Flying with Children, Airport Shuttle Service and the Dreaded Car Seat Debate
When it comes to traveling with small children, there is one topic that stirs up great debate among the masses. It can get downright ugly on some forums as mothers insult other mothers on their parenting style choices over car seats. Yep, that’s right car seats. Apparently, the parents who have the nerve to travel without a car seat are going straight to hell with gasoline drawers on. Personally, I can empathize with the parents who have more than one child in a car seat. Traveling with two children under 5 years old and 14 months apart can turn into your worst nightmare in a matter of seconds. When we travel, the less we carry the better it is for everyone.
I’m not here to judge your parenting style choices. I’m just here to offer some useful information and possible solutions to help you make an informed decision. At the end of the day, you have to decide what is best for you and your family. With that said lets get into it!
Common car seat concerns among parents traveling with babies and toddlers:
1) Should I use a car seat for my baby in a taxi or bus?
2) Do I need a car seat for airport shuttle service?
3) Do airlines require car seats for children?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents should keep their children in car seats when traveling by every mode of transportation until they reach their maximum height and weight requirement to travel without car and booster seats. Unfortunately, commercial transportation doesn’t always accommodate child safety equipment.
Airline Car Seat Policies
Most airlines allow children under 2 years old to fly free provided they sit on the lap of a parent. However, as a safety precaution, airlines recommend parents to purchase a seat and use a child restraint system (CRS) that is approved by the government for airplane travel and motor vehicles. If you try to fly with a car seat that is not approved for use on airplanes, you will have to check it with your luggage. Make certain your CRS specifically states that it is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.
Breakdown of Your Child’s Weight and the Appropriate Child Restraint System
- A rear-facing child restraint system is required for children under 20 pounds
- A forward-facing child restraint system is required for children who range from 20 to 40 pounds
- CARES child safety device is required for children who range from 22 to 44 pounds
- An airplane seat belt is only needed when your child weighs more than 40 pounds
Car Seats: Airport Shuttle, Taxi Cab, Van Service and Car Rentals
Technically, you should always place your child in a car seat when traveling in any type of vehicle. However, this is not always a viable option. Some modes of transportation are just not equipped to handle car seats. If you are unsure of the airport shuttle service policies regarding this matter, contact the company and ask. If you’re renting a car and prefer not to lug around your car seat, rent one at the checkout counter. Yep, it’s that simple folks.