Relocating Sweden Plane Trip. Help, Please!

trzesmmom

New member
We are a family of five moving to Sweden. We will be there a minimum of three years. Our kids will be 6, 4 and 16 months at the time of the move. We will have tickets for each member of our family. My mother-in-law might be coming along to help.

I've been reading through various posts and have learned that our car seats will be rendered useless as they will be illegal. We've planned to use a car seat with our 16-month-old daughter on the plane. We have a Britax Roundabout 50 Classic for her. We purchased it recently and will now have to throw it out. I've come to terms with this (somewhat). Our 4-year-old daughter has a Graco Nautilus as well as a Graco TurboBooster passed down from our 6-year-old son. Which, if any, should I use on the plane? Our son uses our car's built-in booster and will not be using anything on the plane, but I've been thinking about the CARES restraint system. Any thoughts?

Which is the easiest way to transport the car seat(s) through the airport?

Method one: Strap on carry-on suitcase via bungee cord or luggage strap holder. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Traveling-Toddler-Seat-Travel-Accessory/dp/B000JHN3AS"]Amazon.com: Traveling Toddler Car Seat Travel Accessory: Baby[/ame]

Method two: Get a carrying bag which resembles a backpack. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Childress-Ultimate-Seat-Travel-Black/dp/B0009RNXNA/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1327091843&sr=1-1"]Amazon.com: JL Childress Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag, Black: Baby[/ame]

Method three: Use the stroller and strap the car seat(s) on with bungee cords.

Or other methods...suggestions?

Each child will be carrying their own tot-sized backpack, I'll have a diaper/snack bag, a handbag and maybe the stroller and my husband will be toting the carry-on suitcase with changes of clothes with the possibility of having the car seat strapped to it. It all depends on what we choose to do. I'd like to cut down on excess to make it smooth. Does that sound workable?

Is there anything I am missing? Of course there's all the other logistics to work out once we arrive, but I'm worried about the trip mostly. Also, when should we start shipping our car and other items so we'll be able to have it once we arrive? We are shipping some crates and our Volvo.

Any knowledge that you can share would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
ADS

Cath3114

New member
I'll let an expert give you advice, but you'll definitely have to have the baby in a seat on the plane, so don't throw it out just yet.

And Sweden has the BEST seats, I'm totally jealous you'll have access to them!

Also, check out carseat.se
 

cantabdad

New member
I'm not an expert, but I also recently asked about what seats might be good for a transatlantic flight, and people here recommended the Roundabout... relatively lightweight and easy to install. So that sounds like a good bet for your youngest one. Even though you won't be able to use it in Sweden, your mother-in-law could conceivably tote it back to the US for you so that you have something to use on your visits "home." Or you could just stash it in the attic in Sweden and use it for your next US-bound plane trip, and again perhaps leave it in the States for occasional vacation use.

The 4- and 6-year olds can just use the regular aircraft lap belt, assuming they are over 40 pounds. That would make things easier on you, and you're not missing out on anything by leaving the US seats behind since you'll need to buy Swedish-approved seats for them anyway. CARES could be an option for the 4-year-old if she will still be under its 44-lb. limit at the time of travel. The youngest one could also technically use it, if over 22 lbs., but at 16 mos. I think he/she will definitely be more comfortable in a carseat.

What airline are you using? The number one lesson we learned in planning a trip is to check and double-check the policy of the airline you are flying, and to understand which parts of the trip may be on code-share partners. For code-shares, the regulations of the operating carrier govern. For US-registered carriers, the relatively parent-friendly FAA guidelines govern.
 
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cantabdad

New member
Also, on the question of getting the carseat through the airport, we've always used what you called Method 3. We carried our daughter in an Ergo carrier and just put the carseat in the empty stroller. However, our friends who travel by air much more frequently have a GoGo Kidz Travelmate and absolutely swear by it (Method 1).

All in all, I think all 3 methods can work fine -- at many smaller airports, and even here in Boston, you really don't have all that far to go from curb to gate, and you'll have your spouse with you to help.

However, it might also depend where (if at all) you are connecting on the way to Sweden. A small airport like Reykjavik would be a piece of cake, whereas for London Heathrow I'd probably want to be equipped for Method 1.
 

newyorkDOC

New member
I've done the strap to stroller method and DD sat in the seat but we only did it once. I've also carried seats with the harness and/or bungeed it to luggage. Honestly I hate traveling with convertibles.

WRT the go go kidz, keep in mind that it may not fit Swedish seats which tend to be taller. So you'd get use out of it now but maybe not later.

I'd keep the marathon if you think you might repatriate in 3 years.
 

newyorkDOC

New member
Also, I don't know how often they check stickers in Sweden but we have the nautilus here in Europe. It only harnesses to 18kg though. So in your shoes, I'd be tempted to keep your American nautilus if you want a HWH.
 

trzesmmom

New member
What airline are you using? The number one lesson we learned in planning a trip is to check and double-check the policy of the airline you are flying, and to understand which parts of the trip may be on code-share partners. For code-shares, the regulations of the operating carrier govern. For US-registered carriers, the relatively parent-friendly FAA guidelines govern.
I have no clue as to which airline we are using. We haven't received our relocation package yet. I'm assuming that we are booking the flight(s) ourselves and not his company. He thinks they will book for us since they did with his initial trip. Which companies are the best and most family friendly?
 

trzesmmom

New member
Also, I don't know how often they check stickers in Sweden but we have the nautilus here in Europe. It only harnesses to 18kg though. So in your shoes, I'd be tempted to keep your American nautilus if you want a HWH.
Would I be able to use the Nautilus in Sweden? We'll be travelling throughout Europe vacationing as well. Would the Nautilus be legal in other European countries? I might just keep it even though the thought of dealing with it is burdensome.
 

newyorkDOC

New member
No. Legally speaking you are required to have a seat that is EU approved and there are no seats approved for both sides of the ocean. Seats are approved across Europe though so a Swedish seat is legal anywhere in the EU.

However, as the seat exists here it wouldn't "look" foreign IYKWIM.

If you're expatting for your DH's job, you might be able to expense new seats.
 

cantabdad

New member
Which companies are the best and most family friendly?

Again, I'm not an expert on this, but all US-registered carriers have to follow FAA regulations, which say that you cannot be prevented from installing a carseat for your child, as long as you have purchased a seat for the child, the seat is approved for aircraft use, and you are following the manufacturer's height/weight limits. Seats can be installed FF or RF as appropriate, and indeed the FAA encourages (but does not seem to strictly require) airlines to find you a new seat if your aft-facing carseat does not fit.

With European airlines, you really need to get the details from their websites. SAS, KLM, Swiss, Air France, Lufthansa, and Icelandair all generally state that you can use a carseat if it's "approved" and can fit between the armrests. Apparently your experience may vary in dealing with individual flight attendants. Anecdotally, Lufthansa is pretty good about this.

British Airways allows carseats only FF, and only for kids over 6 months but under 3 years. Alitalia would probably be an unlikely choice for a routing from the US to Sweden, but be aware that they do NOT allow a child under 2 to occupy a seat, even if one is purchased for them. You must hold the child. Inexplicable, but true, and I even called their US reservations line to double-check this.
 

trzesmmom

New member
I'll let an expert give you advice, but you'll definitely have to have the baby in a seat on the plane, so don't throw it out just yet.

And Sweden has the BEST seats, I'm totally jealous you'll have access to them!

Also, check out carseat.se
Thanks for the link! There are so many it's overwhelming. I'm glad it's in English, too. :)

Edit: Which seat would you recommend?
 

Cath3114

New member
trzesmmom said:
Thanks for the link! There are so many it's overwhelming. I'm glad it's in English, too. :)

Edit: Which seat would you recommend?
I don't know many details about any of them. I know a few members on here have imported the a Britax Multi-Tech or a Britax Two-Way Elite. You could probably do a search on here and find more information or somebody who owns one.
 

Cilia

New member
I would choose one of your suggested methods based on where the lay over is. If it is in Europe, you will not get your stroller by the gate even if you gate check it here in the US. So you will have to somehow get the car seat to where you pick up the stroller. Usually you can use the airport carts inside the airport, but usually not on different levels or to different terminals.

Heathrow is a pain in this respect. Other airports in Europe can be pretty bad too.

If your lay over is in the US, you will get your stroller by the gate when you land. But when you arrive in Europe you will have to walk over to bagage claim to get it.

As for what to do with the seats? I would keep them and try to get them back to the US to use when you come back to visit. If you do bring them to Sweden, I would use them while you shop for new seats. I'd rather have my 4 yo ride in an illegal seat from the airport to where ever than in just a seat belt. But do bring locking clips as most cars do not have SLRs in Europe.
 

newyorkDOC

New member
There are no hard and fast rules as to where and when you get your stroller back. Not even within the same airport. It depends on your airline and the landing terminal.

That said, customs is customs everywhere and you will need to go through customs and passport control at your first point of entry in the EU. I've never not been able to find a cart. You will have to abandon said cart at escalators and passport control but you can just find another on the other side.

A quinny zapp original folds into a backpack so you could theoretically carry it on.
 

penguingrooves

New member
i have a multi-tech in my honda jazz (honda fit in the US). it RFs until 25 kg/55 lb and is a very heavy, solid seat. it's also the seat volvo uses as its volvo-brand seat in some parts of the world, like in the UK. my seat is also from carseat.se. it's installed along with US britax roundabout 40 (narrower than your new generation RA) and coccoro, all RFing in the backseat. it's a very tight install - i hope i never have to reinstall any of them because i don't think i can do it again.

britax recently released another seat called the max-way which is an updated version of the hi-way. i believe it's only for RFing and up to 25 kg/55 lb.

good luck with the move. i'm sure many US forum members are envious of your access to swedish seats.
 

newyorkDOC

New member
Is your youngest FF or RF? If FF I'd go for a lighter seat. If RF, just check about the bracing / airbag issue. Swedish seats, unlike US seats either brace or use a foot prop when RF. Neither is "safer" but it depends on how the seat fits your car. For instance, you cannot install RF in with a foot prop if you have one of those humps in the floor. Likewise you cannot brace if your advanced airbags do not allow it.

So basically I'd see what your car allows and go from there. I wouldn't have qualms about using a US seat in the interim.
 

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