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Check or rent carseat when traveling? - Page 2

post #21 of 42
Just wanted to say that I recently flew with my TrueFit on a trip to Florida with my almost 2 year old, and really didn't find it to be a hassle at all. And I was 6 months pregnant and without my husband.

I did have help getting to and from the gate, but it installed very easily and I didn't find it difficult at all.
post #22 of 42
Great deal! Grab that!!

Please folks, never EVER check a car seat as luggage. Many parents think their seats are "fine" but the damage might not be obvious. They might be driving around with a seat that will NOT keep their baby secure in an accident. When you check a seat as luggage, you never know. Don't take the risk!

I fly alone with three children and take a car seat. It's really not a big deal if you're organized. Some parents even manage with more than one car seat so taking it to the gate is perfectly reasonable. Just don't check the seat as luggage!

Another issue about rental car seats, what happened to me, is that they simply didn't have one that fit my child. If you read the small print, they don't guarantee that they'll even have a seat. If they tell you wonderful things about their car seats, you might still get to the counter only to hear bad news.

The other issue is that they often charge more than a new seat would cost if you're renting more than 2 or 3 days. It's a total rip-off, aside from the issue of the condition of the seat itself.

If you're still determined to rent, talk to the exact office of the rental car company, NOT their national central reservations. Get the number of the rental location itself.

Even if the seat looks clean, it might be improperly cleaned, straps submurged, etc.
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
Please folks, never EVER check a car seat as luggage. Many parents think their seats are "fine" but the damage might not be obvious. They might be driving around with a seat that will NOT keep their baby secure in an accident. When you check a seat as luggage, you never know. Don't take the risk!
Can I be honest? That sounds a little over the top to me. Do you have any links that reference what you're talking about? Studies or accidents that show a seat failed b/c of being damaged in a airplane despite not showing it? I'm all for safety but sometimes I think we're a little overboard around here. I keep thinking about the movie Babies and the Mongolian family that all hopped on the motorcycle together. I'm not saying that's safe (obviously) but it's such a difference from our (sometimes) overzealous safety culture and to me not checking a car seat is an example of that.
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by tea_time View Post
Can I be honest? That sounds a little over the top to me. Do you have any links that reference what you're talking about? Studies or accidents that show a seat failed b/c of being damaged in a airplane despite not showing it? I'm all for safety but sometimes I think we're a little overboard around here. I keep thinking about the movie Babies and the Mongolian family that all hopped on the motorcycle together. I'm not saying that's safe (obviously) but it's such a difference from our (sometimes) overzealous safety culture and to me not checking a car seat is an example of that.
All you have to do is go on YouTube to see how bags are treated. I worked for the airlines so I saw it myself.

You might think it's "overzealous" but please don't forget that a car seat is an important piece of safety equipment. Unlike a bouncy seat or a stroller, if it's damaged, it would mean your child is not protected while in the car. The biggest threat to our children is CAR travel in our industrialized society and many of us have our kids in the car every day.

Bags are sent through belts, often dropped on tarmacs, etc. A car seat is designed to withstand ONE accident, after that, you're supposed to replace it. The impact of being dropped on the tarmac while the truck is driving would easily be the equivalent.

Some airlines actually state on their websites that they wont compensate for broken car seats (AA, last I checked).

Also, it's not uncommon for bags to get lost and not arrive at their destination. Perhaps it's never happened to you but I've had bad news several times when I arrived. Unlike your suitcase, which if is not there for a day or two, means you don't have your toothbrush or favorite shirt, not having the car seat might mean the parents may not have any safe way of leaving the airport by car. While babies on laps are statistically safe because air travel is so safe, the real threat is on the road, when they arrive.

If I'm being "overboard", why don't YOU show US statitics proving the EVERY car seat gets to its destination and that they are NEVER damaged. This is not "overzealous". If you're not familiar with air travel, bags get lost and damaged a lot. People also tend to minimalize whatever has never happened to them or someone they know.

Taking the car seat to the gate is really not a big deal. If I can manage it at large international airports alone with three kids. Car seats can be expensive and it just doesn't make sense to do something senseless with an important piece of safety equipment when taking it to the gate is not that big of a deal (if you're organized! that's key!!)

Checking a car seat is something easy to avoid and an unnecessary risk.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
Bags are sent through belts, often dropped on tarmacs, etc. A car seat is designed to withstand ONE accident, after that, you're supposed to replace it. The impact of being dropped on the tarmac while the truck is driving would easily be the equivalent.
Honestly, I think most car seats are "dropped" by the time you buy them anyways. Ever seen what some are packaged in? A lot of the seats I have ordered online have come to me only in a cardboard box, no padding in the box. I'm sure that box was dropped somewhere. And I would think it probably would have been had I bought it in the store as well. Sceneras only come in a bag.

That being said, I wouldn't check my car seat as luggage without packing it in a box with padding. But I have and would again gate checked seats in a car seat bag with our coats as extra padding. Never had an issue. I've only ever had one bag damaged (regular check) and one stroller (wasn't in a bag) in all of my flights, and we fly 3+ times a year depending, usually connecting flights.
post #26 of 42
Thread Starter 
Okay, so I just ordered a Scenera - at $38 it's less than it would be to rent. Really can't go wrong there - it could literally be disposable. I am going to pick up a cart or perhaps the T strap for the airport though, what cart do people usually use? I saw a few made specifically for car seats, but they are close to $100, and I'll just carry it for that price. I looked on the Walmart website and didn't see anything that would work. Is it just a luggage cart like this? http://www.walmart.com/ip/Lewis-N.-C...-Cart/14282310

Thanks for the help all!
post #27 of 42
Honestly, a scenera is so light you can carry it in one hand. I'd wait until you get the seat and see if you really think it needs to be wheeled.
post #28 of 42
Are you taking a stroller? The time I traveled with a stroller, I just bunjeed the car seat into the seat of the stroller, through the FF belt path. I carried DS in an Ergo on my back. One bonus was that I could toss my carry-on into the car seat, leaving me virtually hands-free... I just had to push a lightweight stroller! I gate checked the stroller and took the car seat on the plane.

The Scenera is very light, it won't be hard to carry if you don't have a stroller or cart.
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stTimeMama4/4/10 View Post
Okay, so I just ordered a Scenera - at $38 it's less than it would be to rent. Really can't go wrong there - it could literally be disposable. I am going to pick up a cart or perhaps the T strap for the airport though, what cart do people usually use? I saw a few made specifically for car seats, but they are close to $100, and I'll just carry it for that price. I looked on the Walmart website and didn't see anything that would work. Is it just a luggage cart like this? http://www.walmart.com/ip/Lewis-N.-C...-Cart/14282310

Thanks for the help all!

i ended up ordering 2 & they came today. (walmart-39.99 each) we didn't open them yet but the boxes are soooo light!!! wow.

i did confirm with alamo that renting would have been $10/day each seat-so for our trip-$40 each plus tax. now we have light weight seats for airport/air travel & extra seats for random situations with the cousins etc.
post #30 of 42
Just wanted to re-iterate the gate check instead of baggage check. There are several youtube videos and I am digging for the one where they show the baggage handler just throwing the car seats, some of them hitting pretty hard. What if it was a heavier seat and it broke the recline mechanism on a Britax? Or the headrest on a TrueFit? What if it hit the harness adjuster plate and it didn't keep the harness tight enough in a collision? I don't baggage check my guitars--which are replaceable--so I certainly wouldn't risk damage to something that can affect my children's lives, which are NOT replaceable


Have a wonderful flight!!! And yes, Sceneras are SUPER light weight!!
post #31 of 42
Wow, I had no idea Sceneras were that cheap! I'm going to get one tomorrow for my husband's car.
It sounds like a much better option for a plane also. Hope you have a great trip!
post #32 of 42
For a little over $50 at some Targets you can also get the new Scenera40RF, which rear-faces to 40lbs
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stTimeMama4/4/10 View Post
Okay, so I just ordered a Scenera - at $38 it's less than it would be to rent. Really can't go wrong there - it could literally be disposable.
I have a Scenera to travel with as well. I mostly travel alone with my son and the Scenera and have carried it in one hand plenty of times. If you have an umbrella stroller, perhaps take that with you and just plop the carseat into the stroller.
post #34 of 42
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the help!  We just returned from our trip and traveling with the Scenera was a breeze - I felt so much safer knowing that I wasn't taking a gamble on the seats provided by the rental company. 

post #35 of 42

I see you've already completed your travel and bought a seat, but I just wanted to give a heads up on baby gear rental places.  I own one myself and all of my seats are practically brand new.  I carry Graco and Evenflo models.  If you ever have questions about what you are renting please call a baby gear company and they will be able to give you accurate information.  I know here where I live the car rental companies won't even guarantee that they will have a seat for you when you arrive.

post #36 of 42

You did the right thing buying a seat--I would never trust a rental seat.  You never know what the previous person did to it, or who's kid puked on the straps and how they were cleaned.  Much better plan just to bring along your own seat and use it on the plane.

post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmhpke96 View Post

I see you've already completed your travel and bought a seat, but I just wanted to give a heads up on baby gear rental places.  I own one myself and all of my seats are practically brand new.  I carry Graco and Evenflo models.  If you ever have questions about what you are renting please call a baby gear company and they will be able to give you accurate information.  I know here where I live the car rental companies won't even guarantee that they will have a seat for you when you arrive.



I'm just curious how you deal with the liability of renting out seats that you don't know the complete history of, because they are out of your hands while they are rented. 

post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmhpke96 View Post

I see you've already completed your travel and bought a seat, but I just wanted to give a heads up on baby gear rental places.  I own one myself and all of my seats are practically brand new.  I carry Graco and Evenflo models.  If you ever have questions about what you are renting please call a baby gear company and they will be able to give you accurate information.  I know here where I live the car rental companies won't even guarantee that they will have a seat for you when you arrive.



How do you clean your seats? (for example if they got puked on)

 

The carseat rental place here uses bleach to clean the straps, b/c apparantly all baby/kid stuff has to be cleaned that way, which ruins them of course. 

post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmhpke96 View Post

I see you've already completed your travel and bought a seat, but I just wanted to give a heads up on baby gear rental places.  I own one myself and all of my seats are practically brand new.  I carry Graco and Evenflo models.  If you ever have questions about what you are renting please call a baby gear company and they will be able to give you accurate information.  I know here where I live the car rental companies won't even guarantee that they will have a seat for you when you arrive.


I posted several questions for you in the other thread where you mentioned welcoming questions from people about your car seat rentals. Thanks :)

post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stTimeMama4/4/10 View Post

Thanks for all the help!  We just returned from our trip and traveling with the Scenera was a breeze - I felt so much safer knowing that I wasn't taking a gamble on the seats provided by the rental company. 



Glad it worked out well for you!

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