WestJet car seat policy
Before booking, be prepared by checking the WestJet car seat policy – John McArthur (unsplash)

Traveling with infants can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. The best airlines offer plenty of tips and benefits to parents taking their children on vacation. WestJet is a great example of an airline that has clear regulations on traveling with kids, including a comprehensive car seat policy.

You can bring a car seat for free, it must be FAA- or Transport Canada-approved to be used in the cabin. You need to buy an extra seat if you want to use the car seat during the flight, or you can check it into the hold.

Keep reading for more information and tips on taking a car seat with you on your trip. You’ll find out where you can check infant equipment, in what cases you can use a car seat on board, and much more.

Booking a Flight for Your Infant with WestJet

Children under two years of age don’t need their own seat on a plane. They can sit on your lap or can use a restraint system (like a car seat). You will need to decide which option is best for you and your infant before booking your flight.

Lap children don’t need their own seats so in most cases, you don’t need to pay for them. However, some fees may be included in the cost of your flight. For example, if you’re flying between Canada and the U.S., you will pay fees to the U.S. Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

If you’re taking a car seat onboard, you will need to pay for a full ticket. Your child’s restraint system will take up a seat which could be sold to another passenger, so it will cost you more than if your infant sits on your lap.

Car Seat Restrictions

Not all car seats can be taken on flights in North America. There are restrictions regarding child restraint systems that you must obey if you want to use your car seat in the plane’s cabin. The seat must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration or Transport Canada. You will know if it is approved by the label on the side.

Check our list of recommended travel car seats to make it easier for you.

Checking Your Car Seat

If you decide to travel with your infant on your lap, you can still bring your car seat to the airport and check it into the hold. You can do this at several points along your journey. The first is at the curbside drop-off when you arrive at the airport. Not all airports have them, but it is your first option at airports that do.

You can also choose to go to the ticket counter inside the terminal. You can drop your car seat there and it will be sent to the baggage section and then to the plane. Finally, you can bring the car seat through the airport and check it at the gate. This can be a good option for parents who own car seats that fit into strollers. Both items can be checked at the gate for free.

If you plan to also bring a stroller, be sure to check our article on WestJet stroller’s policy.

Here’s our summary of the WestJet baggage policy so you know what you can bring and how much it costs.

Cost of Bringing a Car Seat

Your child’s car seat doesn’t count toward your standard luggage allowance and is free of charge. This means that you can bring a car seat (and a stroller) on top of your regular suitcases for the same price. If for some reason you decide to bring more than one stroller and car seat, you will need to pay extra.

As mentioned before, if you want to use the car seat in the cabin, it is still technically free. However, you will need to buy a separate seat to place the car seat in. This is where the costs will start increasing.

Who can travel with an infant?

There are different rules for infants traveling in a car seat or on another passenger’s lap. If your child is placed in their car seat for the flight, they need to be placed next to a passenger that is 12 years old or older. However, only passengers aged 16 and older can take a child on their lap. Keep this in mind if you have older children who are traveling with you.

No matter who you’re traveling with, all children under 14 will be seated next to an adult for free.

What seats can I choose for my child’s car seat?

Car seats can’t be placed in any seat in the plane. They aren’t allowed in any part of the Business section of WestJet flights. Emergency exit seats over the wing and bulkhead seats are also off-limits for car seats.

Can I bring a car seat into the cabin without paying for an extra seat?

If you want to keep costs low but would prefer for your infant to sit in their car seat during the flight, you can take a chance and bring the restraint system to the gate. Once you’re there, you can ask the gate staff if there are any free spots on the plane. If there are, they might let you bring the seat onboard for no extra charge.

However, this is always a gamble. Most airlines, including WestJet, don’t specify if you can do this. You can take a chance and see what happens. If the answer is no, you can just gate check the car seat.

If you’re interested to find out more, read more useful tips in our article how to travel with car seats.

What is the best time to fly with children?

It’s generally agreed that flying during a child’s regular sleeping and feeding schedules is best. If you can get your infant to sleep on the plane, your journey can become a lot easier. In terms of the best days to fly, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the quietest. WestJet also suggests flying between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

If you haven’t flown with your children before, take a look through our article on flying with kids. It has plenty of great tips to make your trip easier.

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