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View Full Version : How do you pack up your carseat to check it on the plane?


PEANUT1
09-02-2007, 07:39 AM
I will have 2 carseats for our upcoming trip. My 1 year old will have one and I will have a booster for my 3 1/2 yr old. I am not bringing them on the plane and I want to check them. I am guessing I should wrap them in something so they don't get dirty. We always rent a car so I need the carseats. Anyone have an good ideas. Thanks.:flower3:

LadyShea
09-02-2007, 08:28 AM
We bought a car seat travel bag at Target, I think. It fits over the whole thing then zips closed. We were even able to put some extra clothes and non-breakable things in the car seat as the bag was quite roomy.

eyeheartgoofy
09-02-2007, 09:17 AM
My 5 year old has a backless booster - I bought a 3 pack of those really big, sturdy Ziplocks. It fit the seat great and the luggage tag went through the handle nicely.

all4fun
09-02-2007, 09:50 AM
I would not recommend a backless booster for a 3yr old though. Actually the minimum recommended age for moving up to a booster w/adult seatbelt is 4yrs and 40lbs. Even though the boxes say they start at 30# it's really not recommended unless they are much older, like around 5-6yrs. Sorry I know thats not what the thread was about but just wanted to mention it as sometimes people just don't realize what the actual safety recs are. If you want more info google "importance of a 5 point harness" and I'm sure you find lots of info. stepping off soap box now. ;) :goodvibes

D,L and K's Mom
09-02-2007, 11:29 AM
In the past we don't check them with the luggage, We take them down with us to the gate and check them there. Make sure you have a tag on them with you info. This way we know we have them with us and there is no chance (well a slight chance) that they will be lost or delayed. The only problem is if you have a connection you have to carry them through the airport. On a trip to visit my family our seat never made it to the connection and we were without a seat and had to rent one $$$$$$ now we just check it under with the stroller.

teresajoy
09-02-2007, 12:08 PM
Why aren't you using the carseat (not the booster, I know you can't use those on the plane) on the plane?

Next time we fly, we will have to check my dd9's carseat. It's a Britax Regent (not approved for use on aircraft). I'm a little worried about checking it, but as long as she still fits in it next year, I am not going to let her use a booster. So, I am also interested in the suggestions.

I also wanted to add: Your daughters are ADORABLE!!!

D,L and K's Mom
09-02-2007, 12:30 PM
I love it but it is huge and heavy!!!! When DD was 3 we took another car seat one that was airline approved. It was horrible, the carseat got stuck on the plane for a few minutes. The seatbelt sort of went uner the seat and we could not detach it. We had to wait for everyone to deplane and the flight attendant had to come and help us. She said it happens all the time and that next time we should request an extender for the seat belt. Who knew :confused3 Also when DD sat in the seat she had no leg room and kicked the seat in front of her sometimes on purpose and sometimes by accident. We just decided it was not worth it and checked it the next leg of the trip and used the seatbelt and she was fine. We just did it nice and tight.

design_mom
09-02-2007, 12:58 PM
We have one of the car seat bags that were mentioned earlier in the post. If you still have the box the car seat came in, that would work well, too. Technically the box is larger than the maximum allowable luggage dimensions, but we've never had anyone charge us extra or say we couldn't take it.

thepeach80
09-02-2007, 01:38 PM
While I don't agree w/ having your 3yo in a booster, you can't use it on the plane so you have no choice but to pack it elsewhere. I'd personally put it in a bag and count it as a carryon. For the baby though, if there are open seats or she has her own ticket, it's much safer to have her in her seat and you will all probably enjoy the trip more. If you can't get it on the plane, I'd gate check it. It reduces the times it's handled and reduces the chances of it being lost. All 3 of my kids are still harnessed and all 3 of their seats will be on the plane, though we may just put AJ's in the storage bins.

utahtraveller
09-02-2007, 02:37 PM
We have always just showed up with the car seat at the check in counter and they have big plastic bags they will wrap the car seat in and tape it up. Have done this on multiple airlines. Never have had any problems with damage. Works well and saves alot of time and effort caring it on the plane.

myweefeet
09-02-2007, 02:41 PM
We will check ours at the counter and ask that they be put in big plastic bags that the airlines use. We have done this in the past and it works well.
Unless we have enough arms to carry them to the gate and check them there.

I was in the airport last weekend and saw a man, he had loosened the straps to the seat as far as they came out and turned the seat head down. He wore it on his back like a backpack. It looked like it worked well.

How do you know if your seat is approved for airline use?

all4fun
09-02-2007, 03:02 PM
We will check ours at the counter and ask that they be put in big plastic bags that the airlines use. We have done this in the past and it works well.
Unless we have enough arms to carry them to the gate and check them there.

I was in the airport last weekend and saw a man, he had loosened the straps to the seat as far as they came out and turned the seat head down. He wore it on his back like a backpack. It looked like it worked well.

How do you know if your seat is approved for airline use?

It's not recommended to hold the car seat by its straps because it can stretch them out so they don't perform as intended in a crash. There are a number of bags that come w/backpack straps and a device that turns the seat into a back pack called the Pac Back here (http://www.surfsidebaby.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=CMD9277-1&Category_Code=Car-Seat-Travel-Bags&Store_Code=SB).

Most seats that have a 5pt harness are airline approved. Looke for a white sticker that says "This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft" usually in red print. Here's a link to the FAA site: http://www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_children/crs/

hth!

teresajoy
09-02-2007, 03:44 PM
I love it but it is huge and heavy!!!! When DD was 3 we took another car seat one that was airline approved. It was horrible, the carseat got stuck on the plane for a few minutes. The seatbelt sort of went uner the seat and we could not detach it. We had to wait for everyone to deplane and the flight attendant had to come and help us. She said it happens all the time and that next time we should request an extender for the seat belt. Who knew :confused3 Also when DD sat in the seat she had no leg room and kicked the seat in front of her sometimes on purpose and sometimes by accident. We just decided it was not worth it and checked it the next leg of the trip and used the seatbelt and she was fine. We just did it nice and tight.


In May, we flew with our Britax Marathon and Cosco Alpha Omega(as a carseat, not booster). We really didn't have any trouble at all with the Britax. I wheeled both of them around in our umbrella stroller (Britax first, alpha omega on top) I even careied them both onto the plane. We sat behind my husband and son, so any kicking wasn't a problem. Hehe, although, she didn't seem to do it much, because my husband would have certainly told her to stop it if she had. It was a little tricky getting the seats unhooked, so thanks for the tip about the seat belt extender! I think I'll request one next time. :thumbsup2

Lydia (4year old) outgrew the Alpha Omega right after our trip, so she uses the Marathon now. Next time, Arminda (she'll be 10 then) will have to go with the just the seatbelt in the plane. :scared1: Although, as I said earlier, we will bring her Regent to use when we get there.

teresajoy
09-02-2007, 03:47 PM
We have always just showed up with the car seat at the check in counter and they have big plastic bags they will wrap the car seat in and tape it up. Have done this on multiple airlines. Never have had any problems with damage. Works well and saves alot of time and effort caring it on the plane.


I was just wondering if they count this as a carryon when you do that, or do they treat it like they do the strollers?

TwinsinCA
09-02-2007, 03:50 PM
Don't count on the airlines providing bags at the counter. Last time we went to Orlando we flew American. I called first to ask the best way to check the 2 booster seats and was told they'd provide bags at the counter. At the counter in Ontario (California) they happily provided bags and tape for the trip. On the way back out of Orlando they quite snippily informed me they will NOT be providing a bag. Not wanting the boosters to get filthy, we ended up taking them on the plane with us. It was a major hassle.

So be warned -- flying out of Orlando the folks at American are stingy with the bags! :mad:

KPtoys
09-02-2007, 05:26 PM
Contractor bags... that is where ours are going. We did that last year and it all worked out perfectly. I will be doing that to my DSs Marathon in the same bag with DD's booster. I will have the baby in his infant seat so I will gate check that.

esk
09-03-2007, 08:25 AM
Try www.onestepahead.com. We got our car seat bag from there and although it cost something like $60, it held up through several transatlantic crossings. We can get 2 car seats inthere and some beach towels. It had a nice strap that let DH sling it on his back when needed.

I have also carried one through the terminal but I was stretching the belts...did not know that was bad, oops!

I think we also got on from Babies R Us when ours died the first time after too many trips. We're on the second or third car seat bag in 6 years. We found it in the car seat section, near the neck roll things.

eyeheartgoofy
09-03-2007, 10:51 AM
I would not recommend a backless booster for a 3yr old though. Actually the minimum recommended age for moving up to a booster w/adult seatbelt is 4yrs and 40lbs. Even though the boxes say they start at 30# it's really not recommended unless they are much older, like around 5-6yrs. Sorry I know thats not what the thread was about but just wanted to mention it as sometimes people just don't realize what the actual safety recs are. If you want more info google "importance of a 5 point harness" and I'm sure you find lots of info. stepping off soap box now. ;) :goodvibes

Didn't even look at the ages of the kids:rolleyes1! My own 3.5 year old is still in a regular car seat that we check at the gate, it is my 65lb 6 year old who uses the backless booster ... Maybe my tip will help someone else with big kids who pack backless boosters.:) :)

Princess Roo
09-03-2007, 11:15 AM
We got one of the bags that lets you carry it like a backpack and we LOVE it. There is extra space in it after our seat (Britax Marathon) goes in and it would fit a backless booster in it, too, I think.

If you check it, it counts as a piece of luggage, but if you carry it through the airport, it doesn't count as your carryon.

KTMB
09-03-2007, 12:38 PM
We have 2 Britax Marathons and 2 car seat bags w/straps (to use as a backpack). We take the 2 carseats out of DH car and pack them in the bags and take my SUV to the airport (we both have 2 Marathons in our vehicles). We usually pack extra diapers, wipes, or other baby stuff in with them and curb-side check them with our luggage. We held DS (now 16m) for the last 2trips. DD (3yo) uses the lap belt and is very secure.

We're going again in October and DH booked 3 seats, so it looks like DS is sitting on HIS lap this time. Thank goodness it's only a 2 hour flight for us. I'd rather he sit in his carseat though...

I can't remember where we got the car seat bags, but I think the brand is DEX.

PEANUT1
09-04-2007, 11:39 AM
While I don't agree w/ having your 3yo in a booster, you can't use it on the plane so you have no choice but to pack it elsewhere. I'd personally put it in a bag and count it as a carryon. For the baby though, if there are open seats or she has her own ticket, it's much safer to have her in her seat and you will all probably enjoy the trip more. If you can't get it on the plane, I'd gate check it. It reduces the times it's handled and reduces the chances of it being lost. All 3 of my kids are still harnessed and all 3 of their seats will be on the plane, though we may just put AJ's in the storage bins.

I appreciate everyone's concern abou t a 3 year old in a booster. She will be 4 in December and is 40 pounds and 95% for height. The pediatrician said she can be in a booster (with a back of course). Also, different states have different rules in regards to this. I would NEVER do anything that would cause harm to my child.

dhardawa
09-04-2007, 01:28 PM
I appreciate everyone's concern abou t a 3 year old in a booster. She will be 4 in December and is 40 pounds and 95% for height. The pediatrician said she can be in a booster (with a back of course). Also, different states have different rules in regards to this. I would NEVER do anything that would cause harm to my child.

Let me point out a couple of things. First, pediatricians are not car seat experts. Most know nothing about car seats and hand out some scary information. Second, state laws have nothing to do with keeping your child safe. Some states let 3 year olds ride with no seat. At her age, she is simply not mature enough to sit properly every second of every trip. Also, at 3 1/2 the bones in her spine and pelvis have not completely hardened so it is questionable as how her body would withstand crash forces. At her age, she needs to be in a five point restraint.

dhardawa
09-04-2007, 01:30 PM
Just a quick note. Bags on car seats DO NOT protect them from the real damage in a plane which is damage to the shell of the seat. They don't help when the seat is dropped, when heavy items are piled on top of it stressing the plastic, or when it is run over by the luggage cart (yep, I've seen this one with my own two eyes). Sure, it may be cleaner, but it may also be destroyed.

jodifla
09-04-2007, 01:51 PM
I appreciate everyone's concern abou t a 3 year old in a booster. She will be 4 in December and is 40 pounds and 95% for height. The pediatrician said she can be in a booster (with a back of course). Also, different states have different rules in regards to this. I would NEVER do anything that would cause harm to my child.

Good luck. It's impossible on these boards to please a lot of the car seat extremists.

For us, we gate checked car seats when we didn't use them on the plane, without any covering, and I put the booster seat in a plain duffle bag I got from the Army-Navy surplus stores and checked it through.

Colinsmom
09-04-2007, 02:28 PM
I'd find a way to bring them on the plane if you can, or be prepared to invoke "plan b" if they don't arrive with you. We fly maybe 2x per year with the kids, and have had problems with both gate-checked items and baggage-checked items. The first time, on American, our stroller was gate-checked but arrived in Orlando over 48hrs after we did. The second time, on Southwest, our infant car seat base was baggage-checked (I used the carrier on the plane for the baby) and the base arrived in Chicago a day after we did (I knew how to use the seat without a base as a back-up).

The airlines will give loaners if your gear doesn't show up with you, but they are old and grungy IME and may not even be the right type of seat for your kids.

Mommyoftwo
09-04-2007, 03:33 PM
We pack our car seats in car seat bags that we purchased from Babies R Us. Love them! And they have never counted as "check-in" pieces when we check them at the ticket counter or curb side. We always fly Northwest, so I don't know what other airlines do. And we always have extra room in the bags. So a few times when our luggage has been over the 50lb weight rule, we've been able to take some clothes out of the suitecase and put in the car seat bag, at no charge. They encourage you to do that. And on the way home, it's easy to put things in that car seat bag that didn't go down with you (souvenirs) and won't fit in your luggage!

PEANUT1
09-05-2007, 06:21 PM
Let me point out a couple of things. First, pediatricians are not car seat experts. Most know nothing about car seats and hand out some scary information. Second, state laws have nothing to do with keeping your child safe. Some states let 3 year olds ride with no seat. At her age, she is simply not mature enough to sit properly every second of every trip. Also, at 3 1/2 the bones in her spine and pelvis have not completely hardened so it is questionable as how her body would withstand crash forces. At her age, she needs to be in a five point restraint.

I respectfully disagree.:flower3:

PEANUT1
09-05-2007, 06:22 PM
thank you very much to everyone for your help.:flower3:

teresajoy
09-05-2007, 07:00 PM
Let me point out a couple of things. First, pediatricians are not car seat experts. Most know nothing about car seats and hand out some scary information. Second, state laws have nothing to do with keeping your child safe. Some states let 3 year olds ride with no seat. At her age, she is simply not mature enough to sit properly every second of every trip. Also, at 3 1/2 the bones in her spine and pelvis have not completely hardened so it is questionable as how her body would withstand crash forces. At her age, she needs to be in a five point restraint.



I completely agree with you. I guess I am one of those car seat extremest. I can think of worse things to be! I became one after watching these videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azgBhZfcqaQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2LFo8vVi04
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPBSEQ4xbTw
Just watch them.

What breaks my heart is that these familes thought they were doing all they could to keep their children safe. Have your Kleenex ready.

jodifla
09-05-2007, 07:34 PM
I completely agree with you. I guess I am one of those car seat extremest. I can think of worse things to be! I became one after watching these videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azgBhZfcqaQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2LFo8vVi04
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPBSEQ4xbTw
Just watch them.

What breaks my heart is that these familes thought they were doing all they could to keep their children safe. Have your Kleenex ready.

Yeah, I've watched them, and I can't believe how people allow themselves to be so totally manipulated by overwrought sensationalism.

But I guess that's why advertising works so well.

AuroraBeauty
09-05-2007, 08:07 PM
Many flight attendants will likely have your car seat/booster gate checked and not allow it to be put in an overhead bin. Check with your airline!

We use this cover: http://www.barebabies.com/j-l-childress-car-seat-gate-check-bag.html

It's easy to see so it isn't accidentally forgotten. I added a shoulder strap to it so it can be carried over the shoulder since car/booster seats are somewhat bulky anyway.

Hope this helps.

thepeach80
09-05-2007, 09:09 PM
Yeah, I've watched them, and I can't believe how people allow themselves to be so totally manipulated by overwrought sensationalism.

But I guess that's why advertising works so well.

Yup, that's why I'm a carseat tech, I love the sensationalism, oh an I'm an extremist b/c I care about my children and other people's as well. So be it I guess. Good thing most people don't 'but into' those stories and still choose to use their carseat wrong, we wouldn't want them to make their kids safer b/c they saw one of those videos.

PEANUT1
09-06-2007, 02:00 PM
I completely agree with you. I guess I am one of those car seat extremest. I can think of worse things to be! I became one after watching these videos http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azgBhZfcqaQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2LFo8vVi04
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPBSEQ4xbTw
Just watch them.

What breaks my heart is that these familes thought they were doing all they could to keep their children safe. Have your Kleenex ready.

those video's were very sad. they seemed like they were adverstisements. I am not sure how I feel about it. :sad1:

all4fun
09-06-2007, 04:07 PM
those video's were very sad. they seemed like they were adverstisements. I am not sure how I feel about it. :sad1:

The first one is about Kyle Miller. His parents started a charitable foundation called the Kyle David Miller foundation and they rely solely on donations so that they can provide low income families with higher weight limit car seats. Their site is www.kyledavidmiller.org and there is a lot of information there why a 5pt harness is safest.

Anyway, I think this thread definitely got a little off the track of what you intended however speaking for myself, my intent was not to make anyone feel bad but just pass along some information. Sure your dc is technically big enough for a booster but it's not the safEST option for her, kwim? According to SafeKids.org Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental death in children under 14 so you can bet my ds will be in a car seat w/5pt harness until he no longer fits in one (and then he'll ride in a booster until he passes the 5 step test for riding in just the adult seatbelt). Ultimately it's the parents decision but the way I look at it, riding in a car is the most dangerous thing my ds does and he does it almost every day, so why wouldn't I do as much as possible to keep him safe? JMO

teresajoy
09-06-2007, 04:48 PM
Yup, that's why I'm a carseat tech, I love the sensationalism, oh an I'm an extremist b/c I care about my children and other people's as well. So be it I guess. Good thing most people don't 'but into' those stories and still choose to use their carseat wrong, we wouldn't want them to make their kids safer b/c they saw one of those videos.

It amazes me at the number of children who are put in their seats wrong, straps falling off their child's shoulders, and the seats moving all over the place. I went to a seat check the other year. I was the last one that they checked, and they told me that I was the ONLY one they'd seen all day that had the seats installed correctly. They told me that I should become a carseat tech as well. It made me feel good on one hand that I had done it right, but I was worried about all the other kids riding around not fully protected.

those video's were very sad. they seemed like they were adverstisements. I am not sure how I feel about it. :sad1:

Their children died, and they are just trying to get the word out about something that would have saved them. Not an advertisement, just grieving parents trying to help others.
(see quote below)

The first one is about Kyle Miller. His parents started a charitable foundation called the Kyle David Miller foundation and they rely solely on donations so that they can provide low income families with higher weight limit car seats. Their site is www.kyledavidmiller.org and there is a lot of information there why a 5pt harness is safest.

Anyway, I think this thread definitely got a little off the track of what you intended however speaking for myself, my intent was not to make anyone feel bad but just pass along some information. Sure your dc is technically big enough for a booster but it's not the safEST option for her, kwim? According to SafeKids.org Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental death in children under 14 so you can bet my ds will be in a car seat w/5pt harness until he no longer fits in one (and then he'll ride in a booster until he passes the 5 step test for riding in just the adult seatbelt). Ultimately it's the parents decision but the way I look at it, riding in a car is the most dangerous thing my ds does and he does it almost every day, so why wouldn't I do as much as possible to keep him safe? JMO

That is really well said.

And, make sure you use that tether strap in the car guys!

teresajoy
09-06-2007, 04:50 PM
I was just wondering though, to the pp who said that they've seen carseat mishandled at the airport. Do you have any suggestions for transporting my dd's Regent? I can't use it on the plane, it's not certified for that. Now, I'm worried what I'm going to do with it.

thepeach80
09-06-2007, 08:40 PM
I was just wondering though, to the pp who said that they've seen carseat mishandled at the airport. Do you have any suggestions for transporting my dd's Regent? I can't use it on the plane, it's not certified for that. Now, I'm worried what I'm going to do with it.

The safest (definitely not easiest) would be to gate check. Though b/c of it's sheer size and weight, they're going to less likely to handle that one as rough as my 11# Scenera we use when travelling. :)