint seat. Infants traveling as a lap child (sharing seat with an adult) may bring a child restraint seat on board if: 1) there is an empty seat available for the infant and 2) the car seat bears the following two required labels:
- This restraint system conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety conditions.
- This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft. (in red lettering) (NOTE: Labels that indicate U.S. or Foreign Government approval or show the seat was manufactured under the standards of the United Nations are also valid.)
If the flight is full, the car seat will be checked at the gate using a claim-at-gate tag. The car seat will be returned to the passenger at the gate upon arrival.
Jet Blue (B6)
Infants and children may occupy a seat with or without a Child Restraint System (CRS). If the infant is not in a child restraint system, they must be able to sit upright. Use of booster seats, harness and vest restraints will not be allowed during the movement on surface, takeoff or landing, unless it is an FAA-approved device.
All special accommodations are left to the discretion of the Inflight crewmembers.
If checking a safety seat, it will not count as one of your checked bags and there is no fee assessed.
Child aviation restraint systems (CARES) are also certified by the FAA for use during all phases of flight including taxiing, takeoff, landing and during periods of turbulence. CARES is a belt-and-buckle device that attaches directly to the aircraft seatbelt. It is designed for children over one year old, weighing between 22 and 44 pounds
- an infant safety seat should be placed in a window seat; it may be placed in a middle seat or aisle seat as long as the other seat(s) remain empty or occupied by another infant seat. An infant safety seat may not obstruct a customer's pathway to the aisle.
- infant safety seats may not be placed between two individuals.
- an infant safety seat may face backward if it is FAA approved and properly secured by the parent/guardian
- only one lap infant will be assigned per row of seats on each side of the aircraft.
- lap infants may not be seated in emergency exit rows
- any infant seat used during flight must remain secured to the passenger seat at all times, even when unoccupied.
JetBlue allows the use of FAA-approved infant safety seats secured to standard passenger seats. Safety seats must have the appropriate manufacturer's label.
Child Restraint Systems (CRS) manufactured between January 1, 1981 and February 25, 1985 must have one of the following labels: "This child restraint system conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards." or "This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft."
Seats manufactured after February 26, 1985 must have an additional label which reads: "This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft."
Booster-type seats, vest and harness-type child restraint systems, lap-held child restraints or seats manufactured before January 1, 1981 are not acceptable
South West Airlines (WN)
- Affordable Infant Fares are available that enable a Customer to reserve a seat for an infant and use his/her FAA-approved car seat.
- A boarding pass is required.
- Online checkin is available if the infant traveling on an Infant Fare is age verified
Proper use of a Child Restraint Systems (CRS) enhances child safety onboard the aircraft. For this reason, Southwest Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly recommend that infants and small children who weigh under 40 pounds be secured in an appropriate CRS when traveling by air.
Be sure to check the width of your CRS. Although the width of aircraft seats varies, a safety seat wider than 16 inches is unlikely to fit, even if the armrests of the aircraft seats are moved out of the way. An ill-fitting safety seat will not provide adequate protection for your child.
The FAA has banned the use on board aircraft of certain types of CRSs that may be harmful to a child in the event of an aviation emergency. These include backless booster seats, safety belt extensions (commonly referred to as "belly belts"), and vest or harness devices that attach to an adult. Although some that were manufactured before the FAA's ban may carry an insignia and/or language indicating they are approved for aircraft use, please understand that they are no longer permitted. Please note that a CRS may not be placed in any aisle seat, an emergency exit row seat, or in a row directly in front of or behind an emergency exit row
- Approved Child Restraint Systems
- Many of these carry the FMVSS.213 insignia and/or language indicating that they are "approved for use in motor vehicles and on aircraft."
- Any CRS manufactured between January 1, 1961 and February 25, 1985, must have the following label: "This child restraint device conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards."
- Any CRS manufactured since February 26, 1985, must have both of the following labels: "This child restraint device conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards" and "This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft."
- Harness-type devices approved by the FAA:
- At this time, the FAA has approved only the AmSafe Aviation CARES, which is appropriate for children weighing between 22 and 44 pounds.
- The AmSafe Aviation CARES must have a label indicating "FAA Approved in Accordance with 14CFR 21.305(d), Approved for Aircraft Use Only."
A car seat that is an FAA approved child restraint system may be carried onboard the plane if a seat has been purchased for the child. Customers traveling with car seats are unable to sit in our Big Front Seats. If the car seat cannot be accommodated in the assigned seat (e.g., car seat is too large), we will do our best to reseat the car seat and family to open seats where the car seat can be accommodated
Virgin America (VX)
Virgin America will accept FAA approved infant/child restraint systems (car seats or CARES harness) when the accompanying adult has purchased a seat for the infant/child. If a seat has not been purchased and there is an empty seat next to the parent or if the parent can be relocated to an empty seat in the same cabin with an adjoining empty seat, the car seat may be brought onboard and placed in the adjoining seat for no fee. It is important to note that to confirm that a child may sit in their car seat on Virgin America flight next to their parent, a seat should be purchased for the child.
The FAA recommends that children weighing less than 20 lbs. be placed in a rear-facing child restraint system. However, restraint systems are not required.
Safety seats manufactured between January 1981 and February 1985, are acceptable for use in commercial aircraft provided they bear the label, "THIS CHILD RESTRAINT SYSTEM CONFORMS TO ALL APPLICABLE FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY CONDITIONS." Seats manufactured after February 26, 1985, will be acceptable provided they have a second label in red lettering which reads, "THIS RESTRAINT IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT." Safety seats bearing the "UNITED NATIONS" label can be accepted for use on an aircraft.
Unacceptable restraint systems:
· Unlabeled child safety seats or safety seats manufactured before January, 1981 cannot be used.
· Vest and harness (besides CARES harness only) type child restrains or belly belts cannot be used during taxi, takeoff or landing.
· Booster-type child restraint systems are not authorized onboard. The FAA has determined that these items do not provide adequate protection.
The following are additional procedures that must be followed:
· No other guest can occupy the same guest seat with a child/infant seat.
· During an emergency evacuation the child/infant seat should remain attached to the guest seat, and only the child should be removed from the aircraft.
· While in use, all child/infant seat straps, especially shoulder straps, should always be in place per instructions provided by the seat's manufacturer whenever other guests are required to have their seat belts fastened and during turbulence
· A window seat is the preferred location; however, other locations are acceptable provided that only persons responsible for the child occupy seats next to the child/infant.
· The child/infant seat cannot be located in an aisle or exit row seat. It also cannot be located in the rows in front of or behind the exit row. If no vacant seat is available for the child restraint seat, it is considered carry-on baggage and must be stowed or checked.
· During taxi, takeoff and landing, the child must occupy his or her child seat and have all harnesses properly fastened.
· Virgin America will not supply child restraint systems for guest use.