We love British Airways. Generally they offer a great, reliable service. As a child, many years ago, I used to love them, because they had the best treats for kids. Now they up against tough competition in that area, however I digress. I really wanted to share an expereince of taking a carseat on a flight.
On a recent flight we ran into trouble with taking a carseat with us onboard. The carseat was airline approved, BA say they accept these onboard, yet the reality doesn’t always fit with the policy:
We were taking a Kiddy car seat which is airline approved.
Although the Kiddy seat is big, it is light and we strapped it to a foldable trolley to get around the airport. We needed it at our destination as we were driving around in borrowed cars a lot. Our 2 year old, Max, could even sit in it at the airport and be pulled along.
At check-in BA staff questioned the seat, but let us through when we showed the airline approval tag on the seat.
At the gate the staff questioned it, wanting to take the seat off us to put in the hold. but letting us on with it after I showed the airline approval tag.
Finally, on the flight, the crew informed me the seat wasn’t legally allowed: The airline approval of the car seat was by the FAA (the US authority, who have different standards than is accepted by BA). I got quite upset about the hypocrisy of the situation, as it just made no sense.
In the end, one of the flight attendants took the car seat away and Max sat in his own seat.
The whole intention on this evening flight had been that our 2 year old would fall asleep in the seat and we could wheel him out in it (with the seat secured onto a foldable trolley), leaving him asleep. (…and a much more pleasant child the following day.)
Plans changed- instead we had to carry a floppy sleeping child through the airport.
The crux of the car seat saga:
British Airways want to strap a car seat down with their own seatbelt and then rely on 5-point belt built into the carseat to hold child in.
The Kiddy carseats have the unique bar that replaces a 5 point harness, making it- what I believe and research supports- much safer for little ones in protecting them against whiplash in an accident.
Ironically, the car seat offers more protection than the 2-point belt available on the plane!
They were just not accepting that in the Kiddy carseat, with the safety bar, our little one could be strapped in with the regular seatbelt onto his seat while sitting in his own carseat.
There was absolutely no logic in them refusing to allow us to use the Kiddy carseat!