View Full Version : What to store car seats in for checked baggage?

01-14-2010, 07:22 PM
We're bringing 2 car seats along for our 2 and 3 year olds and will be checking them. Wondering what to put them in? I know they make backpack type carriers for them but I can't easily find them around here (Halifax, Canada) plus I wouldn't want to spend a bunch of money as we might not use them again. We're not interested in using them on the plane plus I'm not sure if they meet the airline safety regulations. Coming home we're direct (MCO-YHZ) but going up we have a stop over in Toronto where we have to get our bags and go through customs.

I had thought of trying to fit both in a Hockey bag that I have here but it would exceed the maximum size (62" linear) but not weight. Not sure if the airline (Air Canada) would allow it, certainly don't want to pay the oversize baggage charges ($75 each way I think). They are allowing an extra bag due to the no carry on thing but didn't read anything about allowing extra large bag. This would be nice as the bag has a shoulder strap.

My only other thought is to put each car seat in a clear plastic bag. Wouldn't be the greatest for carrying around the airport but it would keep the dirt off them I guess. Anyone do this before ?

01-14-2010, 08:06 PM
trash bags, then make a duct tape strap to sling over your shoulder, cheap and easy!

I do not mean this to be silly, I have done it twice now with my own seats. It really does work!

01-15-2010, 01:38 PM
You can always gate check them -- of course that means you still have to carry them through the airport. However, you then don't have to run the risk of being stranded at the airport with no carseat if your luggage gets lost.

dancin Disney style
01-15-2010, 01:42 PM
Call Air Canada and ask them....they have policies with regard to things like golf clubs, bikes and strollers so I would guess that they will have one about car seats as well.

I would look for large heavy guage plastic bags that you can put the seats in. I like the idea of making a handle out of duck tape.

01-15-2010, 01:43 PM
We have done both scenarios-gate checked and as checked luggage in a giant duffel bag. We were stranded one time when that was the ONE piece of our luggage that we checked and didn't arrive with our flight. :scared1: We had to call someone with a car seat to pick us up at the airport. Ever since then we gate checked when we traveled with kiddies that size. Not as convenient but better than having no car seat at all!

01-15-2010, 03:36 PM
You may want to try a carseat travel bag, like one made by Graco at target for $20 or any other baby store. If you have a large seat, you may want to try to find the largest one available , ( The one we have is pretty tight but works). You can also pay more and get one with wheels that can then attach to your roller bag and roll just behind your bag. You do have to drag it around the airport, but then you can gate check it for free on most airlines just before your board the flight. You can also use the extra space in the bag for blankets or pillows for the flight that can can easily be removed from the bag just before leaving it at the jetway.

We got ours from Babies R us, a couple years ago. It's gray, has wheels and works well.

01-15-2010, 03:50 PM
We just took ours there and they put them in the plastic bags for us. We have never had a issue with them and we have now checked car seats 3 times.

We fly with West Jet.

01-15-2010, 03:55 PM
I've used a canvas laundry bag from Walmart to take ours to Hawaii and Poland. Just tucked the draw string in and attached a name tag.

01-15-2010, 08:35 PM
Thanks for all the great ideas and sharing experiences. I might call Air Canada to see what they say. Gate checking is an interesting thought. Wonder if they would allow it as we plan on gate checking 2 small strollers as well.

01-15-2010, 09:00 PM
Your kids should be riding in their seats on the plane in case of turbulence. It is the safest option for them, and airlines recommend that all children under 40lbs ride in a child restraint. I personally would never check a car seat because you don't know how it's going to be treated and how it will come out at the end. At the very least, it should be gate checked.

01-15-2010, 11:16 PM
Honestly, I would bring the seats on the plane with you. Neither checking as luggage or gate checking is a good idea. Baggage handlers are not very careful with stuff and I have seen gate checked seats just being thrown out of the plane right onto the taramac. At 2 and 3 years old, you already had to buy tickets for them and those simple lap belts do not do a very good job of keeping wiggly toddlers restrained. Another good reason to bring the seats with you is they are familiar to your children and if they normally sleep in the car, they will likely sleep on the plane too. When we flew to WDW when dd was 2, she fell asleep before we even left the ground!

A few good ways to transport seats through the airport are either stack them in a stroller and secure them with a bungee cord, or if you have rolling carry-ons, you can use the latch straps to attach the carseats to the bags.

01-16-2010, 09:08 AM
When we flew last year we gate checked both our stroller and carseat. It was so easy! It was nice getting off the plane and having them both there. We now have a baby when going on our trip next month. I think this time I will use the one carseat on the plane. Check the side of the carseat and it should say (in red letters I believe) if it is good to use on the airplane. This will keep her in the seat and not jumping all over the place like last year. The baby is a lap baby so we can't bring her's on board. We plan on gate checking her carseat and stroller. Not positive if we are bringing another stroller or not at this time. (We might stop at a Walmart and buy a cheapy one). It is going to be a pain gate checking all this but oh well.