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Thread: Flying with Kids

  1. #31
    Registered User Janine's Avatar
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    We're back. I spent much of today mentally composing my forum recap for this thread because, as you'll see (ba-BAAAAAAA...cue the ominous music), your advice proved to be very wise.

    Rather than invest in single-use carts for just transporting the carseats, I opted to buy two inexpensive folding luggage carts (these). I love how fast the carts set up and fold down. We were not charged to bring them on the plane. Because they don't have latch anchors or other carseat-specific anchor points, Mr. Janine had to cipher a bit before figuring out how to strap the seats to the carts. Once he did, though, it was fast and east to set up and break down. Mental note for next time: practice this BEFORE trying to board the plane. It's also worth noting that nobody is able to roll a carseat down the aisle of an airplane. The aisles are just too narrow. You'll have to disengage from the cart, fold the cart, and carry your seat over your head down the aisle. This was unexpected and irritating; we were also wrangling kids and carrying other bags. The airline staff were only helpful when it became clear that we were holding up the works (but I'll save that for another rant outlining in great detail how much I hate Frontier Airlines).

    The carts weren't easy to use, either. They are a bit awkward and the center of gravity is in a weird spot. The center of gravity is in an even weirder spot when a child rides in the carseat as you are moving the cart around. Our guys actually preferred riding in the carseat on the cart over walking on their own, which surprised me. It made the kids far easier to wrangle and definitely kept them calm, which reinforced in my mind that bringing our seats was a good choice.

    We saw several families with young kids in the airport, and nobody else lugged their carseats. One mother told me she rented a carseat from their auto rental company and that they had 8 seats to choose from, all of which were in good shape. Another mother checked her son's carseat and that appeared to go all right. I didn't see anyone gate-checking carseats on this trip.

    Having our own carseats also made the kids more relaxed on the plane. In fact, one of my kids fell asleep during some pretty wicked turbulence. The other kid fell asleep right after the wicked turbulence. I cannot tell you how happy I am that they were strapped in with a 5-point harness for that experience. I know it wouldn't have saved them in the event of a tragedy, but during the rough air it absolutely, without a doubt kept them contained and helped our whole family feel more secure while we were being ping-ponged around in the air.

    Having our own carseats also kept me from melting down in a puddle of panic when Mr. Janine called to tell me that he and kids had been in a wreck. Nobody was hurt, but the boys were clearly excited about the event because they talked about it for hours afterwards. Knowing and trusting the carseats made all the difference in the world to me during the half-hour drive from my location to the scene of the accident.

    So thanks, @Toblerhaus and @terayon and @haraya, for your advice about car seats. I am very happy with the choices I made and I'm grateful to have had your experience and opinions for guidance!
    Last edited by Janine; 07-13-2014 at 07:25 PM.
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    Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  2. #32
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    Oh my goodness!! You had quite the trip!! Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your experience. What a vivid picture you paint - I can just imagine the aggravation as you were making your way down the aisle; the white knuckles as you rode out the turbulence; and the mingled alarm and relief as you took that call. Whew!!

    We are planning our own trip later this summer, and I was all set to go thru our usual routine, when I found out that one of the airlines we will be flying does not allow carseats on board for anyone over two. (!!!) So I've had to make other arrangements, which I'm sure would be quite hilarious to anyone not as carseat-focused () as I am. But it's all about the peace of mind, as you say - I just want to know that, in case of issues or emergency situations, I've done my best to keep my family safe. So I'm glad that you all are back, in good health and good spirits!

  3. #33
    Registered User Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Janine what a nightmarish story. I am glad, that I red it "backwards" from your First-Aid-Kid threat, so that it was clear everyone was alright. That is my (and every perants) nightmare to hear on the phone, that something is not as it should be. I am so glad to read, that you had your own car-seats. Can you imagine, that there are still parents (at least here), that do not buy proper seats or in the worst cases even strip the normal seatbelt around there kids? Your trip should have been a handful to take on even without this additional "adventure". You have twins, right? Before my first daughter I always wanted to have twins. After her birth I thought: please let them all come one at a time. What I am saying is: I bow to every twin-parent for the every-day organisation, let alone traveling and this on top. I am deeply impressed and very very glad, that everything turned out to be fine.

    Ilkyway

  4. #34
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    What a terrifying call to get! I'm so glad everyone is okay.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    Janine what a nightmarish story. I am glad, that I red it "backwards" from your First-Aid-Kid threat, so that it was clear everyone was alright.
    Ilkyway
    Also glad you're all right, and that I read the First Aid kit thread before this post, so I knew everyone was fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by haraya View Post
    Oh my goodness!! You had quite the trip!! Thank you so much for coming back and sharing your experience. What a vivid picture you paint - I can just imagine the aggravation as you were making your way down the aisle; the white knuckles as you rode out the turbulence; and the mingled alarm and relief as you took that call. Whew!!

    We are planning our own trip later this summer, and I was all set to go thru our usual routine, when I found out that one of the airlines we will be flying does not allow carseats on board for anyone over two. (!!!)
    @haraya Can you share the name of the airline that does not allow carseats on board for anyone over two? It might help others who are making travel plans.
    Ilkyway likes this.

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