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Thursday, 15 August 2013

Musing

After having done the research of which airlines allow car seats and which car seats, I thought it would be wise to visit some of the major stockists of car seats in the UK and see whether any of them actually sold car seats that could be used on Airplanes. I chose to visit Mothercare, Halfords, Babies R US and John Lewis as main stockists and the main places apparently for parents to visit when choosing a car seat.

I was able to ask for assistance in both John Lewis and Mothercare and explained that I was looking at whether there are any car seats available on the UK Market for use on airplanes as its a fairly common practice in the US (or so I've been led to believe) and found it an interesting debate

John Lewis had one car seat that is suitable for use on airplanes, the Maxi-Cosi Pebble, however this would be no use to anyone flying BA, CX, SQ, SA, CI, CY, EK, GF, EI, U2, BE, LS, ZB, BY, MT* as non of these airlines allow rear facing seats, I have often noticed in debates that people often cite British Airlines as being the only airlines to be fussy about forward facing seats, this is far from being true as this shows. The assistant I spoke to asked why people took car seats for children on planes and said he'd not seen one used. He then promoted extended rear facing for children in cars for about 20 minutes which I found very interesting and would definitely consider this especially with the rules on new seats being sold now in the UK.

Mothercare staff asked me why anyone would consider taking a car seat, if your only experience is package holidays I get the point, Coaches and Taxi's can often be fussy about use of car seats, they however also stocked the Maxi-Cosi Pebble.

Unfortunately I was unable to speak to anyone at Halfords, in a handy booklet they produce they listed all the main features of the seats, all need a 3 point seatbelt so not for plane use

I looked at both Maxi-Cosi and Britax's websites as both are leading car seat manufacturers :) Car Seats in the UK are normally made to be either installed with a 3 point seat belt or with Isofix, but as Maxi-Cosi definitely make one car seat suitable for airplane use I presumed they'd make one for the older child, for Britax I went on them being an International Company

I'd already found out that Maxi Cosi's Pebble is approved for Airplane use, from their website I discovered that their Citi SPS can also be used, Britax's Baby Safe plus SHR II is also Airplane approved (All are TUV Certified) However as mentioned before 15 (several of them leading airlines) won't allow use of them on board

Older children who are old enough and weigh at least 9kg can use a forward facing seat, these can be used (generally speaking) on all airlines that allow car seats in the cabin (although a lot of airlines do not permit car seat use past the age of 3), for those who live in the UK and would like to buy car seats that are legal to use permanently over here and are airline approved this may be useful

Britax's Eclipse (9-18kg) is approved for Airline use however it's the only carseat made by Britax that is certified for Airplane use for older children. It would appear that Maxi-Cosi don't make any that are for use and sale in the UK

*
BA
British Airways
CX
Cathay Pacific
SQ
Singapore Airlines
SA
South African Airways
CI
China Airlines
CY
Cyprus Airways
EK
Emirates
GF
Gulf Air
EI
Aer Lingus
U2
Easyjet
BE
Flybe
LS
Jet2
ZB
Monarch
BY
Thompson
MT
Thomas Cook


There are also Airlines that don't permit car seat use on their aircraft prior to 6 months of age, these include Royal Jordanian (RJ) and China Eastern Airlines (MU)

On top there are airlines such as VS that while they don't permit car seats in the cabin provide their own seat that is suitable from Birth so their own seat can be booked. there are also airlines that permit no car seats and no additional seats permitted for infants although these appear to be mainly low cost






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