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Old 02-14-2013, 04:42 PM   #1
princessap
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Boarding with three car seats

We are planning to take our own car seats with us so we will be taking three, one infant and two convertible ones....which ones can I gatecheck
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:33 PM   #2
lost*in*cyberspace
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You should be able to gate check all 3. I can't imagine lugging 3 car seats to the gate and managing an infant and 2 children. Hope you're traveling with help.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:12 PM   #3
TandEsMommy
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Is there a reason you want to gate check them? All airlines will check carseats for free at the ticketing counter, so there's no need to drag them through the airport with you.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:47 PM   #4
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I am really nervous about car seats and don't want them to be tossed around and damaged if I check them
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:07 PM   #5
cel_disney
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I don't think I would gate check any if the kids had seats. I would put the baby bucket in a stroller, pull out the straps on both the convertibles and wear them like backpacks, and hang carry on bags on the stroller or shoulders...

When it comes time to boa the plane, have one adult take the 2 convertibles, the stroller, and a carrying bag. Leave the stroller at gate check (so other parent doesn't hAve to collapse or cover with 3 kids in toe) and the board the plane with the 2 convertibles and the carryon.

Then as boarding gets further along (well, maybe the very last call even!), parent heads down the jetway with 3 kids and infant seat and another carryon to board the plane. When you arrive at your seats everyone can get buckled in without having to watch a parent try carseat install etc and have a shorter wait time on the Plane!

Have a safe trip and enjoy that all 3 of your kids will be unable to escape during the flight!!!!!!
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:11 PM   #6
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Been in your shoes before. What I did and worked perfect was got large duffle bags with good strength to them, and put the car seats in one or two of those. Then just checked them. Never once had them break inside of a bag like that. I would be afraid of checking them without a protective cover though. Doesn't cost a cent to check them and doesn't count against your free bag if you get them from the airline.
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:14 AM   #7
princessap
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Originally Posted by cel_disney View Post
I don't think I would gate check any if the kids had seats. I would put the baby bucket in a stroller, pull out the straps on both the convertibles and wear them like backpacks, and hang carry on bags on the stroller or shoulders...

When it comes time to boa the plane, have one adult take the 2 convertibles, the stroller, and a carrying bag. Leave the stroller at gate check (so other parent doesn't hAve to collapse or cover with 3 kids in toe) and the board the plane with the 2 convertibles and the carryon.

Then as boarding gets further along (well, maybe the very last call even!), parent heads down the jetway with 3 kids and infant seat and another carryon to board the plane. When you arrive at your seats everyone can get buckled in without having to watch a parent try carseat install etc and have a shorter wait time on the Plane!

Have a safe trip and enjoy that all 3 of your kids will be unable to escape during the flight!!!!!!
are u saying to take as carry on?
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:02 AM   #8
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AFAIK there is no greater chance of damage when you check a car seat in the normal manner compared with gate checking.

Actually I think the best way to handle the situation is to bring only FAA approved seats and carry them all on board. No special treatment is needed.

Do not deliberately wait past your boarding zone or boarding time before boarding. It will actually help the airline crew if you ask to board early (if they disagree, quietly just board when you are supposed to and normally).

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Old 02-15-2013, 07:21 AM   #9
OrangeCountyCommuter
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are u saying to take as carry on?
No, they aren't carry on.

If you have seats for all three kids and they are FAA approved you can use them on the plane for the kids in the seats.

If you don't have seats for a child, the car seat will have to be checked either at the counter or at the gate, they won't fit in an overhead bin.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:29 AM   #10
princessap
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AFAIK there is no greater chance of damage when you check a car seat in the normal manner compared with gate checking.

Actually I think the best way to handle the situation is to bring only FAA approved seats and carry them all on board. No special treatment is needed.

Do not deliberately wait past your boarding zone or boarding time before boarding. It will actually help the airline crew if you ask to board early (if they disagree, quietly just board when you are supposed to and normally).

Disney hints: http://www.cockam.com/disney.htm
We will have one infant and then two boosters for my 4 and 5 year olds. So I don't think they need them for the flight and we don't have a seat for my infant so cannot take hers.

is there really less damage when checking vs gate? I though gate would be better.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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We will have one infant and then two boosters for my 4 and 5 year olds. So I don't think they need them for the flight and we don't have a seat for my infant so cannot take hers.

is there really less damage when checking vs gate? I though gate would be better.
You cannot use backless booster seats on the plane. Since your baby doesn't have a paid seat, she cannot use her seat either. Personally, I'd put all of these in a bag and would check them. Gate checked items can be handled roughly too; don't think I've ever seen any real studies regarding damage done to car seats during gate check vs regular luggage check.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:58 AM   #12
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The issue with sending them through the bag room is the drops. (That scene in Toy Story 2 wasn't all that far off reality.)

It's not so much that the seat itself will drop hard, but that a heavy suitcase might drop on top of it. If you are not comfortable with continuing to use a seat after it has gone through a minor fender-bender accident, the kind of impacts that sometimes happen in the bag room are not much different, and may even be more severe.

The other argument for gate-checking is that you are assured that the carseats will absolutely be on the same flight that you are on; there is no chance that they will be delayed or mis-routed onto another flight.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by princessap

We will have one infant and then two boosters for my 4 and 5 year olds. So I don't think they need them for the flight and we don't have a seat for my infant so cannot take hers.

is there really less damage when checking vs gate? I though gate would be better.
Booster seats cannot be used on the plane. I would just check those. The infant seat I would gate check. We have always bought seats for our infants so we used their seats.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:46 PM   #14
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The other argument for gate-checking is that you are assured that the carseats will absolutely be on the same flight that you are on; there is no chance that they will be delayed or mis-routed onto another flight.
Don't count on this! Sometimes gate checked items don't make it on your flight. It happened to me once.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:47 PM   #15
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The only car seats that can be used on planes have backs and harnesses. If any of your car seats don't fit that requirement, then your only option will be to check them.

Ultimately, the risk of checking them is based entirely on the people who are handling them. Technically, a car seat is considered "crashed" if it's dropped from waist height or higher. This damage will not necessarily be noticeable by looking at the car seat.
For that reason, the only risk free way to take a car seat on a plane is to use it, and that's only because if you drop it, you will know and can make replacement arrangements. If someone else drops it, there's nothing stopping them from tossing it on and your child riding in a compromised car seat. It's also safer for your child to ride in the car seat on the plane.

That said, I've checked car seats both ways. I prefer gate checking, because it will have a shorter distance to travel and will be out of my hands for a shorter amount of time. It's a frustrating conundrum though, because I've also heard awful things about rental car seats. We have a second car seat that we use predominantly for travel that's lighter and easier to install than our every day car seat, which makes traveling with it moderately easier.

If you have small backless booster seats, you may be able to carry them on and put it in the overhead compartment, or under the seat in front of you.
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