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Air travel Q's (gate check carseat on American)? - Page 2

post #21 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaktreemama View Post

 

 

How about tossing the gate checked car seat down the ramp so it goes splat on the ground? Is that cool?? There is another clip where they treat her strollers with the same respect as well. That took me two seconds of Googling. I would NEVER trust a baggage carrier with a car seat.

 

 

http://wn.com/southwest_baggage_handlers



/This is what is called an antecdote.

post #22 of 50
I flew AA a week ago and checked my seat. You can take the cover off to see if the styrofoam is still all in tact. Personally, there is no way my seat would have fit on the AA connector flight we took (tiny plane). I didnt book the flight, my parents did, Id never choose to fly on those tiny planes. When AA takes your carseat at the gate, a lot of times they go ahead and put it with the regular baggage under the plane and you dont get it back until your final destination. At any rate, I think the carseat is fine. I examined it thoroughly and the bag was not damaged in any way.

As for your carseat, do you know which size plane you will be flying on? Is it nonstop or will you be connected?
post #23 of 50

 

Quote:

This is what is called an antecdote 

 

Huh. We call those videos where I am from.

post #24 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by oaktreemama View Post

 

 

Huh. We call those videos where I am from.

 

I was referring to the content of the video :)  Have a great day!


 

 

post #25 of 50

 

folks, we are not helping anyone by bickering. A "I'm right, how dare you think you are or tell me otherwise" approach is not going to get any one anywhere ever. i mean really have you ever seen that work on MDC?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
 Hope you're straightened out on that! 

we are not here to be "straightened out", at least i'm not. I' here to learn and share
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post
Ah, yes, Swede is back to make antagonistic, ignorant statements that could endanger children.
 


maybe there was a way to say this without also doing the very thing you were complaining about. antagonistic rebuttals are about as useful as antagonistic statements.

 

 

 

now the original poster has probably long been scared off, maybe off MDC all together, i hope not. Sorry for your thread going so sideways, as you an see we all care about our children's safety a LOT.

 

post #26 of 50

My DP worked for several years as a baggage handler at SeaTac in high school.   She agrees that if you check your carseat, you should assume it has been dropped from a height, jumped on, buried under a few hundred pounds of suitcases, and probably a bunch of other stuff.  I read her this post in particular:

Quote:
you can not possible know this.    OP - it is fine to check your seats.  I have personally examined seats that were fine after being gate checked.  I have NEVER seen a baggage handler jump on seats. 

 

 

She laughed and said "of course she's never seen a baggage handler jump on seats.  They only do that INSIDE the plane.  Why would you jump on luggage while it's on the cart?"   I know that just watching out the windows before takeoff I've seen many pieces of luggage fall of the top of those little carts (maybe 6-8ft up) and just get flung back up again.  Sometimes a few times if the handler's flinging skills aren't so hot.  I'm 100% sure they'd do that with a carseat if it were on top. And carseats are treated exactly the same as any other luggage, NOT like medical devices like wheelchairs. 

 

Needless to say, we don't check seats.  We do fly with lap babies sometimes, I feel that the risks there are acceptable, but only when we have seats on the other side.  I have gate checked a seat before (and DP feels this is much safer since the seat is not handled nearly so much) but I prefer to avoid that when possible. 

post #27 of 50

So, can someone just explain this to me? 

 

The way I see it, the force involved via being dropped, bounced on, tossed around by baggage handlers, etc is surely MUCH less significant than the force experienced in a car crash? Yes?

 

There is also the obvious difference of a child not actually being IN the seat while all these baggage handlers are trying to make my seat unsafe. Therefore, while the seat is being tossed around, it is not receiving stress to the restraints or the attachment points. 

 

Obviously a seat should be replaced after it has been involved in an accident, but I just do not see the scientific reason behind the recommendation that a seat be replaced after being dropped. Based on that reasoning, if I drop my seat in the driveway, it is junk and I should replace it. Really? I'm trusting my kid's life to something that poorly made? 

 

I'm seriously just asking. If my line of thinking is just ill-informed, I'd love for someone to present me the facts. I'm a huge carseat safety nut, but this just doesn't make sense to me. We don't have a lifestyle that involves flying right now, but if we fly in the future, I'd really like to make the best decision possible. 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by MamieCole - 8/27/11 at 12:05pm
post #28 of 50

if I drop my seat in the driveway, it is junk and I should replace it. Really? I'm trusting my kid's life to something that poorly made?

 

Even if you have a monster-sized SUV and you drop it from there, we're only talking a few feet. 

 

When you fly, your luggage is sent through a conveyer belt and usually then on to a truck. Sometimes it's put into a luggage container, a sort of large, tin bin which is then loaded on to the aircraft. Otherwise, it's taken off the truck and put on a belt, taking it up to the cargo hold of the aircraft. There are YouTube videos of luggage, including car seats, being thrown from the truck and piled up to be sent into the aircraft. Things can also drop off the truck and that would mean it would have the same impact as an accident could. We're basically talking a lot of handling with heavy objects and lots of chances to drop off of something (the belt, the truck, while being loaded, etc.) 

 

Those aircraft are a lot higher than they look and it's concrete under them. 

 

Then there's the whole question about where it's placed. Will a bunch of other bags be loaded on top of your car seat? Then sit there for how many hours? 

 

Also, don't forget about if your car seat doesn't even make it on board. What will you do to transport your child in the car, without a car seat? It might take days to get your seat back. I once had only one of my four bags when I arrived but our car seat was with us so my dd was safe for the 2 hour drive home. Our bags came three days later. 

 

It's not that car seats are "poorly made", it's that they're only designed to withstand ONE accident. They're also not designed with the idea that they'll be tossed and crushed with normal use. 

 

I'm also unclear about why the baby being in it would make a difference. It's less the "attachment points" than the whole seat being at risk. The "L" shape would also make it more vulnerable than a squarish shaped object. I can tell you from experience, that I've had some pretty beaten up bags on arrival! 

 

The car seat is designed to keep your child attached during an accident. It's not meant to be crushed or thrown by itself.  

 

There is a reason why the airlines wont compensate for broken car seats! 

post #29 of 50

I have a question here that doesn't seem to be answered in any of the discussion above - I definitely understand the risks of checking or gate checking a car seat. But if you have a lap baby and no way to have a carseat waiting on the other end of your trip, what are you supposed to do???

 

The first (and only) time we traveled with our DS on a plane, when he was 9 months old, we rented a carseat from the car rental place. We had such a horrible experience renting the seat that I vowed never to do it again. We specifically requested an infant seat, and when we got there, they didn't have any. They said all they had were booster seats, although eventually someone dug up a convertible seat, but we had no instructions for how to install it.

 

We have several plane trips coming up for this fall - two to visit grandparents and one for a wedding. I'm not going to ask the grandparents, who we travel to visit *maybe* once a year, to buy carseats for one-time use. (Besides which, my parents don't even have an appropriate car for a baby - all they have are pickup trucks.) For all these trips, we were planning to rent a car and buy a carseat to bring with us.

 

I've read a lot of people saying to never check a seat, but what no one says is what you *should* do instead to ensure that you have a carseat at your destination. Especially if you have a lap baby and there are no extra seats for your carseat on the plane. Any advice?

 

 

post #30 of 50

I am curious too about how people have solved that. the only things I can think of are a. see if the grandparents can borrow a seat from somebody they know for a few days, and bring it to you at the airport to stick in your rental car, b. camp out with the baby at the airport while hubby takes the rental car to Babies R Us and buys a car seat, or c. order off the Internet/give the grandparents money to buy a seat and get them to bring it to you.

post #31 of 50
I would think that the person that wouldn't check a carseat also wouldn't fly with a lap baby. They would buy the baby a ticket and use the carseat on the plane.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by chel View Post

I would think that the person that wouldn't check a carseat also wouldn't fly with a lap baby. They would buy the baby a ticket and use the carseat on the plane.


If you are travelling with a lap baby and don't want to check a carseat, you could try and borrow one from a trusted person at your destination.  Personally, I would check it, and just inspect for visible damage.

post #33 of 50

Those of us who won't check a carseat either buy a seat for all family members (including babies) or take other forms of transportation (car, bus, train).  If I can't afford to buy my child a seat, I can't afford to fly.

post #34 of 50

well i still feel perfectly fine flying with my twins as lap babies and gate checking my carseats i on the other hand would not feel good about using rental car child seats.

post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jocelyndale View Post

Those of us who won't check a carseat either buy a seat for all family members (including babies) or take other forms of transportation (car, bus, train).  If I can't afford to buy my child a seat, I can't afford to fly.



Traveling via car, especially long distances, with your baby in your pristine, never-been-gate-checked carseat is putting your baby at MUCH greater risk of injury and death than flying with that baby on your lap. 

 

This whole "If you can't afford a seat for your baby you can't afford to fly" bit has been beaten to death around here. rolleyes.gif And each time someone brings it up, it's just as patronizing and judge-y as the first time. 

 

Seriously...life happens and we all can't always do THE IDEAL THING.

 

The economy sucks. People with degrees are out of work for years.  More people in this country are on food stamps than ever before. Air travel is expensive and people sometimes live far away from friends and family. Relatives across the country die. Parents get sick. Sisters get injured and need help. Sometimes you have to travel with a baby (especially last minute) and CAN'T afford to buy a ticket.  

 

 

 

post #36 of 50

That argument doesn't make sense because once the baby turns 2, you have to buy them a seat. So there goes the "affordability" question. Lap babies aren't an option after that point. So if anyone in the family gets sick or a parent has to travel in a hurry, they're going to have to buy their child a seat on the plane. End of story. 

 

Don't judge people who wont make the same decision you would. If they wont fly with their baby in their lap, it's their right. I don't always buy organic food for my children but I congratulate those who do and still think it's better. I've also flown with my baby in my lap but only a limited number of times and only because either my car seat wasn't allowed on a foreign airline or once, as a FTM, I didn't make the reservation. My baby ended up without a car seat on a long drive, which was stupid of me and while my son is fine today, I don't want others to take the risk if they can avoid it.

 

It's valid to let parents, some who might be new to this game, know that flying with a lap baby is not safe. It's like the breast vs. formula debate. It's not being "judge-y" to say that something safe is better. Parent can assess the risks for themselves. Commercial air travel is very safe so the risks of something going wrong are very minimal, much less than formula or going anywhere by car or a million other things.  But it's only fair that people know that yes, having your child on your lap a safety compromise. 

 

If you are flying with a lap baby and need your car seat at your destination NEVER CHECK IT AS LUGGAGE. By all means BRING IT TO THE GATE. There are two advantages to this. First, if the flight isn't full, perhaps you can get a free seat next to you and bring your car seat on board. Best of both worlds! Your child is much safer and you didn't pay a penny!!

 

Gate-checking a car seat is no guarantee and definitely a compromise but there are fewer risks. By taking the seat to the gate, you're not letting the airline handle the car seat for as long, so less risk of it being sent to another city. At the gate, the gate-checked stuff is loaded directly on to the aircraft. They're usually the last items put on board so less chance of their being crushed by 10,000 suitcases. Wheelchairs are gate-checked.

 

Things can still go wrong. Some airports use chutes, which basically throw the gate-checked things down on to the tarmac. Also, someone could forget or run out of time and gate-checked items have been left behind on the jetway but that's rare. 

 

What you're trying to reduce is the chance of having to leave the airport in a car without the car seat. The risk of something going wrong on the flight are far, far less than having your child unrestrained in a car. 

post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post

That argument doesn't make sense because once the baby turns 2, you have to buy them a seat. So there goes the "affordability" question. Lap babies aren't an option after that point. So if anyone in the family gets sick or a parent has to travel in a hurry, they're going to have to buy their child a seat on the plane. End of story. 

 

Don't judge people who wont make the same decision you would. If they wont fly with their baby in their lap, it's their right. I don't always buy organic food for my children but I congratulate those who do and still think it's better. I've also flown with my baby in my lap but only a limited number of times and only because either my car seat wasn't allowed on a foreign airline or once, as a FTM, I didn't make the reservation. My baby ended up without a car seat on a long drive, which was stupid of me and while my son is fine today, I don't want others to take the risk if they can avoid it.

 

It's valid to let parents, some who might be new to this game, know that flying with a lap baby is not safe. It's like the breast vs. formula debate. It's not being "judge-y" to say that something safe is better. Parent can assess the risks for themselves. Commercial air travel is very safe so the risks of something going wrong are very minimal, much less than formula or going anywhere by car or a million other things.  But it's only fair that people know that yes, having your child on your lap a safety compromise. 

 

If you are flying with a lap baby and need your car seat at your destination NEVER CHECK IT AS LUGGAGE. By all means BRING IT TO THE GATE. There are two advantages to this. First, if the flight isn't full, perhaps you can get a free seat next to you and bring your car seat on board. Best of both worlds! Your child is much safer and you didn't pay a penny!!

 

Gate-checking a car seat is no guarantee and definitely a compromise but there are fewer risks. By taking the seat to the gate, you're not letting the airline handle the car seat for as long, so less risk of it being sent to another city. At the gate, the gate-checked stuff is loaded directly on to the aircraft. They're usually the last items put on board so less chance of their being crushed by 10,000 suitcases. Wheelchairs are gate-checked.

 

Things can still go wrong. Some airports use chutes, which basically throw the gate-checked things down on to the tarmac. Also, someone could forget or run out of time and gate-checked items have been left behind on the jetway but that's rare. 

 

What you're trying to reduce is the chance of having to leave the airport in a car without the car seat. The risk of something going wrong on the flight are far, far less than having your child unrestrained in a car. 

 

Thanks for dismissing ALL possible scenarios where a parent or family needs to fly (with a child under 2) and the cost between 1 ticket vs. 2 or 3 tickets vs. 4 makes a difference as to whether or not they have enough money for the trip. 

 

And of course it is "their right" to do whatever they want with their child. It is NOT "their right" to tell every other parent in the world that they "can't afford to fly if they can't purchase a ticket for their baby."  

 

And please don't lecture me about how I am doing a disservice to the safety of children by minimizing the dangers of lap babies. What I clearly said was that traveling by car, which was suggested as a better choice than flying with a lap baby upthread, is in fact the much more dangerous option.

 


 

 

post #38 of 50

As a projectile, a lapbaby is also a danger to other passengers.  I've had the lovely experience of enjoying multiple flights with severe turbulence.  I've seen items go flying--including babies.

 

True, air travel with a lapbaby is safer than car travel, but a lapbaby is significantly less safe than restrained passengers.  My son has travelled happily in his carseat on planes.  It meant we travelled less often as we needed to save up for safe seats for all family members, but that's part of life.

 

Back to the original question--I would not check a carseat unless it was in the original packaging or something very similar.  Corrugated cardboard is designed to take some of the stresses of travel and mishandling. 

 


Edited by jocelyndale - 9/13/11 at 3:10pm
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post

That argument doesn't make sense because once the baby turns 2, you have to buy them a seat. So there goes the "affordability" question. Lap babies aren't an option after that point. So if anyone in the family gets sick or a parent has to travel in a hurry, they're going to have to buy their child a seat on the plane. End of story. 

 

Don't judge people who wont make the same decision you would. If they wont fly with their baby in their lap, it's their right. I don't always buy organic food for my children but I congratulate those who do and still think it's better. I've also flown with my baby in my lap but only a limited number of times and only because either my car seat wasn't allowed on a foreign airline or once, as a FTM, I didn't make the reservation. My baby ended up without a car seat on a long drive, which was stupid of me and while my son is fine today, I don't want others to take the risk if they can avoid it.

 

It's valid to let parents, some who might be new to this game, know that flying with a lap baby is not safe. It's like the breast vs. formula debate. It's not being "judge-y" to say that something safe is better. Parent can assess the risks for themselves. Commercial air travel is very safe so the risks of something going wrong are very minimal, much less than formula or going anywhere by car or a million other things.  But it's only fair that people know that yes, having your child on your lap a safety compromise. 

 

If you are flying with a lap baby and need your car seat at your destination NEVER CHECK IT AS LUGGAGE. By all means BRING IT TO THE GATE. There are two advantages to this. First, if the flight isn't full, perhaps you can get a free seat next to you and bring your car seat on board. Best of both worlds! Your child is much safer and you didn't pay a penny!!

 

Gate-checking a car seat is no guarantee and definitely a compromise but there are fewer risks. By taking the seat to the gate, you're not letting the airline handle the car seat for as long, so less risk of it being sent to another city. At the gate, the gate-checked stuff is loaded directly on to the aircraft. They're usually the last items put on board so less chance of their being crushed by 10,000 suitcases. Wheelchairs are gate-checked.

 

Things can still go wrong. Some airports use chutes, which basically throw the gate-checked things down on to the tarmac. Also, someone could forget or run out of time and gate-checked items have been left behind on the jetway but that's rare. 

 

What you're trying to reduce is the chance of having to leave the airport in a car without the car seat. The risk of something going wrong on the flight are far, far less than having your child unrestrained in a car. 




Your baby is safer as a lap baby in an airplane than she would be in a carseat on a long car trip. 

post #40 of 50

 

I don't think you really read my post.

 

And of course it is "their right" to do whatever they want with their child. It is NOT "their right" to tell every other parent in the world that they "can't afford to fly if they can't purchase a ticket for their baby."  

 

They said that when they can't afford a seat for each member of their family, they can't afford to fly. That's completely their right to decide this. If they think we're (yes, I'm included, at least on a few flights) are wrong by flying with a lap baby, that's their right. Technically, they're right. Look at my organic food argument. I buy some for my kids but not all. If someone thinks I'm a bad parent for not buying nothing but organic food, then they have that right. They can make a case in their favor but it's not practical or affordable for us and it's just a compromise I'm willing to make. It's still "their right" to express an opinion and it's my "right" to take their advice or leave it! 

 

Just as a word of warning, this whole parenthood game involved a lot of "advice giving" and sometimes judging you. It's a good idea to develop somewhat of a thick skin because it wont stop; the schools you choose (or option to home school), the clothes they wear, computer, cell phone use, religious matters, etc. Some people want to sincerely offer you tips and information. Others seem to relish the opportunity to criticize (like the neighbor who was horrified that I sent my kids to public school while she never uses even seat belts with her own privately educated children). It can be hard to draw the line and sometimes it's a neighbor you see every day or your boss's wife...

 

And please don't lecture me about how I am doing a disservice to the safety of children by minimizing the dangers of lap babies. What I clearly said was that traveling by car, which was suggested as a better choice than flying with a lap baby upthread, is in fact the much more dangerous option.

 

"Lecture" is kind of extreme word to use here. Again, I don't think you read my post carefully enough before typing a response. This is a public forum where people come to get information. The point is for parents to know what are the safest options and then to make an informed decision based on what they've learned here and elsewhere. For some, doing the safest thing is not a big deal. For others, it might not work but at least they know. Not all parents make the same choices but just saying that X is safer than Y is not "lecturing" or "judging" anyone. 

 

Yes, driving is not as safe as flying. Millions of lap babies arrive at their destinations safely each year while riding in a car is the most dangerous thing a child will ever do in his or her childhood. But last I checked, there's no way I can drive from Europe to California, so it's not a choice for me anyway! 


Edited by Eclipsepearl - 9/14/11 at 2:41am
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