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Taking an infant car seat on board flights

London, United...
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Taking an infant car seat on board flights

Hi there

I wonder if anyone can give me some advice about taking a pram frame with car seat on board. We are wanting to check in the stroller part of the pram and take the pram frame and car seat on board. I'm afraid to check it in as luggage as it might get damaged with rough handling. Emirates say it has to fit in the bulkhead otherwise we have to check it in as luggage. Has anyone taken a car seat on the flight with them? Thanking you in advance for any help.

Dubai, United Arab...
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1. Re: Taking an infant car seat on board flights

Not sure if I understand exactly what you want to do.

I understood that you have a 3 piece baby stroller with base, carrycot and baby car seat/carrier and want to take the carrycot and the carrier into the cabin.

Emirates is relaxed with carry on luggage but you are stretching it a bit. The stroller has to go into the hold area. I would pack the carrycot and then give it for the hold area or leave it at home.

That leaves you with the carrier. As you do not pay for a seat for children under the age of 2 you can not expect to get an extra set to put the carrier there.

Hence as long as it folds somehow to go into the overhead storage or you can have it in front of your seat (between seat and bulkhead) it is ok. Normally that will work, but there is no guarantee.

If you travel to or via Dubai, there are plenty of strollers when you come out of the aircraft (just at the end of the bridge).

For start and landing you have to strap the baby to you with a seatbelt extension. During the flight your baby will be in a special cot fixed to the bulkhead. Just make sure that you have reserved one of the middle row bulkhead seats.

Hope that helps.

London, United...
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2. Re: Taking an infant car seat on board flights

Hi thanks for your reply. I want to check the pram seat (stroller) in as baggage but take the base and car seat in the cabin. Emirates say that normally if you take a base and stroller seat it either folds and is put in overhead or stored where cabin crew sit but with a car seat as it doesn't fold can be stored with crew. We've booked a skycot so that's fine. I know what baggage handlers are like and if we check in car seat as luggage it could very easily be damaged and get a hairline crack.

3. Re: Taking an infant car seat on board flights

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Removed on: 26 November 2013, 04:05
Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Taking an infant car seat on board flights

You can choose to purchase a seat for child under 2 years, and then you can take your car seat on board with you and fix it into the plane seat. You need prior permission from the airline. Providing your seat is securely attached with the plane seat belt, your child can usually stay in the seat for take off/landing/seat belt sign on and whenever you wish at other times.

If you don't purchase a seat and take your under 2 yr old as a "lap infant" you are relying on there being an empty seat on the plane and of course you probably won't get prior permission so really it's down to luck at check in and the check in staff.

I think it's extremely unlikely they will allow you to take your stroller frame on board, it will most likely be just too big. They should allow you to gate check it (leave it at the plane door when you board), which enables you to use it in the airport. Hopefully it will be available at plane door when you land. If not and it gets sent to oversize (this has happened to me) there are decent maclaren strollers available in Dubai airport.

If you are concerned about your stroller I suggest using a specific pram travel bag. Most pram manufacturers have one specifically for their strollers.

Dubai, United Arab...
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5. Re: Taking an infant car seat on board flights

Agree with above.

As there are strollers available at Dubai airport, frequently your stroller goes to the luggage carousel.

A normal child car seat will go into the hold.

You can likely (!) take on board the carrier if it is small enough.

Do not expect that you can bring on board two things (carrycot and baby car seat / carrier), it is unrealistic. Plan accordingly and leave / wrap the rest professionally.

Do not gamble on the availability of a free seat next to you. The only way is to purchase a ticket to have a guarantee.

Edited: 25 November 2013, 12:03
Sydney, Australia
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282 posts
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6. Re: Taking an infant car seat on board flights

I agree that you will probably have to check the pram frame.

I completely understand why you would not want to do this. The last time I checked a pram frame one of the plastic knobs broke off. Its a very small piece but now the front wheels now do not swivel so I have to kind of drag it around corners. I rarely use that pram now.

So if you do find that you need to check it then I would put tape over any plastic latches that may brake off. Then tie something around it to keep it folded correctly, then put it in a bag. Ideally a canvas type bag but at the very least a large plastic bag.

I'm not sure how big your frame is and all of that may be unnecessary but if I ever had to check a pram frame again that is what I would do to try to minimise damage.

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7. Re: Taking an infant car seat on board flights

As somebody who has travelled frequently with my 16 month old since she was weeks old, my advice would be to pack it well and check it all in.

It is highly unlikely you'll be able to take the base on the plane - what type do you have? and it will have to be gate checked.

You can buy some very good carry cases that are specifically designed to allow pushchairs to be checked.

Remember also that you can only use the skycot when the seat belt sign is off - get a turbulent flight and you will be holding baby for a long time.

If you can afford it, a seperate seat for baby who is in their car seat is the best idea.

Folkestone, United...
Destination Expert
for Southern Ari Atoll, Maldives
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2,846 posts
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8. Re: Taking an infant car seat on board flights


Or of course just leave the infant at home :0



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9. Re: Taking an infant car seat on board flights

I have purchased a seat for a baby and put the car seat in it, traveling in the US. I would not fly just holding baby, too dangerous. If you strap them in a car, why wouldn't you want to strap them in on a plane?

Edited: 25 November 2013, 17:29
Salisbury, United...
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10. Re: Taking an infant car seat on board flights

I understand your concerns but realistically you should check it in. My daughter is disabled so her car seat and specialist buggy was very important to arrive in one piece as we could not replace them on arrival. If the worse came to the worse you could replace and claim on insurance. I always took responsibility to pack them up to try and ensure their safe being.

The buggy we gate checked in its own bag and it was delivered back to the gate as we got off. Her car seat we checked in. I made a thick bubble wrap cover which I could take off and reuse for the return, I shortened all the straps and secured them. Her car seat was never damaged.

Even though the call centre says they could store it on board there is never a guarantee of enough space, what happens if 6 families bring on all this equipment and they only have room for 3, 3 will be put in the hold, it may be yours. So take responsibility and pack it securely. Cabin crew have a lot to do before take off, primarily they are there for safety not securing passengers belongings. If you have a bulkhead seat there is no room in front to store a car seat. Space on board a plane is very limited!

I would always say buy a seat for any infant, much more comfortable for everyone. If there is turbulence the child will have to be on your lap not in the sky cot. We travelled to Fiji with my son and due to turbulence had the seat belt signs for much of the time. Luckily we had bought a seat for him and he slept happily in his car seat.

Enjoy your trip.