Checking Car Seats as Baggage - Bag Needed?

Updated on November 10, 2006
A.R. asks from Lake Villa, IL
4 answers

Hi Mamas,

Thanks for all of the responses I received re: air travel with toddlers a few weeks ago. They were so helpful. You were so helpful in fact, that I would like to throw a few more questions out to you experienced Moms.

When checking car seats as baggage at the airport, do I need to have it in some type of bag? I can't find anything on the airline website about requirements. Obviously, I don't want them beat up, and my son's is the kind where the back separates from the bottom pretty easily. I really don't want to spend the extra money on a nice bag designed for car seats. Can I just use a garbage bag to prevent it from stains and keep the parts together? Does anyone know of any requirements-- or of a cheap way to do this? I've looked on the airline's website and can't find any information on this. Lastly, can I check carseats using curbside check-in? (We're flying Southwest out of O'Hare (oops-- I meant Midway)).

Thanks again!

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answers from Chicago on

Hi A.-
I was one of the people who responded before. What ever you want to use would work just fine. Wiether it is a heavy dudity garbage bag or box or cheap duffle bag. The only requirement I have had in the past from Southwest (we tend to fly them a lot-they are a great airline to travel with kids-kid friendly and usually on time) is that your name is on there somewhere and that there is no loose strings. You can check them anywhere you would like inside or outside. I always just look for shortest line. Hope you have a wonderful trip. Love to hear how it goes. D.



answers from Chicago on

I travel alot for business and see car seats checked not covered with anything, as well as, in black garbage bags. However, I recently traveled with my 5 month old and wheeled the stroller, infant seat and base up the the plane/gate and checked all three there. When we got off of the plane it was right there on the bridge. I understand that your kids are older and you might not want to carry the car seat all around the airport, but it is an option. Additionally, security will let you through with the luggage carts that you can rent at the airport (that could transport the stroller and carseats) and then you can return the cart near your gate. That being said, this was all on American out of O'Hare. I'd still double check.


answers from San Diego on

Actually they will put the carseat in a plastic bag and label it for you ... just make sure that you get to the airport extra early to check it...or they might put it on a seperate flight and who knows how long it will be before it gets to the airport... I flew southwest and checked in late and i got to jax at 10am but my carseat didn't arrive until 6pm... so make sure you check it at least an hour and a half to two hours prior to take off...good luck..



answers from Chicago on

When I checked my sons carseat at ohare (we flew united or American Airlines)they just gave me a clear plastic bag at the airport to put the carseat in. I'm not positive about curbside check, but I don't have any reason to doubt that you can check it there.

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