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Old 04-25-2013, 11:06 AM   #1

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Checking Car Seats on Southwest

Stupid question, and I'm pretty sure I know the answer. I just want to double-check...

If I check a car seat, does it count as one of my free bags?
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:27 AM   #2
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No, car seats and strollers don't count.

Customers traveling with children will be allowed to check one stroller and one Child Restraint System (CRS) or car seat per child without charge. This is in addition to the regular free baggage allowance.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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The attendant will put a luggage sticker on listing the airport destination, just like they do luggage. They put the luggage on the belt to the back, but you must carry your car seats to the oversized luggage are (usually close to the check in.) They will take the car seats from you there. I keep my stroller through secuirty an dthen gate check it. Gate check means you get a tag from the SW kiosk near your gate. You push the stroller all the way to the plane. At the plane door, fold up the stroller and leave it there. A luggage handler will carry it down the steps and place it beneath the plane. When you arrive at MCO, the stroller will be waiting for you at the plane door as they carry the wheelchairs and strollers to the plane door right away.

In some airports, checked car seats do not come out on the same belt as the luggage at baggage claim. Some they come out on an oversized area. At MCO and SFB, my car seats have always come out with the regular belt, though.

And, no, strollers and car seats and boosters do NOT count against your limit on any airline.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:29 PM   #4
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Last time I flew JetBlue to MCO, my car seats came out on the oversized area.
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:12 PM   #5
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No, they don't count, BUT you will have to ''link" it to one of the travelers since it's handled like a checked bag (tagged, given a claim ticket, etc.) You will also have to hand carry it over to the area where the TSA people inspect the bags, it will not go behind the counter like the other suitcases do.

I would suggest asking them to BAG it up for you, so you don't sustain any damage to the straps or cover. They will gladly do this for you using a huge clear plastic bag.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:53 PM   #6
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Not all airports have the oversized area. For example, in PBI (West Palm Beach), any checked baggage goes right down the conveyor system.

I will say this, though...think twice before checking any car seats. When the bags come down the conveyor system, they have a tendency to hit the bottom awful hard. If you do check your car seat, and it is not in a plastic bag or a car seat bag, ensure it is. There have been MANY cases of the straps getting stuck in the machinery and needing to be cut off to release the car seat. Not at all a good thing to see when you go to pick up your seat at the baggage reclaim area.
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