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View Full Version : Carseat/Airplane question. Help!


disneymoon0606
09-15-2008, 08:33 PM
I'm having a hard time understanding/deciding what to do about bringing DD's carseat on the plane. Can you help?

We didn't reserve a seat on the plane for our nine month old, but I'm wondering if we should bring her carseat along with us to the gate. Is there any possibility that she can use it if there is an open seat?

If there isn't a place for it on the plane, will we have to pay to have it checked (as if it were another piece of luggage)?

Or should we just forget the whole thing and rent one with our rental car?

I'd love to hear your airplane/carseat experiences and advice as to what might work for us. THanks!

connie1042
09-15-2008, 09:22 PM
HI. I am also from MN and we leave on the 19th. We are flying on NWA. We bought our tickets before all the changes, so we will not be charged for our first bags, or carry-ons. I called NWA airlines and asked them about the car seat and strollers. We will be taking 2 car seats, one with a base. One will be checked with luggage (baby is 3 months old) and we are using the other car seat for the 2 1/2 year old on the plane, since he has a ticket. We will also have 2 strollers. We will be taking these to the gate to be gate checked. NWA responded with there is no charge for either one. We have a travel bag that will fit the base and car seat. Hope this helps. When are you leaving. Maybe we will see you at the airport. Our flight leaves at 10:55

MommyBryn
09-16-2008, 12:50 AM
When we flew with my 11 mo old DD I asked a similar question. It was suggested to me to bring the seat and use it if there was an open seat by us, but otherwise to gate check it. We ended up buying DD a seat though, so we didn't have to worry about it, but I'd have tried that if not.

mommy2paris
09-16-2008, 06:07 AM
We have flown southwest with a "lap baby" and we were able to use the car seat free of charge on one of our flights, the others were full. On the flights that were full, they gate checked the car seat, free of charge, with our stroller.
We may be flying again in December. I called SW last week, and confirmed that option was still available, open seat we can use for free, if not, gate check it.

Even if you aren't able to use it on the plane, I would take it with you, as I would feel more comfortable having our "usual" seat for in the rental car. I've never seen the car seats they provide... maybe someone else will have more experience with that.

Have a great trip!

disneymoon0606
09-16-2008, 08:05 AM
Ok, then I think that's what I'll do. We'll bring it to the gate and use it if possible. Otherwise we'll have them check it. Too bad it's a big carseat (Britax marathon). I guess DH will be in charge of that :)

Connie - We're not actually leaving until Nov. 28th. I'm super excited though!

CJ's Mommy
09-16-2008, 09:26 AM
I am definitely NOT trying to start a debate here or anything, BUT just in case you didn't already know this (because I didn't until very recently) it is highly recommended that your infant have its own seat, safely strapped into his/her car seat.

Believe me, I thought that was just hogwash and hadn't bought a seat for my DS who'll be 9 months when we go to Disney, but after seeing something posted on these forums I had to buy him his own seat. This is what I saw that changed my mind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC4Q3ofz7SI

To each his own, but I thought I might just mention it in case you didn't know, as I didn't before seeing that video. :flower3:

jodifla
09-16-2008, 11:52 AM
You can bring the carseat to the gate. If there's an extra seat, they'll let you bring it on, if not you can gatecheck it.

We never bought a seat for our infant; it worked out fine.

tlbwriter
09-16-2008, 12:35 PM
Don't count on getting a carseat from the car rental company. I've heard nightmare stories about the seats being broken or recalled, being completely unsuitable for the particular child, or just not being there at all.

all4fun
09-16-2008, 12:49 PM
Here's someones blog about rental car seats:
Danger for Rent: Car Rental Agency Puts Infants at Risk (http://www.deliciousbaby.com/journal/2008/jul/27/danger-rent-car-rental-agency-puts-infant-risk/)

Safety is important to Barbara, so when she flew to Los Angeles with her 6 month old, she reserved a car at an agency that had made strong promises about their infant car seats. Exhausted after a long flight, she struggled for two hours to find a seat that could be installed safely in her rental car and finally drove away with what she thought was the best of the bunch... a dilapidated car seat so old that the manufacturer and California State Law both recommend that it be destroyed. (there is more in the link above)

Some rental agencies do have nice new car seats, but it's really a cr@p shoot what you may end up with. You're always safer bringing your own car seat that you know the history of, and know how to install and use properly. We always bought a seat for ds and used the car seat on the plane, but if you find you do need to check the car seat, then gate checking is probably the safest way to go since the seats are loaded last and you'll have it with you just in case there is room on the airplane for it. A car seat travel bag will help you carry it through the airport and will keep the seat from getting dirty in the airplane cargo hold. You may also want to check out the Cosco Scenera w/5pt harness (http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5716972), which is a basic and lightweight convertible seat that usually comes in a clear plastic bag (instead of a box) that would help protect it if checked. This seat runs for $40-50...still cheaper than renting a car seat for several days.

hth!

disneymoon0606
09-16-2008, 01:57 PM
Hmm, maybe we should just pick up a lightweight carseat. I'd really hate for our Britax to get ruined in transit, besides the fact that it's so heavy. And we do need a seat for DH's car anyway. Good thinking! THanks!

thepeach80
09-16-2008, 06:22 PM
Hmm, maybe we should just pick up a lightweight carseat. I'd really hate for our Britax to get ruined in transit, besides the fact that it's so heavy. And we do need a seat for DH's car anyway. Good thinking! THanks!

This is what I was going to reccomend. I would never fly w/ my Britaxes I don't think. I would reccomend either a Cosco Scenera or Safety 1st Avenue. We flew w/ the Scenera last time for one of our kids and it worked well.

HolliePoppins
09-16-2008, 10:01 PM
I would also reccomend buying a seat for your child. It is much safer for them to be strapped into a carseat.

I wouldnt count on being given the extra seat if there is one. If there are more lap babies and they dont have seats for all the lap babies they will not give it to any of them. I have also read on the transportation board that if you do not have a seat purchased they will not even let you bring the carseat on the plane to try and find an extra seat.

Maybe you could post your question over on the transportation board and see what kind of responses you get. There are some very knowledgable flyers over there that will know exactly how airlines will handle this situation.

Good luck whatever you decide.

YellowMickeyPonchos
09-17-2008, 12:58 AM
Believe me, I thought that was just hogwash and hadn't bought a seat for my DS who'll be 9 months when we go to Disney, but after seeing something posted on these forums I had to buy him his own seat. This is what I saw that changed my mind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC4Q3ofz7SI

To each his own, but I thought I might just mention it in case you didn't know, as I didn't before seeing that video. :flower3:

FYI - This crash happened in 1989. Eleven children total were killed - only one was a lap child. The other lap child that was jarred from it's mother's grasp lived. What that video didn't say was that the other 10 children were in seatbelts. (I remember this incident from when it happened, but wanted to be accurate, so I got this info from doing a bit of research via Google.) I wanted to put that info out there for clarification and not argumentative propaganda. I just felt that it had to be shared, as I am not a fan of accidentally spreading fear via the sharing of well-intentioned media. (Does that make sense?)

Basically what I'm trying to say is that getting your child a seat is definitely a way to protect them, but in some instances, even that won't help. In an airline crash (or any other accident for that matter), if God says your time is up, there is nothing you can do!

As a mom of 2 and a former weekly business flyer, I can tell you that in today's travel environment, you definitely cannot count on being given a "free empty seat" for your child. With the number of flights that have been cut on major routes, planes are more crowded today than ever before. Buying a seat is the only guarantee of having one for your child. There was a thread on the DL board today about a mom not wanting to buy a seat for her two year old, since the child turns 2 a week before they travel. You can bet we all told her to bite the bullet - it's the law. (FYI - If they turn two during the middle of a trip, then they are exempt.)

disneymoon0606
09-17-2008, 10:33 AM
I'm certainly not expecting to have an empty seat to use for DD. In fact, I am quite expecting the opposite. I'm mostly just wondering if it is possible/free to gate check whichever car seat we decide to bring. DD is going to be a lap baby (unless we miraculously get a seat for her) and that's the way it is for us this time. I just need to make sure she has a safe/reliable seat for our rental car. If everyone seems to think the Cosco seat is safe then that's probably the route we will go. Thanks for your help everyone!

Pixie Dust for Me!
09-17-2008, 10:44 AM
(Trying to be helpful)...some airlines offer discounted seats for infants (under age 2) so you may want to check. I think they are generally 1/2 price (or that's what my friend says who has 2 little ones under 2).

mommy2paris
09-17-2008, 10:58 AM
We use the costco as an extra in all the grandparent vehicles, and have never had any problems with them.
And actually for our trips, we use them as well, so that we do not have to uninstall our regular seats in both vehicles.

have a great trip!

Bren's Mom
09-17-2008, 01:44 PM
The Cosco Scenera and the Safety 1st Avenue are both great seats, excellent value for the money and safe. (p.s. Kmart has a REALLY pretty 'girly' Avenue! :lovestruc )

thepeach80
09-17-2008, 09:13 PM
(Trying to be helpful)...some airlines offer discounted seats for infants (under age 2) so you may want to check. I think they are generally 1/2 price (or that's what my friend says who has 2 little ones under 2).

This almost never happens anymore. When we looked last year, only 1 gave a discount and we had to call and book it and it would've ended up being more than booking her a full adult fair online.