Options for three kids on long flight

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
Ok, I know I have talked about this before, but I need to figure out what to do. I have three kids:

1. 44", 38lb 6.5 year old. Rides boostered at home. I really, really want her in a harnessed seat on the plane because last time I flew with her, she was miserable and couldn't sleep on the plane in just a lap belt.

2. 41", 30 lb 4.75 year old. Rides harnessed in a Pro Sport at home.

3. 33", 21 lb 2.5 year old. Rides RF in a Complete Air at home.

We leave at 2am, and they need to be able to sleep on the plane.

I have the following seats available: ProSport, EFTA, Complete Air, Radian XTSL, Coccoro, Scenera (and Turbo and Parkway).

My original plan was to buy a Frontier for the 6 year old, but we just can't swing it financially right now. She can squeeze into the ProSport, barely, but I have no idea if that will work on the plane. I might be able to borrow a Frontier for the trip, but is that feasible? I know it will physically fit, but is it going to be a huge PITB to carry through the airport and use?

I think I'll take the Scenera for the 4 year old, if she still fits. It would be pretty close, I think, as she's on the top slots of the ProSport and Radian. Otherwise I'll take the Complete Air for her (serious Radian travel hate here).

DS is very, very close to outgrowing the CCO, but I think I'll try to squeeze him into it for the trip.

I have a rolling luggage cart, and a double Mountain Buggy. I'm trying to figure out how to get them all through the airport. We have a very small airport and we won't have to walk very far here, but we transfer in Seattle and will likely have to walk with three cranky tired kids, and their seats. Would it make sense to bring the stroller? We have the carry bag for it, if that makes a difference.


New member
If you take the prosport for the oldest and she doesn't fit in the harness would you be ok using it harnessed on the plane and as a booster in the car?

Does ds2 fit rf in the scenera? If so I'd take the for him and the CA for dd2.


New member
I would just bring a booster for your older daughter and perhaps one of those u shaped neck pillows to help her sleep

For the middle kiddo id bring the scenera because its light weight and you will be bringing three seats!

I would bring the cocorro if you could I don't know if you are renting a vehicle but the cocorro could help a three across if that's what you have to do

Id bring the mountain buggy, put the car seats on that, they might give you grief about the big stroller. The luggage cart would work well too probably better. Bungee one on right side up put the scenera on upside down seat facing the booster and the cocorro on top.
That way you can store the luggage cart in the overhead bin.

Best of luck I hope that was helpful :) I brought my sons MA with me twice cross country. Never again!

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
Last time we flew, she was just in the lap belt with a neck pillow, and couldn't sleep and was miserable. She has a booster at her destination that we could use, although it would require some stealth (this trip is to surprise my inlaws for Christmas; they don't know we are coming, but I could have a BIL sneak the booster out of their garage to pick us up).

I do have a luggage cart, and I used it last time with the Radian and CCO, but with a third seat it might be trickier.

ETA: there is a slight chance we will have a fourth kid for this trip (foster baby; if the paperwork is done and approved before we leave, he'll be going with us. It probably wont' happen that fast, though) and I'm just going to not entertain the notion of two two year olds, a four year old, and a six year old and all their seats on a plane :eek:


New member
We traveled with our twins this summer at 6.5yo and I definitely know what you mean about having trouble falling asleep on the plane. It was our first trip using boosters instead of harness seats and that is the time I really missed the harness seats.

Does the 6yo fit in the Radian or the Complete Air? I was thinking one of these seats for her. My DD is about 45in tall and she has growing room in the Radian, but it all depends on your DD's torso height. (We really liked how the Radian worked forward-facing on the plane.)

For second child, the scenera if it fits or the Complete Air (unless 6yo is using it)

For baby, the CCO if it fits or the scenera.

Can you put a car seat in the mountain buggy? Maybe the CCO or scenera? If you can make it secure in the stroller, maybe you can use put one (or two?) car seat(s) and two kids in the stroller in Seattle. Then you can put the other two (or one) car seats on the luggage cart. We've put one car seat on the luggage cart and then strapped the kid in it to go for a ride through the airport.



New member
I'm personally not a fan of harnessed seats on planes for older kiddos (over age 2.5 or so). I'm comfortable with them being in lap belts on planes from that age. We try to fly WestJet or Alaska, so usually 737s or similar 3 across planes. We sit (window/middle/aisle) child/child/adult then adult/stranger/stranger across the aisle. When the kids sleep, we flip up the armrests and they both kinda stretch out across each other and onto the adult sitting beside them.

We now travel with a LBB for DD#1 and a RN for DD#2. I gate check them because they are spares and I'm willing to take the risk. There is not enough money on the planet for me to take a FR on a plane. I don't even like taking it out of the car to vacuum, it is such a beast.
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New member
I'd take the XTSL for the oldest, Scenera for the middle and CCO for the youngest. I'd probably carry Radian on my back, then stack the Scenera and CCO on either the stroller or luggage cart.


New member
we transfer in Seattle and will likely have to walk with three cranky tired kids, and their seats. Would it make sense to bring the stroller? We have the carry bag for it, if that makes a difference.

Just thinking about this. Are you flying Alaska? IIRC, all of Alaska's domestic flights arrive and depart within terminal C. I could be wrong about that, but that is my recollection. I'd check with your airline and find out about your layover in Seattle. If you are within terminal C, you should be fine. If you have to move from one terminal to the other (on the tram system), IMO it is really hectic.

FWIW, we ALWAYS fly with at least one stroller, usually 2 lightweights.

ETA: here is some info from Alaska's site: http://www.alaskaair.com/travelinfo/destinations/seattle-washington-airport We've never had a connection at Sea-Tac, we always fly direct non-stop from there. Our flights from SeaTac to LAX and SNA have always departed and arrived at terminal C.

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
M doesn't fit in the CA or the Radian. The only harnessed seat she fits in is the ProSport.

There is NO way S will fit in the lap belt. M is quite a bit bigger and didn't fit, and of course there is there the issue of sleeping.

I think we might just have DD1 just deal with it for the plane. With another adult she should be able to lean on DH or myself and maybe sleep.

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
BubbaRay, yes flying Alaska, but every time we have made a connection through Seattle, we have had to run from one end of the terminal to the other.

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
Ok we are actually connecting through PDX!

And the CCO fits perfectly--perfectly!!!--in the MBUD. I think we'll take it, and have B ride in the CCO in it, and if the Scenera fits, have DD2 ride in the CCO in it. Then if we bring a seat for DD1, I'll put that on the luggage cart and pull her in it.


New member
Check as much of your luggage as possible. You should be able to check it right through to your final destination. Pay the fees, it is sooooo worth it.

If you bring a seat for your oldest, bring a lightweight stroller or a travel cart and have her push it. You take the double stroller, she takes her seat in a stroller or folding travel cart.

I really think she'd be fine without a seat though. I'd pack a LBB in your checked luggage for her.

IIRC, PDX is a smaller airport than SeaTac, but its been a billion years since I`ve flown in there.


An Aurora

Senior Community Member
We actually have no fees for checked luggage on Alaska ( it's free for AK residents now) so yes we will be checking lots!! The only thing I plan on carrying on the plane is the kids' backpacks with a change of clothes and snacks.


New member
Is there any way you could bring a pillow for DD1? Maybe one of those body pillows that she can kind of double up to make a nice nest for her head and torso? The last time my DD flew, she too was miserable and couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep. I tried my best to make her comfy with our coats, but it wasn't quite enough.


CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
Does your oldest have low tone or another special need that causes her to need extra support on the plane? If so, you can get a special letter from the CARES manufacturers to be able to use it above the weight and/or height limits. And I'm sure you could borrow one.

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
No, she doesn't. I think we're just going to take a neck pillow for her and make the best of it again. DH will be with us this time so hopefully she can lean on him or something and sleep.

I borrowed my Scenera back so I'll take that for DD2 if she fits in it. DD1 has a booster at our destination already, or I can pack one in our checked luggage if my SIL can't find it and sneak it to her car. I'm going to try to make the CCO work for DS--he is very close to outgrowing it RF but I think I can get a week out of it, and if not I don't mind FF'ing him for the trip.


Ambassador - CPS Technician
Maybe you could take a larger/longer pillow... like one of those that are made to snuggle against, or roll a blanket up into a similar shape.

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
We ended up taking the CA and CCO. I sat with those two kids and DH sat across the aisle with DD1. She was able to sleep leaning on DH or lying on his lap. I took a Dramamine so luckily all three kid's slept all but about half an hour on the first flight. I put the seats on the luggage cart and we wore DS, and the girls walked. Our flight out of Anchorage was an hour late and our connection was really close, so we had to grab the seats and run, and I just held the seats as our next flight was taking off out of the next gate which was awesome.

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