Why Consider Car Seat Gate Check When Travelling

Traveling with children can be challenging, especially with the addition of car seats. When navigating airports, make sure to consider gate check your seat for added convenience and ease of travel.

How to gate-check and why to consider it
Source: flickr.com

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 become helpful? What are the benefits and drawbacks? Well, you’re about to find out. Read more as we tackle how to gate check and why you should consider it.

Gate Checking Car Seat

Take Your Car Seat?

If you have a child’s car seat that is certified for airplanes, please take this. Why is that? When the child is sat in where they usually sit in when you’re traveling by car, then it can be a lot more comfortable and safer for them. Children will be less inclined to fall or take off their belts, and they’ll stay in their place when there is a taxi, landing, and takeoff. However, you should consult airlines admin before you do consider bringing anything to make sure you know the requirements and any other tidbits.

Importance of Car Seat Gate Checking in airport. Does it help?
Source: flickr.com

What Is The Gate Checking?

Gate checking is when you check stuff at the gate, instead of leaving it at the counter or taking it with you on the airplane. You essentially are gate checking the car seats to the attendant and can hold onto them, using this on the plane. Small and larger airports are required to do this as it is part of the travel system and safety.

There are a few considerations that you will want to consider before you take this, and they are as follows:

  • Does the stroller or infant car seat onboard fit within the carry-on luggage or cart allowance?
  • Is it a baby item you’ll use?
  • Will you be using it in the terminal?
  • Are you fine with putting your items at risk, potentially during transport and flying?

When you consider these factors, you’ll want to learn about infant car seats, understand the potential dangers, and be aware of what they entail.

However, you don’t need to worry about it costing you anything. Many airlines accept and guarantee these child safety seats. Always place them inside a larger infant bag to prevent damage or soiling. Some people throw towels or diapers in there, especially on long-distance trips. There are even backpack-style car seat travel bags for convenience. Consider this, especially on a long-distance trip or if you need exit row accommodations.

Choosing Right Car Seat For Air Travel: Best Tips And Convenient Options

The Size Matters: Gate Check Car Seat

If you have those big, bulky convertible car seats, I don’t recommend you take gate checking the car seats on an airplane. They usually get damaged a whole lot more during transit, and if it’s an expensive car seat, it can be an annoyance to you. Thus, when making a new purchase, you should also try to look for a travel bag, 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 gate checking car seat. Make sure to check if it’s applicable for gate checking on an airplane before allowing your kid to use it, and of course, the car seat should still be rear-facing when you use it on a plane. A great option for a child’s car seat would be one that is a lightweight type. This is easy to bring, especially for parents flying in economy, business, or first class.

Gate Check Car Seat
Source: flickr.com

Car Seat – Alternatives

There are a few different options for infant car seats, which many parents appreciate, especially when considering carry-on items. Since flying or air travel is the safest way to travel around, you often don’t need to bring a huge, bulky one, especially if it can compromise the weight of the flight. An alternative to that is a CARES child restraint system, which is an inexpensive, compact, and lightweight car seat system. It is super easy to handle. Also, the coolest thing about it is that you can throw it into your backpack, and with the backpack straps, you can just lug it with you to the airplane itself. It definitely is a wonderful alternative to the other traditional seats, but if your child is insistent about having their own seat, you definitely will want to consider a different car seat option for the flight, perhaps checking it at the gate.

Gate Checking vs Bag Drop Difference

There is a distinction here. If you check it at the check-in counter and receive a boarding pass, you can check in your suitcases as well and obtain tickets for most car seats. It is basically then treated like the luggage, going down the convey belt, and from there, loaded onto the plane. However, this does open the grounds for the mishandling of luggage carts on the plane. However, you can get the baby items such as a car seat checked, but you are going to need to carry the car seat to the gangplank, aerobridge, and then to the door, and from there, you’ll then want to put the car seat there, and you essentially leave your luggage there so that they put this on the plane for you.

Now, there are benefits to this, and you can use your car seat 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 the car seat, you definitely will benefit since you can use the car seat in the terminal. However, there’s rarely the reverse, so the car seat won’t be brought out to you. You’ll need to collect your oversized baggage claim, though. You want to consider this, especially if you’re bringing something that you don’t want to get ruined. If you gate-check the car seat, it reduces the risk of structural damage and helps protect booster seats from potential damage.

Burgundy-colored infant car seat
Source: flickr.com

Smaller Car Seat: Why Compact Choices Matter

If you are worried about the potential for the 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 the car seat that you’re okay with using.

If you’re concerned about handlers mishandling the car seat, place it in a cardboard box. This will help absorb the shock of travel, especially for convertible seats. That’s the most responsible thing to do.

When traveling with kids, it can be challenging to do so effectively and easily. You may wonder about the best way to navigate situations such as the jet bridge and handling the checked car seat. What about lap infants? A baby must be under 2 years old to qualify as a lap infant. Once the baby turns 2 years old, they are considered a child and must travel with their own car seat. Some parents assume that flying with a lap child is free, but it differs on every domestic flight.

Gate-checking is a good thing to keep the car seat travel safe 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 baby items safe. Its main purpose is item protection.

Gate Check The Car Seat

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Car Seat Onboard

Is Gate Checking Car Seats Allowed?

Yes, you can gate check your car seat when traveling with a child. It is allowed in most airlines, especially in the U.S., for free. You can do this at the airport baggage check-in counter or the gate.


Can You Check Stroller And Seat At The Gate?

Both strollers or car seats are not counted as regular luggage, so expect that it is stroller free of charge. These two get examined at the check-in counter or the arrival gate.

Why Do Airplane Staff Inspect Child’s A Car Seat?

It is better to gate check car seats for three main reasons. Most infant seats and other items that are gate-checked have fewer cases of getting lost. There is also a chance of bringing it on the plane. And lastly, gate-checked infant chairs have fewer chances of being damaged.


Do You Need A Bag For Your Seat?

It is recommended that you get a protector bag for your seat before handling the airport agent. A protective bag will protect it from getting a significant amount of dirt and damage while under the plane. It might cost you extra money, but that’s better than spending more when your seat gets unnecessary damage. As they say, prevention is better than cure.


Is it Safe To Gate-Check Car Seat?

Choosing to gate check your FAA approved car seat is safer. As mentioned above, these are less prone to damage and getting lost. It makes the most sense to utilize an airport’s services to gate check a car seat, as it helps you stay reassured as you travel.


Do You Have To Pay To Get It Checked?

When it comes to strollers, typically it depends on the policy of the airline you are in. Usually, children’s strollers are not part of the standard baggage, which is why they can be checked for free and without any charge. You don’t have to pay.


Can You Push A Stroller Or Seat Through Airport Security?

On handling strollers during air travel (or a car seat inside the airport) you are expected to put your stroller inside a baggage carousel, go inside an x-ray machine at the airport security for it to be screened alongside other things such as baby carriers, car, and booster seat, and backpacks. This is important for more protection because the machine will check a car seat if it includes a thing that is prohibited in airports. You will receive the checked bag and luggage immediately after going through security, don’t worry.


How Does It Work?

Essentially, when we gate-check a car seat, we leave our belongings at the gate before boarding, unlike the typical process where we check them in at the gate agent counter. A gate check is essential to check a car seat. Your belonging such as your bag, car seat, or stroller is taken away from you, sealed with a tag, then given to handlers who will transfer them to the belly of the place. It will be safe there while flying for long international flights to other countries, especially if it’s a connecting flight. In any event, you will get it back when you land.

How Can I Avoid Checking My Items?

There’s a risk that the handlers will process or treat your items roughly, which is why some parents choose to avoid a gate check room. But the reality is, that these rarely happen and companies will instruct their handlers to treat belongings safely and softly. It is still safer to gate-check your car seat than to counter-check it. The chances of a gate-checked car seat being lost or damaged are low. You can check a car seat yourself if you still have doubts about the handling of baggage handlers.

Where Do Inspected Items Go?

According to Melinda Vernon, a flight attendant for Delta Airlines, it is important to note that baggage handlers will put gate-checked strollers and baggage in a special bin at the front of the cargo area under the plane, together with other items such as wheelchairs and car seats. The handlers will be able to grab those items easier once you reach your destination. You may claim your belongings in the baggage claim section, you can then check your car seat if it has any minor visible damage. Just imagine the convenience.

Can You Inspect Car Seat Without Child?

Yes, you can. Inspecting a car seat is free of charge whether you are traveling with a child or not. When you plan to fly somewhere, make sure that you research how to properly do this for your infant seat for that specific airline.

Difference Between Car Seat Free & Baggage Check?

Can You Use An Infant Chair On A Plane?

Yes, the majority of airlines permit parents to use a car seat on a flight, but it must adhere to certain specifications, such as being approved for use on airplanes and being the right size to sit in an airplane seat. It is crucial to confirm your airline’s unique standards and guidelines in advance. Some parents wonder which type of car seat to bring, and some may even compare the features of the Britax Pioneer vs Frontier to see which one would be more suitable for air travel.

Do Gate-Checked Bags Get Scanned?

What Is Best Place On A Plane For A Toddler?

Car Seat Gate Checking Other Resources To Check:

For more posts like this, check these:





Last Updated on May 8, 2023 by Inma Barquero

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on FamilyHype.com) is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a FamilyHype.com.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.