Cars seats on Southwest

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Wedplan. Show Wedplan's posts

    Cars seats on Southwest

    Good Morning....

    I have booked a trip to Orlando at the end of January and will be traveling with my DS 2.5 and DS 1 (along with the husband).  I bought seats for everyone so that we can use carseats for both kids- safer, more comfortable, more familiar, etc.  Right now we have 2 britax Marathon 70s and I am afraid that they aren't going to fit in the seats. 

    Does anyone have any experience flying on Southwest with carseats?  What did you fly with, did you have any issues of them fitting?   

    I would appreciate your help as this is the first plane trip for the boys and I have read up on traveling, flying with toddlers but am worried about the carseat issue.

    Thanks.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    I just checked their website and found this...

    Be sure to check the width of your CRS. Although the width of aircraft seats varies, a safety seat wider than 16 inches is unlikely to fit, even if the armrests of the aircraft seats are moved out of the way. An ill-fitting safety seat will not provide adequate protection for your child.

    The FAA has banned the use on board aircraft of certain types of CRSs that may be harmful to a child in the event of an aviation emergency.  Please note that a CRS may not be placed in any aisle seat, an emergency exit row seat, or in a row directly in front of or behind an emergency exit row.

    You might want to give them a call and find out exactly.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Wedplan. Show Wedplan's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    In response to Winter2011Bride's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I just checked their website and found this...

    Be sure to check the width of your CRS. Although the width of aircraft seats varies, a safety seat wider than 16 inches is unlikely to fit, even if the armrests of the aircraft seats are moved out of the way. An ill-fitting safety seat will not provide adequate protection for your child.

    The FAA has banned the use on board aircraft of certain types of CRSs that may be harmful to a child in the event of an aviation emergency.  Please note that a CRS may not be placed in any aisle seat, an emergency exit row seat, or in a row directly in front of or behind an emergency exit row.

    You might want to give them a call and find out exactly.

    [/QUOTE]
    Thanks, I am flying out on Southwest on Nov 30 to Charleston (alone), and will talk to a gate SW agent.  Any recommendations of seats that do fit?

    thanks.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    I have no idea, my son flew when he was under 2 and then when he was 5 so no seat was needed. He's 12 now. :) 

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    This might not be what you are looking for if you are 100% decided on using carseats - but if you want an alternative, I traveled with my 2 year old and used the Kids Fly Safe CARES safety system, which is basically a five point harness seatbelt that attaches to the airplane seatbelt and lets the toddler sit in the regular seat. It's FAA approved for safety and weighs less than 1lb so its' super easy to bring on board and install.  We traveled on a plane when my DD was 21 months and lugged on her carseat and she was kicking the seat in front of her the entire trip and it was a huge pain to carry the seat through the airport so for our next flight we used the CARES system and it was so much easier.  Airlines let you check carseats (for free) so you can still bring and use the seat at your destination.  This may be a good option for you, especially since you will have the two kids.  It will be very difficult for you to get two kids and two huge carseats through security and to the gate so even if you end up just using this seatbelt for the 2.5 year old, it will make things a lot easier.  Plus, my DD was so much happier and more comfortable (and better behaved!) sitting in the regular seat, being able to use the tray table and she had a lot more legroom (and couldn't reach the seat in front of her) so it was a win all around!

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    I have flown many times with DD, who is now 4, and she has always had her own seat with a carseat. I've even flown Southwest! We use a Cosco Scenera carseat like the one below:

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cosco-Scenera-5-Point-Convertible-Car-Seat-Black-Santee/13004563

    It is much lighter than her regular Sunshine Kids carseat, and I know that it fits in Southwest airplane seats. 

    I don't know how big your 1 YO is, but if you can still fit him in a bucket, you might want to do that, although he will probably figure out the buckle on the airplane, since it will go over him. I agree with Rama that it is going to be a pain to lug 2 carseats through the airport, and if you have to change planes, it will be even more of a pain, but I always have liked the security of the carseat. I have never used the CARES harness, so it might be a better option for your older one.

    Another point about Soutwest, is that Family boarding is between the A and B groups, so it still is worth it to check in as close to the 24 hour before mark as possible, to see if you get into the A group, but it isn't worth it to pay the extra money to guarantee the A group.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from lissafro. Show lissafro's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    We've flown SW with a car seat and it fit.  I have to check what brand of car seat we own. It's something generic -- maybe cosco?  I will try to remember to check.

     

    Be aware of where you are sitting.  We KNEW not to sit next to an emergency exit but we didn't realize that the rows in front and behind the emergency exit are also not allowed with car seats.  The flight attendants didn't tell us until we'd gotten her all strapped in and everyone else had filled in.  It was an awkward seat-trade-with-a-generous-yet-annoyed stranger situation that could have been avoided had we known.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from newcarsmelly. Show newcarsmelly's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    I've travelled quite a bit w/ DD. We flew w/ her in Oct. and she's also 2.5.

    I agree w/ Rama and try letting 2.5 y/o sit in the seat. I have used a car seat on the plane and it is a pain and yes gives even more access to kicking the seat in front. (Needless to say, that was a long flight for me and the mad lady in front of DD!)On smooth flights, my DD ends up standing up and using the seat as a play area mostly. But you also have to consider how comfortable you are with and how agreeable your little  one will be to having to get back in the buckle when it's time to land or if there is turbulence.

    Also, we have the GoGo Kidz carseat attachment that has the wheels. So we can put her in the carseat and wheel her all the way thru the airport and we just gate check the carseat w/ the GoGo Kidz thing attached. I occassionally see them on Craigslist. (I would say don't buy new unless you plan to travel a lot!)


    Re 1 y/o - I think you'll be so happy that you have the extra room and seat. 1 y/o is more tricky. Bucket seat would be great but if you don't think he'll stay you may just end up w/ him on your lap but you'll still be happy you have the extra space in the seat next to you.

    GL!!!

     

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from newcarsmelly. Show newcarsmelly's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    I've travelled quite a bit w/ DD. We flew w/ her in Oct. and she's also 2.5.

    I agree w/ Rama and try letting 2.5 y/o sit in the seat. I have used a car seat on the plane and it is a pain and yes gives even more access to kicking the seat in front. (Needless to say, that was a long flight for me and the mad lady in front of DD!)On smooth flights, my DD ends up standing up and using the seat as a play area mostly. But you also have to consider how comfortable you are with and how agreeable your little  one will be to having to get back in the buckle when it's time to land or if there is turbulence.

    Also, we have the GoGo Kidz carseat attachment that has the wheels. So we can put her in the carseat and wheel her all the way thru the airport and we just gate check the carseat w/ the GoGo Kidz thing attached. I occassionally see them on Craigslist. (I would say don't buy new unless you plan to travel a lot!)


    Re 1 y/o - I think you'll be so happy that you have the extra room and seat. 1 y/o is more tricky. Bucket seat would be great but if you don't think he'll stay you may just end up w/ him on your lap but you'll still be happy you have the extra space in the seat next to you.

    GL!!!

     

     

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    Honestly, if you don't get in the A group or in line for the first few people in the B group, I think you may run into problems b/c you will have a hard time finding 2 seats together, never mind two seats together not in your allowable rows for car seats. DH is tall and I have long legs. We do not sit next to each other on Southwest flights unless we are in opposite rows b/c we both grab aisle seats.  You can guilt DH into moving; I don't move (I pop in earplugs the second I sit down and either stick my nose in a book or go to sleep dependong on the length of the flight).  It's great that you bought seats for the kids, but if you can't select your seats or at least have assigned seating, I think you are playing w/ fire with the car seats. You may want to consider checking the seats and look into the other option someone mentioned. 

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    No assigned seating?  Omg, that could really throw a wrench in the plan.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    ALF- Southwest lets families with small children board between A & B groups. I have never had a problem finding a whole row (there are only 3 of us) when boarding at that time.

    This family will have to take 2 rows, since both carseats will have to go next to windows. Mom with one kid, dad with the other, and the aisles will be open for others to take. If it were me, I would opt for rows one in front of the other, then they can put the 2.5 YO behind the 1 YO so seat kicking will not affect anyone but family. ;-)

    And Kar- even when seats are assigned, more and more airlines are charging for the "privilege" of getting assigned seats ahead of time. American wants to charge us for our flights at Christmas. We are risking not getting them assigned until check in - hopefully even if DH has to sit elsewhere, DD and I will be able to sit together. I can't honestly see a whole plane refusing to switch and forcing a 4 YO to sit by herself. But it will be Christmas day, so the Scrooges might be out in force!

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    I tend to assume the worst and plan accordingly...dh, not so much - it can be interesting when an event needs to be planned in the kargiver household, lol.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    Well, the "Scrooges" paid for  their seats too, so can they really be faulted if they decline to move?  Honestly, the inability to pick a seat, or at least be assigned a seat is why I avoid Southwest if possible.  For anything longer than a shuttle ride, we spring for Economy plus, which is part of the reason I won't move once I am in my seat.  I also check all of my bags except for a purse and a tote which actually, along w/ my purse, fits under my seat and that holds my water, magazines/book and presciption RX and then watch everyone try to load 'carry ons' that clearly should have been checked.  It's a plane, not the back seat of a station wagon. Plan accordingly. 

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    wow, lots of nice holiday spirit on this thread!   :)

    A one year old with his own seat needs a car seat of some kind.  The problem of not having pre-assigned seats exists whether or not they take the car seats.  It only adds the row restriction.

    And Amy-Lynn is totally right that they will have to go two and two (unless it's a massive plane with two aisles; don't know if Southwest even flies those), so the aisle seats will be free and those are the most coveted anyway.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    ALF - I too am a non-bin user. Even when DD was tiny and needed a big diaper bag, we had that and our one carryon bag that goes under the seat. I didn't even carry a seperate purse... Now DD has a backpack and we still have one other bag, athough I bring a small purse. I have no desire to schlepp more than I need to through an airport. That is why I am a big fan of putting things in ziploc bags - keeps stuff organized, clothes for DD can be squished pretty small, and if someting is messy it can be contained. 

    But I am getting more and more irked by tacking the extra fees for things that used to be part of a flight. I am OK with the way Southwest loads the plane, because I know their deal, and that I am getting (sometimes) the best price. If American or another airline wants to charge for assigning seats, keep it part of the ticket, don't spring it on me at the end. Or put it out there like bag fees now are - although the airlines tried keeping those under wraps for a while too. 

    Mainly, I wish flying wasn't such a pain. I love travelling, but getting there (and back) shouldn't be the worst part. Don't even get me started on security theater, that is another rant altogether.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Wedplan. Show Wedplan's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for all your advice.  I will look into the Cares restraint for my older one and will see about checking his carseat - we are renting a car so it will be necessary at our destination.  I will look into the Cosco-Scenera for the one we use during the flight - thanks amy-lynn. 

    Thanks for the 2x2 tip, that makes a lot of sense so that the older one is only kicking the little one - he's his brother and has to put up with it. :)  If not, then we will divide & conquer :) I get one kid and my husband the other.  It would be nice to sit together but will pack 2 sets of snacks and diapers so that if we can't it isn't the end of the world.  We did pay for the early bird check in on the way home so that I don't have to worry about stopping our trip to checkin at the 24hr mark.   

    I am trying to find a gogo travelmate on craigslist, etc to make bringing the carseat through the airport easier.  We plan to check almost everything except a backpack and small pocketbook/diaper bag to hold - snacks, diapers, change of clothes - new toys to keep the kids occupied and lots of earplugs for those around us as a courtesy just in case of meltdown. 

    I have been reading up on all the ways to prepare kids for flights and think that the older one will do ok and the younger one I will manage by making sure he gets a bottle at take-off and landing - thankfully I was able to book non-stop flights.

    I am flying out this week (alone) on Southwest this friday so hopefully I will have the opportunity to talk to a gate agent and see what they say about the carseat install. 

    Again, thanks for all your tips and suggestions.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    Amy-Lynn-We've booked flights only to find out we can't chose our seats when we book. But when you fly with children the airlines do try and keep those parties seated together. I know British Airways will open up seat assignment 3 days prior, and maybe earlier. But I'd give the airline a call a few days before you leave and see if they've assigned your seat yet-if not you might be able to talk the agent into assigning you then. We did have one crazy travel day when an international flight was cancelled last minute and had to rebook, get through immigration and securityall with only 30 min before take off. The agent in a hurry booked DH in one row, myself in another row, and DS in a different row. Thankfully everyone was more than willing to shift to let DS and myself set next to eachother. Most people are understanding to parents traveling with small kids. Also helps if you're willing to give up a prime seat.

    Wedplan-you're flying to orlando, the plane will be filled with kids-and those flyign to orlando know that there will be lots of kids on the flights so they will be mentally prepared for what that entails. I'm a big fan of Ymmy Earth vit C lollipops-it will help the 2.5 year old with their ears and even keep the baby entertained.

    In our recent trip to Orlando in Sept, we checked the car seats- we put them in this http://www.amazon.com/Jeep-Car-Seat-Travel-Bag/dp/B001CWVYMI/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353944935&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=jeep+car+seat+carrier+protectors and the bag held up well and fit our Britax seats. We even checked our stroller and I wore DD who was 1 at the time in an ergo carrier. She got kinda sick of me by the end of the day, but the hassle of the stroller (we had a connection) wasn't worth it to us. If you do the CARES harness just buy one. At 3 year old DS is old enough and tall enough to sit using the regular seat belt. Though we've def got our money out of it on our international flights. Now that DD is getting older she'll use it on of our next flights. (I really think after a year old the kids need their own seats unless it's a quick flight less than an hour.)

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from WasKT75. Show WasKT75's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    I just flew Southwest with my 2 kids and DH but w/o car seats.  DD is 3.5 used the CARES harness and DS (1.5) was a lap passenger.  We have flown before with the Britax Roundabout and that worked fine.  We also rented a car and we ended up renting car seats this time around, the money was well worth being able to travel lighter.  For the seating don't sweat it, families check in between Group A and B, there will be plenty of seats available.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from Wedplan. Show Wedplan's posts

    Re: Cars seats on Southwest

    Hi All,

    I finally got around to coming back to reality after our vacation and wanted to let you know how our flying with the 1 & 2.5 yr olds on Southwest.  It ended up being rather easy.  We flew out of Providence which I would do again in heartbeat because the check in and security was pleasant and easy.  Can you believe it, nice TSA agents (At least for us).  We had bought the Go-Go Babyz travelmates on Craigslist and hooked those on the Britax Marathon-70 carseats then strapped the kids in the carseats and off we went.  The kids were happy because it was a new experience (plus we timed the flights for when they wouldn't be cranky for a nap).  We had to take them out for the security check then back in and we walked easily to the gate (no chasing toddlers).

    We were boarding group B so we ended up in the Family Boarding and were the 2nd family on the plane - the carseats strapped to the travelmates wheeled right onto the plane and down the aisle.  We unhooked the travelmate stored it above and then put the carseats in the seats.  We ended up at the back of the plane in order to get 2 rows together so that if the older one (who could possibly reach the chair in front of him) only kicked his brother.  Plus with carseats you need to have them in a window seat.  We asked for seatbeat extenders and we were good to go.  The kids were great on the flight - the little one actually slept for 2/3 of the flight.  The flight home was just as easy.  Although both times we were basically the last people off the plane so sitting in back wasn't a big deal and we expected that.

    So in short - the carseats fit, without issue and I didn't need to pass out the earplugs I bought for everyone else.  :)

    Thanks.

     
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