Making kids safer, one question at a time.  Welcome to the Car-Seat.Org community!   Motor Vehicle Crashes are the #1 cause of fatal injury for children and adults, age groups 1 to 34.   Selecting a safe car, minivan or SUV, plus correctly using child restraints and seatbelts may be the most important things you can do to protect your family.   Need help installing an infant, convertible or booster seat?   Looking for carseat reviews or compatibility advice? Need help buying the best and safest car seats for your baby, toddler or older kid?   No question is a bad one, so please click here to ask our experts a question and then join our friendly community of moms, dads, caregivers and advocates in the USA and Canada.   Thank you for visiting; buckle-up and drive safely!


 

Sponsored Ads

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29
  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    36

    Flying with a 3.5 year old

    We won't be traveling until 2017 but I was thinking about car seats and flying today.

    We flew earlier this year when my son was 17 months old. We brought a Cosco Scenera (the older one, not the NEXT) onto the plane with us. We then used it rear facing in the rental car.

    Will a 3 and a half year old fit comfortably in a Cosco Scenera? Based on his current height/weight...he should still be able to technically fit in a the Scenera, I think. I predict he may be around 39 inches tall and 35 pounds or so at the time. I saw people talking about an extension for the crotch strap on the NEXT. Would the old Scenera need this as well??

    And I am on the fence about whether or not we'll take it on the plane next time.

    These would be our options.....

    1. Bring the car seat onto the plane for him to sit in. Then use it in the rental car.
    2. Gate check the car seat. Use it in rental car (forward facing.) Use CARES Harness on plane.
    3. Bag check the car seat. Use it in rental car (forward facing.) Use CARES Harness on plane
    4. Rent car seat from car rental company. Use CARES Harness on plane.

    Any thoughts on those options??

    I am unsure about letting the baggage people throw our seat around. Not sure if gate check is any better. Also unsure about the quality of rental car seats. I don't want one that is expired or has dried vomit all over it.

    Of course, the less stuff to haul through the airports the better since we will have a layover.

    (So glad I have more than a year to figure all this out!)

  2. # ADS
    Sponsored Ads
    Join Date
    April, 2001
    Posts
    Many
     
     

  3. #2
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Nedra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,810

    Flying with a 3.5 year old

    Safest and least expensive option is #1. I don't have any experience with the original Scenera, so I can't help you out there, but of the options you suggested I wouldn't do any of them except #1 for a 3.5 year old. You're already buying the plane seat for sure, so you may as well go the simplest route and just use the car seat on the plane.

    If you are okay with him forward-facing at 3.5 years old, one idea would be to use an IMMI Go and a CARES harness. It would be an expensive combination, though. Depending on his size at the time, the CARES harness might not be necessary, though, or might already be outgrown.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Mama to G. (born March of 2013, riding FF in a Chicco MyFit, an IMMI Go, and a Britax Marathon)... and L. (born June of 2015, riding RF in a Graco Milestone, a Graco Extend-2-Fit 3-in-1 and a Graco SlimFit)

  4. #3
    CPS Technician Qarin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,658

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    You're overthinking this, much too soon. :P

    Bring a seat, use it on the plane- if he fits the Scenera, bring that, otherwise bring the seat he usually uses, or if that's a problem, see what your options are closer to when you leave, when you know his size, weight, and proportions.

    Do not check the seat, gate or otherwise; do not rent a car seat.
    Homeschooling mama to safely transported kids-
    DD1- 11/2001 - 61.5", Seat Belt (5-steps)
    DD2- 11/2004 - 62.5", Seat Belt (5-steps)

  5. Thank You from:


  6. #4
    CPS Fanatic
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    2,270

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    Yeah, if he has outgrown the Scenera, and whatever car seat he's normally in is too heavy/bulky/whatever, get a cheap lightweight seat that fits him.

  7. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    36

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by Nedra View Post
    Safest and least expensive option is #1. I don't have any experience with the original Scenera, so I can't help you out there, but of the options you suggested I wouldn't do any of them except #1 for a 3.5 year old. You're already buying the plane seat for sure, so you may as well go the simplest route and just use the car seat on the plane.

    If you are okay with him forward-facing at 3.5 years old, one idea would be to use an IMMI Go and a CARES harness. It would be an expensive combination, though. Depending on his size at the time, the CARES harness might not be necessary, though, or might already be outgrown.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I googled Immi go and I don't understand how that is any different than bringing my Cosco Scenera. It just looks like a different car seat I'd have to bag check.

    He will have to be forward facing in the Scenera because it only goes up to something like 36 inches rear facing.

  8. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    36

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by lgenne View Post
    Yeah, if he has outgrown the Scenera, and whatever car seat he's normally in is too heavy/bulky/whatever, get a cheap lightweight seat that fits him.
    I don't think he will have outgrown the Scenera by then. Based on his growth so far...if he stays on this curve he would likely still fit in it. I really can't rationalize purchasing ANOTHER seat that will only be used for a week. (As it is now, we've only used the Scenera on our vacation this year and that's it.)

    We have a much too bulky car seat to bring with us. We'll likely be purchasing a second seat so he can rear face even longer at home.

    So yeah...the idea of buying yet ANOTHER seat seems insane.

  9. #7
    CPS Fanatic
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    2,270

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    The Go fits in the overhead bin, which is the benefit of taking it vs. any other car seat on the plane.

  10. Thank You from:


  11. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    36

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    Is there research on rental car seats being unsafe?

    Is there research on checked car seats being unsafe?

    Because it seems like most people do one of the two above and I'm just wondering if there's info showing it's bad or if it's just speculation or what.

  12. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    36

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by lgenne View Post
    The Go fits in the overhead bin, which is the benefit of taking it vs. any other car seat on the plane.
    Interesting. The site I looked at was confusing. I'll have to look again.

    ETA - Nevermind. I think it's $200. Definitely not something I'd want to pay for a week of use.

  13. #10
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Nedra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,810
    Quote Originally Posted by DisneylandMom View Post
    Is there research on rental car seats being unsafe? Is there research on checked car seats being unsafe? Because it seems like most people do one of the two above and I'm just wondering if there's info showing it's bad or if it's just speculation or what.
    There have been several news reports of rental car car seats being inappropriate for the child's age, dirty, expired, etc. I think most rental car companies have upped their game since then, but you just never really know what you're going to get. They are also crazy expensive. A friend of mine said that when she did it it was an extra $13 per day, per seat.

    As far as checking a car seat, you just don't know what's going to happen. A friend of mine gate-checked their car seat on the first trip they took on a plane and it was damaged. And even if you don't see visible damage, you don't know what kind of treatment it has been through and the airline usually stipulates that they aren't liable if they break your car seat. So while there may not be research saying that it is categorically unsafe, there just isn't any way to be able to assess the level of risk you would be taking on any given plane trip.

    Basically, car seat mishaps are an easy and common way to make travel even more stressful and expensive. For me, the annoyance of carrying the seat on board is pretty minor in comparison to the potential alternative.
    Mama to G. (born March of 2013, riding FF in a Chicco MyFit, an IMMI Go, and a Britax Marathon)... and L. (born June of 2015, riding RF in a Graco Milestone, a Graco Extend-2-Fit 3-in-1 and a Graco SlimFit)

  14. #11
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Nedra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,810
    Quote Originally Posted by DisneylandMom View Post
    Interesting. The site I looked at was confusing. I'll have to look again. ETA - Nevermind. I think it's $200. Definitely not something I'd want to pay for a week of use.
    Yes, I wouldn't recommend it if you were only planning to use it for travel. We are planning to buy one for my in-laws' car as their main seat and then use it for travel when needed.
    Mama to G. (born March of 2013, riding FF in a Chicco MyFit, an IMMI Go, and a Britax Marathon)... and L. (born June of 2015, riding RF in a Graco Milestone, a Graco Extend-2-Fit 3-in-1 and a Graco SlimFit)

  15. #12
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    262

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneylandMom View Post

    We have a much too bulky car seat to bring with us. We'll likely be purchasing a second seat so he can rear face even longer at home.
    If you plan to buy him another seat anyways to rf longer, why not buy him a seat that would be easier to fly with. A Diono Radian would be heavy in the airport, but can easily be strapped to a travel cart and would allow him to ff on the plane or if a Sureride would allow him to rf longer than his current seat,I'd get that seat. A Sureride is lightweight and easy to travel with. Even a Graco Contender wouldn't be to bad to fly with.

    Otherwise, whatever new seat you buy for extended rearfacing, I'd keep the box and check it in the box the same way it was shipped to protect it. But then you'd have to keep the box for the duration if your trip to get it home safely.

  16. #13
    Senior Community Member rachelandtyke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,716

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    You have the scenera, just use it when you fly again. I would definitely put the 3 1/2 year old in it on the plane. I've flown with heavier, bulkier seats for my kids. My current travel seat is a Britax.

    You have no guarantees what you will get with a rented car seat. It could be crashed, broken, disgusting, the wrong one to fit your child, they might not actually save one for you, etc. All the parts might not be there, and there is greater chance for misuse on your part for a seat you are not familiar with and especially if the manual is missing. It would be cheaper to buy an inexpensive seat and keep it or sell it once your trip is over.

    If you check the seat, it could get lost or damaged, especially since you don't have a direct flight. It definitely happens. I had friends that gate checked their seats and they didn't make it onto their connecting flight. The called me in a panic on his way to pick them up to borrow or extra seats.

    Plus, if you're going to get the seat all the way through the airport, it doesn't take that much more effort to just take it on the plane with you instead of gate checking it. I flip it over my head and walk down the aisle with it way over the other passengers' heads (my Britax seat). Child either walks in front of me or behind me or a wear child on front or back (I've done all of the above).

    An airplane seat belt will most likely not fit a 3 1/2 year old properly. And it is harder to keep them contained when they are younger and less able to be reasoned with once they realize how easy it is to unbuckle the seatbelt and wriggle out. (this I have seen, but not experienced as my kids ride in their car seats on the plane if they need one at the destination)
    DD1: 14, finally five-stepping!
    DS: 10, LBTB, Harmony Youth Booster
    DD2: 6, Chicco KidFit, HBTB w/ SS

  17. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    36

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by lgenne View Post
    Yeah, if he has outgrown the Scenera, and whatever car seat he's normally in is too heavy/bulky/whatever, get a cheap lightweight seat that fits him.
    What cheap/lightweight options are out there besides the Scenera?

    I doubt he'd be over 43 inches by then. But I do worry about where the straps hit. If they are below his shoulders, then I think that means he has outgrown it.

  18. #15
    CPS Fanatic
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    2,270

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneylandMom View Post
    What cheap/lightweight options are out there besides the Scenera?



    I doubt he'd be over 43 inches by then. But I do worry about where the straps hit. If they are below his shoulders, then I think that means he has outgrown it.


    For forward facing, either the Evenflo Maestro (cheap, can be used as a booster, harness and booster outgrown at roughly the same time) or Evenflo Sureride (a bit more, harness only, but will last a lot longer). For rear facing, the Graco Contender is probably your best bet. But that's just what's currently available. In another year, there might be better options.

  19. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    36

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    While we may still be rear facing at home in the Milestone, I am not as concerned for our vacation. He will only be in the car a tiny amount. And I feel pretty good about a 3.5 year old forward facing.

    I was looking at both the Maestro and Sureride and trying to figure out which one may fit better on the airplane. They seems pretty similar. A lot of sites seem to list different dimensions though so I'm not sure. I basically want the lightest/narrowest seat that he can still use the 5-point harness in the car.

    We don't need another seat for at home though so it kind of sucks that we'll likely need to purchase an $80 seat we'll barely use.

    I pulled out the Scenera and sat him in it. His shoulders are about an inch from the highest harness slot. So that's not really looking promising for him to fit in February.

    So basically an $80 seat for a handful of car rides and a couple airplane rides. Boo.

  20. #17
    CPS Fanatic
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    2,270

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    Actually, in 9 months he's unlikely to have that much bum to shoulder growth. I bet the Scenera will work.

  21. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    36

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    I hope you're right. We'll probably put him in the seat a month in advance and see if he fits. If not, we'll purchase something new.

    He's got a long torso and is just over 37 inches now.

  22. #19
    Senior Community Member rachelandtyke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,716

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    You're getting to the age where they start sprouting legs, so you may be surprised.
    DD1: 14, finally five-stepping!
    DS: 10, LBTB, Harmony Youth Booster
    DD2: 6, Chicco KidFit, HBTB w/ SS

  23. #20
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    262

    Re: Flying with a 3.5 year old

    I recently flew with my 3 year old in a Graco Tranzitions. It was light, narrow, the tray table could come all the way down, and while more expensive than a Maestro, but I believe it would last a bit longer. It converts to an hbb booster and a backless booster. It would be a good back up seat for down the road, which is why we purchased it.

  24. Thank You from:


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •