Spirit Airlines Car Seat Policy
Know the car seat policy when traveling with Spirit Airlines – Brice Cooper (unsplash)

Flying with Spirit Airlines can be a joy whether you’re traveling alone or with your family. Groups with infants may be worried about what kind of safety equipment they can take with them. That’s why this guide will tell you more about Spirit’s car seat policy.

Key Takeaway
You can bring one car seat per infant in the hold with Spirit Airlines for free. If you prefer to bring it into the cabin so your child can be safer and more comfortable, you will need to pay for an extra seat. You’ll also need to confirm your car seat is FAA-approved before boarding.

Read on for more details on Spirit Airlines’ car seat policy. You’ll also learn about other pieces of equipment you can take with you when you’re traveling with children and how you can get seats together with your family.

Traveling with a Car Seat on Spirit Airlines

Your child’s car seat doesn’t count towards your standard baggage allowance. In other words, if you’ve purchased a checked bag, you can put both the bag and the car seat into the hold of the plane for the same price.

Some parents will want to bring a car seat into the cabin so their child can be comfortable and safe during the flight. In this case, you don’t technically pay for the car seat. However, you will need to buy an extra ticket because you’ll be taking a spot away from another passenger by placing the car seat in one of the plane’s seats.

No matter which option you choose, you will need to pay attention to the size of the car seat you want to bring.

Car Seat Size

Spirit Airlines can be quite strict with their checked baggage. Any piece of luggage over 40 lbs (18kg) will incur an overweight fee. Car seats tend to only weigh around 10 to 20 lbs (4.5-9kg), so you shouldn’t have a problem there.

The dimensions of your checked luggage should be under 62 linear inches (158cm). You can calculate this measurement by adding the length, height, and width of your baggage. Some car seats are over this measurement, so you might need to pay an oversized luggage fee if yours is.

To bring the car seat on board, it will need to be even smaller. Spirit Airlines’ seats are quite narrow. On most of their planes, the regular seats are between 15.5 and 18.5 inches wide (39-47cm). In terms of height, your car seat will need to be less than 25 inches tall (63.5cm).

Acceptable Car Seats on Spirit Airlines

You can’t take any old car seat onto an airplane. Only ones that are FAA-approved can be used in the cabin to guarantee the safety of your child and other passengers. If your car seat was manufactured in the U.S. after February 1985, it’s very likely that it’s FAA-approved. It should have a sticker that says “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”

If you’ve arrived from another region, for example Europe, and your car seat was built under the United Nations standards, Spirit will allow you to bring it on board.

If you’re in doubt, check out our list of the best FAA approved travel car seats.

Where You Can Place Your Car Seat on a Spirit Airlines Flight

You can’t place your car seat in whatever seat on the plane. You should be aware of this before booking a specific spot. Any seat in an emergency row, the one row before or after the emergency section, or seats with inflatable seat belts are off-limits.

Will My Child Be Given a Seat Beside Me?

On Spirit Airlines, you are randomly allocated a seat unless you purchase a specific one. You can do this when you’re making your booking. Purchasing seats together is the only way to guarantee that you’ll be seated with your family.

This doesn’t mean that your child will be seated at the opposite end of the plane from you. Spirit staff will try to make some changes to guarantee children aged 13 and under who don’t have reserved seats will be seated next to a parent.

Can I Bring My Car Seat Into the Cabin Without Buying an Extra Seat?

Some parents decide to bring their car seat to the gate and check if they can bring it into the cabin for free. Several airlines allow this, and gate staff will let you through if there are unoccupied seats. However, if there aren’t, you’ll need to gate check the car seat.

Some airlines mention this policy in their car seat policy. Spirit Airlines don’t have any written rules regarding this issue, so you will be taking a chance by bringing it to the gate. You can ask the gate staff when you arrive, but they might make you check the car seat even if there are free spots on board.

You can also bring your stroller to the cabin as long as it’s within a certain dimension. Read the details in our article on Spirit Airlines stroller policy.

What If I Don’t Want to Bring a Car Seat Into the Cabin?

Not all parents want to bring a car seat into the cabin. Not needing to purchase an extra ticket can save you money. Your infant can sit on your lap for the whole flight and you won’t need to buy them a ticket.

What Happens to My Car Seat After It’s Checked?

Checking your car seat can make the whole process easier. You won’t need to carry it through the airport and get it through the security checks. You can check it at the ticket counter or at the curbside check-in when available. You can also choose to check it at the gate before boarding.

Once you arrive at your destination, the car seat will be sent to the baggage claim area. Some airports will send car seats to the baggage carousel, while others have a specific section for luggage with odd dimensions like car seats, strollers, golf bags, and more.

For more details, have a read through our article on traveling with a car seat. It covers not only air travel, but car rentals, regulations, and much more.

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