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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy The Bjorns's Avatar
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    Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    Does anyone have any experience with renting car seats from car rental companies? Are they as nasty as I would imagine they are? I don't even want to think about when the covers got washed last and how many kids had accidents in them. What seats do the rental companies usually have? I suppose it's too much to hope for that their seats are ones I have access to spare covers for...

    I am only considering this because there is a very good chance I'll have to lug a couple of MAs thru airports if I don't rent seats. I might be okay letting the 4 yr old (43", 45 lbs) sit in a plane seat with just the belt, but probably not. And I know I don't want the 8 mo old to be a lap child. Ok, I'd be fine with the lap child aspect if I knew there'd be an empty seat for her car seat, but knowing my luck it would be a sold out flight so I want a seat guaranteed for her. How nuts am I for wanting to lug my MAs, P&T stroller and a "loaded for bear" diaper bag on a plan?

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  3. #2
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    Quote Originally Posted by The Bjorns View Post
    How nuts am I for wanting to lug my MAs, P&T stroller and a "loaded for bear" diaper bag on a plan?
    You're not nuts, you're SMART. Rentals seats are not smart, and neither are lap babies.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  4. #3
    CPS Technician bombedier's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    I would not recommend renting a car seat - you don't want to use any car seat that you don't know the entire history of due to the potential of it having been involved in a crash.

    I would recommend taking your car seats onboard with you - children are safer and much happier strapped into their car seats. The FAA advises against lap children - in turbulence or a crash, they become a projectile. If you check your car seats, you don't know what is happening to them - they could be damaged either by mishandling of the baggage handlers, or by heavy suitcases falling on them during the course of the flight.

    I would look into the Go Go Kidz - http://www.gogobabyz.com/products/gogo_kids.html - to convert your car seat into a stroller or you can improvise with a luggage cart.

    When I traveled with my son, I put his Marathon on his stroller and he walked or was carried.
    CPST - Kyle David Miller Foundation - http://www.kyledavidmiller.org


  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy miraclebabies's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    We flew last Oct with our then 8 month old DD and she was a lap baby at the time. We were new at flying with a child and heard that until they are 2 they can ride on your laps. Well we rented a carseat when we got there from Hurtz, when booking the flight they asked the age of the child. We got a Cosco Scenera with a DOM of Sept 07. I inspected the seat and the straps and cover was really clean. I moved the straps and installed it into our Cad. Escalade rental, I couldn't get a very good recline. We paid a extra $30 a day for that cheap seat. I would not rent a carseat again. We are going to Florida in a few weeks and before I found out how safe it was for them to ride in their own seats we already had our flight booked. We are going to gate check her carseat and stroller. It is going to be easier that way and it will be less wear and tear on shipping it with our luggage. If we fly again at all we are going to buy her a ticket, it is safer and she will be comfier if she wants to sleep. But when we gate check it we will put it on last and it will be there when we get off. Good luck on flying,it is stressful. We vacation in Florida atleast 2x a year and it can be hard trying to make sure you have everything your kids will need.
    Andrea SAHM to
    W~2/2007
    C~11/2008
    J~2/2010

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy The Bjorns's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    Andrea--since you're already booked for your flight, you might have good luck with what we did when DD#1 was 9 mo old and we flew with her (before I found this board). We booked the window and the aisle seats knowing that the center seat would be the last thing to be booked. Who wants to sit between a couple of strangers on a 2+ hr flight? We were right that the seat was NOT booked so we were able to use her SnugRide. If it had gotten booked we would've traded seats with the person so we could sit together and gate checked the seat.

    Thank you for confirming I am not a glutten for punishment for wanting to haul all this stuff around. Last time I flew (also for a funeral oddly enough) with kiddos it was easier since she hadn't outgrown the infant seat and it snapped into the travel system stroller. Guess this is why they make luggage carts, right?

  7. #6
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    I would humbly advice against renting a car seat and instead ring your own. Although I must say that using a car seat on the plane only for safety reasons is a little paranoid. Flying is the safest thing you can possibly do and kids injured on planes are extremely rare.

    I did about 40 flights with my two young kids in the first few years and always brought the seats but never took them on board. I felt more comfortable using a lap-belt, yes I know it does nothing for protection but flying is very safe, and checking the seats in special padded car seat bags. I wanted to bring the seats mostly because we only use rear facing seats and while renting it's difficult to know what you get.

    Most of our flight was transatlantic flights and I never felt it difficult to lug the seas around. The only time I had to carry them was the short distance from our car to the luggage cart. The rest was a breeze.

    We've been to tons of international destinations with the little ones and not had any issues with bringing the seats. Although we have gotten funny looks from people while installing the seas in rental cars. In many countries we;re generally considered crazy for even using car seats....

    I've tried to find out detailed info about car seats fro freinds who rented through Avis and HErtz but it's almost impossible. You get whatever they've got left and that was never an option for us.

    Short story, I don't think you're nuts at all
    Annika: 8 • Britax Adventure
    Daniel: 11 • Britax Adventure
    I will only post ONE comment in each thread. If you have further questions send a PM or email
    Imported child seats may not conform to applicable safety standards, laws or customs regulations in some countries.

  8. #7
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    Actually, it's not paranoia at all.

    Kids are injured on planes every year. A child under 40 lbs are NOT safe in the plane's lap belt, and turbulence is nothing to fool with. In addition, most plane crashes are runway crashes in which the crash physics are exactly the same as a highway crash.

    I understand that you're from a different country, but physics do not change and it's extremely important to realize exactly the danger unrestrained and under-restrained children are in when they do not use their child restraints on airplanes.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy The Bjorns's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    Here's a question a bit OT, while trying to research children fares, I came across something (don't remember where now) that indicated that most airlines have a "booster seat belt" for lap children. It buckles in conjunction with the parent's belt and serves as a lap belt for the lap child. I had never heard of this before. Anyone else ever see this or hear of it? Sounds like a bad version of the Baby B'air. This might be nice for a bit of time while cruising, but severe turbulence isn't exactly the greatest hazard and it doesn't look much safer that just sitting in a lap. And I think my girls will probably be so used to their seats that they'll just nap for the flight like an extended car trip.

  10. #9
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    It *might* be referring to the CARES harness, but it's not something the airlines loan. You'd have to buy one.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy miraclebabies's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    This is what we are hoping for, we are taking her seat up to the gates and if there are no empty seats she is going to ride on our lap. If there is a empty one she is going to ride in her MA, that's why I am bringing it instead of my cheap EV. Tribute. The MA is so much easier to install than the Ev, rear facing. Thanks for the help. Like I said I am new at all of this and have changed alot of things for my little one since joining this forum last year. Like ERF, airplane ticket buying (next time I will buy her one) and alot of other helpful things.



    Quote Originally Posted by The Bjorns View Post
    Andrea--since you're already booked for your flight, you might have good luck with what we did when DD#1 was 9 mo old and we flew with her (before I found this board). We booked the window and the aisle seats knowing that the center seat would be the last thing to be booked. Who wants to sit between a couple of strangers on a 2+ hr flight? We were right that the seat was NOT booked so we were able to use her SnugRide. If it had gotten booked we would've traded seats with the person so we could sit together and gate checked the seat.

    Thank you for confirming I am not a glutten for punishment for wanting to haul all this stuff around. Last time I flew (also for a funeral oddly enough) with kiddos it was easier since she hadn't outgrown the infant seat and it snapped into the travel system stroller. Guess this is why they make luggage carts, right?
    Andrea SAHM to
    W~2/2007
    C~11/2008
    J~2/2010

  12. #11
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    Quote Originally Posted by miraclebaby View Post
    This is what we are hoping for, we are taking her seat up to the gates and if there are no empty seats she is going to ride on our lap. If there is a empty one she is going to ride in her MA, that's why I am bringing it instead of my cheap EV. Tribute. The MA is so much easier to install than the Ev, rear facing. Thanks for the help. Like I said I am new at all of this and have changed alot of things for my little one since joining this forum last year. Like ERF, airplane ticket buying (next time I will buy her one) and alot of other helpful things.
    Just a suggestion, try to be one of the last ones on the plane, especially if they tell you the plane is full. I flew with DD as a lap baby just a few weeks ago and on every leg they told me the plane was full, but people missed the flight or something because on 3 of the 4 legs I was able to get a seat. I had to be really pushy sometimes, but it was the best thing all around.

    On one flight I was the last one on the plane and the 2 seats next to me were empty and the FA let me take them. Plus it is easier to move around to empty seats if you are not already stuck in one, espcially with a car seat. Take it on board with you even if they say the plane is full. On one leg they put my SR in the overhead in case there was an empty seat. Unfortuantely by the time they found me an empty seat another FA took the seat out and gate checked it and they would not get it back for me.
    Andraya-6 Nathaniel-4 Annalee Grace 18mon

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  13. #12
    CPS Technician leighi123's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    When my sister was a baby, they gave my mom what looked like the seatbelt that they do the little 'in case you are compleatly dumb, heres how to buckle a seatbelt' thing with- basically a strap with the buckle on either end -- you were supposed to buckle the lap belt over mom/dad, and then put the baby belt through the buckled belt, around baby and buckle the ends together. Now baby is supposed to be safe.

    Usually my parents got her a basinette thing that the airlines provided to go under the seat, those seemed safer, but still sorta scary. We were in a crash once when I was 3 and my sister was 3 months, - she was in the basinette on the floor, and my mom was freaking out becuase she wanted to hold my sister. I was in the regular seatbelt (and I was tiny). The flight attndants put their coats over my sister - she was the only baby on the plane and it was a night flight to chicago. The flaps that slow down the plane froze so they put sandbags at the end of the runway and we had to sorta run into them when we landed. It was rough, but my sister was fine.



    Quote Originally Posted by The Bjorns View Post
    Here's a question a bit OT, while trying to research children fares, I came across something (don't remember where now) that indicated that most airlines have a "booster seat belt" for lap children. It buckles in conjunction with the parent's belt and serves as a lap belt for the lap child. I had never heard of this before. Anyone else ever see this or hear of it? Sounds like a bad version of the Baby B'air. This might be nice for a bit of time while cruising, but severe turbulence isn't exactly the greatest hazard and it doesn't look much safer that just sitting in a lap. And I think my girls will probably be so used to their seats that they'll just nap for the flight like an extended car trip.
    Mama to my awesome environmentalist kid Levi! (google him if you'd like!)
    7-13-07, 55", 62lbs
    Rearfaced to 8yrs, 9months (is now 10) Still boostered!
    CPST as of 6/19/08!

  14. #13
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    Skaterbabscpst: I know kids are injured on planes each year, I'm just saying it's very rare. Extreme turbulence happens but it's uncommon to have kids , or adults, thrown around in the plane. Kids that die do so in crashes and perhaps also very rarely by some other reasons.

    It's useful with a little perspective. I think it's helpful to put the amount injured and dead on planes because of no car seat and compare that number to traffic deaths or whatever one wants to compare with. The number is unbelievably low.
    Annika: 8 • Britax Adventure
    Daniel: 11 • Britax Adventure
    I will only post ONE comment in each thread. If you have further questions send a PM or email
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  15. #14
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    I am probably one of the few people with a good car sear rental experience. When my son was 10 months old, Hubby's grandmother pasted away and we needed to fly for her funeral. Neither of us fly often and we had not even thought about flying with the baby before that. It was one of those situations where we learned about the death and were on a plane 24 hours later, so really no time to study the issues.

    We rented a car and carseat from Hertz in Pittsburgh. The carseat we got was a brand new Graco Snug Ride. We had to install it ourselves (as a liability issue Hertz would not install it), but that was not a problem. The seat worked very well for us.

    Knowing what I know now, I would not rent a seat again. But there are positive experiences with rented car seats.
    Gena

  16. #15
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    The Bjorns: The lap belt is standard on most flights I've been on with the kids. I can remember few times when we weren't offered the extra belt which attaches to the regular adult belt. That's out of about 40-50 flights with the kids on various destinations around the world.

    Some airlines take it more seriously than other. My daughter can best be described as a fast moving worm. Up until now, 20 months, she's barely been still for more than 5 seconds. So I appreciate the extra lap belt since it gives her a little extra wiggle room. Regarding safety, I never felt like it made my kids any safer. During the flight it's tough to keep the belt on since she moves around so much.

    A car seat is definitely safer but that would never work for us. Also, the overall risks to death or serious injury on a plane for a kid are unbelievably low regardless if they are in a seat or not.

    I've always wanted to be one of the first on the plane to get a good seat for me and the kids. Usually I choose the seats online weeks before the trip and try to sit in bulkhead seats. More room for me and the kids. That's the opposite of what others here recommend but I've always found it making my trips much easier and relaxing (if there is such a thing as relaxing trip when you're flying for 20 hours with two young toddlers....)

    Have a nice trip!
    Annika: 8 • Britax Adventure
    Daniel: 11 • Britax Adventure
    I will only post ONE comment in each thread. If you have further questions send a PM or email
    Imported child seats may not conform to applicable safety standards, laws or customs regulations in some countries.

  17. #16
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    Quote Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
    The Bjorns: The lap belt is standard on most flights I've been on with the kids. I can remember few times when we weren't offered the extra belt which attaches to the regular adult belt. That's out of about 40-50 flights with the kids on various destinations around the world.


    "Belly Belts" that attach the child to the adult seatbelt, including the Baby B'air, are actually not approved by the FAA for use during takeoff, landing, or turbulence (when restraint is most necessary). I know other countries have different rules, but in the US, they are not recommended, and prior studies have found them to be quite unsafe. No airline offers them in the US. I'll see if I can find a study

    Edit: well,this page is a good starting point, anyway: http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/airplanetravel.aspx
    Julie
    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good

  18. #17
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    Quote Originally Posted by joolsplus3 View Post
    "Belly Belts" that attach the child to the adult seatbelt, including the Baby B'air, are actually not approved by the FAA for use during takeoff, landing, or turbulence (when restraint is most necessary).


    Also-

    http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...ics;108/5/1218

  19. #18
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    I haven't read through everything, so forgive me if I'm repeating anyone.

    Last time I flew with my children (DD age 2.5, DS age 10 mos), my in-law's booked the flight, and I didn't even think about getting a seat for DS until there were no seats available (it was a small plane). DD had to have a seat, as she was over two. We own a RA and a MA, and we decided to take the RA on the plane (I was worried about lugging the MA on a small plane) for DD to sit in (mainly to constrain her) and carry DS as a lap baby (I didn't think there were any options. When we finally got on the plane, there was a seat available next to me, and I was just sick through the whole flight, realizing I could have brought the MA, too, and had both kids in carseats. Then when we arrived at our destination, the airport had LOST our MA. I was soooo sick about it, and insisted that they arrange for us to have a seat. Well, the lady brought out an old Evenflo baby bucket -- for my THREE YEAR OLD. Things got ugly. I begged a nearby car rental place to let me rent a carseat (they won't rent you the seats unless you're renting a car, which we weren't), and I wound up with an old Scenera. Which I took, since the only other option was the EF bucket.

    Our MA wasn't delivered to us until the last day of our trip, and you can bet that I didn't check it again.

    On the flight home, even though we still didn't have an extra seat, we carried both carseats to the gate, and were able to get them both on board. Even if that wasn't an option, I would have been much happier being able to gate check them and know that they were at least on the plane.

    As for carting them through the airport, I loosened the straps on the RA, and wore it kind of like a backpack or a turtle shell. It looked ridiculous, and I had people grinning at me wherever we went, but it was surprisingly comfortable. I put DS in our Maclaren umbrella stroller and pushed that, and DH rented a luggage cart, put the suitcases and the MA on it, and DD rode on it. We were surprised at how easy it was.

  20. #19
    Senior Community Member Adventuredad's Avatar
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    Thanks joolsplus3, I've done so many flights with the kids I can't remember what applies to different countries. But I would say that most countries except
    US require that little lap belt that I appreciate for my worm like daughter but think adds very little safety.
    Annika: 8 • Britax Adventure
    Daniel: 11 • Britax Adventure
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    Imported child seats may not conform to applicable safety standards, laws or customs regulations in some countries.

  21. #20
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    Re: Rental Car/Rental Car Seat

    Quote Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
    Thanks joolsplus3, I've done so many flights with the kids I can't remember what applies to different countries. But I would say that most countries except
    US require that little lap belt that I appreciate for my worm like daughter but think adds very little safety.
    All the european countries I have flown in have required this as well. We only flew with dd as a lap child 4 or 5 times but they always had the little belt that connects to the lap belt. The first time I flew with the kids in the US I was surprised they weren't used here, but it didn't matter since by that point we had started flying with the kids in their carseats.
    Former CPST and Mom to
    C-13 years old, B-11 years old
    A-8 years old riding in a Harmony Youth Booster or Graco TurboBooster

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