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View Full Version : Gate Checking a Carseat?


camdensmom
04-13-2008, 01:26 PM
We keep going back and forth with what to do about our carseat.

We are renting a car and need to bring one of our seats. I hate dealing with it at the airport and would rather he not have to fly in it. However, I am concerned with it being lost or stolen or damaged if we check it with our luggage. Has anyone ever gate checked a car seat?

staci
04-13-2008, 01:44 PM
:surfweb:

Wondering the same thing. So much to think about? We will have two seats of some sort for my two, and I am still trying to figure out that. DS could be in a booster, but I am thinking about still bringing him a 5pt seat to be safer in the rental, so that means two big carseats.... Although I hate lugging them through the airport, I would also hate to have something happen under the plane....... Decisions, decisions!!?? I will probably just lug it around, and have him sit on it on the plane, if we bring it with. He prefers being in a seat anyway, and he would be safer, but we have a direct flight too. With a connecting flight I dont think I would want to carry two seats through all the airports.

Cant wait to see what others say...... I have been debating this for MONTHS:scared1:

mickeymaker2003
04-13-2008, 02:20 PM
If you don't want them to ride in it on the plane or check it with your luggage, you could gate check it (but that would mean you'd have to drag it through the airport). Several people on the board have recommended a gate check stroller bag from walmart and they have a version for a car seat http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5652240 It is about $16 or so, but at least then the seat won't be all dirty and there is a handle so it would be easier to carry and easier for the baggage guys to handle (less likely to drop it).

thegrimdwarf
04-13-2008, 02:23 PM
We've traveled twice with 2 car seats in tow. First time, just one seat was checked as regular luggage, and the second time we checked them both (a mistake, since our younger boy would have been more comfortable in his carseat...). Both seats made it through fine without getting damaged or dirty. We do have those carry bags for them - I recommend one regardless of where you check it.

ptlycloudy
04-13-2008, 04:37 PM
If travelling alone with my 2 girls , I always check them with the regular luggage. I can't manage, both girls, cars seats and carryon bags in the airport. When DH is with we usually gate check. We have one of the bags to put it in and I can fit 1 large carseat and one backless booster in the same bag. Although it is really a pain lugging it around the airport, especially if there are delays etc. My DH wants to just check them with the luggage from now on.

katied
04-13-2008, 08:49 PM
I've done both. If I check it with the luggage, a bag is a must. The first time, we had our car seat damaged, and that was a disaster late a night at the car rental place.

Gate checking - we've been very lucky, no damage so far, but now that I have a bag, I normally just check the car seat with the luggage instead of dragging it through the airport.

Last trip, DS had his own seat on the plane, and I took the car seat on. It was great for him, and made him (and me) much more comfortable (he's only 1).

logansmummy
04-13-2008, 10:47 PM
Do you gate check the stroller too? Do you recommend bagging the stroller too? Anyone HELP!

idahodude
04-13-2008, 11:55 PM
We have almost always gate-checked our stroller and our car seat. We just use a large plastic garbage bag to prevent the car seat from getting dirty. Doesn't work as well for the stroller, though, but it's fairly well-protected based on how it folds up. We've never had a problem checking them, but our local baggage handlers have broken the stroller twice (and repaired it twice). Never had any problems with any other baggage handlers anywhere else.

camdensmom
04-14-2008, 05:49 AM
Do you gate check the stroller too? Do you recommend bagging the stroller too? Anyone HELP!

We always gate check the stroller and that has been a piece of cake. It's helpful to have at the airport. We either push DS in it or else our carryons.

My concern is with the carseat because it is a big, bulky, PITA to deal with at the airport (especially through security), but I am so worried about it being lost and damaged if we check it with luggage.

ujpest_doza
04-14-2008, 05:58 AM
Have had no problems at all checking in both car seats and strollers.

You can wrap them in black refuse sacks if you wish to prevent them getting wet should they be on a luggage cart outdoors in the rain while being loaded onto the aircraft, but honestly no problems at all.

You get a tag from the check in desk for both, take the stroller to gate with you and hand it over just as you board the plane and take the car seat to the heavy bags counter after checking in and they take it off you ther so that it doesn't just get thrown in with the suitcases.

DVCsince02
04-14-2008, 10:02 AM
If you don't want them to ride in it on the plane or check it with your luggage, you could gate check it (but that would mean you'd have to drag it through the airport). Several people on the board have recommended a gate check stroller bag from walmart and they have a version for a car seat http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5652240 It is about $16 or so, but at least then the seat won't be all dirty and there is a handle so it would be easier to carry and easier for the baggage guys to handle (less likely to drop it).

The carseat bag is nice, but you have to take it out at the security checkpoint and that is a HUGE PAIN!!!

I've done both. If I check it with the luggage, a bag is a must. The first time, we had our car seat damaged, and that was a disaster late a night at the car rental place.

Gate checking - we've been very lucky, no damage so far, but now that I have a bag, I normally just check the car seat with the luggage instead of dragging it through the airport.

Last trip, DS had his own seat on the plane, and I took the car seat on. It was great for him, and made him (and me) much more comfortable (he's only 1).

I always use the carseat on the plane. Our 2yo is very happy to have his own space.

Do you gate check the stroller too? Do you recommend bagging the stroller too? Anyone HELP!

We gate check the stroller. You just go up to the counter and ask for a gate check tag. Either they give it to you to put on the handle or they put it on themselves. Roll the stoller down the jet way and fold it up at the plane door. It will be waiting for you when you get off or you many have to wait a few minutes.

steelfish535
04-14-2008, 12:09 PM
We've gone twice and checked it both times, and checking it again in less than three weeks! :cool1: We put it in a clear plastic trash bag and label it very well. We didn't have a problem either time. Last time we saw a family bring it on the plane with them...but getting it through security was awful. JMO, not worth it.

Minniemouse07
04-14-2008, 01:00 PM
We use carseats on the plane for both safety and convenience. Dd used hers when flying at 17mo, 28mo, 2.5yo, 3yo and 3.5yo and ds just used his during his first flight in December at 2yo.

We go by the same rules that we use in the car...if this is the trip where we are put in danger somehow (in the car it would be a crash, on the plane..an emergency landing or turbulence, etc.) how would I want my child secured. My answer is always in a car seat and that is what we do.

It isn't all that much trouble to drag the seat around the airport on our collapsible luggage cart, and if we started doing this today I would probably pick up one of those traveling toddler straps that attaches the car seat to your rolling carry on.

In addition to the safety and convenience I wouldn't want to arrive at our destination to discover that our car seat didn't arrive w/ us or that it was damaged w/ the checked (or gate checked) baggage. If someone tosses a stroller and it doesn't break... it isn't a big deal. If someone tosses a car seat and something cracks or it is otherwise internally damaged... the seat can fail in a crash situation, and the only way we would know is after it failed in the crash w/ my child as the crash test dummy!

So we use our seats on the plane...even if it means we don't need it upon arrival (like using DME and WDW transportation).

katied
04-14-2008, 01:42 PM
We have a stroller gate check bag (bought at babies r us) that we put the stroller in. It helps eliminate wear and tear.

DMickey28
04-14-2008, 03:52 PM
I have always gate checked the stroller and car seat. Once I had a ticket agent fight with me but I just told her that I would not take the risk that the seat did not make the flight. She tried telling me that they have some for that situation but I stood firm. Who knows the safety of those seats, YKWIM?

I use a Scenera for travel and it came in a pretty sturdy plastic bag that I use. It's not that bad for security either. I never use a bag for the stroller and have not had any damage other than basic scratches. We have done 9 flights in the last year this way.

logansmummy
04-14-2008, 04:05 PM
I don't mean to sound like an airhead but are the booster seats allowed to be checked as well? :confused3

katerkat
04-14-2008, 04:23 PM
I have always gate checked the stroller and car seat. Once I had a ticket agent fight with me but I just told her that I would not take the risk that the seat did not make the flight.

Not to scare you, but we had one flight where they just didn't load the two gate-checked strollers on. Arrived in Newark and nothing. We even pre-boarded, so they had plenty of time to load 'em.

I checked the carseat this time, and got a plastic bag from Southwest because it was a last minute decision. The bag came out pretty scraped, but the carseat was undamaged. I have a bag for it in the future that I'll actually remember to pack! I've done the carseat-on-luggage-cart a good dozen times, taking everything apart through security and struggling down the aisles with a toddler. Flying without it was vastly easier. (Though Russ thought it meant he could nap across my lap!)

moxiecola
04-14-2008, 04:44 PM
Our last Disney trip we had just purchased a Maclaren. Our very first time using it was our flight leaving Boston to Orlando. When we arrived in Orlando the stroller looked like it had been run over by a truck. It was covered with grease and filth! I was so upset because it really was bran new. So I followed the advice of my fellow DISers and got the stroller bag at Walmart...I acually got 2 because I just purchased another stroller for my other son. I will be toting 2 car seats as well but in an effort to save money I'm hoping that just wrapping them in plastic will surfice for this trip.
www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5652241

TheDizMom
04-14-2008, 05:22 PM
How old is your child? I am a former FA and a firm believer that if you have bought the seat anyway, you should use a car seat for your child's safety. Those seat belts on the planes are not going to hold a smaller child if there is an emergency, just like they won't in a car. If you need to take it with you anyway use it! If a child needs a car seat in the car, they need one on the plane as far as I am concerned. Unfortunately no matter how much information the FAA and airlines get to the contrary, they still refuse to say it makes a difference and mandate the use of them for all small children. Is it more of a pain? You bet! To me it's worth the trouble to keep your child safer.

I can also tell you from experience that a child in their own car seat is better behaved on the plane because they are in something that is familiar to them in a situation where nothing else is. When a child is in unfamiliar circumstances they are more apt to melt down when something happens they aren't used to or don't like, so anything you can do to make things more familiar and comfortable is a bonus.

However I have also checked a booster seat, since most of those are not FAA approved, and not had any problems at all.