CARES, tray tables, Qantas & Jetstar
Sharon said: June 29th 2010 10:06 AM
Do you know if the cares harness goes under or over the tray tables on the jetstar planes (domestic flight) as I think their setup is a little different to Qantas planes
We flew Qantas with it last time and while we had to argue several times that it was safe to use as the hostesses had never seen them before we were finally fitted ok, lucky we took the letter from CASA with us!
Do you have any tips for getting the info on the booking and then not having to repeat yourself a thousand times at the airport and again on the plane
Donna @ Little Gulliver said: June 29th 2010 2:13 PM
I haven’t had any problems installing the CARES on Jetstar (I regularly fly domestic to visit family). I’ve also listed the related Q&A, from the manufacturers website, at the end of this post.
That’s great that you were able to use it on Qantas. I’m sorry you had to be persistent though, that can be tiring! I have been using it for 2 years+, mainly on Qantas, Virgin Blue and Jetstar. I would say I have had no problems. When boarding I explain I have a CARES harness & I carry the CASA letter with my boarding pass. If they look bewildered I explain that it is fully CASA/FAA approved & show them the letter. I suggest that I will install it and invite them back to have a look at it then. Once they see it they have been fine (even complimentary) about it.
I would say though that the recognition with the flight crew is certainly improving. I have been told the flight crew are trained on its use, but it depends on when they last did the training etc. Also, we’ve successfully worked with Qantas to update their website, which now specifically mentions CARES. This can be seen here under Child Restraint Devices; http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/travelling-with-children-infants/global/en. Your next Qantas flight should be easier!
With relation to Jetstar, we recently had a Little Gulliver customer phone us, after some frustrating Jetstar phone calls. She was wanting to get the CARES listed on her flight booking, as you have mentioned. So, we put it to the test and phoned ourselves (we have a Jetstar trip coming up). We explained it is CASA/FAA approved and TOLD them to add it to the booking as we WILL be using it. This may sound a bit harsh, but as it is fully approved I feel confident in doing this. So, I guess my tip is to sound confident, stress that it is fully approved, manufactured by Amsafe and that you will be using it. Please add it to the booking! Having said that, I’ve used it and never (until now) had it added to the booking. But I can see that it could make it easier.
There is a happy ending though. We canvas the airlines regularly about updating their policies and websites to get the information out there and make life easier for us all. Jetstar has been our main focus in previous months and there is some good news coming up! Watch this space.
Finally though, I have generally been able to use CARES without flight crew barely giving it a second glance. Sometimes I think their main concern is doing their final check (before takeoff) and noting that the waist belt is done up and that our bags are stowed correctly!
I’ve waffled a bit, but I hope it helps & let us know how you go. Comments from other users most welcome.
Here’s a copy of a Q&A on the Kids Fly Safe website. It can be located at http://www.kidsflysafe.com/faqs;
Q. Does CARES affect the operation of the tray behind the child’s seat?
A. No. Ensuring that CARES did not adversely affect the functionality of the tray was an important FAA criterion for certifying CARES. The tray is lowered only while the red webbing loop is adjusted around the seat, and then is closed and locked in place, covering up the CARES loop. CARES does not affect the functioning or use of the tray. Using the tray doesn’t affect the safety or functioning of the CARES restraint.
In some older style seats found occasionally on small planes, the tray fits into a plastic cavity with recessed sides. In these the CARES red loop, when pulled taut, could prevent the tray from closing securely. In this case, the CARES loop should be installed around the seat and OVER the stowed tray for taxiing, take off, and landing. (See FAA Advisory Circular 120-87B “Use of Child Restraints on Aircraft”, which can be found in the “In-flight Documents” section of this website http://kidsflysafe.com/instructions/in-flight-documents/)
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