Travellers stunned by Aussie mum's car seat move on flight to Bali

The Perth mum said bringing the car seat on a flight to Bali was well worth it — but not everyone's convinced.

The child car seat in the middle seat beside a young girl playing on a phone (left) and three AirAsia planes on the tarmac at an airport (right).
Aussies were shocked to learn passengers can take child car seats onto flights. Source: Facebook and Getty

An Aussie mum who requested to bring a child's car seat onto a flight for a recent family holiday to Bali has sparked a lively debate among travellers. The move has divided tourists, with many Aussies admitting they had no idea it was even an option.

The mum-of-four said before travelling with her children and partner from Perth on an AirAsia flight on Sunday night, she hired a specific car seat that met criteria set out by the airline — forking out $70 for three weeks. Despite it not being mandatory, she said the decision was well worth it to provide her toddler with extra safety during the plane journey.

"Our daughter was so happy to sit in her seat, and aside from needing my arm for reassurance during turbulence, did really well for the entire flight," she posted online, alongside an image of the car seat strapped into the middle plane seat.

"I've done over 30 flights with my four kids over the past 15 years but this is the first time I've taken a car seat on board and I'm glad I did. Each child is different and this was the right thing for us!"

A handful of Aussies agreed with the mum, saying they had also taken a car seat on a plane and found it "much more comfortable and reassuring for both [the] child and parents". They credited it with helping young travellers sleep and deemed it safer than using a standard plane seat.

Others held the opposite view, believing it offered little safety and could "quite possibly cause greater injury" during turbulence. While some argued it could be "dangerous" for other passengers as the bulky item may get in the way in the event of an emergency evacuation.

However, the vast majority responded with shock — oblivious to the fact that parents could take car seats onto flights in the first place.

"I've never seen this before. What an awesome way for your kid to travel and be able to fall asleep," one person said.

"I was like wtf when I [saw] this, then read how your kid went and thought what a great idea," another commented. "Kids always sleep in their seats and their seats are way more comfortable and secure than a plane seat".

"The only way I can see this is as long as you always booked the three seats in a row. Otherwise it'd be a pain and possibly a death trap for other passengers," someone else wrote. The Perth mum who sparked the debate responded she “wouldn’t be doing it if it was going to impede anyone else”.

Baggage handlers work near a Qantas plane at Sydney's domestic terminal.
Virgin Australia and Qantas both require child restraints to meet Australia design standards. Source: AP

Many airlines permit the use of a child car seat on planes but specific criteria need to be met to ensure safety is upheld for all passengers on the flight.

Virgin Australia and Qantas both require child restraints to meet Australia design standards. This outlines a myriad of criteria the car seat must adhere to including the size and weight of it. It also needs to be clearly labeled that it has been assessed and approved for air travel.

Yahoo News has contacted AirAsia for comment.

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