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Flying with your UPPAbaby Mesa: A complete guide

If you’re looking to find more information on Flying with UPPAbaby Mesa, you probably belong to one of the two groups of people.

  1. You have the UPPAbaby mesa seat, and this is your first time flying with it.
  2. You’re still considering whether the Mesa fits your dynamic lifestyle that involves air travel.

Whatever the case, I got you. I’ve been researching and writing about this stuff for almost a decade now.

Flying with your UPPAbaby Mesa

Flying can be a little more stressful than taking your infant car seat to the grocery store but do not fret – we’ve got you covered.

We are going to cover everything you need to know about flying with your baby in the best infant car seat on the market – the UPPAbaby Mesa.

By the time this guide is over, you’ll have all the answers on the topic you can think of…and a few crucial ones that probably didn’t come to mind.

Let’s get to it.

Should I even consider traveling with UPPAbaby mesa?

Flying with your children in a car seat is not a new thing.

Moreover, the US is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to using car seats on planes.

The no. 1 reason for that is, of course, security.

Those big seats in airplanes aren’t the perfect fit for a child’s body, so it is recommended by the FAA (1) that babies up to 40 pounds travel in a safe car seat. 

The UPPAbaby Mesa holds babies from 4 pounds to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches, which means it fits the recommendation.

See the FAA guidelines here for more info

Bringing the UPPAbaby Mesa into the plane

Even the thought of carrying the car seat around the airport and the plane can seem discouraging for many people.

But as reality has proven, it shouldn’t be.

Of course, carrying around the car seat alongside other things, such as a stroller, isn’t the dream, but the key is giving yourself enough time to go through all the airport checks.

Usually, it’s best to arrive 30 minutes earlier when traveling with a small child compared to when you would when traveling by yourself.

Getting on the plane and finding your seat might be tricky.

You will have to employ all your maneuvering skills to get through this smoothly as these car seats are getting bigger and bigger while planes are getting narrower.

Mesa is on the smaller side compared to the industry median

UPPababy Mesa is 17 inches wide, 25.75 inches long, and 23 inches high, which puts it in the average to smaller car seat group when compared to others on the market.

It weighs 9.9 pounds which is vital information for you if you are forced to carry the seat above your head before finding your plane seats.

These measurements should give you a good heads-up to what you can expect when boarding your flight. 

Can the UPPAbaby Mesa go on planes?

As per the official UPPAbaby website (2), UPPAbaby Mesa can go on an airplane without any issue, as most of today’s car seats do.

However, make sure to check with the airline itself just to be sure they accept your UPPAbaby Mesa.

In my experience, there were no issues when I brought my Mesa seat with me on flights, but these things are susceptible to change, so it’s always best to double-check.

You will be glad to hear that not only is the UPPAbaby Mesa FAA approved, but your right to use the car seat for your child is protected by law.

You can download these instructions in case a flight attendant is telling you that you can’t use your seat.

2 – UPPAbaby guidelines

Going through security with the Mesa

TSA allows car seats to go both as checked and carry-on bags, so your UPPAbaby Mesa is TSA-compliant like most other car seats.

Nevertheless, it will still need to go through the security scan like everything else, as shown in this TSA video

Getting your baby into the plane

There are a couple of things you should keep in mind when bringing your child into an airplane:

  1. In most cases, you will have to purchase an extra seat for your baby
  2. Pay attention to the class you’re choosing – in some cases, you and your family might not be seated together
  3. Properly install the UPPAbaby Mesa car seat for the baby’s optimal security

You’ll need an extra ticket for the MESA

Firstly, most airlines require you to get an additional seat for your baby, which kinda makes sense.

You are using a separate seat to install your safe car seat, so it’s only logical that you pay for that seat. 

Quick advice: If there are free empty seats around, sometimes they will allow you to use them for free. But, this is hard to plan in advance, so you’re always better off paying for a seat and putting your mind at rest. 

Avoiding basic economy 

Furthermore, make sure you don’t buy basic economy when flying with your family, as they can’t guarantee that you will be seated with your family.

I’ve been in a couple of situations where either me and my family or some other families were caught in this situation, and flight attendants did their best to try and rotate us with some other passengers so we could all be seated together.

However, you can’t count on this, so pay the extra dollar and choose your seats if you can. 

UPPAbaby Mesa airplane installation

Finally, child restraint installation is something that will save you a lot of time if you know how to do it beforehand. Remember that the first time is going to be tough no matter what you do. Still, once you get a hang of it, it will come naturally.

These steps will guide you through the whole installation:

Step 1: Unlike car installation, for UPPAbaby Mesa in, the airplane base of the seat is not needed. You just need the seat. 

Step 2: Place the UPPAbaby Mesa in the rear-facing position (this is the only position they can be used in) on a front-facing airplane seat. 

Step 3: Run the lap belt through the two guides on the carrier, and buckle the seat belt.

Step 4: Pull on the loose piece of the lap belt nearest to the buckle while pushing the carrier into the airplane seat bight (crease of the seat).

Step 5: Ensure that the airplane buckle does not interfere with the infant carrier’s belt guides.

Step 6: Try to move the carrier to check if it’s properly secured – it shouldn’t move more than 1 inch to the side. Also, belts should be untwisted and secure. 

In the end, it’s always best to consult the manual itself to make sure you haven’t skipped anything.

Additional notes for UPPAbaby Mesa airplane installment 

Every time you are going to install your baby’s seat in an airplane, keep a few things in mind.

Ask for a belt extender.

First of all, notify the flight attendants that you will be flying with a child restraint, try installing your baby carrier in the window seat so as not to obstruct the aisle.

uppababy mesa review vs

Lap belts can often be too short, so it’s best to ask for a seat belt extender.

Pick your seat with the Mesa in mind.

Pick your seats carefully, and remember that carrier-friendly seat availability will depend on your chosen class, as well as the plane model.  

Bonus tip: inflatable belts are not compatible with UPPAbaby Mesa so make sure you don’t secure your child with them.

Maintaining and cleaning the car seat

You were probably thinking about this issue since reading this article, and I made sure not to skip it.

As we all know as much as we try, we can’t keep babies from spilling food and drinks around.

So, it is crucial to know how to clean baby car seats the right way and prevent permanent stains. 

Take your sweet time when cleaning the seat

Many sticky foods (or juices) can get into tiny cracks around the car seat, and it’s a must to remove all of those.

Below are a few essential tips to keep in mind:

  1. Baby wipes and paper towels with a bit of vacuuming will do miracles. 
  2. Disassemble all parts for easier access and use a mild detergent to clean any visible stains.
  3. Check your manual to see which parts are machine washable and wash them according to instructions. Once everything is clean and dry you can assemble it again. 

What are the actual benefits when your baby is flying with a UPPAbaby Mesa seat?

Now that I’ve covered the practicalities, I would like to turn the attention to the benefits that both parents and the baby gets from using a UPPAbaby Mesa.

Comfort and safety

The first benefit is obvious.

It’s the comfort through the flight and safety mid-turbulence.

UPPAbaby Mesa features integrated with side impact protection and reinforced lofty EPP foam (a standard car seat foam).

Moreover, its fabric is made from merino wool, making it naturally fire resistant and the first seat that didn’t need to use chemicals to achieve that effect. 

Peace and quiet for the parents

The UPPAbaby Mesa seat’s rear-facing position allows your child to sleep more comfortably, which typically means you can get more rest on the flight.

Flying with your UPPAbaby Mesa (1)

If you do everything right, you and your partner will be able to relax for most of the trip.

Key takeaways about flying with UPPAbaby Mesa

I know that the things listed and described in this article can sound daunting, but speaking as a parent, I can say that everyone gets used to carrying and installing car seats for their children.

It’s just a matter of time. 

The sooner you start using the carrier, the sooner you will be able to take it with you on trips and not worry.

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