airline travel policies

CASA acceptance means the CARES harness 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, Virgin, Air New Zealand & Jetstar are leading the way locally, although you may find some airline staff knowledge of CARES has some ways to go. Thankfully this continues to improve as CARES users take to the skies.

We hope you find the table below useful. Please click on your airline to go to their online 'Child Travel' Policies. We've also included extracts of these policies particularly relevant for CARES users.


What type of child car seat can I take onboard?

Child restraints (car seats) can be carried onboard and secured to an aircraft seat for carriage of infants or children usually aged up to five (5) years, if approved by Qantas.
The following information on weight and type of restraint can be used as a guide:
  • Rear facing child restraint systems for infants weighing under 9kgs (20lbs)
  • Forward facing child restraint systems for infants and children weighing between 9 and 18 kgs (20 and 40lbs)
  • For children over 18kgs (40lbs) - a standard passenger seat is recommended.
  • The Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES) is a pre-approved alternative to car seats. This harness style restraint device is suitable for children weighing 10-20kg (22-44lb).

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 for your infant and get pre-approval for the use of a child seat contact your local Qantas Office. Pre-approval must be obtained at least 24 hours before departure.

Note: Approval cannot be obtained on departure at the airport.


"Jetstar accepts the use of Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES) restraints on flights operated in Australia. The 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.

We cannot assist with fitting the restraint in-flight. We’ll ask you to ensure the restraint is used in line with its original operating manual. We also ask that the restraint remains in its original manufactured condition, including all labels."


CARES Child Restraint

"Virgin Australia does not provide, but permits use of the CARES Child Restraint onboard for infants and children. This device must have the original label intact and must be used in accordance with operating instructions.

The CARES restraint is approved for use on aircraft and is manufactured by leading aviation restraint manufacturer AMSAFE. For more information visit Kids Fly Safe or to purchase a CARES restraint in Australia visit Little Gulliver.

Talk to Us
If you are planning to travel with a CRS onboard a Virgin Australia flight, we encourage you to contact our Guest Contact Centre at least 24 hours before departure.

At the Airport
A visual assessment of all devices will be conducted at check-in and onboard. All labels, supporting paperwork and operating instructions must be clearly visible and available for inspection by Virgin Australia staff, at all times. Our priority is the safety of you, your family, our guests and crew. If it is determined that a particular device does not meet our requirements it must be checked in as checked baggage."


(Refer to 'children and infants' section)

Does Tigerair provide Child restraints?
Tigerair Australia does not provide but accepts the CARES child restraint on board our aircraft.

Who can use a CARES child restraint?
The restraint is designed for use by toddlers 1-5 years of age and 10-20 kgs who are up to 1 metre tall.

Where can I find out more information on the CARES child restraint?

Where can I buy a CARES child restraint?
CARES child restraint can be ordered via

Where in the aircraft will we be seated?
You will be seated in rows 2-10.

Is this suitable for special needs children?
Yes the restraint may be suitable for children with special needs but the child must meet the requirements for the restraint. Please see our Disability access facilitation plan for further requirements with special needs passengers.

Also see the Tiger 'Travelling as a Family' section for further general travel information.


”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."


"Supporting Devices for children with special needs
1.CARES Harness for children over 1 year and 20kg in weight (Y class only)
2.SPECIAL CARES Harness for adult guests with special needs and children more than 20kg in weight
3.CRELLING Harness (Model 27) - Y class only: Type 27I (2-5 years) & Type 27A (5-8 years) - All Classes: Type 27B (9 years - Adult)
4.CRELLING Shoulder Strap (HSB1) - Y class only: Type HSB1 (2 years - Adult)
You 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 device "


“Amsafe Child Restraint System (CARES child aviation restraint)
If you have your own AmSafe System, you can use this on board in economy seats for infants from 12 months to children of 4 years. The Amsafe System is not suitable for use in first class, business class or premium economy seats and it cannot be used in the same row as the emergency exit or the row in front or behind the emergency exit.”


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.


“FAA-approved child harness can also be used on our flights. However, AmSafe's Child Aviation Restraint System (CAReS) child harness does not fit our Business Class seats on our A380-800 and A340-500 aircraft as well as the First and Business Class seats on our B777-300ER aircraft. You may wish to contact our Singapore Airlines office for more details.”


Approved Child Restraint Systems

AmSafe Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES™)

Adjustable belt-and-buckle flight harness that attaches directly to the aircraft seatbelt. Designed for children weighing between 10 to 20 kg (22 to 44 lb), whose height is 100 cm (40 in) or less and who are capable of sitting upright.
Must be used within the limitations specified by the manufacturer (as indicated on the label), and must display the following:

Legible CARESTM 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
Cannot be installed in International Business Class.

Is not easily compatible with Bombardier Dash 8-300 (DH3) and Dash 8-100 (DH1) aircraft. Contact Air Canada Reservations for more information.


“An alternative to using a car seat in-flight is the CARES child restraint system. CARES has been approved for use on Air New Zealand flights by the New Zealand CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).”


“Guests can carry a child's car seat / additional postural support (child restraint device) onboard the aircraft, according to our approved specifications. An EXTRA SEAT must be purchased for the child restraint device.”


Very little guidance is provided by the LAN Airlines website.

Little Gulliver has received positive feedback from CARES users flying with LAN:
-"the supervisor said that as long as the actual harness has a ticket on it saying it is FAA approved it will be ok."
-"One thing my travel agent did was to recommend that I ring the LAN check in team at the airport we are departing from, Auckland in our case. It was recommended that I speak with the supervisor there. She also said to work out the departure time of the flight you will eventually be going on, and that the check-in team will be there from 3 hours before that time (for an international flight).

She said asking to have something in writing from the booking end of things didn't work as they didn't want to do that, but the check-in staff are actually the people that will be dealing with the issue, so phone them, discuss it with the supervisor, and give your flight details/numbers/dates etc to them so that they can add it as a note on your file.

I think that advice would work for all situations. It has been a long process getting to this point, so this advice may save some other people some time!
Thanks again"

-"Thanks a lot for your email, it was very helpful.
I've just spoke to Lan Chile (I called the number on their website) and explained the situation to the lady at the other end and she kindly gave me the mobile phone number of the supervisor at the Sydney airport and he was very helpful and made the notes in my reservation, he said that he would make sure that would haven't any problems using the CARES Harness on board."


Correspondence from Philippine Airlines Fleet Safety team (Sept 2013) to a CARES user:
Dear Sir, Thank you very much for your email. Please find below a page extracted from Philippine Civil Air Regulations regarding your query. We would assume that you have your own CRS and based on RPCAR (d), no operator may prohibit a child, if required by the child's parent, guardian, or designated attendant, from occupying a child restraint system furnished by the child's parent, guardian, or designated attendant, provided the child holds a ticket for an approved seat or berth, or such seat or berth is otherwise made available by the operator for the child's use, and the requirements contained in paragraph (e) are met.

View an extract of the Philippine Civil Air regulations here