As discussed in the post “Will your car seat be allowed on the airplane?”, whenever boarding an airplane you should be ready and able to point to the FAA approval on your car seat (side or bottom label) or in your car seat’s manual in some cases. But even if you car seat is approved for air travel, you might suddenly find yourself in a situation known to many veteran family travelers – the same car seat that fit in the last airplane you took doesn’t fit this time around.
f. Operators Prohibiting CRS [child restraint system or car seat] Use. No aircraft operator may prohibit a child from using an approved CRS when the parent/guardian purchases a seat for the child. If an approved CRS, for which a ticket has been purchased, does not fit in a particular seat on the aircraft, the aircraft operator has the responsibility to accommodate the CRS in another seat in the same class of service. The regulations also permit an aircraft operator to use its discretion in identifying the most appropriate forward-facing passenger seat location, considering safe operating practices. For example:(1) A CRS with a base that is too wide to fit properly in a seat with rigid armrests can be moved to a seat with moveable armrests that can be raised to accommodate the CRS.(2) An aft-facing CRS that can not be installed properly, because of minimal pitch (distance between seats) between rows, can be moved to a bulkhead seat or a seat in a row with additional pitch.
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