Traveling with children can be challenging, especially with the addition of car seats. If you want to go on holiday and take the kids, though, you may want to consider whether or not you gate-check the car seat. What is that, though? How does it help/ what are the benefits and drawbacks? Well, you’re about to find out.
Should You Take Your Car Seat?
If you have a car seat that is certified for airplanes, please take this. Why is that? Well, if our child is in the seat that they’re normally in for car rides, it can be a lot more comfortable and safer for them. Children will be less inclined to take off their seatbelts, and they’ll stay in their seats when there is taxi, landing, and takeoff. However, you should consult the airlines before you do consider bringing this to make sure you know the requirements and any other tidbits that come with this.
So What Is Gate Checking?
Gate checking is when you check stuff at the gate, instead of checking it in at the counter or taking it on the airplane. You essentially are giving it to the attendant, and can hold onto it and can use this on the plane.
There are a few considerations that you will want to consider before you take this, and they are as follows:
Does the stroller or car seat fit within the luggage allowance
Is it a baby item you’ll use
Will you be using it in the terminal
Are you okay with putting your items at risk, potentially during transport and flight?
When you think about these, you’ll want to know a bit about this, and understand why there are dangers, and what they are.
However, you don’t need to worry about it costing you anything. All airlines accept these child safety seats for the most part. However, you should always put it inside a larger bag to prevent it from getting damaged or soiled or catching on the equipment and tearing it. Some people may throw towels or diapers in there, especially if you’re traveling a long distance. It is a consideration you should think about.
The Size Of The Car Seat
If you have those big, bulky car seats, I don’t recommend you take that on an airplane. They usually get damaged a whole lot more during transit, and if it’s expensive, it can be n annoyance to you. You should also try to look for a travel car seat, especially if you know you’re going to use it. If you’re thinking about potentially doing this, get something easy to bring with you, and try to make sure that you have it on hand and communicate with the flight attendant about it.
Alternatives To A Car Seat
There are alternatives to car seats, and that’s something that some parents like. Since air travel is the safest way to travel around, you often don’t’ need to bring a huge, bulky car seat, especially if it can compromise the weight of the flight. An alternative to that is a CARES restraint system, which is an inexpensive, compact, and lightweight system. It is super easy. Also, the coolest thing about it is that you can throw it into your backpack, and you can just lug it with you to the airplane itself. It definitely is a wonderful alternative to the other traditional car seats, but if your child is insistent about this, you definitely will want to consider the car seat option.
The difference Between Gate Checking And “Bag Drop”
There is a difference here. If you check it at the check-in counter, you can get your suitcases checked in as well, and get your tickets. The car seat is basically then treated like luggage, going down the convey belt, and from there, loaded onto the plane. However, this does open the grounds for mishandling of luggage on the plane. However, you can gate check these, but you are going to need to carry it to the gangplank, aerobridge, and then to the door, and from there, you’ll then want to put it there, and you essentially leave it there so that they put this on the plane for you.
Now, there are benefits for this, and you can use your stroller and bring it to the terminal. It also reduces the time that the car seat spends with those handling bags, and if you have a combo, such as a stroller and a car seat, you definitely will benefit since you can use this in the terminal. However, there’s rarely the reverse, so the thing is, it won’t be brought out to you. You’ll need to collect your baggage, though. You want to consider this, especially if you’re bringing something that you don’t want to get ruined. If you gate checks it, it reduces the instance of damage that this might have, and the potential for it to be ruined.
Smaller Is Better
If you are worried about the potential for your car seat to be ruined, you should get something smaller. Travel-sized car seats are the way to go, especially on airplanes. After all, they’re already kind of small, so you should make sure that you get yourself something that you’re okay with using.
If you’re worried too much about handlers messing up your car seat, put it in a box, and it will absorb the shock of this.
When traveling with kids, it’s hard to do it effectively and easily, and you may wonder what the best way to do it is. Gate checking is a good way to keep the car seat with you, reducing the risk of damage, and potentially preventing any jarring and bumps during transit, which is a great thing that you can do to keep your items safe.
Last Updated on: