Car seats and restraint systems
We appreciate that travelling with your infant or small child can be stressful. By providing some guidelines here, we hope we can help to make you and your child more comfortable. WestJet accepts Transport Canada or Federal Aviation Administration approved child/infant restraint systems, more commonly referred to as car seats, for use in the cabin providing they meet restraint system standards and WestJet's carry-on baggage acceptance guidelines.
WestJet does not supply car seats or other restraint systems.
WestJet allows child and infant equipment, including car seats, to be checked in addition to a guest's checked baggage allowance at no charge.
Car seat usage restrictions
When using a car seat, please remember that:
- If you plan on having your child use a car seat on board the aircraft, you must purchase a seat on board for them. Contact us at 1-888-937-8538 so we can prepare your reservation for a car seat.
- The infant/child must be secured in the car seat for taxi, takeoff, landing or whenever the seatbelt sign is illuminated.
- All infants/children secured in a car seat must be seated beside a guest 12 years of age or older, and are restricted from some seats on the aircraft (for example over-wing exit row or bulkhead aisle seats).
- Car seats may be used with or without a base, as long as it meets the standard and is properly secured.
- In most cases, rear-facing car seats will be seated in a window seat.
Only car seats labelled as follows may be used on WestJet aircraft:
Canadian manufactured systems:
A "statement of compliance" label must be affixed stating the car seat has been certified to the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) 213 or 213.1, and indicating the date of manufacture as being after January 1, 1981.
American manufactured systems:
For systems manufactured to American standards between January 1, 1981 and February 25, 1985, a label must be affixed stating: "This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards" (FMVSS).
For systems manufactured after February 26, 1985 two labels are required:1) "This child restraint system conforms to all applicable FMVSS" and
2) "CERTIFIED FOR USE IN MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT" in red lettering.
Car seat types and requirements
- Rear-facing car seats
Rear-facing infant car seats are generally restricted to infants weighing less than 9 kg/ 20 lbs, though weight restrictions are specified on the system and can vary from one system to another. Infant car seats must be certified to CMVSS 213.1 and must remain secured at all times.
- Forward-facing car seats
Forward-facing child car seats are generally restricted to children between 9-18 kg (20-40 lbs) though weight restrictions are specified on the seat and can vary from one seat to another. Child car seats must be certified to CMVSS 213.
- Convertible (forward or rear-facing) car seats
The term "convertible" is often used by manufacturers to describe car seats which can be used as rear-facing for an infant or forward-facing for a child. These car seats will be accepted when certified as CMVSS 213 and CMVSS 213.1.
- Combination car seats
A combination car seat consisting of a combined child car seat and booster cushion will be labelled as both CMVSS 213 and CMVSS 213.2. These systems may only be used on board when the internal five point harness system is installed (CMVSS 213). The combination car seat CMVSS 213.2 not using the internal five point harness is classified as a booster seat and is not approved for use on board the aircraft.
- AmSafe child aviation restraint system "CARES™"
An AmSafe child aviation restraint system "CARES™" may be used as an alternative to a car seat on the aircraft. It has a harness and buckle device that attaches directly to the aircraft seat, and is restricted for use by children at least one year of age to four years of age, weighing between 22-44 lbs (approximately 9.9-19.9 kg), and up to 40 inches (approximately 101 cm) in height. The occupant must be in their own seat.
- Rear-facing car seats
Restraint systems not permitted for use on board the aircraft:
- Booster cushions
- Booster seats, including combination restraint system CMVSS 213.2 when used without the five point harness
- Belly or loop belts
- Infant carriers (such as Snugli®)
- Baby hammock (such as FlyeBaby™)
WestJet Vacations package bookings
In addition to the information above, guests travelling on a WestJet Vacations package should also be aware that car seats are not provided by the transfer company.