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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've never traveled by plane as a family since DS was born, but we might be flying this fall and I'm at a loss on what to do regarding his car seat. Do I install it in the plane and expect him to sit still, strapped to the seat for a flight? Do I check it with baggage and install it in a rental car? This seems like the best idea to me but DH would like to avoid a car seat if possible. But I don't think we can safely.

What if we don't bring it and don't rent a car, but fly then use shuttles, buses or taxis to get around town? What do you do on a shuttle? How the heck can you take a taxi?

I'm a huge car seat safety nut...3 YO DS is still rear facing in his Britax Boulevard and will be for a while. Please give me your honest advice!

TIA!
 

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I would bring a seat on the plane in all cases, except where you won't have a car. Depending on shuttles, they often don't have seatbelt to even use a carseat. Hopeful you can check ahead of time about the shuttle.
 

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If you are planning to use a taxi or vehicle of any kind, you MUST bring a car seat.

It is however unsafe and not recommended to 'check'your seat. Bring it on board, install it (for the boulevard, ask the attendant for a belt extenders, otherwise it'll be nearly impossible to take out again), and have your son use it as per the 'fasten seatbelt light'. If the light is not on, it is acceptable to get up for bathroom breaks and stuff.

If you would prefer not to deal with the hassle of a car seat, use a CARES harness on the plane, and a Ride Safer Travel Vest at your destination.
 

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It really depends on where you're going. The taxis in some cities don't even have seat belts. In my state and the states we've ridden in taxis in, we've just skipped car seats because there's usually no way of installing them. The same thing goes for buses, subways and shuttles.

I'm a huge proponent of car seats and my child has never ridden in a *car* without one, but we usually skip the car seat for travel in big cities where we use public transport the entire time.

Look up the city and maybe post on finding your tribe to see whether cabs even have seat belts.

If you're renting a car, definitely bring a car seat with you. The ones at rental places are often not the greatest. We have checked our seats in the past, but it is safer to install it on the plane.
 

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It would be illegal for a licensed taxi in the United States to not have seatbelts. I'm not saying you couldn't find a belt, but I'll bet the belts were simply tucked out of the way.

Children must ride in a car seat, in a taxi. The taxi will have seatbelts. Furthermore, I would be surprised if any cab from a standard sized cab company in the US wasn't new enough to also have lower anchors and top tethers for restraints.

Buses/subways etc are a different matter. They do not have seatbelts, and for several reasons, are very safe to travel in as such, even without car-appropriate restraints.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MunchiesMom View Post

We've never traveled by plane as a family since DS was born, but we might be flying this fall and I'm at a loss on what to do regarding his car seat. Do I install it in the plane and expect him to sit still, strapped to the seat for a flight? Do I check it with baggage and install it in a rental car? This seems like the best idea to me but DH would like to avoid a car seat if possible. But I don't think we can safely.

What if we don't bring it and don't rent a car, but fly then use shuttles, buses or taxis to get around town? What do you do on a shuttle? How the heck can you take a taxi?

I'm a huge car seat safety nut...3 YO DS is still rear facing in his Britax Boulevard and will be for a while. Please give me your honest advice!

TIA!
We travel by plane frequently and our DS did best when he was strapped into his seat. He felt secured and was calm, it was like he thought he was in the car. Once, around age 3, I didnt' take the seat on the plane and it was a bit of a nightmare as DS felt he was "free to move about the cabin" and I spent the entire 4 hour flight pulling him off the floor and trying to prevent him from escaping our row.

In general, you should be able to board first, which will give you time to install the seat. You can ask the gate agent if you aren't sure. Lately, I have noticed gate agents are not issuing the "anyone with small children or otherwise requiring extra time may board now."

If you don't take it on the plane, you will have to check it as luggage whether is regular or gate-checked. As far as I know, you do not pay baggage fees on carseats. You are likely to get an avalache of opinions on whether on not it is safe to check a carseat.

Not one airport/ground transportation shuttle we have used over the years had shoulder belts. I remember seeing lap belts on some. I can't remember how your seat installs but just be aware that at best, you will only have a lap belt on a mini-bus type of shuttle.

I agree on researching taxis where you are visiting. I remember riding in taxis that either didn't have seat belts or the belts were stored under the seat and not accessible.
 

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Perhaps, but it's been the case in our experiences. There are also laws that exempt kids from riding in car seats in taxis in many states. I'm just stating our experiences. Do you live in a city? Have you traveled in cabs recently? I just read that owner operator cabs do not have to have seat belts. . . They're encouraged, but it's not the law everywhere.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by freestylemama View Post

Perhaps, but it's been the case in our experiences. There are also laws that exempt kids from riding in car seats in taxis in many states. I'm just stating our experiences. Do you live in a city? Have you traveled in cabs recently? I just read that owner operator cabs do not have to have seat belts. . . They're encouraged, but it's not the law everywhere.
Even if it's legal, that doesn't change the laws of physics and make it safe.
 

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Some states do not require children to ride in car seats in taxis, it is true, but that does not somehow make it 'safe' to do so. It is still extremely dangerous for a child to ride unrestrained, just as it would be in a typical car.

There are a number of owner-operator single cabs in the community I live in, and while the cars tend to be older and not as 'nice' as you would expect to see in a city typically-sized cab company, every single one of them has appropriate seatbelts. It is far more likely that the belts were 'stowed' than absent, as passenger cars are only made with seatbelts. They simply do not come 'without'.

Bottom line: if you're in a cab, everyone, including children, needs to be correctly restrained, regardless of law, regardless of the kind of cab company.
 

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Well, I will have disagree with you, because it simply isn't true. Taxis have seatbelts. It would be a truly bizarre anomaly to come across just one without, let alone many of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freestylemama View Post

I have not once argued that this was safe or ideal. I have stated that this is the reality of what we have observed in our many taxi rides in many big cities in the United States.
 

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I have ridden in cabs in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas and NYC, and I've never seen one without seatbelts. In fact I've never ridden in one without my seatbelt on. Shuttle busses vary, though I'd say 95% of the ones I've ridden in do have lap/shoulder belts. Most of mine were from ORD or LAX. The ones that don't are usually full-sized busses rather than passenger vans, so I am more comfortable riding in them without seatbelts. Busses and subway systems are far safer than cars, so they don't need seatbelts.

We avoid cabs with the kids, because of the carseat issue. DD (age 3) used a FF Complete Air on her last flight a few months ago. It was very comfortable for her. I let her get out when the seatbelt signs weren't lit to stretch her legs and stuff.
 

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We have often not had them (or had them not function properly) in Chicago. We've also ridden without them in NYC.

ETA: We've also traveled to foreign countries where they don't exist.

Like I said, I'm not advocating the practice, just sharing what we've experienced.
 

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Chi and NYC taxis here too. Yes often hidden belts and never been brave enough to dig for them
The shuttle I think of are the big ones for the rental car center that never have belts. Though I did ride in a school bus that was a shuttle and did have belts, but I didn't bring a seat.

I agree a seat is always best, but sometimes I do mass transit on all but one part of a trip and then 1 taxi ride. Just a lot of hassle to carry a seat with you as you tour a city for a just in case you might need a taxi or had missed a bus that won't come back anytime soon.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by chel View Post

Chi and NYC taxis here too. Yes often hidden belts and never been brave enough to dig for them
Seriously! I consider "hidden in the crack of a NYC/Philly/DC cab for 5+ years" to be the equal to not having a seatbelt available. Can you imagine all the fluids that flowed down there over the years? Shudder.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you! I'm not comfortable with him riding in a shuttle or bus without a car seat, so I will rent a car for the week. We may be going to Orlando and apparently shuttles from our hotel to Disney are $20 a person anyway, so renting a car might be more cost effective.

Regarding how to bring the car seat, why is it unsafe and not recommended to check your seat?

It is allowed onbaord right? Has anyone ever gotten flack for having theirs onboard?

Wull the attendant automatically have a belt extender?

If i decide to check it, what is a CARES harness?

Thanks so much!
 

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It is not safe to check your seat, because baggage is abused and mishandled. I have watched baggage handlers throw car seats more than 10 feet straight down onto the tarmac. You could get your seat back obviously broken, or even worse, your seat could come back with damage you can't really see. You continue to use the seat, and then, one day, you're in an accident, and the seat doesn't protect your child, because of the damage you didn't notice.

Putting your seat through a plane check and then continuing to use it is sort of like using a seat from a yard sale. Sure, it *could* be fine, but you have no way of knowing for sure.

You also need to consider that the average three year old does not fit well in the airplane seatbelt. He's just too small for a secure, safe belt fit that doesn't rise up over the hip bones onto the abdomen. My 4'3" child only just fits the airline lap belt acceptably.

If you do go with CARES, don't check your seat. Get a Ride Safer Travel Vest you can tuck into your carry-on.

The attendants should have strap extenders.

The FAA requires all airlines to allow parents to use and install child restraints according to manufacturer direction for the age and size of the child on the plane. For convenience sake and so you don't ruffle feathers, I would be fine turning your three year old forward facing for the duration of the flight.
 

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You should definitely bring the seat on the plane. I had my 1 year old as a lap baby and he was literally all over the place. All I wanted was to restrain him in a carseat. He also would have slept better in his seat than he did on my lap. Get a luggage cart at Walmart or Target and you can wheel it around the airport. They'll automatically have all the things on the plane. The extenders are for carseats and also people who need extra room in their seat.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maedze View Post

Well, I will have disagree with you, because it simply isn't true. Taxis have seatbelts. It would be a truly bizarre anomaly to come across just one without, let alone many of them.
How can you disagree about what is true for another person? Are you calling her a liar? If she says she was in taxis without seatbelts, how can you disagree?!??!? Were you there?
 

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Some kids hate the carseat - 2 of mine did. I would NEVER bring a carseat on the plane. That would be tortuous. Air travel is EXTREMELY safe. A car seat is not necessary on an airplane. Check your car set if you must bring one to your destination. It is not going to be any more roughly handled by baggae than it was in transit from the factory to the store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post

We travel by plane frequently and our DS did best when he was strapped into his seat. He felt secured and was calm, it was like he thought he was in the car. Once, around age 3, I didnt' take the seat on the plane and it was a bit of a nightmare as DS felt he was "free to move about the cabin" and I spent the entire 4 hour flight pulling him off the floor and trying to prevent h
 
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