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I have searched everywhere!!!!!!

amingus1988
New Arrival

I have searched everywhere, and I have even asked on facebook (to my friends), and I am not getting for sure answers. I will be travelling with a 2 year old and a 4 year old, and I was curious if we HAD to have the CARES harness or car seat, or if they could just ride in the seat with the regular seat belt? 

Basically is a 5 point harness required by Southwest, or is it just a suggestion?! 

Thanks! Smiley Happy 

6 REPLIES 6

Re: I have searched everywhere!!!!!!

franktravel
Rising Star

Here is some information that may be of some help https://tinyurl.com/y9ddfwxh

Re: I have searched everywhere!!!!!!

elijahbrantley
Rising Star

It is difficult to find a black and white answer on this, but here are a few things:

 

https://saferide4kids.com/blog/faa-car-seats-flying-with-children/

https://www.faa.gov/travelers/fly_children/

http://faa.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/29/kw/child/session/L3RpbWUvMTUyNDU3MDUxMS9zaWQva2hT...

 

And from SW's website:

 

Child Restraint Systems

Proper use of a Child Restraint System (CRS) enhances child safety onboard the aircraft. For this reason, Southwest Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly recommend securing infants and small children in a CRS that is government approved for use onboard.

Once onboard the aircraft, the CRS should be secured in a middle or window seat. If placed in a middle seat, the CRS may not impede the exit path of a Passenger in the window seat. CRSs may not be placed in an exit seat or in a row directly forward or aft of an exit row of seats.  

If the CRS was manufactured prior to February 25, 1985, it must have one of the following labels. A CRS manufactured on or after February 26, 1985, must bear both of the labels in “A” and “B” below:

  1. This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.
  2. This child restraint device conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
  3. FAA APPROVED IN ACCORDANCE WITH 14 CFR PART 21.305 (D) APPROVED FOR AIRCRAFT USE ONLY.

Southwest Airlines will also accept seats approved by the United Nations or foreign governments. The CRS must have a stamp or decal or some other mark that indicates foreign government approval. Seats manufactured under the standards of the UN must have a label with a circle surrounding the letter E, followed by a number assigned to the country that has granted approval.

It is important to note that the CARES CRS is the only harness-type device approved for use onboard. The device is designed for Customers weighing between 22 and 44 pounds and must have a label that indicates, “FAA Approved in Accordance with 14 CFR 21.305(d), Approved for Aircraft Use Only.”  

Additionally, please know the FAA has banned certain types of child restraints that may be harmful to a child in the event of an aviation emergency. These include backless booster seats and any device that ties the child to another person.

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: I have searched everywhere!!!!!!

TwTLeslie
Active Member

A car seat or CARES is not required - by either Southwest or the FAA - for a child of any age on a flight. Of course, the experts agree that those are safer choices than using just the safety belt for younger kids, but the choice is up to you. I've flown on Southwest in every kind of situation -- with just a CARES,  with just a car seat, and sometimes with neither -- for my children as babies, toddlers, and young kids. Never have had a problem with any of these configurations.

 

I will say from personal experience that a two year old often doesn't want to sit quietly in the regular safety belt and may try an escape act during times when the child must be seated. If you have a long taxi, it can be hard to keep a toddler seated and compliant with the rules. I personally found a CARES helped manage that challenge for us at that particular stage. 

Re: I have searched everywhere!!!!!!

Lindsey Employee
Employee

Great input, @TwTLeslie! Thanks for weighing in with real-life experience!

 

Lindsey
Community Manager
The Southwest Airlines Community

Re: I have searched everywhere!!!!!!

KeishaLewis
New Arrival

Do i have to travel with a car seat for my 2 year old?  He was here on vacation before his 2nd birthday, but stayed loonger than originaly intended.  now he is going home and i have bought his ticket, there is no way he is going to sit by himself.  will the airline not accept him travelling with his aunt on her lap?

 

need an urgent reply

Re: I have searched everywhere!!!!!!

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@KeishaLewis wrote:

Do i have to travel with a car seat for my 2 year old?  He was here on vacation before his 2nd birthday, but stayed loonger than originaly intended.  now he is going home and i have bought his ticket, there is no way he is going to sit by himself.  will the airline not accept him travelling with his aunt on her lap?

 

need an urgent reply


Lap child won't be an option.

 

No, a car seat isn't required. You might choose to do so, and I actually recommend this alternative harness that is approved by the FAA which will be much easier - especially if you wouldn't otherwise be carrying the car seat onboard:

 

https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t5/Family-Travel/CARES-harnesses/m-p/75683

 

Above two years old the children will have a ticket, if you have a ticket you are required to sit in a seat during take-off and landing (that's FAA, not just Southwest), and it is recommended to be seat-belted at all times in case of unexpected turbulence.

 

The FA may have varying attitude for him to sit on his aunt's lap during the flight (other than take-off and landing), that's up to you but you'll be reminded about the chance of unexpected turbulence. In that case at least you'll have a seat for him to provide more space.

 

 

 

 

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