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Summer is in full swing and many families are flying all around the world. Many of those families will be traveling with young children and their car seats. Here are 5 tips you should know about air travel with a car seat.

  • You should never check your car seat.
  • If your child has a paid seat, you can bring your car seat on the plane with you.
  • If you must check your car seat, please gate check it.
  • When you check your car seat, please make sure to have a waterproof cover on it.
  • Label all removable parts on your car seat.

These five tips for traveling with your car seat will help you keep your child safe, germ free (well…as much as that is possible cause…kids) and help you have less stress.

  1. Never check your carseat – Why? Because airline employees do not take special care with car seats.  How do I know? I’ve worked for a major airline for the past 11 years and I have seen my share of carseats being tossed and thrown. If at all possible, please do not check your carseat. Your carseat is put on various conveyor belts (which are never cleaned), it is tossed in luggage bins with hundreds of other checked bags, and left on the ground outside. This is the same ground that airplanes and fuels trucks drive on, and the same ground employees spit on. Marinate on that one for a second. Click here for some product recommendations

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2. If your child has a paid seat, you can bring your carseat on the plane. This is something that many people don’t seem to know. If you have paid for a seat for your child, you are allowed to put their car seat in their plane seat. It is safer for them to be in their car seat while flying, and if you are using it, there would be no reason to check it.

3. If you must check your carseat, please gate check it. You are allowed to take your carseat through security with you. If your child can’t sit in the car seat while on the plane, you have the right to gate check it. By gate checking it, you will reduce the number of hands that will touch it, which will also reduce the risk of it getting lost. Also, if you gate check it, you should be able to get it back plane side and not have to wait for it in baggage claim. What would happen if you got to your destination and your car seat had been lost? Reduce as much stress as possible and gate check your carseat.

4. When you check your carseat, please make sure to have a waterproof cover on it. When bags are checked, there is no guarantee they will be protected from the elements. Most of the time, if it’s raining outside, your checked bags will get rained on, and your car seat will be loaded in the belly of the plane, completely wet. Reduce the amount of damage that will be done to your car seat and make sure to protect it with a waterproof cover.

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5. Label all removable parts on your car seat. If you are checking your car seat, please make sure to label all parts of the carseat and do you best to keep all removable parts attached to the seat. Better yet, take any removable parts and keep those with you. Some car seats have several removable parts and those parts often get lost or damaged because they aren’t attached firmly to the carseat.

 

Are there any tips you would add to this list? 

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Some people travel. Roni IS travel. For over 20 years she has been traveling the world and now shares her unique insight with her worldwide audience on her blog, www.RoniTheTravelGuru.com. Whether you have never gotten on a plane or are a seasoned traveler, the expertise and insider knowledge she shares on her blog will help you make your travels an adventure. No where else can you find the uniquely helpful ins and out given to you by someone who has lived overseas for 4 years, speaks fluent English, French and Spanish, and works for a major airline. And guess what? She’s also a licensed elementary teacher and has an MBA.

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