Flying with 2 and 3 yr olds

lnhoog

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 11, 2001
We are a family of 4 flying out of Indy in May on SWA. It will be me, my husband,son (3), and daughter (2). We have flown before, but not with two kids in tow.

What advice do you have for flying with two small kids? We will have to leave our car at the airport in long term parking. Do we unload luggage and all at curb side check in and then take the car to long term parking? Or is there a better way?

What is a good way to haul carseats in an airport since we need them on the plane?

How about strollers in the airport? Should we use them or send them as baggage on the plane?

Sorry about all the questions...we are just a little apprehensive about doing all this with toddlers!

Thanks for your help!

Lisa:)
 
I don't know if you can do this since 9/11, but we gate check our stroller. There is really no easy way to carry car seats, but the strollers would help you by placing the carseats on the strollers when changing planes or going to baggage claim.

Some of the SWA airplanes have a lounge seat area by the bulkhead. The seats in front are turned around and facing the next row of seats leaving good feet room and an area for young ones to stretch out legs a bit. You should be able to board first with two young children to take that area if you want. We liked it for our kids on a flight to WDW.

Does your long term parking offer shuttle? If it was me, I would park in long term parking and take their shuttle to the right terminal.

Big important thing: Don't carry too much on board with you! You have enough to handle with the two little ones and car seats. Don't be hauling rolling carry ons, too! We have been very dumb and had lots of carry ons (one back pack for each kid and then we hear "it's too heavy, I can't carry it any more!!!") and having trouble changing flights being too loaded down with stuff. Good luck and have a great time!

Oh, also, you may want to post this question on the Family Board. You should get good responses over there too from the parents.
 
With kids your age, you do not want to be dealing with all the luggage, stroller, carry-ons, etc. in a shuttle from a parking lot. Drop your stuff off curbside and do curbside check-in if possible. Especially if you are renting a minivan in Orlando, doing it at the airport before dropping off your rental car will help tremendously!

You should be allowed to take the stroller to the gate. We traveled shortly after 9/11, and it was allowed. Make sure you talk to the flight attendant to have the stroller tagged. You wheel it up to the plane entrance. Usually by the time we get off the plane (we're often the last!), the stroller is there, opened up and ready to go!

As for car seats, we take ours with us but we check them through as regular baggage. For some reason, they do not fit on the plane seats comfortably. As long as my kids are at least buckled into the plane seat, that's fine for me. Do remove any attachments like a cup holder from the carseats if you do check it through...we lost one of ours on the last trip.

I agree with AZKathy about trying to limit carryons. Our last trip, we had both our kids wear back-packs and pull along their luggage. I ended up usually carrying their back-packs along with the diaper bag, my flight bag...I felt like a sherpa! Plus, I believe the new airline rules limit carryons to one. Be sure to remove any innocuous items from the diaper bag that might be construed as possible weapons...kid tweezers, nail clippers, and scissors.

Hope this helps!

Sharon
 
We just recently returned from WDW and we didn't have any problem gate checking our double stroller. We did have to bring two car seats on the plane and what we did was have no carry-ons other than the diaper bag. Also, we bought one of those luggage racks, which they allow you to bring through security, and placed both of the car seats on that and wheeled them on the plane!!! It was much more convient than trying to lug them. I agree with trying to do curb side check-in, with all the gear, it's much more convient. Just a note, if your 3 year old is in a booster seat, unless you are using it with a 5 point harness AND it is FAA approved (check the label on the back) you can bring in on the plane. If it has any cup holders or arm rests EVEN with the 5 point harness, it is not FAA approved and you will not be able to bring it on the plane, so please check.
 
Originally posted by jel0511
If it has any cup holders or arm rests EVEN with the 5 point harness, it is not FAA approved and you will not be able to bring it on the plane, so please check.

I don't agree with this comment. I have a 5 pt harness high back booster with cup holders AND arm rests and according to the sticker on the back it IS FAA approved. BUT only when using the 5 pt harness and not as a belt positioning booster. BTW I have a cosco commuter high back booster. Here is a link to it. http://www.djgusa.com/coscocat/carseats/480comuter.html Hope this helps!!
 
Originally posted by lnhoog
We are a family of 4 flying out of Indy in May on SWA. It will be me, my husband,son (3), and daughter (2). We have flown before, but not with two kids in tow.

What advice do you have for flying with two small kids? We will have to leave our car at the airport in long term parking. Do we unload luggage and all at curb side check in and then take the car to long term parking? Or is there a better way?

What is a good way to haul carseats in an airport since we need them on the plane?

How about strollers in the airport? Should we use them or send them as baggage on the plane?

Sorry about all the questions...we are just a little apprehensive about doing all this with toddlers!

Thanks for your help!

Lisa:)

Rather than the airport long term parking, use an off site place, they'll meet you at your car with a van, and rop you off right in front of the door for your carrier.
Gate check the strollers, you'll need them in the airport. As far as the car seats go, it might be aone handed stroller push with the car seat in teh other hand.

Try to book the rear most aisle in the plane, that way you can get on first and take as much time as needed getting the kids set up in the seats, etc. without holding up other passengers.

Anne
 















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