Plane Travel with 5yo--best option for transporting seat?

mburtis

New member
I am traveling from Washington, D.C. to Denver later this month with my five-year-old. It's my first time taking her on a plane, and it will just be the two of us.

I'll need to take a taxi to the airport and we have friends picking us up on the other end. However, they won't have an extra carseat for her. So, I'm trying to decide what to take. We have a Boulevard (I gather that's too big for the plane), a Marathon (which is really her little brother's, but I guess she could use), and a Graco Nautilus. I'm going to need to be lugging the seat and her and carryons to the gate and then around the Cleveland airport where we transfer.

I'm trying to decide whether the Maraton or the Nautilus is a better bet to take. I'm looking into getting a GoGo or the Traveling Toddler Travel Acessory to make it easier to transport the carseat and her in the airport -- however, she's a little older than what those products seem to be designed for. . .and I'm not planning on taking a large suitcase as carryon so the Traveling Toddler thing isn't ideal.

The other option, I guess would be to pack the Nautilus and ship it or check it (we have the original box). Or we could buy something inexpensive on the other end for her to use and donate it. . .

Like I said she's five and weighs about 35" -- not that it makes much difference. We obviously need a harness-style seat in the taxi and in Denver, even if she can use the lapbelt in the plane. The issue for is more about easily getting around the aiport with 5yo, carseat, and luggage.

Any opinions? Or other options?
 

chay

New member
The shell of the Boulevard and Marathon are the same so they take up the same amount of room. They both fit fine on an airplane (or at least they have on any plane I've been on although RF they are very upright). Ask for a belt extender and flip the buckle over when you install FF or you'll have fun trying to get it out at the end of the flight.

We bought a folding luggage cart that we strap both of our car seats on and carry them that way. Look for a tall one or your hand gets squished with a tall Britax. I often travel alone with both my kids so I have a carry on backpack on my front, DD on my back, one hand on the luggage cart with the car seats and the other for DS.

I've had my luggage lost and beat up too often to risk checking a seat. I also think my kids are more comfy in their seats and it's more normal for them (ie not something new and exciting).

I have no experience flying with a Nautilus.

Good luck!
 

Dillipop

New member
If I were to choose between the seats you have, I'd choose the nautilus. The marathon/blvd make the kids sit really high and give older kids little/no leg room. The nautilus is more likely to allow your daughter to use the tray table and have a bit more leg room.

To get through the airport, a simple $15 luggage cart from kmart/walmart will do the trick. Use the latch hooks to attach or use bungee cords. Then you can place your carry-on on top of the seat and just pull through the airport. You'll have to take the seat off the cart to go through the machines at security, so make sure you can easily detach/attach the seat from the cart.
 

Maedze

New member
For a 35 pound 5 year old, I so would not bother with a harnessed seat. I'd buy a Graco Turbobooster, use it in the taxi, then put the back in your suit case and carry the seat onboard.

The Boulevard and the Marathon are identically sized. Any of the three seats will fit in an airline seat.
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Wow -- thanks for all of the advice! I will definitely check out a small hand truck -- I mentioned this idea to my husband and he thought it wouldn't work. But I have seen those ones that fold down, and they seem like a good idea.

@Maedze -- I'm not sure I understand your suggestion. Are you suggesting I put her in the full Turbobooster for the cars but then just take the bottom with me on the plane? Would I then just put that in the overhead bin? (I thought I read elsewhere that kids can't sit on a booster ont he plane).
 

DahliaRW

New member
I agree with the pp. If she can sit fine in a booster I would do that. SOOOO much easier.

If you bring the nautilus, be aware that it will not fit through the airport scanner, so it'll have to be hand wanded. Also, with either seat she won't be able to use the tray table on the plane, they sit too high.
 

pippi2077

Senior Community Member
For a 35 pound 5 year old, I so would not bother with a harnessed seat. I'd buy a Graco Turbobooster, use it in the taxi, then put the back in your suit case and carry the seat onboard.

The Boulevard and the Marathon are identically sized. Any of the three seats will fit in an airline seat.
I agree. Pack the back in your largest suitcase after you get to the airport. The backless part can just be hand carried to the gate. It will be her carry on. She won't ride in anything on the plane. Much lighter and easier to carry.
 

babyherder

New member
I think taking the bottom portion of the booster on the plane is just to insure that it will not get lost/damaged. That way when you get to your destination, even if your luggage is lost, you still have a backless booster for your child until you can get to the nearest store and find one with a back! Or for older kids just use without that back.
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
You could also get a Ride Safer Travel Vest for her. It's a wearable five point harness, and it starts at 30 pounds.

With a backless Turbo in hand, and lost luggage, you still haven't got a seat you can use. The bottom is rated from 40 pounds, not 30. I put our travel vest in my suitcase and don't check anything (Laine's carseat goes on top of my suitcase).

Wendy
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Wendy,

So, are you suggesting just taking a Ride Safer Travel Vest for her and using that in the cab and in the car at our destination? I know a little bit about that product, but not much. Is it safe for her to use as a primary form of restraint when we're driving around?

That sounds like a tempting option b/c it means not having to deal with any carseat in the aiport. I'm still really dreading it, particularly with the short connections we have.

Thanks!
Martha
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
It's absolutely safe as a primary "seat". It's our travel seat. It's not FAA approved, so you won't use it on the plane. Just in the cars.

Wendy
 

mburtis

New member
Wendy,

Thank you!! After reading your post, I did some more research and realized what you just said -- that it's a safe alternative to a car seat. I just purchased one, and I am SO happy to have found an alternative to lugging a car seat and a 5yo through an airport for a 40 minute connection!

Thanks again!!
 

mburtis

New member
Oh! -- I meant to add that my other concern was that it turns out my friend is going to have a Jeep Commander, so I was worried that even if I did manage to bring a car seat, I wouldn't be able to install it. And now I think the Ride Safer is a better bet for that, too.
 

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