Carseats on Airplanes

Updated on September 21, 2008
D.H. asks from Little Elm, TX
24 answers

Hi! I will be flying soon with my two little ones and need to take their car seats with me. What is the best way to handle the car seats on the airplane? I've heard to put them in large trash bags to protect them. I've also heard to "gate check" them. Since this will be the first time flying with my little ones, I don't want to be worrying about the car seats. Thanks!

4 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the wonderful advice. I purchased the car seat bags at Babies R Us and checked the car seats. I purchased a travel harness that has been approved for flying and used those (they were very light and easy to include in my carry on bag) for the children. Everything went well and we had a great trip. Thanks again for all of the help.

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.J.

answers from Dallas on

I carried the carseats on and buckled the boys right up! My boys are 18 months apart and I felt it was safer to have them seatbelted in just the same as in a car. The airline folks were more than helpful when they saw me with two boys and two car seats. (I'd take a stroller and use it to transport the seats and let the boys walk.) We travelled to Canada, Japan, and across the USA this way. It was much easier than you might think. And it taught my boys how to sit still on an airplane. Did I mention, they would nap in their car seats?

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from Dallas on

We are also about to fly with our two lil' ones....and we want them in their car seats, so we just ordered two of the tote a tots from toteatot.com to see if we can make it a little more feasible for us.

Good luck...I will be looking at your responses for my own kids.

K.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.P.

answers from San Diego on

Babies R Us has travel bags you can buy for around $30 each or less. We bought ours there and it's universal so my daughters infant carrier fit and so does her big car seat. Ours is Eddie Bauer brand NOT specific to Eddie Bauer car seats which makes it great too. The material is a thick canvas and it has a shoulder strap on it. Some carseat bags also have wheels on them for easier two. Trash bags are a good way to cover them up, but you just run the risk of them tearing on the conveyors and while in transit. We used bags that the airline provided us one time and the car seat came out kind of filthy. So I am glad we invested in the canvas bag. You can gate check the car seats but then you'll be stuck lugging around the car seats with you for a while - and that will be a lot to handle especially if you are traveling alone with your daughter and son. Check them in at the ticket counter if you can.

Good luck and have a great flight!

-Char

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.L.

answers from Dallas on

Hi D.,

My parents live in Puerto Rico and we go visit them every year. When my daughter was younger, we would always check her car seat -- that way you don't have to carry it around at the airport. You just pick it up with your luggage. You really don't need it on the plane anyway. Have a good trip.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.H.

answers from Dallas on

We always travel with car seats on the plane. The kids are used to being in car seats in the car...an airplane is just another form of travel! They are stapped in and often sleep! We also gate check our stroller so that we can use it up to the last minute. It is always ready and waiting for us as we exit the plan! We bought a bag to carry the car seats at target...I believe it is "Eddie Bower" and was less than 20 bucks. All our other stuff is checked.

Enjoy your trip!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.I.

answers from Dallas on

I recently went to Washington D.C. with my 3 little one (ages 6, 4 & 1/2, & 3) 2 of which had to have car seats for the 1 week trip!!! I pulled up to the curb-side check in (@ LOVE FIELD), checked in the car-seats( & luggage) they put them in CLEAR plastic bags right there for you, left the liitle one w/ grandma(who also went with us), parked the car in long term parking, joined up w/ them, got on the plane & had NO problems w/ ANY of it!!!! The car seats were intact & even if naything had come off--they are in clear bags so you could see it----and the bags wern't even torn up when we landed!!!

GOOD LUCK!!!!!! I hope your trip & check-in & ALL GOES WELL!!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Dallas on

If you are flying with another adult I would gate check them. I always have the fear of lost luggage. But, if you are flying on your own with two kids its hard to handle all the extras yourself. I have checked carseats too. I bought a carseat bag. I think it was inexpensive. I bought it at babies r us. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.G.

answers from Dallas on

HI
I have traveled several times with my little guy (now, 20 months old) and have taken our carseat just about everytime. It's up to you, if you are going to put your kiddos in the carseat on the plane?? If not, I recommend checking them as luggage and then you don't have to worry about them. If you are taking a stroller as well, gate check that and life will be easier in the airport. You don't have to count carseats as part of your 2 bag limit as they are "safety" and necessary. Also, you can buy carseat bags at babies r us, they are around $20 and really help keep the seats safe. Otherwise, the airline will give you a plastic bag to put them in.
Good Luck, hope this helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.W.

answers from Dallas on

I just took my little one and her car seat back from a trip. I checked in the car seat as a luggage and they put the car seat in a large plastic bag with the label on it for me. If you want more protection, I saw people to put their car seat in their own big luggage bag, then check in as a luggage.

Good luck and enjoy your trip.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.R.

answers from Dallas on

Good morning D.,

I would/have checked the carseats like luggage before, wrapped in a garbage bag. Even if you "gate check" most likely the car seat will end up below with all the other luggage.

Let the steward/stewardess know this is the first time your little ones are flying they have a cute little certificate and flying wings to give you for their scrap book.

Good luck and have a wonderful trip!

C. Roeschen
The Trinity Group
Keller Williams
###-###-#### Direct
[email protected]____.com
www.TheTrinityGroup.org
www.ValueMyNeighborhoodOnLine.com

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.C.

answers from Dallas on

We just got back from a month long trip to Europe with our 6 month old, so he used his carseat on the plane. But the rest of the travel system (the stroller part), we took right up to the gate and "gate checked" it there. Some airlines offer bags at the front checkin for strollers or carseats and you can call or check online about that. Otherwise, I suggest a garbage bag (except you'll have to have a handle out or something, so they can attach the luggage sticker to it), but that's just so it doesn't get dirty with everyone's stuff. Since you're gate checking it, it's one of the last things put on the plane so the liklihood of it getting damaged under luggage is minimal.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.C.

answers from Dallas on

I have a 4 year old boy and we fly at least 10 times a year. He seems to travel better if I use his seat on the plane. I tried just strapping him into the airplane seat and he had to much room to "get into mischief". If he's strapped in his seat he knows that he is to sit still and be quiet. It may seem like you have your hands full but remember you get to board first and the stewardesses will most likely help you. Have a fun trip!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.D.

answers from Dallas on

Trashbags will work, make sure they are heavy. Gate check them so you know they won't get lost. *** just a tip Bring lots of gum (and a little benadryl if the littlest one doesn't travel well)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi D. - we travel a lot with our boys who are now 8 and 10. My husband is an airline pilot, so we go quite a bit. We flew more frequently when they were little and not in school. I used to strap the car seat into the stroller and then put them into the car seat and push it at the same time. It looked pretty funny, a double stroller with car seats in them, but it worked!
D.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from Dallas on

I am all about easy with 5 kids. Check the car seat at check in and check the stroller at the gate. Have a blast!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.K.

answers from Dallas on

I fly often with my 2yo and use the wheel cart that attaches to the carseat and always use the carseat on the airplane. You can find the product at http://www.gogobabyz.com/products/gogo_kids.html. I have people ask about it everytime we fly. It makes life much easier- turns your carseat into a stroller (I actually keep the wheels on in my car since we fly so much, although the website says it's not approved to keep on in the car- doesn't make much sense to me). Just always remember to ask for the "seatbelt extender" as soon as you get on board (can't unbuckle the seat without it).

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Dallas on

http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId...

I have also seen a combination carseat carrier that hooks up to some wheels and the kids can ride on them as well. I have also seen a backpack holder for your carseat when taking them through the airports. I have had several friends actually strap their kids into their carseats during the plane ride. -JM

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.H.

answers from Dallas on

goodness -- just realized this thread is waaay moot by now for the OP.
sorry!

well - in case someone searches this topic later, I guess to sum up my answer is to say 1) a small roll of tearable packing tape is handy dandy to have while traveling, 2)you can try to bring the carseat(s) onto the plane & gate check them if there's no avail. seat(s), and 3) call the airline ahead of time; we were pleasantly surprised at how helpful they can be about traveling with young ones!

HTH!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.

answers from Dallas on

Will your son stay in an airplane seat? I might check his carseat and bring your daughters on the plane for her to be buckled into. It's easier to keep a 2 year old stationary with a carseat. She'll know she can't get out where the buckle on an airline seat is oh so much fun to play with. Just remember that airline regulations dictate that a carseat must be in a window seat so 2 kids in carseats on the plane won't work if you are by yourself.

I always had an umbrella stroller and hung the carseat off the handles and had a child in the seat for counter balance. I checked the stroller at the gate. It made it very easy to get around. Just don't take the kid out before taking stuff off the handles!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.M.

answers from Dallas on

We flew last summer w/ my then 3 yr old and 1 yr old. They both had to have their own seats so we just took them on the plane and installed them in the airline seat. They have to be on the window seat. I talked to the gate attendant and they let him take both seats on during pre-boarding while I stayed out at the gate to let the kids run around. We had a porter help up from the car. He even did the self-checkin for us. I had both kids in the stroller and my husband pushed the cart w/ our checkins and the carseats. All in all, it wasn't that bad to lug them around.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.G.

answers from Dallas on

I have traveled with my son on an airplane a few times. If you do not want to strap them into the car seat on the plane which may be cumbersome with two of them; you can put them into trash bags and check them. That way you are not lugging them on and off the plane. This workes well for us when we travel and they are waiting in oversize luggage pick up when you get off the plane.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.C.

answers from Dallas on

My mother, who is handy with a sewing machine, made a terrific cordouroy bag with a zipper for my son's carseat.

I usually travel alone with my son so I have made it as simple as possible. At the airport, I transfer Nathan from the carseat and buckle him into a stroller, take the carseat out of the car and stuff it into the bag, zip up the bag (the bag has an address tag on it), and then check it with our baggage at the airport curbside instead of struggling to take all of that inside.

I gate-check the stroller just prior to boarding the plane... even if Nathan insists on walking and is not in the stroller, the stroller is useful in that it can hold our carry-on bags (filled with entertaining kid stuff that will keep Nathan busy for HOURS plus lots of healthly snacks for the plane) until we reach the gate.

Hope that helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.C.

answers from Dallas on

Hi D.,

I have been flying with my 4-year-old frequently over the past year and I always check his carseat with the luggage. Getting on and off the plane with a child and all of the other stuff that I feel is necessary to take (which I usually never even use - even on 14 hour flights) is more than enough hassle.

Anyway, I believe some airlines offer bags for checking luggage but I've never used them. I will tell you that on one of our flights to Amsterdam, our carseat was lost. This was the first time I ever flew with my son and we have flown many times since then and it has never happened again.

I hope that helps! :)

A.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.G.

answers from Dallas on

Be sure to review the specific policy of the airline you're flying. Southwest will count the car seat and one stroller together as one of the three free items you can check.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches