What have I DONE haha...

Phineasmama

New member
I just purchased 5 plane tickets to fly to Arizona over spring break. With three children. And we will need to rent a car when we get there :eek: I'm really nervous because this is my first time flying with kids in car seats, but at least DH will be with us so I won't have to carry everything myself.

Thankfully the itinerary is really good, we will be traveling during the day time so no late night arrivals and hopefully the kids will behave themselves! I am thinking full size sedan should be okay for the rental car? I will be bringing the Peg convertible for the baby, a ProRide or Radian for DS, and either a Harmony folding travel booster or Bubble Bum for DD1. Anything I should know about Southwest? We will only have one rear facing car seat. And I will check in online 24 hours before the flight.
 

Phineasmama

New member
He just turned 4 and he's really small for his age, he still has several inches to go rear facing in the Radian! But I will probably just plan on him being FFing for the trip. I doubt I will buy anything for him because there are several seats we already own that he fits in, but not for DD1.
 

linneabw

New member
Do you have a bucket for the infant? I've flown with an infant and 3 yo (safe seat and radian) and the bucket is so much easier to haul around! Also if you have a stroller to put it in it helps. The radian is a beast to travel w but we've done it 3 times, just make sure to put the rfing boot in a carry on in case your bags get lost! Could your 4yr d rf in the peg? Lol, so many things to consider!
 

Phineasmama

New member
Hmm I'm not sure if DS would fit in the Peg RF, I will have to check! I don't really plan on RFing him for the trip though. I don't know if DD2 would fit in ANY infant bucket she is ginormous lol. She is 30 lbs and wearing mostly 3T clothes :eek: She is literally like a head shorter than my 4 year old.

I was planning on getting one of those luggage racks with wheels they sell at wal mart or whatever and strapping two convertibles on there with bungee cords.
 

Lemonade

New member
For your DD1, I'd consider a Ride Safer Travel vest and then put her in the middle between the other two. Though I guess a booster would be a lot less expensive.
 

Phineasmama

New member
Yeah that's why I was thinking bubble bum because if she's in the middle...not sure what kind of car we will have yet either. It's possible we might borrow one from a relative and then at least we'd know ahead of time!
 

Phineasmama

New member
My mom lives there, both my grandmas and some other extended family :) One grandma has met DD1 when she was a baby, and the other grandma hasn't met any of my kids yet.
 

stephpook

New member
We traveled Southwest to Arizona last summer with a Scenera and a Radian (and two backless TB's in the overhead bin). The carry strap for the Radian made it a lot easier to carry through the airport (we didn't have it last time we flew and dang that seat is heavy!). The Scenera was super easy to carry through the airport and fit RF'ing on the plane fine. I was originally going to use a second Radian with an AA RFing for the baby, but ended up having to get the Scenera at the last minute (I've never actually put a Radian RF'ing on a Southwest plane before as our son was 2 last time we went and we went ahead and FF'ed him on the plane. I've been told it fits - but just barely).

Since we traveled with my parents, we had a 1:1 adult to child ratio which made seating much easier. My parents sat with my oldest two sons - 3 across in one row and then one on the other side of the aisle. I sat in the row directly behind them with the baby in the RF'ing Scenera (so we didn't have to worry about another passenger not being able to recline their seat). The car seat, of course, had to be next to the window, and I sat next to her. My husband and 4 year old (FF'ing Radian) sat directly behind us so that he could only kick his sister's seat. I like doing consecutive rows instead of all across the same row on both sides of the aisle when flying with kids for the reasons stated above, plus it's easier passing things back and forth.

Our rental was a Grand Caravan (we have 4 kids so a sedan wouldn't have worked). Terrible belt fit with backless boosters in the third row, but the Radian installed like a dream.

Since you have kids younger than 5, you'll automatically be able to board between groups A and B, although it never hurts to try and get into group A. Since we typically have extra adults (my parents or sisters) traveling with us when we go to AZ, one (or more) of them usually pays the extra $10 to get early bird boarding and will take one (or both) of the car seats on board with them. Seating has never really been an issue given that we board between A and B anyway, but we figure most people are going to stay far away from a CR when they see one on a plane so it's a little bit of extra insurance.

Oh, and be prepared to be asked multiple times when you check in and get on the plane if the baby has her own ticket. I really don't think they see many kids under 2 flying on their own ticket, much less in a CR.
 

Phineasmama

New member
We traveled Southwest to Arizona last summer with a Scenera and a Radian (and two backless TB's in the overhead bin). The carry strap for the Radian made it a lot easier to carry through the airport (we didn't have it last time we flew and dang that seat is heavy!). The Scenera was super easy to carry through the airport and fit RF'ing on the plane fine. I was originally going to use a second Radian with an AA RFing for the baby, but ended up having to get the Scenera at the last minute (I've never actually put a Radian RF'ing on a Southwest plane before as our son was 2 last time we went and we went ahead and FF'ed him on the plane. I've been told it fits - but just barely).

Since we traveled with my parents, we had a 1:1 adult to child ratio which made seating much easier. My parents sat with my oldest two sons - 3 across in one row and then one on the other side of the aisle. I sat in the row directly behind them with the baby in the RF'ing Scenera (so we didn't have to worry about another passenger not being able to recline their seat). The car seat, of course, had to be next to the window, and I sat next to her. My husband and 4 year old (FF'ing Radian) sat directly behind us so that he could only kick his sister's seat. I like doing consecutive rows instead of all across the same row on both sides of the aisle when flying with kids for the reasons stated above, plus it's easier passing things back and forth.

Our rental was a Grand Caravan (we have 4 kids so a sedan wouldn't have worked). Terrible belt fit with backless boosters in the third row, but the Radian installed like a dream.

Since you have kids younger than 5, you'll automatically be able to board between groups A and B, although it never hurts to try and get into group A. Since we typically have extra adults (my parents or sisters) traveling with us when we go to AZ, one (or more) of them usually pays the extra $10 to get early bird boarding and will take one (or both) of the car seats on board with them. Seating has never really been an issue given that we board between A and B anyway, but we figure most people are going to stay far away from a CR when they see one on a plane so it's a little bit of extra insurance.

Oh, and be prepared to be asked multiple times when you check in and get on the plane if the baby has her own ticket. I really don't think they see many kids under 2 flying on their own ticket, much less in a CR.

Thank you so much!!! That was super helpful! I am definitely going to pay the $10 for myself and I'll go install the car seats first. That is a great idea. I think I'm just going to stay away from the radian for travel because I don't want to lug it through the airport, even though I have a carry strap, and I don't want to deal with install issues. The Peg is super light and takes up like no front to back room, so I'll do that RF for the baby and then I'll put the Proride for DS behind her in the next row back.

Our main vehicle is a grand caravan, sucks doesn't it :p
 

bakinlove

New member
I flew SW with my son when he was about 9 mo old and I carried on his EFTA! Oh my goodness did we get a work out! The SW staff was so nice to us, he did not have his own ticket we were simply praying that the flight would be empty enough for us to use the car seat and not check it and it was! The staff helped me carry my stuff down, checked my stroller for me, helped me hold DS while I installed the seat and generally were so nice it was ridiculous:) I have not flown with any child since then, but I know if I were going to do it again I would be looking for a SW flight rather than many other airlines! Good luck and have fun!
 

Phineasmama

New member
I flew SW with my son when he was about 9 mo old and I carried on his EFTA! Oh my goodness did we get a work out! The SW staff was so nice to us, he did not have his own ticket we were simply praying that the flight would be empty enough for us to use the car seat and not check it and it was! The staff helped me carry my stuff down, checked my stroller for me, helped me hold DS while I installed the seat and generally were so nice it was ridiculous:) I have not flown with any child since then, but I know if I were going to do it again I would be looking for a SW flight rather than many other airlines! Good luck and have fun!
That's good to hear! The lady I spoke to on the phone told me I should just not buy a ticket for the baby and hope for an extra seat, but there's no way I can risk having to check one of my precious car seats :p We are going over Easter weekend, and even though we're traveling on Wednesday both times I am worried that it will be more crowded than normal.
 

stephpook

New member
Thank you so much!!! That was super helpful! I am definitely going to pay the $10 for myself and I'll go install the car seats first. That is a great idea. I think I'm just going to stay away from the radian for travel because I don't want to lug it through the airport, even though I have a carry strap, and I don't want to deal with install issues. The Peg is super light and takes up like no front to back room, so I'll do that RF for the baby and then I'll put the Proride for DS behind her in the next row back.

Our main vehicle is a grand caravan, sucks doesn't it :p
I know a lot of people hate traveling with the Radian, but I actually love it. Installation FF'ing on the plane was just fine (I've done it 6 times, I think, in the last 2 years). The carry strap did make a huge difference though. In terms of rental cars - I've installed it in a T&C, Grand Caravan, and a sedan (now that I think of it) - but I don't remember what make and model (something American). The sedan installation was kind of a pain. It was December in Milwaukee and I was trying to install it at the curb at the airport. It was freezing cold and the car was unfamiliar...so yeah, that sucked. Of course, trying to figure out where to put 4 seats in a Grand Caravan on a sizzling July day in Phoenix wasn't a walk in the park either. The Radian was the easiest installation I did that day (and two of the seats were boosters)!

I didn't want to sound too snobby about the Grand Caravan because I thought you had one, but yeah, as long as we're being honest - it was awful!
 

stephpook

New member
That's good to hear! The lady I spoke to on the phone told me I should just not buy a ticket for the baby and hope for an extra seat, but there's no way I can risk having to check one of my precious car seats :p We are going over Easter weekend, and even though we're traveling on Wednesday both times I am worried that it will be more crowded than normal.
Southwest flights are very often full these days - even when traveling on a weekday. At least they are for us (flying out of BWI). We're in a major metropolitan area and location could well make a big difference.
 

Phineasmama

New member
We are flying from Chicago to Phoenix, we have a layover on both departing and returning flight but it says no plane change...so I guess that's good haha.

Yeah the caravan is awful. I mean I don't really have any complaints about it aside from the fact that it's not car seat/booster friendly and it's supposed to be a family vehicle :rolleyes: When I bought it I didn't know it was so terrible for boosters, otherwise I probably wouldn't have gotten it. But the Kiddy boosters work so we're good. I wouldn't really be able to travel with those though.

I think we might use my mom's HHR and rent the cheapest little car for her and my brother to use while we're there. Unless the mid/full size sedan isn't much more than the economy car.
 

stephpook

New member
I had a layover last year when I flew out for my grandmother's funeral. It added an hour or so to the trip, but it really wasn't bad, all things considered. We stayed on the plane the whole time. You will want to make sure you bring plenty of snacks though - especially if it's a longer flight and you're used to eating every few hours. Chicago to Phoenix shouldn't be too bad, I guess, but the snacks are...blech. Little bags of peanuts, pretzels sometimes, little sandwich crackers, Lorna Doone shortbread cookies - stuff like that. They usually have 4 or 5 options and let you pick a couple, but it's not a lot of food and what you do get is typically mostly just carbs.
 

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