XP: Anyone with experience using carseat on plane? — The Bump
School-Aged Children

XP: Anyone with experience using carseat on plane?

We are traveling by plane in May, and I think we'll use the kids' carseats on the plane as opposed to gate checking them.  This is a first for us, but I'm thinking it won't be that bad...similar to strapping it into the carseat with a lap belt.  We have a Britax Boulevard and Frontier (possibly two Frontiers by that point depending how fast DD shoots up).  Any experience?  Am I underestimating how difficult they will be to install on the plane?
 

Re: XP: Anyone with experience using carseat on plane?

  • I can't tell how old your younger one is, but we stopped using car seats on planes when the kids were around 2. It made it SO much easier. They couldn't kick the seat in front of them, they had more room to move around, we could lift the armrest between them so they could play together, etc. I definitely would not do a car seat for your almost 5 year old. But maybe for your younger child depending on their age.
    [Deleted User]
  • I would use them on the plane b/c I am not comfortable checking the seats-terrified they will be damaged or lost and we will be SOL.  People use carseats on planes all the time.  It really isn't that big a deal.  And I would not do 2 and 2-do 3 and 1.  the 1 can sit in front of one of the kids.  
    Yes, you install the seats as if you were doing a lapbelt only installation in a car, at least every seat I have used was that way.  If you can install the seat in a car, you can do it on the plane.

    And if the seat is FAA approved, it doesn't matter how wide the base is.

    Samuel Joseph May 26, 2007 Catherine Sylvia September 27, 2011 <BR>[IMG]http://i39.tinypic.com/14mgu86.jpg[/IMG]
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  • MrsLee04 said:
    prism207 said:
     People use carseats on planes all the time.  It really isn't that big a deal. 

    People do not put 5 year olds in car seats on planes.  Ever.

    The one time used car seats on a plane with our kids was when they were 13 months old.  And even then, they were kicking the seats in front of them.

    As far as splitting up, 2 and 2 is best.  One parent takes 1 kid.  It's what we always do and it works fine.  Why should 1 parent get stuck with both kids while the other sits alone? 
    Yeah, they do.  Go to FB and look up the group car seats for the littles.  Lots of people use carseats on planes, even for older kids.  And a 13 mo old might kick, but should have been RFing and not a problem.  A five year old is old enough to know better than to kick.

    And I don't feel like I am ever "stuck" with my kids.  Not to mention, they entertain each other to a large extent.  My kids happen to adore each other, and being separated on the plane would cause more trouble than it is worth.  
    Samuel Joseph May 26, 2007 Catherine Sylvia September 27, 2011 <BR>[IMG]http://i39.tinypic.com/14mgu86.jpg[/IMG]
  • Honestly, my biggest concern (possibly even over safety on this particular occasion) with gate checking our seats is that we are going to a remote international location, and I've been advised that carseats are hard enough to come by there that the locals mostly don't worry about them at all, and I'm not comfortable driving around with either of our kids sans carseat.  One of our contacts drove with her newborn on the seat next to her for a month waiting for her seat to arrive, so it worries me a little that if something were to happen to one of them, we would pretty much be without our seat(s) for the bulk of our trip.  I suppose if we were traveling domestically and if a seat got lost or torn up that the majority here are right that it is a hassle not worth the effort.

    Maybe the solution based on this advice is to put the 5yo behind his sister (3yo) so if he kicks anyone's seat it's her seat. 

    Any additional thoughts in light of the additional info?  I'm really not trying to be loony about this, but I do want to make sure that we are covered when we arrive.  I'd rather try to replace everything in our luggage (except maybe prescription drugs) than try to replace our seats.
     
  • Although the 3yo may be more apt to kick the seat vs. her brother :-?
     
  • I was actually just coming back to ask about the BubbleBum booster.  Anyone have any experience with it?

    And the thought of shipping ahead crossed my mind too...perfect solution...For a mere $555.  Yeah, that's crazy.  I did probably over estimate the weight a bit, and it was just the online automated shipping estimator.  However, that's insane.  Probably not our solution, but I appreciate any and all ideas.

    Really, it's too bad that you have to worry so much about how mistreated baggage gets (both by the airlines treating bags roughly and by losing so many items).  On one of our last trips, we had a brand new soft-sided suitcase that actually fell off the little trailer that they use for hauling all the bags out to the planes.  Something (presumably the trailer???) ran over it leaving tire tracks and then drug it underneath for who knows how long (we could actually see it under the trailer when it pulled up to the plane from our seats).  It was raining so every thing inside was soaked when we arrived, and the whole thing was a filthy, tattered mess. 

    When we complained and asked that they compensate us for the bag as it was brand new before that flight (pics to prove it), they told us that was considered "normal wear and tear" and that they were not liable because the bag was still usable, so I don't have a lot of confidence in the airlines when it comes to baggage any more.  The bag technically was usable (sort of) with a little cleaning, but by the time we used it on our return flight (same trip, same airline), we ended up having to toss it out.  It was not a cheap, poorly made bag (but was soft sided), but it literally only survived one round trip with two flights each way.  That's kind of pathetic, and concerns me when I think of checking our kids' carseats.

    I think I'll research the BubbleBums.  If anyone has any experience with them, I'd love to hear it.  Thanks everyone!
     
  • Ha, this got a little out of control.

    First, if you do plan on bringing both seats and you do 3 in one row, I'd call the airline to see if that is ok. Usually they want the car seat to be by the window so it doesn't impede other travelers if they need to exit in an emergency. Not sure if it would be a problem with two car seats or not. It also may depend on how wide the base is whether you could fit them side by side. I would think it would be difficult for our kids' car seats (a Graco Nautilus and Britax Marathon).

    However, I actually think it's easier to have the kids together. Then you have one bag with all of their toys/movies/books/snacks and they usually sit and play together. Or watch a movie together. Our kids want to sit next to each other and will entertain each other which makes it easier on us.

    I've flown a good deal and have NEVER seen someone who looks to be over the age of 3 in a car seat. As others have said I'm sure it happens but I'd guess it is extremely rare.

    Lastly, if you do use a car seat ask for a seat belt extension. We didn't use one the first time we installed the Marathon on the plane. The buckle ended up right in the middle of the back of the car seat, and we couldn't unbuckle it without removing the back of the airplane seat. We had to wait until everyone was off the plane and then have the flight attendant help us. Total pain.

     

  • I think we've settled on a plan as long as the 4yo is big enough for a backless booster by then (fingers crossed as she'll barely be 4). Since we can't get away with carry-on only this trip anyway, hubby and I will each have a carry-on suitcase with enough clothes and supplies for all four of us for a few days in case something does happen to the checked bags. We'll check two bags with the rest of our necessities. All four of us will have backpacks...the kids will be stocked with activities, snacks, etc. for the plane, and their second personal item will be the backless boosters that will (God willing I find some that will fit) go under their seats. I think I've even figured out a way to bungee cord the boosters to hubby and my backpacks through the airports so the kids don't have to carry them and our hands are free. No checked carseats to stress over on the way down and if our checked bags don't arrive with us, and no gate checking to deal with either.

    Over thinking it for as far off as our trip is, but I feel better having a plan. Thank you all for your input...That's how I finally got to a plan that I can live with. :D

     
    [Deleted User]
  • carlab44carlab44 member
    edited November 2013
    Not to be the naysayer, but there is no way I'd put a barely 4 year old in a backless booster. A high back booster MAYBE, but definitely not a backless. We don't even have our 7 year old in a backless (but she is little for her age) and are moving our son to a high back booster when he turns 5.
    [Deleted User]
  • I don't think there's much locally to purchase.  I think you have to go to the mainland, which we are  not planning to do.  I do wonder if there is a cheaper option through USPS if I went and talked to them, but I think at that online price it'll still be more than I'm willing to spend (from what I've heard FedEx is mostly just document stuff there and service can be spotty).

    We will be using a car at our destination, which is why I'm concerned about making sure we definitely have carseats once we're there.  I wouldn't normally put either of my kids in backless boosters at all, but I'm hoping that it will be limited to this trip and that DH and I can work together to keep them awake, which will be the biggest concern with either of them in backless boosters.  Well, sleeping and moving out of place and #2 gaining a bit more between now and then, but based on her growth in the past, I think she'll be ok by May. She's really tall, so she should be ok on height...maybe even now (haven't measured her recently).

    This has kind of turned into one of those "no perfect solution" situations, but a backless booster is certainly better than no carseat at all, which is what we've been advised is the norm.  I am so not ok with that idea at all.
     
  • And, yes, I just about choked when I saw $555 pop up on my screen.  I was expecting triple digits...just not that high.  Wowza!
     
  • MrsLee04 said:
    prism207 said:
     People use carseats on planes all the time.  It really isn't that big a deal. 

    People do not put 5 year olds in car seats on planes.  Ever.

    The one time used car seats on a plane with our kids was when they were 13 months old.  And even then, they were kicking the seats in front of them.

    As far as splitting up, 2 and 2 is best.  One parent takes 1 kid.  It's what we always do and it works fine.  Why should 1 parent get stuck with both kids while the other sits alone? 
    The FAA says that children under 40 lbs should be in a child safety restraint system, my 5 year old only weight 37 lbs, so I would for sure have her in her car seat or a CARES harness. If I needed a car seat for her where ever we were going I would just use her car seat on the plane.


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