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A plane trip with two in carseats?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Anyone gone on a plane trip with two in carseats?

In June I am going to be flying with my 2 and 3 year old.

Do I have to put thier seats by the windows or will I be able to sit in the middle of them?

Does a 40 lb 3 year old have to have a car seat? I can't even imagine getting all of them (the seats and boys) on an airplane. Just one boy and car seat is bad enough.

I have never preborded before because I have felt like the time spent moving around in the airport was worth having to be a little crowded getting on the plane. But I would need help getting both seats buckled and two boys on the plane.

I don't suppose there is anyway dh can stick around and help me if he is not flying?

I am pretty sure that once we get going, I can entertain them for the 4 hours of our flight (although I haven't thought about who gets to nurse during take off and landing ) but waiting for the plane and boarding are a little intimidating.
post #2 of 14
I've never gone on a flight with two carseats - but I have with two kids....

first, you do not have to put any of the kids in a carseat on the plane (but we always take and baggage check the two carseats for the cars on either end of the trip) You do however, have to either have them seatbelted, or be holding a child during take off and landing (or turbulence). If you do take both of your carseats on the plane, you would have to have the two seats closest to the window. You might be able to get around that if you have a bulkhead seat, which would give you enough walking room that a carseat would not block you from easily exiting your row.

Hopefully, they would make an exception for you, but lately whenever we fly, they do NOT allow preboarding of people traveling with infants or children. (of course, if you are a gold club member, or priority club member, you are more than welcome to board anytime you want...):

nope, NO AIRLINE Would let Dh help you board your kids, then get off the plane (depending on your airport, he may or may not be able to wait with you until you board)

Good luck!!
post #3 of 14
I just flew this month with 2 in carseats - dd 10 months, and ds 2.5. I only had bought a ticket for ds, but I have always been able to get a seat for dd when we fly.

Anyway, both car seats will need to be next to a window seat - where you sit will be an issue. Everytime I (or Dh and I) and flown with the kids we are ALWAYS able to board in the first group - and the staff has always been helpful. I would plan on getting there in plenty of time and talking with the people at the gate - they should be more then willing to help you. The 3 year old may not be 'required' to sit in the carseat, so it is up to you, but if you need it for your destination travel I might as well have him sit in it - or at least have it checked at the gate.

Getting you, the boys, the luggage and the carseats to the plane will require you to have one of those luggage carts that they have at the airport - as you DH WILL NOT be able to take you to the gate. I would take a double stroller with the boys locked tight, check as much baggage as possible, throw on a backpack for carry-on and to hold your wallet and put the carseats on the luggage carts.

OH - every person that has a seat purchased for them needs to have proff of id, so don't forget their birth certificates.

Good Luck!
post #4 of 14
You do not HAVE to have carseats for either of them. Per airline standards, they are just fine sitting on their own.

I personally would not do it. We have tried taking carseats on plane trips and believe me, it wasn't fun for anyone. Once the seat was in there was NO ROOM, I am talking literal 2-3 inches from the seat in front. So forget about sitting between them.

Seriously, the carseat was such a difficult preposition and the kids didn't want to be in it anyway...we would never do it again. I have been on literal hundreds of flights and although I'm probably going to get at least slightly chastized for mentioning this...I have never once been on one where a car seat would be necessary. Sure, there is turbulence, but come on, seriously, thousands and thousands of flights...a couple of injuries per year due to turbulence. Most of them are dumb ones, too...like not buckling a seat belt when the captain warns about turbulence (I have seen some REALLY dumb examples of this). I will take my chances on odds like that if it means my kids are happier.

Oh, and a three year old may be able to handle his ears himself (I know my daughter can) or even chew gum (again, my daughter can do this, too), so I'd pick the younger one for nursing at takeoff and landing if the choice needs to be made.
post #5 of 14
I'm not gonna address the need/lack of for carseats. You have to decide that. At least once since 9/11 I have flown solo with my babe and DH helped me to the gate. How? I lied. Said I had a sprained ankle. The ground crew was great. Got me a wheelchair, wrote him a pass thru security, etc. In retrospect the lie may not have been neccesary. (I know they will right one gate pass for escort on an elderly passenger. Learned with my 96 y/o aunt.) And for you even less so. Call your airline customer service. Tell them your tale. They have the discretion to write a non-boarding, get thru security note. They will if you press. I encourage you to do this at both ends. It helps a lot if you call at least twice. Once early-ish to gather your info. Another the day of your flight to talk to whoever is important that day, be on their radar, etc.

Good luck and bon voyage!
post #6 of 14
Graceoc - I just flew with my 11 mo dd on Monday (who had her own ticket) and wasn't asked for her birth certificate. Everyone I came in contact with at the airport was extremely helpful when they saw me loaded up like a pack mule. I had a backpack on, my purse over one shoulder, and was pushed my dd in her stroller with the carseat strapped to the back of it (I flipped the carseat upside down and used bungee cords through the holes to attach it to the stroller - it worked like a charm!).

While the kids may fit in the seat, they may be more comfortable in the carseats and therefore more likely to nod off. If it were me I'd take one carseat and let the other dc sit in the seat.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Okay I think we will just take one carseat. Before they have done better, sitting/sleeping in the car seat, that is why I wouldn't mind two on the plane, but not if we can't all sit in the same row. The other times we have flown, I have just carried the boy and the carseat and a backpack. I don't have a stroller, especially not a double one, but hopefully I will be able to get a gate pass for dh. At this end (baltimore) the security gates are miles away from the airplanes, but at the other end (Kansas City) whoever helps me won't really need a pass because it is like 15 feet from where I get off the plane to where they can meet me anyway.

I think the preboarding thing is mostly dependant on the airlines and I have heard good things about southwest which is the only one that flys non-stop from baltimore to KC. I am not having a layover

Aghhh birth certificates!! I need to get those!! Of course they were both born in different states and we don't live in either now. I guess I am off to check websites. Would soc. sec. cards work?

post #8 of 14

I'm sure you know this, but be sure you get to the airport as early as possible--this past summer, my family of three (I was 7 mos. pg with dd#2 at the time and pretty hard to miss) flew home from the west coast, and as luck would have it, our boarding passes came up with a double X, which meant we had to go through the extra-deluxe super-de-duper security check, with all of our check-in baggage searched, full body searches for all of us, and the hand-carry bags searched. It was horrible--we almost missed the plane, I had to run down the aisle to the gate, only to be searched AGAIN, this time with the guards attempting to separate my 2.5 yo from my leg--needless to say, that didn't work, so they searched around her. We still have no idea why this happened, but I have heard of it happening more and more.

I'm actually considering getting passports for my two girls--we don't plan to leave the U.S. any time soon, but I'd like to have them in the event that we ever do travel again. When I was a kid, my mother got her passport with me listed on it, and with pictures of me in it--the assumption being that we would always travel together. But this was more than 30 years ago. Is it the same now?

Good luck on your trip.

post #9 of 14
Oh I forgot that part - we too were 'selected' as they put it for the super duper through search too! Poor DD had to wake up and come out of the sling, but ds thought the wands were pretty cool - and he is all for any excuse to take your shoes off LOL! But get there early JUST IN CASE!!!
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
The last time I flew with my 18 mo old he had to get out of the sling and stand by himself so they could put the wand around him seperate from me:

Maybe I should consider passports, though I did get the birth certificates ordered for one (for Kansas you can do it all online ) for the other (Maine) I have to fax a photo id and I haven't gotten to a fax machine yet.
post #11 of 14
Hey Mallory, all I have to say is GOOD LUCK!!! Last year when I flew back home to Alabama, with Tristen and Micah and pregnant, it was horrible. Flight got canceled, we had no money, no food, no sleep and I had to carry all of our luggage (4 bags) and hang on to both boys while running through the airport to find bathrooms to throw up in. Hopefully, you will have a much easier time than I did. By the way I no longer question the existence of hell---it's at the Atlanta airport!
post #12 of 14
Originally posted by gaiamom
By the way I no longer question the existence of hell---it's at the Atlanta airport! [/B]
I thought it was the St. Louis airport--from the time we had to do what I refer to as the "death march" from one terminal to another between flights...

Ain't air travel a blast?
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Just bumping this, now I'm off to call BWI.
post #14 of 14
A friend of mine flew by herself last November with her 15mo and 4yo and did awesome.

I suggest two things...check out the car seat message board at parentsplace.com.


They are VERY well versed in how to get car seats through airports and onto planes and all the rules that go with them.

Recently I learned that as long as the car seat is forward facing you may put it NOT next to the window (ie you can sit between them. The reason for the window rule is to make sure the "exit" is accessible in an emergency. Check this out with the car seat board to double check.

Second thing....check out this site...it's all about using car seats on airplanes....compiled by a tech from the car seat board.


Personally "I" would never travel w/o a seat but that is my decision, you need to make your own. The info at the above site is rather compelling though and influenced my decision on the issue.

Some of the things that I have seen mentioned on the car seat board are...

* Get a Samsonite Micro Mover Luggage Cart. They are sturdy and collapse & fold up small enough to fit into a diaper bag. You can strap both car seats to it...one upside down over the other with bungee cords.

* Use a backpack diaper bag (we have one from Land's End...nice and roomy will fit all the diaper stuff as well as your essentials for the trip).

* Your dh CAN come with you to the gate. You need to plan ahead, use regular check in and tell them that you need assistance to the gate. They will give your dh a security pass (make sure he is also not carrying anything "illegal" for the checkpoint), and he will be able to go through security to the gate w/o a ticket. They have mentioned this many times on the board.

I hope this all helps??

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