Traveling with young children can be stressful, especially when it comes to lugging around bulky car seats through airports. If you’re wondering about Alaska Airlines’ car seat policy before your next flight, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Children under the age of 2 are required to be in a car seat or CARES harness on Alaska Airlines flights. The car seat can be checked at the gate for free. Alaska Airlines does not provide car seats.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Alaska’s car seat policy, from age and weight limits to checking your seat at the gate. You’ll also find tips for traveling smoothly with kids and car seats.

Alaska Airlines’ Car Seat Policy

When traveling with young children, it’s important to know the car seat policy of the airline you’re flying with. Alaska Airlines has specific guidelines in place to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers, especially those traveling with infants and toddlers.

Here’s what you need to know about Alaska Airlines’ car seat policy:

Age and Weight Limits

Alaska Airlines follows the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines for child safety on airplanes. Infants under the age of 2 can sit on an adult’s lap or be secured in an FAA-approved child restraint system, such as a car seat.

Children over the age of 2 must have their own seat and use an appropriate restraint system.

It is important to note that car seats must be forward-facing and have a five-point harness system. Booster seats and backless booster seats are not permitted for use on Alaska Airlines flights.

Checking Your Car Seat

If you are traveling with a car seat, you have the option to check it in with your other luggage or bring it on board as a carry-on item. However, it is important to check with Alaska Airlines regarding their specific guidelines and restrictions for carry-on items.

Some aircraft may have limited storage space, so it’s best to be prepared and know your options.

Car Seat Choices

When choosing a car seat for your child, it is important to select one that is appropriate for their age, weight, and height. Alaska Airlines recommends using a car seat that is approved for use on aircraft and has the FAA approval label.

This ensures that the car seat meets the necessary safety standards for air travel.

Booster Seats

Alaska Airlines does not allow the use of booster seats on their flights. Children who have outgrown their car seat but are not yet tall enough to safely use the adult seatbelt must be secured in an FAA-approved child restraint system, such as a CARES (Child Aviation Restraint System) harness.

CARES Harness System

The CARES harness system is an alternative to using a car seat or booster seat on airplanes. It is a lightweight and compact harness that attaches to the airplane seatbelt, providing a secure restraint system for children between 22 and 44 pounds.

The CARES harness is approved by the FAA and can be used on Alaska Airlines flights.

Seat Assignments

When traveling with a car seat or a child using a CARES harness, it is recommended to select a seat that is compatible with the restraint system. Window or aisle seats are often preferred, as they provide more space and easier access for installation.

It is also important to keep in mind that certain seats may have restrictions due to emergency exit regulations.

In-Flight Requirements

During the flight, your child must remain properly secured in the car seat or CARES harness at all times, except when using the lavatory. It is important to follow the flight attendants’ instructions and ensure that the restraint system is correctly installed and adjusted for your child’s safety.

For more detailed information on Alaska Airlines’ car seat policy, you can visit their official website here.

Tips for Traveling With a Car Seat

Choosing the Right Seat

When it comes to traveling with a car seat, choosing the right one is crucial. Not all car seats are approved for use on airplanes, so it’s important to do your research before your trip. Look for car seats that are FAA-approved and have been tested for aircraft use.

These seats are designed to be lightweight and easy to install, making your journey much more convenient.

Additionally, consider the size and weight of the car seat. Remember that you’ll have to carry it through the airport and install it on the plane, so opt for a seat that is lightweight and compact. This will make your travel experience much more manageable.

Navigating the Airport

Traveling with a car seat through the airport can be a bit challenging, but with some preparation, it can be a breeze. First, make sure to check the airline’s specific policies regarding car seats. Each airline may have slightly different rules and regulations, so it’s important to be aware of these before you arrive at the airport.

When going through security, you will need to remove your child from the car seat and collapse and fold the seat for screening. Be prepared for this process and have all necessary items easily accessible.

It’s also a good idea to arrive at the airport early to allow yourself enough time to go through security and board your flight without feeling rushed.

If you’re traveling with a stroller, most airlines will allow you to check it at the gate. This can be a convenient option as it allows you to use the stroller in the airport and have it readily available once you reach your destination.

In-Flight Entertainment

Keeping your child entertained during a flight is essential for a smooth travel experience. Many airlines now offer in-flight entertainment systems, which can help keep your child entertained throughout the journey.

These systems often include a variety of movies, TV shows, and games that are suitable for children of all ages.

However, it’s always a good idea to bring some additional entertainment options for your child. Pack a small bag with their favorite toys, books, and coloring supplies to keep them occupied during the flight.

You can also download their favorite shows or movies onto a tablet or smartphone, as these devices can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your child entertained during a long flight.

Remember, each airline may have different policies regarding the use of electronic devices, so be sure to check with the airline before your flight.

Traveling with a car seat can seem daunting, but with some careful planning and preparation, it can be a stress-free experience. By choosing the right seat, understanding the airport procedures, and keeping your child entertained during the flight, you’ll be well-prepared to navigate the journey with ease.

Alaska Airlines Kids Fly Free Program

Alaska Airlines offers a fantastic program called Kids Fly Free, which allows children to fly for free on select flights. This program is a great way for families to save money while traveling. Here’s what you need to know about the Kids Fly Free program:

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Kids Fly Free program, children must be between the ages of 2 and 11 years old. They must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years old and traveling on the same itinerary. The child’s ticket must be booked at the same time as the adult’s ticket.

Did you know? According to the Alaska Airlines website, children who are eligible for the Kids Fly Free program can also earn frequent flyer miles when they fly.

Booking Tips

When booking your flight with Alaska Airlines, it’s important to follow a few tips to ensure that you take advantage of the Kids Fly Free program:

  • Book your tickets early: The Kids Fly Free program is subject to availability, so it’s best to book your tickets as soon as possible to secure your child’s free seat.
  • Check the eligible flights: Not all flights are eligible for the Kids Fly Free program, so make sure to check the Alaska Airlines website for a list of eligible flights before booking.
  • Use the promo code: When booking your tickets online, be sure to enter the promo code provided by Alaska Airlines to apply the Kids Fly Free discount.

Pro tip: If you’re having trouble finding eligible flights or applying the promo code, don’t hesitate to reach out to Alaska Airlines customer service for assistance. They’ll be more than happy to help you.


While the Kids Fly Free program is a fantastic opportunity for families, there are some restrictions to keep in mind:

Restriction Details
Travel dates The program is available for travel between specific dates, so make sure to check the Alaska Airlines website for the current eligible travel dates.
Seat availability The Kids Fly Free program is subject to seat availability, so it’s important to book your tickets as early as possible to secure your child’s free seat.
Additional fees While the child’s ticket is free, there may still be additional fees such as taxes, government-imposed fees, and other charges that apply.
Important: It’s essential to carefully read and understand all the terms and conditions of the Kids Fly Free program before booking your tickets to avoid any surprises or misunderstandings.

Now that you know the ins and outs of the Alaska Airlines Kids Fly Free program, you can take advantage of this amazing opportunity to save money and create unforgettable memories with your family.


We hope this guide has helped answer your questions about flying Alaska Airlines with a car seat. The key things to remember are that children under 2 must be in a car seat or CARES harness during the flight, and Alaska allows you to check your seat at the gate for free.

While hauling a bulky car seat through the airport isn’t always fun, being prepared and strategic can make the process smoother. Choose the right seat for your child’s age and size, take advantage of early boarding, and bring toys or tablets to keep them entertained.

With the right plan, you’ll be ready to jet off on your next Alaska Airlines adventure!

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