If you are flying on a U.S. registered carrier you do not need permission to use CARES restraint. CARES is certified by the FAA for use on all U.S. registered airlines. Occasionally, we come across airline personnel who are not familiar with it so it is helpful to point out the “FAA APPROVED” printed on the label. You may also want to carry a copy of “Child Safety on Airplanes” printed off the FAA website or downloaded from the Kids Fly Safe website under In-Flight Documents http://kidsflysafe.com/instructions/in-flight-documents/.
Many countries follow the same or adapt regulations based on the FAA regulations. However, the FAA regulations only apply to those airlines under it’s jurisdiction, i.e. U.S. based air carriers. In the U.S., no air carrier is permitted to deny the use of an approved CRS if a parent has purchased a separate seat for the child. In other countries it’s a little different. Regulatory authorities around the world have approved the use of AmSafe CARES restraint. However, CARES is considered “carry-on” equipment (same as car seats) and is not really regulated by aviation authorities. Each airline may set their own rules based on staff training and aircraft type. Most airlines specify that if a parent wishes to use a child restraint system (CRS) they may do so, provided the CRS meets certain standards. Usually standards approved are based on Motor Vehicle safety standards (for car seats) AND/OR standards approved for Aviation use by a regulatory agency such as FAA, TC (Transport Canada) or CAA (UK Civil Aviation Authority). In some cases the airlines specify, by name, which CRS’ are approved for use. We always recommend that travelers check the website or contact the airline regarding the use of a CRS on a particular aircraft.