S.Y. asks from Salem, OR on August 30, 2009
Travel to LAX with 2 Yr Old Twins and Infant-flight and Car Seat ?S
We are traveling by air to LA for the 1st time with our 2yr old twins and 8mo old infant (her age in Oct. when we travel). I talked to Alaska Air and they said we can bring our carseats on the flight. We are buying 4 tickets and the infant is free on our lap. We have the Graco Nautilus car seats which are pretty large and am wondering if it is standard to bring the conv. seats on the plane? Someone mentioned renting carseats at LAX from Enterprise ( the rental company we are using)for $10 day x 3 which would add about $100 to our trip. I would like to know your suggestions and ideas. We have the triple stroller also to check in.
I am sure many of you have been through this before and can share with us your tips, do's and don't of travel, etc. I really appreciate any help.
What about air pressure for the kids? What can help them with this? I know to bring toys, etc and it is only about a 2 1/2 hr trip for only 3 days but would like all the info any of you can share with me.
3 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you so much for all the responses to my request. With your suggestions, our flight to and from CA went great. We took toys, DVDs and snacks and checked in our 2 convertible seats for the twins (just gate checked the infant seat and triple stroller)both ways.
We even had other passengers compliment us both ways. I know that the next time we may not be as lucky but your responses gave us alot of encouragement. I guess I will let them travel via plane again before they are 18:)
J.S. answers from Seattle on August 31, 2009
Do you really want to rent car seats and deal with someone else's mess or them not being as safe as you want? If you are worried about size/width we have radian 65 by sunshine kids. It is a little narrower plus it doesn't have the side wings. we've flown with the radian and like it.
I am looking into the sit and stroll to lessen what we take and ease time in airport.
J.C. answers from Seattle on August 30, 2009
BUSY???? --- I would think another word -- perhaps controlled chaos might also apply. You are amazing. I have done a ton of traveling in the last 2 years - but with older guys ( a 2 and a half --- and a 4) --- The airlines are quite helpful - The bulkhead seats are nice because the twins could stand in front of you and move back and forth between the outside edge of the 'isle' seat and the window- BUT you'll have to be assertive about asking the stewards to get down from the overhead luggage 'rack' what you need as there is no storage available under the seat for the bulkhead- but I did find it really helpful for little guys who wanted to stand and walk back and forth in front of Mom and Dad--- Blessings-
aka- Old Mom
D.A. answers from Portland on August 31, 2009
We have traveled quite a bit with our kids, which are now 3 and 5. For the car seats- we never brought 2 on at the same time, but one can be a challenge with carry-ons, etc.
I would suggest maybe just bringing one and having them rotate in it- or try to borrow or rent the car seats that have the wheels- there is a website that rents baby gear for travel- I am sure if you google it you can find it. ( I don't remember the name)
As for air pressure- just make sure that you have water or milk in a sippy cup so that they can both drink during take off and landing and a bottle for the baby.Make sure you have lots of snacks( goldfish, cheerios, etc) in case your flight gets delayed. And lots of wipes!
R.M. answers from Portland on August 31, 2009
We just recently did the same trip with two kids. We brought our daughters convertible car seat on, and they said they were not allowed. Hers is the Graco cheapo one though. We have the Nautilus too, but I am not sure if that would work. We didn't try it. I just know that they can't use a convertible kind. I think I found it on the faa website under travel for family, something like that. We had the absolute worst trip home you could ever imagine. It was horrible. Both of the kids had total meltdowns because they were very tired and didn't understand the rules, and didn't really care! It was rough. Everyone hated us!
Oh, another thing to make carting around car seats easier, there is this sort of strap thing that I saw on Amazon that allows you to attach your car seat to a suitcase for easier pulling. Might help.
M.H. answers from Seattle on August 31, 2009
Traveled many times with a youngster - but only ever with one. I'd check your car seats through. There is no charge for them and you'll have the car seat they are used to on the other side. It maybe more luggage but well worth it in my opinion.
A.D. answers from Portland on August 31, 2009
I traveled a few times with our kids when they were little. LAX was one of the stops on the way. I always purchased seats for them.(On one event a steward tried to give our son's seat away to another passenger due to overbooking. I was furious and showed that I paid for the ticket.)
The car seats fit just fine. If you need a little more room, you can leave the arm rests up or not place the seats right next to each other. It works just fine.
Have a safe trip.
K.R. answers from Seattle on August 31, 2009
We flew with our two kids (5 months and 2.5 yr at the time) to Hawaii and we did take our son's gigantic Britax carseat with us on the flight. The baby was in our lap, of course. We figured it was such a long flight that we wanted his carseat because he was used to napping in it (which he did). It was a pain to haul on the plane, but we didn't want to rent a carseat for 4 weeks. More recently, we flew to Long Beach and they lost our carseats. We did end up using rentals for the first 2 days before they located ours and brought them to our hotel for us. The rental seats were fine and seemed pretty clean.
You can probably gate check your stroller, but call Alaska and double check that you can gate check a stroller that large. I did have an issue where I called Hawaiian Air and told them I had a very large double jogger and asked about gate checking it. They told me it was fine to gate check, but when I got there, they didn't allow me to gate check it after all. I had JUST bought the stroller and did not have it in a protective bag, so I was concerned that it would be damaged. It ended up being fine.
We are not big on giving sugar treats or watching much TV normally, but on a plane, all rules go out the window. Red licorice works well for ear pressure (like using gum, but safer for little ones). You can give them a piece if they are complaining about their ears. Sippy cups of water are good as well. portable DVD players have been a life saver. I swear my son watched 10 episodes of Curious George when we flew to Hawaii. It's hard for them to stay still for so long.
Double check online what you can and can't bring for food for the little ones. Last time I flew, it was at dinner time and I brought bagels, yogurt and fruit with me to feed my kids. ATF hasseled me about the amount of "liquid" I was bringing on with me and took my one of the yogurts and the container of cream cheese (which is apparently a liquid)...I had to fly home with 2 hungry kids.
Bring a baggie of Clorox wipes to wipe down your trays, armrests, and anything else the kids are going to touch. You don't want anyone to come down with a cold or flu while on your trip.
Best of luck to you.
M.J. answers from Seattle on August 31, 2009
I've traveled twice to Chicago from Seattle with kids. Once when my son was 9 months and the other time when my son was 3 and my daughter was 19 months. We held her in our lap and our son sat in the seat. We found that the only allow carseats on the plan if they are FAA approved. We brought a booster seat on board, but they wouldn't let us use it. We checked our daughters convertable car seat in a protector bag with our luggage. I've heard the rental car seats are pretty yucky... you can take your chances or bring your own.
On the plane we brought our portable dvd player (which was a life saver), new little toys I bought at the dollar store, and dum dum lolly pops for the take off and landings (for ear pressure). When my son was a baby, I just fed him a bottle during take off and landings to help with the air pressure.
One thing I forgot to mention is that with a stroller - it's really nice when you fly because you can keep the kids in it all the way up to the door of the plane. They then tag it and you get it back the moment you are off the plane. Very handy. Plus, you can board first when you have kids.
Good luck! Sorry this is so long.
D.E. answers from Portland on August 31, 2009
wow that sounds like a lot of work :).
I traveled to Mexico with one two year old and I brought her car seat. I think looking back I would have rented a car seat (if that would have been an option) or bought a gogo babyz car seat travelmate http://www.gogobabyz.com/product-i14550-c26-g6-b0-p0-gogo... it is like a little wheelie thing that takes the place of a stroller and lets you roll kid through airport on their carseat. I was going to get one of those but I though I could do the same thing with a suitcase carrier dolly thing. I tried to do it with bungies and it DID NOT WORK! It is definately worth buying these if you are bringing your own car seats because I was SOOOOO jealous of people who had them. while I was trying to lug my seat around and keep my two year old from running around.
If you don't buy these and are just going to be walking around with 2 year olds and suitcases and carseats and baby I would highly recommend the little monkeybackpacks with leashes. YES I KNOW leashing your kids doesn't seem nice but the kids LOVE the backpacks and it is much safer for an area like an airport to have them leashed to you because 2 year olds can run off so fast and you have 2 of them and a baby to take care and one kid could disappear in the blink of an eye. I used one of these with my kids in airport and in crowded places in Mexico and thought I would encounter rude stares but what I got was lots of people asking where I had bought them so they could buy one. Good LUck!
D.A. answers from Portland on August 31, 2009
You might want to check the car seats and use a safety airline vest for the older ones. I used a wrap (which has to be off to go through security) and my little one did great in it.
We often will ask about an empty seat for the car seat and sometimes we get lucky and get a spare seat for the baby. In this case you will want the infant seat at the gate in case you get to use it.
Go to the dollar store and pick up some inexpensive age appropriate toys. Seal a few in a zipper type plastic bag and have about 5 or 6 of these on hand. Give each child a bag of toys and when they get tired of those, seal it up and swap them out for a different bag. If a toy or two gets lost, it isn't too hard on the wallet at a buck a piece.
Also, a dvd player for the 2 year olds is a must. Even if you don't normally let them watch tv, you will appreciate how calm and quiet they can be. And probably more so if they don't get tv much at home. It will be a novelty for them.
If you are visiting family or friends, see if they have a spare car seat or two or can borrow from friends. Also, have them pick up small packages of diapers and wipes in the correct sizes. This way, you can save space in your luggage. Also, have them pick up some toddler/baby snacks/food. If you aren't visiting someone, then find a store on the way to your destination and purchase these items. You will only need to pack enough for the plane ride and airport times/travel times.
Have a great vacation,