Is a Car Seat Considered a Carry on?

So is a car seat considered a carry on?

Airlines try to make traveling with infants as easy and comfortable as possible. So, before you head to the airport with your lovely one , find out what to do for your car seats when traveling and if you Can bring your car seat as carry on and how much of your infant luggage you can bring on the plane.

If you don’t want to take your car seat as carry-on baggage, find out how to pack your car seat for checked baggage in this detailed post.

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Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat, / Courtesy of Amazon

How much carry luggage can a child take?

Usually Infants  not occupying a seat do not have free carry on baggage allowance. However, on top of your own hand baggage allowance you may bring your infant’s food for consumption on board.

and Children (2 – 11 years) have the same free hand baggage allowance as adults, depending on the travel class and destination.

Can you bring a car seat as a carry on?

Yes airlines always tend to make safety of children their priority and usually they allow parents with infants to have a car seat or stroller free of charge.

If you purchase a seat for your child the car seat will not be considered as a carry on, unless you won’t use it as child restraint.

Most airlines require an FAA-approved car or booster seat. however you are not allowed to carry the stroller on board the airplane.

It is better to always check in the car seat if you are not going to use it.

You can check them with any airline and they don’t count towards your (or your ticketed child’s) baggage allowance. You can easily check these items before you go through security; or if you prefer, you can check them at the gate.


If you’re flying with an infant under 2 years, traveling with a car seat is a game-changer.

For the safety of your infant it is preferable for children to travel in a car safety seat when on board the airplane.

airplane seat belts are designed for adults, and are not well working for little Guests.

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Strollers are not permitted on board the airplanes, however there are some convertible car seats that you can use as a car-seat.

As a general rule, you are permitted to take a foldable baby stroller with you at no charge.

airlines usually allow guests to check in their stroller. but You can benefit from the security to the aircraft steps where it will be taken by the flight attendant and transported as check in.

then you will need to carry your infant on board the airplane, the strollers will be handed to you at the arrivals.


Best place to put your car seat on board

The window seat is the best location for a child restraint system, although it may be placed in the middle seat if the window seat is vacant, or if the restraint system does not block access to the aisle.

If you are uncertain, please ask your airline flight attendant so they can assist and determine if the middle seat is acceptable.

car seat in modern vehicle
Photo by Erik Mclean on

Choosing the right car seat

There are a plethora of car seats that will keep your child safe and comfy,However choosing the right car seat depends on your infant age, car seat price and convenience.

When choosing the right car seat for air travel, the first factor you need to take into consideration is to make sure it is an FAA approved car seat. and over all a  convenient solution that will make traveling with a baby easy and enjoyable.

  • How it will be placed: Car seats have various sizes and dimensions . Some are bigger and some are small, you will need to pick an FAA car seat that will fit all airplanes, but you need to choose your size considering your infant age.
  • The style: when choosing the style of carseat consider also the durability, and if it will last when a damage happens.
  • Safety: Some Car Seats are made with shock absorption, high quality fabrics that will take the hit when any damage occurred.

Old Car Seat: Old car seats may encounter a lot of handling, thus a new one will last for many years. and sure it can be a bit higher in price.

Checking the car seat

If you want to board the airplane leaving your car seat behind, But if you’re traveling with a lap infant and want the use of your car seat after security but before the flight, you can also gate check it.

Your car seat will travel as check in baggage, and you can use it again just after you exit the airplane.

Do you have to put the car seat in a bag when flying?

Do you need a car seat bag when flying?

Not mandatory, but if you want to check in your car seat, covering your car seat with a dedicated car seat bag to protect it from any damage, soil or scratches will be a good idea.

If you are a the airport and find that you won’t need the car-seat on board and you do not have a car seat bag, you can ask at the airport for any available bag, most of the time they will be happy to help.s

Just make sure you put your tag on the car-seat,make it clear and recognizable as much as you can to avoid missing it or mishandling.

Airlines Rules On Traveling With Car Seats

Can you bring a car seat as a carry on Delta Airlines?

According to Delta You can Bring your child on board Delta airline but with certain restrictions, like , if there is an open seat in your row or if you purchased a seat for your child, you may place your child in an FAA-approved child restraint in that seat during take-off and landing. If an empty passenger seat is not available for your child restraint, the item must be checked at the gate by a Delta representative.

Can you bring a car seat as a carry on American Airlines?

According to American airlines Each guest is allowed 1 stroller and 1 car seat to be checked free of charge
Strollers over 20 lbs / 9 kgs must be checked at the ticket counter
All other strollers should be checked at the gate before boarding
If you have a stroller and a car seat only 1 can be checked at the gate

Can you bring a car seat as a carry on Alaska Airlines?

Alaska Airlines allows and recommends parents flying with infants, as well as infants traveling on a regular fare,to be secured in an appropriate child-restraint system, such as a car seat.
Little infants sharing a seat with a parent may still sit next to their parent in a car seat if there’s an empty seat available.

Can you bring a car seat as a carry on Jetstar?

At Jetstar, children under 2 are considered ‘infants’. Infants less than 48 hours old are not able to travel on Jetstar flights, and a Jetstar medical clearance form must be completed for infants aged between 3 and 7 days old. No infant less than 7 days old may travel with Jetstar Pacific (BL).

Can you bring a car seat as a carry on Air Canada?

According to air canada Only approved child restraint devices can be used on board our aircraft. Most child restraint devices that are used in cars can be used on an aircraft.
Mandatory for an infant under 2 occupying a seat. Infants occupying a seat must be properly secured in their safety seat or restraint device whenever the seat belt sign is on. For the welfare and safety of your child, we recommend using a child restraint device for your child, especially during takeoff, landing and turbulence.

Please consult your airline prior your flight to get more information about acceptable Child Restraint Devices and car seats, Prohibited Child Restraint Devices, and Exceptions

Frequently asked questions

Can I take a car seat and stroller on the plane?

Yes When traveling with your infants airlines allows you to travel with a car-seat  or any restraint system  free of charge.

Do you need to bring a car seat when traveling?

Airlines usually prefer to bring a car-seat when traveling with your infant, it will make your infant travel comfortable, as the airplane set regular belt will not work for infants properly.

What do you do with a car seat when flying?

When flying with an infant you can install it in the airplane and make your infant travel on it, while if you do not want to take it on board the airplane, you can check it as hold luggage.

Is my car seat FAA approved?

If your car seat has “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft” printed on it. It Is FAA approved