Originally Posted by tea_time
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.