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Old 01-18-2014, 07:08 PM   #1
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Do you check your carseats, gate check them, or use them on the plane?

I have a friend going on vacation and she plans on (and has in the past) just checking her kiddos' seats. I didn't think people actually did that! Won't the seats get damaged when they load/unload the luggage? The luggage handlers don't seem to be gentle.

I was discussing with DH and he said he's never seen anyone fly with their kiddos in carseats. I thought that was relatively common?

We're thinking about a vacation in 2015 and I just assumed we'd have the kids ride in their seats on the plane (or buy cheapos when we got there). Am I being overly cautious?

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Old 01-18-2014, 07:26 PM   #2
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Re: Flying with car seats

We flew a few weeks ago and I saw several people bringing car seats to the airport, but we were the only ones who brought a car seat on the flight with us. The others all checked their seats with baggage. No, take that back, one was gate-checked (for a lap baby).

It is definitely best to use the seats on the plane. Slightly more of a hassle to lug them through the airport, yes, but checked seats are in danger of being lost of damaged, plus the kids generally do better on flights in their seats. If you get a cheap foldable luggage cart you can bungee the seats to that, or if you're bringing a stroller, use it as a sort of luggage cart (and carry/wear the kids through the airport). Easy peasy.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:51 PM   #3
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We always have our kids in their car seats it's the safest place and mist comfortable
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:09 AM   #4
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Re: Flying with car seats

We fly with ours too and use it on the plane. Even when DD was travelling as a lap baby we still usually brought it unless it was a packed flight with only room on standby so no extra seats - in that case we gate checked it. It's really much easier to have kiddos contained on the plane, especially the under-3 ones I think. You can eat/drink without someone bouncing in your lap and spilling things, you can go to the bathroom without playing pass-the-baby, they can nap without your arms going numb (esp. if rear facing cause the seat is more reclined).

Now we've only done it with one kiddo but we'll soon find out what it's like with two. We'll likely need car seats at our destination anyway so we'll probably bring one for both. I'm definitely not going to check either in with luggage and once you cart it all the way to the gate you may as well use it on the plane and make your life a little easier on the flight.
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:06 AM   #5
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Re: Flying with car seats

Prefer to use on board BY FAR

On rare occasions for short flights I have gate checked

I would never and WILL NEVER baggage check. That's asking for too many different potential and life-threatening complications. (I suppose you could a baggage check in the original box but that's a huge hassle.)
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:29 AM   #6
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We buy a seat for my son and install the car seat. Safety aside, neither DH nor I want to hold an infant or toddler during an entire flight.

We do this on both short and long flights.
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:09 PM   #7
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Re: Flying with car seats

We always take the seat on the plane for babe to use. So much safer and easier
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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Ok, so I'm not neurotic. Thanks for the info, ladies!!
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:49 AM   #9
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Re: Flying with car seats

Not neurotic at all! We always take our seat on the plane with us. So much easier to have kiddo comfy in a seat he's used to than trying to bounce all over. Right when you get on, ask for a seat belt extender. It makes installation so much easier.
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:16 AM   #10
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Re: Flying with car seats

I gate checked my infant seat twice, the one and only time I've been on air travel since I've had kids - was hoping that I could use it in a seat, but the flight was packed. Even gate checking the cover ended up getting ripped. I can't imagine what a regular check would do to it. Never ever would I do it, and if I thought I'd have to gate check it, I'd definitely get one of those check bags for it. My kids are almost old enough that I can't do the lapbaby route anymore, and honestly my toddler is so busy I'd HAVE to have the seat for her or I'd go squirrely. No way would she sit still in just a lap belt or on my lap.
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