Child Luggage on Plane: What Conditions Does American Airlines Apply?

Many parents ask themselves these questions when planning an airplane trip. Do we have to reserve a place for a child under 2 years old? How to make your child travel safely?

How to get a baby safely on an airplane?
For economic reasons, under 2 years old, it is certain that having your child travel on his knees is the cheapest solution. Since July 16, 2008, children seated in an airplane on mum or dad’s lap must be secured with an additional belt.

However, for safety reasons, it is preferable to have your child travel with a support device adapted to his morphology. TÜV Rheinland, which is a product certification body, advises parents to reserve a separate place for their child and secure the car seat there.

Air travel, despite its extreme reliability, represents certain dangers that are often overlooked by the general public. If the take-off and landing phases are the most critical moments of a flight, the danger remains present during the so-called “cruise” phase, when the airplane has reached its flight altitude. Turbulence, although most often predictable, can also be sudden or particularly severe.

And incidents are not rare on this subject, several injuries are recorded each month. A few years ago, ten passengers were injured aboard an American Airlines flight due to turbulence.

Know that it is possible for your child to have their own place, and to travel safely in their car seat, but of course this has a price. On the other hand, a child over 2 years old must then travel on his own reserved place. But depending on the company, you can also make it travel in a car seat or with an approved restraint device.

Information to know about it
To be used on board an airplane, a car seat must always be approved. If necessary, the on-board personnel have the right to refuse installation.
You may also be asked to have the car seat specifically approved for air travel.

Where should the child be placed?
In some devices, only a few rows are reserved for the use of a car seat. In all cases, it is imperative to contact the airline before your trip, to specify that your child will be traveling in a car seat.

For safety reasons on board, it is also advisable to place the seat on the window side so as not to hinder the exit of other passengers in an emergency.

How do I know if a car seat is approved for use on board an airplane?
Check the rules of your American Airlines company to let them know that you want your child to travel in their car seat. In all cases, it is the on-board personnel who have the last word, so find out beforehand.

The approved car seat must face the front of the device: Some companies only allow front-facing car seats. It is therefore not uncommon to see hulls installed in the direction of travel. It turns out that in terms of safety and comfort, it is better to use a shell in this position (strictly prohibited in the car, let’s remember), than to have a baby travel on his knees.

The car seat must not exceed a certain width which differs according to the company and the chosen travel class. It is generally around 44 cm for economy class.

The car seat must be suitable for use on board an airplane:
– European car seat: the seat must have a TÜV-approved sticker with the words “Certified for use on aircraft”.
– American car seat: the seat must have an FAA sticker with the words “Certified for use on aircraft”.

This item must be able to be secured with a two-point belt and the closure buckle must remain visible and accessible. You will find this information useful on the websites of the airlines.

Take your car seat in your checked baggage

If your seat is not traveling with you, it will travel in the hold. Impossible to know how he will be treated, if he will be mistreated or not. It always carries a risk. some companies even advise against it precisely because of the shocks.

Keeping your seat until boarding does not guarantee you better treatment. in any case, the seats are not sent on the same circuit as the compliant baggage due to their “out of format” status. They are delivered by hand to handlers who will take them to a different circuit.

See: American Airlines Baggage Policy for Baby Strollers

The advice is to pack them well. Plastic bags are provided free of charge at check-in, but this is not as protective as padded and neat packaging that will limit shocks.

Pay attention to the country you are going to, the approval is not necessarily the same as with us.
In all of Europe no problem it is the same homologation, but elsewhere it will not be the case. In some countries there are controls.

If you have young children on the flight with you, the last thing you want to do is pull your children’s entire luggage onto the plane and place it in the overhead compartment. You know that if your luggage gets there it will take forever to place it properly and it will annoy other passengers as well. This is not a good way to end up on an important flight.

However, there are now alternatives for parents in this scenario. An alternative is to buy children’s luggage that is in the seat in front of you. This luggage rack should be such that it goes under the seat in front of you. The problem with having a purse in the seat in front of you is that it can be bulky. Another alternative is to put the purse on a hanger and bring it back behind you so it doesn’t get in your way. Hangers also make unappealing luggage racks as they are so small compared to the rest of your luggage.

One type of children’s luggage that is becoming very popular is the backpack. It can go under the seat in front of you or even in the middle of the seat. It comes with handles so it can be picked up by hand. It has roomy pockets for everything and it also has enough room for a child to stow their toys so that they don’t get squashed within the narrow confines of a suitcase. These backpacks are also easy for parents to grab for quick trips on short or medium distance flights.

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