Hi, we took DS and his carseat on Qantas to Hawaii in December. Grrrr is all I can say.
WARNING LONG POST
They told us to let them know well before the flight the full details of the seat which we did as it needs to meet Australian safety standards. They then told us to be at checkin an extra hour early as we needed to provide the seat to them so it could be fitted etc.
When we got to the airport 3 hrs before the flight, we were told that the car seat would actually need to be carried by us through to the boarding gate, they would then check it there and either refuse to let us take it on board or not. Basically its the gate staff that have the ok. So we lugged it through the airport, which was fun as we also had DS, a pram and regular hand luggage.
Then at the gate they checked the sticker on the seat against their book, basically they don't care about make/model, just the Australian Safety Standards sticker. Also the seat needs to be in good working order, no frayed straps, working buckles etc.
Ok we thought now they are going to take it on board, NO.. we had to then hang on to it. They explained that a strap, which connected to a bolt would be behind the seat and that we would then need to install it ourselves, QANTAS accept no liability or responsibility for the installation!
The flight itself was great as DS, 6months at the time was able to sleep in a semiupright position (he has severe reflux), we had him forward facing as he was 10kg by that stage. The seat was a Safe & Sound one that I borrowed from my mum as we have the S&S Platinum and its way too wide for the seat.
Words of advice, constantly recheck your seat allocations. There are only a few seats that have a bolt to attach the carseat, QF kept changing our seating and lucky we were on top of it and constantly reconfirming and changing back. In Hawaii coming home it was a complete nightmare as they said that they couldn't give us the required seats even though we had reconfirmed several times. Eventually we sorted it by contact the Qantas Airport Manager.
Oh and its so much fun carrying a carseat throught US customs, especially when the lines are huge. We ended up carrying DS and putting the carseat in the pram.
Despite all this I would definitely do it again. Just wish it was a bit easier and that QF staff were more familiar with the procedures.
Evan born 25 May 2004 @36wks