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How to Install Rear-facing Car Seat on Airplane

When traveling with a child, you want to guarantee their safety and comfort, and the best way to achieve both is by using a car seat on the airplane. It may be cumbersome to lug everything, but it is important to use a car seat, especially for long trips.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends parents keep small kids in the rear-facing mode for as long as possible for safety. But many people find it challenging to figure out how to install their car seat in the rear-facing configuration. With this understanding, we have decided to outline a handy guide on how to install a rear-facing car seat on the airplane in the hope that it will help you know how to go about it the next time you will be traveling with your child.

How to install rear facing car seat on airplane step by step

Installing a car seat on a plane is not much different from installing it in a car seat. So it is actually pretty easy when you have done it on a car seat. These are the steps to follow:

  1. Raise the armrests of the airplane seat.
  2. Place the car seat on the plane seat.
  3. Check the seat’s recline and ensure it is positioned correctly. You may need to use a rolled towel or a pool noodle and place it under the base to achieve the right recline angle.
  4. Thread the belt through the rear facing belt path
  5. Attach to the airplane seat belt buckle. You won’t need to turn the buckle rear facing since the flap on the belt lifts towards you and away from the car seat.
  6. Push down on the car seat as you pull on the seatbelt tail to tighten
  7. Using both hands, hold the car seat close to the base and push it back and forward. It should move less than an inch side to side and front to back. If the gap is larger or too slack, you need to tighten the car seat more.
  8. Once the car seat is tight enough, lower the armrest
  9. You can then go ahead and place the baby in the car seat

Sometimes it may be impossible to install the car seat rear-facing on the airplane; if this happens, we recommend installing it in the forward-facing mode. It is still much more comfortable to use a car seat forward facing even if your baby is too small than without the car seat

6 Tips on How to Install Rear-Facing Car Seat on an Airplane