Can You Take a Car Seat on a Plane? – Expert Answers


Yes, you can bring a car seat on a plane, however there are a few exceptions…

The good news is that nowadays you can travel easily with your car seat so no more cheap rentals or risking fines.


The airlines have made it as easy as possible to make the travel as comfortable as possible. You don’t necessarily need to carry the car seat on the plane because you can check it for free. Also on the plane you can only take FAA approved car seats.

Are you planning a trip with your child? Then check out these must know facts about traveling with a car seat on planes.

I also answer the most important questions regarding air travel and finally I will reveal which is the only car seat that you can’t take on an airplane. Strap in and enjoy..

Show it to me already!


Can You Take a Car Seat on a Plane


Can you bring your child’s car seat on an airplane?

Most airlines allow you to bring a car seat on the plane, as long as it can fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. However, some smaller planes may not have enough room for car seats, so it’s always best to check with your airline before you fly.

In general, children under the age of two are required to have their own car seat when flying, even if they will be sitting in their parent’s lap during takeoff and landing. Some airlines offer child safety harnesses instead of car seats, but these are not as safe and should only be used as a last resort.

Also only FAA approved car seats are allowed on the plane.

There are very few rules governing whether or not you can take a car seat onboard with your child. Most airlines’ policies simply require that the seat is FAA approved, fits in either the overhead bin or under your seat (with no extra room) and remains at their own row until they reach their destination. Other than these general guidelines, there are no rules in place restricting when you can use your seat. In other words, it’s fine to take a car seat on the airplane with your child as long as they remain at your row for the flight and isn’t blocking the way.


How do I position and use the seat on a plane?

You do it the same way as you do it in a regular car. If your little one is riding in rear facing position that’s how you install the seat. If they are riding in forward facing mode then that’s the way you install it.

Since airplanes don’t have latches you need to use the seat belt option for the install. You have to use the seat belts instead.

Best place to put the car seat is by the windows. Because in case of an emergency a car seat might block the exit route.

The Federal Aviation Administration has some basic guidelines for flying with kids. Here are the requirements:

  • Less than 20 pounds? Ride in a rear-facing car seat.
  • 20 to 40 pounds? Ride in a forward-facing car seat.
  • Over 40 pounds? Use the airplane seat belt.


Are car seats not allowed in certain spots?

On some planes the car seat must be directly next to the window.

There are no rules saying you can’t put your baby’s car seat near another passenger, but if there is an empty row on the plane it may make sense to move your car seat instead of having it block someone else’s leg room for most or all of a flight.


Is there a charge for checking a car seat?

No there’s no charge for checking in a car seat. For all airlines it’s free.


Are there risks if I check a car seat?

There are a few risks associated with checking in a car seat. One is that the car seat might not make it to your final destination. In addition, if the car seat is damaged during transport, you might not be able to use it when you land.

The car seat behaves exactly like you luggage on the plane. We all experienced lost luggage and getting banged up. This might happen with the car seat as well.


Will the airline provide a protective bag for my car seat if I check it?

Some airlines offer that and in most cases there’s no wrapping. However if you want to be extra sure then you can bring your own bag.


Can I use a booster seat on the plane?

No you can’t use a booster seat on a plane. So far there are no booster seats approved on the FAA list. If this is the case then you might need to use the safety belts that the airline provides.


Conclusions on Can You Take a Car Seat on a Plane

Flying with a car seat can be a bit tricky, but as long as you know the airline’s policy and follow their guidelines, it should be an easy process. Always check with your airline before flying to make sure that you have all the necessary information. And if you’re still unsure about anything, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help!

All in all if you have an FAA approved car seat you can take it on the plane. Or you can check it for free and you get it when you reach your destination.

The only car seat that you can’t use on a plane is the booster seat because it’s not FAA approved.

Now these would be the main points to remember. I hope this article has helped you make the trips less stressful and easier.

If you liked what you have read please share it with your friends.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I take a car seat as hand luggage?

Yes you can take a car seat as hand luggage. The standard rule for every air line is that the car seat is not counted as regular luggage so you can check it for free. You have two options checking it at the gate or during your regular or at the ticket counter

What kind of car seat can you take on a plane?

The only car seats that you can take up on the plane are those that are FAA approved. These have a special sticker on them that are visible for easy check in. The only car seat that you can’t take on a plane are booster seats because they are not FAA approved.

Does a car seat count as a carry on?

Yes the car seat counts as a carry on and it’s subjected to carry-on  size restrictions. And the policy of all airlines is to check the car seats for free.

Do car seats count as checked baggage?

No on most airlines car seats don’t count as checked baggage instead they count as carry-on. You can carry it on the plane.

Are car seats free to check?

Yes car seats are free to check on airlines.

Are car seats required on airplanes?

No, car seats are not required on airplanes however it’s highly recommended for infants and small children.

What to do with car seat base when flying?

You have three choices with a car seat base when flying

  1. Take it onboard and store it in the overhead
  2. Check it at the gate
  3. Check it with your luggage

How to pack a car seat for checked baggage?

The best way to pack and protect your car seat for checked baggage with a Car Seat Travel bag with a lot of padding.

Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!