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Monday Madness: Kids Fly Safe with the CARES Harness

(Last Updated On: November 12, 2013)

Have you ever looked at toddler who’s squirming in his airplane seat pulling the lap belt over his head with ease? My 2 year old son is never one to sit quietly on the plane and stay strapped in without a 5-point restraint system, but what airline has that? NONE.

Well, luckily the folks behind the CARES Kids Fly Safe aviation restraint know just what parents need for their little jet set. The CARES harness is designed specifically to keep children 1 year of age or older (weighing between 22 and 44 pounds) safe on an airplane. Between routine turbulence when flying over those Rocky Mountains to emergency situations, your toddler will be a lot safer traveling on an airplane with a CARES aviation restraint.


  • Only FAA certified alternative to a car seat
  • 4-point harness that’s similar to your child’s car seat configuration
  • Durable material that’s made by the same company who makes airplane safety belts
  • Light (1 pound) and portable
  • You can check-in your 50 pound car seat instead of lugging it on board


  • Simple to install, but requires an awkward moment when you ask the passenger behind your child to put their tray table down.
  • No straps between the legs (the 5th safety point), so the straps have to be very snug or else smaller kids may slide down or wiggle out
  • Red strap sometimes doesn’t align flush for curved back seats
  • A big price tag if you don’t fly often

Here’s our full review of the Kids Fly Safe CARES Harness.

The Steal – Win a CARES Harness

We’ll be giving away 1 CARES harness.

Number of Winners: One (1)

Prize: 1 CARES Harness (Value $70)

To enter:

Share which is your FAVORITE airline when traveling with kids and why.

For additional entries, feel free to do any or all of the following. Each one counts as an extra entry but be sure to leave a separate comment for each one.

  • Share which airline you think is the WORST when traveling with kids and why
  • Tweet a link to this Monday Mad Steal via @Trekaroo
  • Post this on your Facebook Wall using the Facebook Share link above
  • Post this on your blog

Rules and guidelines:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • US Residents only
  • One entry per person

Deadline to enter: Sunday, March 7, 2010 at 11:59PM PST

If you don’t want to register, but would like to purchase a CARES harness, it’s available on Amazon for $70. Go here to buy your child a CARES child aviation harness.

What is Monday Madness?

Every Monday, Trekaroo announces on our blog, either a fantastic giveaway or an incredible deal.  It could be a green water bottle or Broadway tickets. Return every Monday to the Talking Trekaroo Blog for the details. Want a reminder? Become a Trekaroo member or follow us on facebook or twitter.

Related articles:

Thanks to Contest for Moms, Online Sweepstakes, CashNet Sweepstakes, and Sweepstakes Advantage.

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Travel with kids to: CA |CO | DC | FL | HI | IL |MA | NC | NY | PA | TX | VA | WA



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48 Responses to Monday Madness: Kids Fly Safe with the CARES Harness

  1. Bridget Stern March 1, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    We travel with Southwest Airlines multiple times a year and they have been great with our daughter (3yr). You do not have to pay for your bags which is a huge plus when traveling with kids and all of their gear. Although you don’t get to preboard you do get to board between ‘A’ and ‘B’ seating (unless you already have an ‘A’ seating pass). If it is your child’s first flight they will give them a little certificate and wings.

  2. Liz Hodes March 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    We have had several good experiences flying Continental with our infant son. We found their staff to be helpful and attentive from check-in through baggage, and without help from the flight crew/gate agents a trip with a kiddo would be a nightmare.

  3. Liz Hodes March 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    I shared this link on my Facebook wall with the share link.

  4. Linda March 1, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    I’ll admit that with as much road-tripping experience as I have, I’m terrified to fly with my kids. The kids in our family outnumber the parents 2-1 so it’s not an exciting prospect. With that being said, I can’t rate any airlines because I haven’t tested them with kids. 🙂


  5. Linda March 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    I posted it to my Facebook wall.

  6. Linda March 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    I blogged about the contest (and I misspelled Trekaroo in the title slug–sorry about that).


  7. Linda March 1, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    Tweeted as @minnemom.

  8. Kim March 1, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Whoa, CARES is a 4-point harness, not 5-point. The crotch strap is the 5th point and doesn’t exist on the CARES which is why we will not be trying it again till our large 2yo is a little less squirmy.

  9. thelees3 March 1, 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Thanks Kim. You’re totally right that it’s a 4-point and not a 5. I just changed the copy in the copy to reflect that. Thanks for catching that!

    – Esther

  10. Carrie March 1, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    We like traveling on Delta- mostly because it is the only one that gets us to my parents’ home easily!

  11. Carrie March 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    I posted to my facebook wall. Carrie F Y

  12. Carrie March 1, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    I tweeted! @gabreviews

  13. Shiela March 2, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    American is a good airlines to fly with kids. They allow families to board before regular coach passengers to give you time to seat the whole family. You can also check your gear plane-side if you have a stroller.

  14. Chris Kiuchi March 2, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    We’ve always had good luck flying Alaska Air to Seattle and back. Why? Well, a under 2 hour flight sure helps! We try to get the bulkhead row for two reasons – no one to kick and good service from the flight crew who is usually close by.

  15. Bernadette March 2, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    We’re about to fly Delta – my first flight in 13 years, the first flight ever for my three kids – hope it’s good!

  16. Liz March 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    We love Southwest Airlines, very family friendly!

  17. Krista March 2, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    We have flown Alaska, Virgin America, Northwest, and Air France. They are all fairly similar (but Air France sucks) and accommodating. Virgin has the newest planes so they are nicer for adults, but I don’t think it really translated into much for our son although as he gets older the in-the-back-of-the-seat TV’s will come in handy!

  18. Stephanie March 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    We really like American. Their flight attendants have been amazing. One even offered to watch our 4 month old for me so that I could use the restroom.

  19. Heather- slofamilylife March 2, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    I traveled a few years back my then 4 month old. The two of us flew with United to Colorado Springs which required 2 planes each way. The first plane was a small express plane which was really hard to fly with an infant. They didn’t have any extra seats so having his car seat next to me wasn’t a possibility. It was almost impossible to breastfeed on the flight and I’m sure many passengers got a lot more than they paid for visually, even though I tried my hardest to use a cover and blanket to remain modest. I felt like people should start slipping me $1 bills for the show.

    On the second flight, there was a little more room so I didn’t have to face sideways to breastfeed. There ended up being an empty seat, which the airline was more than happy to accommodate my car seat. It was a much more pleasant experience. Also, the flight attendants offered to hold Timmy for me while I used the restroom, but I don’t think I ever took them up on the offer.

    This is the only time I’ve flown with a child, so I’m not sure how other airlines would compare. Overall, I would probably rather drive the 4 hours and skip the small plane than have to fly with a breastfeeding infant on that one again. Other than that, I thought they were nice and accommodating. 🙂

  20. karen March 2, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Virgin has tv’s at every seat. How cool is that?

  21. Stephanie V. March 3, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Air New Zealand has screens at every seat so always a plus. We found AA a nightmare with our toddler – old planes, no entertainment, no food, grumpsters –
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  22. Stephanie V. March 3, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    whoops – entered worst above so using this as extra entry. Traveling across pond this summer with toddler so this could come in good use!
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  23. Sharlene March 4, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    We have only flown Southwest with our kids but our experiences have been good. I love Southwest and try to fly them as much as possible because I think they do promote a positive atmosphere which is always helpful when parents are stressed while flying with kids. The option of boarding before the B group is nice for families because it helps ensure that families will be able to sit together.

  24. Monique Rizzo March 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    It weighs less than a pound and is easy to travel with!! It is a 4 point harness rather than 5 point. Thanks for the chance.

  25. Kevin E March 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    We do not travel by air too much, but ourt last trip was on Jet Blue and we had a great experience. We actually rented 2 CARES harnesses for the flight. The flight attendants were very helpful and receptive to our use of CARES.

  26. Kevin E March 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm #


  27. Kevin E March 4, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    We didn’t really like Delta. Cramped seats, no TV’s!

  28. susan varney March 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm #

    southwest you get there quick

  29. Denise B. March 5, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    I have two. Lufthansa is an excellent airline, and they always have little gifts for the children to play with during the flight. My favorite domestic airline is Southwest. They have some of the friendliest, not to mention very entertaining, flight attendants.

  30. Brian March 5, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    I think the best airline is Frontier as they have individual TV’s in the back of each seat to keep the little one entertained.

  31. Brian March 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    I think the worst is American because the seats are so cramped together you can barely get to your carry on for toys, etc. for the little one.

  32. REGINA m March 5, 2010 at 10:22 pm #

    AA people great with kids.

  33. Rosey March 5, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    I think British Airways is the best to travel on because they have huge jets and a lot of room for the kids to move.

  34. Rosey March 5, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    I hate to post a worse, but we really have had two ridiculously bad flights with Northwest, and I used to love them. It could be because they were about to merge, I’m not sure. But one flight was delayed for hours before takeoff (and all of the kids on board were antsy). And one flight was overcrowded with people double booked in seats. It was so bad the stewardess made an announcement looking for open seats to put people in. It was just ridiculous, and hard on the kids who had to wait.

  35. Rosey March 5, 2010 at 11:13 pm #


  36. Rosey March 5, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    Posted on Facebook (Missy Jones).

    Thank you.

  37. Brandi Westmoreland March 6, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    I really like Southwest–they have reasonable prices and the flight attendants seem to have a sense of humor!

  38. Trina March 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    We have traveled on lots of airlines including Alaska, American, Delta, US Air, United, Southwest, Northwest, and Horizon. The best has probably been United. We are able to pre-board and they have even let my son go up to the cockpit and have his picture taken sitting at the controls with the pilot. The flight attendants have always been accommodating to any request that I have made.

  39. Trina March 6, 2010 at 11:31 pm #

    The airline that I have had the worst experience on while traveling my children is Alaska. I had a flight attendant that was incredibly rude, called my child a wild indian (I have one of the calmest little boys the people sitting around me were also shocked b her comment). she refused to see if there was any milk available for him to drink, sating that they do not have milk on the plane, when on our flight out there was milk on the flight. Suffice to say I have not been on Alaska since with my children and that was almost four years ago.

  40. Sarah B March 7, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    I like traveling on Southwest with my kid. Everyone has always been very friendly.

  41. Sarah B March 7, 2010 at 2:53 am #

    The worst I think is American, simply because they charge for your suitcases. It’s pretty much impossible to travel with kids and not have to pack a bunch of stuff.

  42. Julie Moe March 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    We love traveling on Spirit in their big front seats. They arte so much more affordable than most first class seats and orovide extra room for kids, plus other people are farther away from crying tots.

  43. Julie Moe March 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm #

    I think Delta is the worst because of cramped seats.

  44. Julie Moe March 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm #


  45. Chrysa March 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    United has actually been pretty good.

  46. Chrysa March 7, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    Delta is the absolute worst. Service in general is bad and they really don’t seem to give a crap about kids at all.

  47. Chrysa March 7, 2010 at 10:58 pm #


  48. Gianna March 8, 2010 at 1:44 am #

    I don’t have a favorite. I’ve never had a good experience flying.

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