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Thread: Flying with three carseats

  1. #1
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    Default Flying with three carseats

    I really thought that this was talked about in some capacity before but I couldn't find it with a search.

    DH and I will be flying with the kids this summer. Everyone will have their own seat and will be in their own carseat. That means that we'll have three kids, three carseats, and luggage for five. This sounds like a nightmare but less of a nightmare than loosing 2 - 4 days to drive this distance.

    Do any of the various carseat carriers work?

    Britax Car Seat Travel Cart

    Traveling Toddler Car Seat Travel Accessory (we could probably jury rig this ourselves)

    Britax Car Seat Travel Bag

    We also have a double stroller and might be able to use that to push two of the carseats. I plan to wear the baby and the other two are pretty good at holding hands.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    JRSolutions[/URL]. My Ovulation Chart

  2. #2
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    You might be better off getting a CARES Child Safety Device for the older two, if the kids are at the correct weight (22 lbs. to 44 lbs.). It would be far easier to transport that, with the kids and all the luggage.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    You might be better off getting a CARES Child Safety Device for the older two, if the kids are at the correct weight (22 lbs. to 44 lbs.). It would be far easier to transport that, with the kids and all the luggage.
    This is what I was about to say. Those things are AMAZING.

  4. #4

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    We have a bag like the last link but it is a different brand. It works pretty well - it is really big so we can fit lots of other stuff in the bag. But then it has to be worn as a back pack or carried, so it can get pretty heavy. We used it to check the car seat with our luggage so it helped to have diapers/liquids/etc packed in it that we didn't have to make room for in our regular bags.


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

  5. #5

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    http://www.gogobabyz.com/product-i14...avelmate_.aspx

    I have used one of these and it was awesome!

    Sara (35), wife to Nick (34), mom to Ainsley (2/22/09) and Raegan (1/15/12)
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  6. #6
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    That would make the flying part easier but then what do I do once we land? We are renting a car and will have to drive an hour before we get to where we are staying. We'll also being taking a five hour car ride for a wedding and a three hour car ride to visit other family. So, I will need three car seats upon landing. I am really not keen on checking the carseats as I have heard that they can be damaged. Have you all had success with that?
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    JRSolutions[/URL]. My Ovulation Chart

  7. #7

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    I have heard that some car rental companies will also rent carseats. But I am not sure how that works or if it is trustworthy.

    Sara (35), wife to Nick (34), mom to Ainsley (2/22/09) and Raegan (1/15/12)
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  8. #8

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    You can check car seats in and they won't count as "luggage". That's what we have done.

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    Ugh. I think that my oldest will be too tall for the CARES system. My DS1 was just an inch short last month and we won't be flying until this summer.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    JRSolutions[/URL]. My Ovulation Chart

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    Quote Originally Posted by sara1215 View Post
    I have heard that some car rental companies will also rent carseats. But I am not sure how that works or if it is trustworthy.
    I have heard that you should not do this. They don't check expiration dates, they might not have them even if you reserved them and they can be pretty dirty.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    JRSolutions[/URL]. My Ovulation Chart

  11. #11

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    we also have checked carseats and never had a problem. i would not ever try to bring 3 car seats on the plane with me. one is enough of a hassle. i do like having a car seat for a toddler/mobile baby for a long flight though. The car seats can only be installed next to a window, so if you were planning to install them all it would mean someone sitting by themselves.

  12. #12
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    Checking two of the three carseats might be the best bet it sounds like. The flight home, though, will be at night and I'm not sure they won't flop over when they (hopefully) fall asleep.

    It seems that those rental carts aren't allowed past security now. Is that true? If we could just rent a cart and use it all the way to boarding that would make it possible if not difficult. I am used to tacking the three kids myself and the two big ones would keep a hand on a suitcase as I pulled it. But another suitcase and three carseats for my DH does sound impossible.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    JRSolutions[/URL]. My Ovulation Chart

  13. #13
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    Checking two of the three carseats might be the best bet it sounds like. The flight home, though, will be at night and I'm not sure they won't flop over when they (hopefully) fall asleep.

    It seems that those rental carts aren't allowed past security now. Is that true? If we could just rent a cart and use it all the way to boarding that would make it possible if not difficult. I am used to tacking the three kids myself and the two big ones would keep a hand on a suitcase as I pulled it. But another suitcase and three carseats for my DH does sound impossible.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    JRSolutions[/URL]. My Ovulation Chart

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    Yeah, no carts allowed through security. You'd have to carry everything. And they've become extremely picky about carry ons as well.

  15. #15

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    flopping over sounds preferrable to dragging around 3 carseats let the kids bring a pillow and blanket with them. I always have each of my kids carry their own carry on with snacks, entertainment, blankies, etc.

  16. #16
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    We traveled with four carseats and luggage last summer with the kids. Man, it was a total pain in the butt! We rented a cart to get us from the car to the ticket counter (before security) Then we checked all four car seats. We hate taking the seats on the plane with us. HATE IT!!!! It is such a hassle just installing them not to mention everytime we had a FF child, they would kick the seat in front of them. What we did was divide up so I had the two older kids and the baby on one side of the plane and DH had the 3 year old. And lots of ipad and dvd time for the kids. While sleeping was tough, it still happened. Then when we landed we just collected our seats with our luggage. We have never had any damage with them ever. And we have flown with the kids about 5 times. And yes, all the kids had their own carry ons filled with stuff and food. They loved having a bag of awesome for them. I made sure that their favorite stuffed animal was in there and a coat to double as a pillow and blanket. Good luck!!!!! Just chant that it is way easier and faster than driving!!!

    Jeanne, mom to Dev0n (6) Isabe11e (5) and C0rbin (3.5) Vio1et (almost 2)


  17. #17

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    You can bring the carseats to the gate and gate check them; then you pick them up as you walk off the plane. Less chance of loss or damage but you still would have to haul them all the way to the plane. Personally, I would check them and take my chances. No way will you be able to use carseats on the plane for your older kids, there will not be nearly enough space. It's a pain no matter what... good luck!

  18. #18

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    We always check our car seats.

  19. #19
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    Thank you all for the perspective check. I was going to get the two big kids a rolling suitcase or backpack for them each to pack. They do have travel neck pillows as well but never want to use them correctly. I'll plan on looking at carseat bags that clearly label them as carseats and hope that the luggage handlers are parents themselves. We'll plan on the seat for the baby who will be almost one at that point and check the other two with our luggage. It feels lighter already to think about doing that.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    JRSolutions[/URL]. My Ovulation Chart

  20. #20

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    I just wanted to say that every time we have checked our car seats, they bag them for us, in large clear bags.

  21. #21

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    This is the bag we have and it is padded so it protects the seat a little more.

    http://www.amazon.com/Childress-Ulti...eat+travel+bag


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

  22. #22

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    I've checked car seats several times, and have friends who have done the same, and I have never had a problem personally nor heard of an issue with my friends. I would NOT want to have to lug them onto the plan while juggling the kids.

    I just get heavy duty contractor trash bags to cover the car seats (remember to pack some for the flight home) and have been very happy with it.
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13



  23. #23

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    Carts are allowed through security and honestly I would go that route and ask someone at the gate to help you carry the seats to the airplane as I have had a carseat broken on a flight where we gate checked it. What about one of those bubble seat type things for M1?


  24. #24

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    We have rented car seats before but it usually ends up being pricey and they are not the best quality of seats (like the cheapest costco seats while we usually have boulevards)

  25. #25

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    We always fly with car seats in the seats. Just last year we flew with 3 to Australia. I didn't want to check them and the car seats are what makes the flight bearable, as painful as it is logistically to get them on there.

    We flew with 2 britax frontiers and one Bucket seat. In July we are flying to US and again the 2 frontiers and a radian.

    We use the stroller to cart them and then someone usually offers to help carry one on the plane.

    My kids are more comfortable this way and we have our seats on the other end.

    It's hard, but doable.

  26. #26

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    Kuddos to you for doing this. There is zero chance I would even attempt it! You really should consider looking into the CARES system. I haven't looked back since we switched! To the OP... I would probably put your oldest by him or herself, they should be fine. The middle one.. depends on how active he/she is, I would do the CARES system for an active child. And the baby, I would honestly just keep the baby in my lap depending on the length of the flight (although, I have done a 12 hour flight with a lap baby). Obviously, you have to make the call what makes most sense for your family but I would discourage travelling with car seats at all cost, traveling with kids is stressful enough. I have three kids and we travel cross country at least once every 3-4 months and have travelled internationally to Europe. Baby started using CARES at 18 months and sat close to 10 hours in it and he is a super active baby. Baby started flying cross-country when he was 2 months old and I honestly wish I tried CARES with him sooner... Good luck with whatever you decide!
    Quote Originally Posted by ozzy View Post
    We always fly with car seats in the seats. Just last year we flew with 3 to Australia. I didn't want to check them and the car seats are what makes the flight bearable, as painful as it is logistically to get them on there.

    We flew with 2 britax frontiers and one Bucket seat. In July we are flying to US and again the 2 frontiers and a radian.

    We use the stroller to cart them and then someone usually offers to help carry one on the plane.

    My kids are more comfortable this way and we have our seats on the other end.

    It's hard, but doable.

  27. #27

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    My kids are similar ages. We have always gate checked car seats and have never used them on the plane. We fly with the baby as a lap child. My oldest is 5 and we use a high backed booster when traveling since it is lighter and he is appropriately sized. In your situation if you want to bring the car seats on the plane I would bungee cord them to the double stroller to at least get you to the gate. If this is family you will be flying to visit regularly I would consider purchasing cheap car seats and leaving them there if your family picks you up at the airport. That is what we did so we only travel with car seats if we are not visiting family. I also highly recommend the suitcases your kids can ride on - my oldest three love them. They have a strap you can pull them on and they can use their feet to make them go. I'll try and look up the names of what they are when I am at home. It makes getting through the airport so much easier. My kids refuse to ride in the stroller though unless they are exhausted. If your kids will ride in the stroller you'll be fine. Be careful with your rental car - has to be relatively large to fit all the car seats and luggage.

  28. #28

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    My oldest uses a skootcase which is great. The twins use the Melissa and Doug trunkis. I prefer the skootcase - I never have to pull it and since it steers jake can maneuver it himself. With a three year old I would probably get that. My twins are short but now like to use the skootcase.

  29. #29
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    Wow! My kids would love a scootcase. Is it sturdy? I'm pretty sure my kids would play with them all the time at home, too.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
    JRSolutions[/URL]. My Ovulation Chart

  30. #30

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    We have always checked them and it's been fine. We have used a rental car one once and it was the cheapest brand and not clean enough for my liking!



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