Airline 'Child Travel' Policies
CASA certification means CARES is suitable for use on Australian registered aircraft. Airlines are progressively updating their policies to specifically mention CARES and make things easier for CARES users.
Qantas, V Australia, Air New Zealand & Virgin Blue are leading the way locally although you may find some airline staff knowledge of CARES has some ways to go. Thankfully this is improving slowly as we see more CARES users in the skies!
AIRLINES OPERATING ACROSS AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND
*Please click on your Airline below to be taken to their Child Travel Policies. Extracts of policies may also be included below.
Child Restraint Device
The safest way for an infant or small child to travel on an aircraft is in a Child Restraint Device such as a car seat. Infants are allowed to be carried on your lap however research has demonstrated it does not provide the protection of a child seat.
A car seat must be pre-approved for use as a child seat at least 24 hours before departure. Approval of car seats cannot be obtained on departure at the airport. You must buy a seat on the plane to ensure the use of a pre-approved car seat or CARES restraint device. To buy a seat on an aircraft for your infant and get pre-approval for the use of a child seat, contact your local Qantas Office.
The Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES) is a pre-approved alternative to car seats on an aircraft. This harness style restraint device is suitable for children aged two to four years, weighing 10-20kg (22-44lb). Find out more about the CARES system.
CARES (Child Aviation Restraint System) restraint
A new restraint device has been developed in the US specifically for the restraint of small children in aircraft and vehicles and is now available in Australia. Known as the CARES restraint (Child Aviation Restraint System), this product has been endorsed by the US FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and the NTSB (National Transport Safety Bureau) for carriage on aircraft and is the only commercial restraint device to be certified by the FAA as an alternative to a car seat. CARES is designed specifically for aviation use for children age one and older who weigh between 10 kg (22 pounds) and 20 kg (44 pounds). It is a belt-and-buckle device that works in conjunction with regular aeroplane seat belts without interfering with the tray table behind.
Regulatory Approval ’Cares’ Restraints
CASA does not approve or endorse the CARES restraint but rather accepts the FAA approval under CASR 21.305(d) and 21.502. This means that the restraint is acceptable for carriage on all Australian-registered aircraft provided it is fitted in accordance with the manufacturers’ requirements (as outlined in OM12 Cabin Crew Policy & Procedures). Cabin crew are not required to fit the device, just ensure the restraint has been fitted and the lap belt utilised correctly.
CARES Child Restraint
Virgin Australia does not provide but accepts the CARES Child Restraint onboard our aircraft. This device must have the original label intact and must used in accordance with the operating instructions.
The CARES restraint may only be used in certain locations on V Australia aircraft. Guests wishing to use their own CARES Restraint onboard are required to contact the Guest Contact Centre to reserve a seat. Seats are limited and will be allocated on a first-in, first-served basis.
The CARES restraint is approved for use on aircraft and is manufactured by leading aviation restraint manufacturer AMSAFE.
This restraint attaches to a regular aircraft seat to become a safe and comfortable 5 point harness for children and weighs only 500 grams making it ideal for travel.
The restraint is designed for use by toddlers aged between 1 - 4 years and 10 - 20 kilos who are up to 1 metre tall and is the perfect alternative to car seat usage.
"Child restraint devices (CRDs) approved for use in aircraft only by any Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA), the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or Transport Canada may be used, if marked accordingly."
The following lists the car-type seats and child restraint devices acceptable onboard as per the UAE - General Civil Aviation Authority:
- Australian Car Seat regulations
- USA Standards FMVSS213
- Canadian Standard CMVSS 213
- European Standards ECE-44
- German Standards (TÜV Doc.TÜV/958-01/2001)
- CARES – Harness Type Child Restraint System
Guests wishing to use any of the above CRD shall be responsible to complete the appropriate installation as per the manufacturer’s instructions and restrictions (occupant weight, height, age, seat direction, etc) displayed on the label attached to the CRD.
Using CARES in-flight (extract only, please view full policy):
*As an alternative to a car seat, CARES harness must be used to secure an infant/ child passenger during taxiing, take-off, landing, and when the seat belt sign is “on”. The harness is recommended to be used in-flight even when the seatbelt sign is “off”.
*The parent / travelling companion must purchase a separate seat for the infant/child using CARES harness. The applicable child fare will be charged
*The parent / travelling companion must inform reservations staff during booking, and ground staff during check-In that they wish to use the CARES harness to secure their infant/child.
*CARES harness can only be used on Economy Class seats without an airbag seat belt equipped...
*CARES harness cannot be used in new Economy Class of Airbus and 777-300ER aircraft.
*CARES harness is not to be used or installed on seats in exit rows.
“The infant child restraint device AmSafe System (CARES) can be used for a child aged 12 months to 4 years”
Child safety seats accepted for in-flight use:
CARES™ child restraint devices: CARES™ child restraint devices are designed for children ages 1 to 4, weighing between 10-20 kg (22-44 lbs), whose height is 100 cm (40 inches) or less and who are capable of sitting upright. They must be used within the limitations specified by the manufacturer (as indicated on the label), and must display the following:
Legible CARES™ label with approval standards (FAA approved in accordance with 14 CFR 21.305 (d) and approved for aircraft use only).
Part number 4082-1 on label
Please note that CARES™ child restraint devices cannot be installed in the Executive First Suite.
“Child harness approved by FAA is also accepted for use on the aircraft.”
““Tigerair Australia does not provide but accepts the Cares Child Restraint onboard our aircraft.. This device must have the original label intact and must be used in accordance with the operating instructions.
Passengers who wish to use their own CARES restraint on board for passengers with special needs must contact the call centre no later than 5 days prior to departure. The CARES restraint is approved for use on our aircraft and our crew are trained to check its installation onboard. The restraint attaches to a regular seat to become a safe and comfortable 5 point harness for children and weighs only 500 grams. The restraint is designed for use by toddlers aged between 1-5 years and 10-20 kilos who are up to 1 metre tall.
For more information on the CARES restraint please visit www.kidsflysafe.com and to purchase in Australia please visit www.littlegulliver.com.au””
Please note the information contained on the CARES Australia website is for general information purposes only. Whilst care is taken to ensure the accuracy and validity of all information presented, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied about the completeness, accuracy, suitability or reliability in regards to our website or products and services contained therein.