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Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

Old Sep 21st 2009, 12:14 pm
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Question Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

We are relocating from the UK to San Antonio, TX in Jan 2010 and will be travelling with our DS who will then be 18-months-old. We have purchased him his own seat on both flights even though he is classed as an infant, as we wanted him to sit in his carseat.
We've booked premium economy tickets with BA to fly from LHR to DFW, we then have a connection with American Airlines from DFW to SAT.
It seems we will be fine to fly with most US airlines (incl. AA) with a carseat as long as it is approved by the FAA and I've managed to find the Brtitax Roundabout (only available to buy in the US) which is approved.
However, the BA website says the carseat has to fit the dimentions of 17x17" and the Britax Roundabout is 17.7x22" and the carseat has to be CAA approved
The main difference I can find between the FAA & CAA is that they disagree on rearward facing carseats, but that isn't really an issue for us as my son is forward facing.
I've just called BA again to try to find out exactly what carseats they allow, but they could only tell me it has to be able to fasten with a lap belt, be CAA approved and it must fit on the seat. They have emailed me the seat dimentions for Premium Economy and they are:
World Traveller Plus seat pitch is 38 inches ( is this the depth???)
WTP seat cushion width is 18.5 inches.
WTP angle of seat maximum recline is 7 inches.
WTP overall length of seat back upright is 26 inches.
Has anyone else used the Britax Roundabout carseat on a BA flight before, or does anyone have any other suggestions of carseat that they know BA will let us use & which will be suitable to use on flights in the US? We can't be the only family that's had this dilema?!
Plus I've read elsewhere that insurance policies may be void if we were to crash in a car with a carseat from another country i.e. you shouldn't use US carseats in the UK and vice versa. Does anyone know if this is true?
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

The pitch is the distance from any point on one seat to the same point on the seat in the next row.

I'd recommend asking on http://www.flyertalk.com/ where people probably know more about this sort of thing.
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 12:47 pm
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

Originally Posted by Patty2 View Post
I've read elsewhere that insurance policies may be void if we were to crash in a car with a carseat from another country i.e. you shouldn't use US carseats in the UK and vice versa. Does anyone know if this is true?
While I'm not 100% sure, it sounds right. It's not so much about carseats from another country as it is about carseats that are not approved for use in the US... if you see what I mean! An unapproved carseat could very likely either void the contract or kick in a no-pay clause where you would not be able to recover costs - which, in the US, could be quite substantial. If it's a US-approved carseat then you should have no problems.

Note, if you drive to Canada and are involved in an accident, a Canadian insurance company could disallow any damages since the Britax is not approved for use in Canada.

Ian
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 1:08 pm
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Smile Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

Originally Posted by henryh View Post
The pitch is the distance from any point on one seat to the same point on the seat in the next row.

I'd recommend asking on http://www.flyertalk.com/ where people probably know more about this sort of thing.
Thank you, I've posted a thread on flyertalk too someone can help!
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

I flew from LA to Scotland earlier this year and did the same thing in buying a seat for my 14 month old son. No problems on the leg from LAX to Heathrow with AA, but as soon as we got on a British Airways flight the trouble started with the non CAA approved car seat. They forced us to have our son sitting on our lap during take off and landing (as if that was safer than being strapped in a car seat) and couldn't explain how someone in the USA was supposed to buy a CAA approved seat.

In short, they were about as helpful as a brick and reinforced all the stereotypes about jobsworth idiots who couldn't spell customer service if it were tattooed on their foreheads backwards.

One other word of caution. In the US its common to use a baby stroller right up to the gate and pick it up in the jetway when you land. Not at Heathrow its not. Apparently Terminal 5 wasn't built to cater for this. If you have to transit at Heathrow between terminals make sure you can carry what you have without a stroller - as you won't get any help from BA or BAA (or whoever "runs" Heathrow now).
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

My Dd's Britax Marathon was too wide to put in the airplane seats, her US Graco seat fit just fine and had the FAA sticker on it.
If you are moving here maybe it would be better to buy seats here. Buy them online and have them sent to whoever is picking you up (relative?) to put in the car for when you arrive.
It seems most of the seats on sale in the US have the sticker on them, thats just from me looking at seats in WalMart
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

Originally Posted by Mummy in the foothills View Post
My Dd's Britax Marathon was too wide to put in the airplane seats,
Interesting, we flew BA earlier this year with a Britax Marathon in the seat.
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

When my daughter was younger we flew B.A. with a Britax Roundabout a couple of times, and it fitted in the seat just fine. You'll be fine, I've seen people fly with Marathons too, and I think they are even bigger than the Roundabout.

Naomi.
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

Originally Posted by neil View Post
Interesting, we flew BA earlier this year with a Britax Marathon in the seat.
So the measurements I was given must have been a bit off, and I left the seat home for nothing huh?
The other problem I knew I'd have was, with the Graco (much smaller seat) Dd's feet were up close to the seat in front of her, with the marathon, it sets her even more forward, didn't your childs legs get pushed up against the seat in front, and did the tray table work for eating?
She did fine sitting on her own this time and we had a high back booster in UK to use.
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

Originally Posted by Mummy in the foothills View Post
So the measurements I was given must have been a bit off, and I left the seat home for nothing huh?
The other problem I knew I'd have was, with the Graco (much smaller seat) Dd's feet were up close to the seat in front of her, with the marathon, it sets her even more forward, didn't your childs legs get pushed up against the seat in front, and did the tray table work for eating?
She did fine sitting on her own this time and we had a high back booster in UK to use.
BA staff were pretty good about letting us try it as they weren't too sure it would fit. The handy thing about the Marathon is that the base is smaller than the actual seat so that probably helped. Her legs were not pushed up against the seat in front at all, although she could easily kick it (luckily there was nobody in the seat in front, but she did get told off for doing it anyway) - she was under 2 at the time. The tray table wouldn't have worked but we'd brought a try with us that went around the seat (although that wasn't great it was better than nothing). I probably wouldn't do it now she's bigger, but we're not planning on going anywhere for a while.
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

FWIW for flying I have a Radian seat which 'folds flat' when not in use (well, not flat but flatter). It comes with one carry strap but if you throw a second one on it you can wear it like a backpack through the terminal. Once on the plane it 'pops out' into a car seat for the kid.

I have Britax Marthon in my car which I think is FAA approved though it is quite big and heavy to carry through an airport.

http://www.mypreciouskid.com/infant-...-radian65.html
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Old Sep 21st 2009, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

Originally Posted by naomi View Post
When my daughter was younger we flew B.A. with a Britax Roundabout a couple of times, and it fitted in the seat just fine. You'll be fine, I've seen people fly with Marathons too, and I think they are even bigger than the Roundabout.

Naomi.
They're a lot bigger...but not as huge as the Boulevard bloody thing is massive....Roundabout is a lot easier chucking around from car to car.
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Old Sep 25th 2009, 9:48 am
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

Originally Posted by Alan17 View Post
I flew from LA to Scotland earlier this year and did the same thing in buying a seat for my 14 month old son. No problems on the leg from LAX to Heathrow with AA, but as soon as we got on a British Airways flight the trouble started with the non CAA approved car seat. They forced us to have our son sitting on our lap during take off and landing (as if that was safer than being strapped in a car seat) and couldn't explain how someone in the USA was supposed to buy a CAA approved seat.

In short, they were about as helpful as a brick and reinforced all the stereotypes about jobsworth idiots who couldn't spell customer service if it were tattooed on their foreheads backwards.

One other word of caution. In the US its common to use a baby stroller right up to the gate and pick it up in the jetway when you land. Not at Heathrow its not. Apparently Terminal 5 wasn't built to cater for this. If you have to transit at Heathrow between terminals make sure you can carry what you have without a stroller - as you won't get any help from BA or BAA (or whoever "runs" Heathrow now).
Thanks for the advice, we were planning to gate check the stroller and we're departing from terminal 5. So that looks like yet another problem we're going to encounter!

It's looking like we're just going to buy the Britax Roundabout from the US and get it shipped over here ready for the journey and then take our chances with the BA FAs on the day as we'll need it for the flight from Dallas to San Antonio, plus we don't have anyone meeting us at San Antonio so it'll be needed for the taxi ride to our new home.

Can I just double check with you that the Roundabout can be fastened with only an aircraft lap belt, because I can't find that info. anywhere (although I know its aircraft approved)
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Old Sep 25th 2009, 9:56 am
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Default Re: Help! Carseats to use on a British Airways flight to America?

Thank you to you all for your replies!
I posted this thread on a few forums and you guys were the most helpful and actually understood our problem! I'm new to britishexpats.com but I'll definately be using the site again
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