We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

Bath, England
Level Contributor
125 posts
15 reviews
Save Topic
Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

I am getting the impression from many posts that it is better all round if you take your own car seat when renting a car in the USA.

Whilst I am happy to do this, I do have a few reservations.

1. Is the car seat likely to get damaged by baggage handlers. If I cant take it on the plane as carry-on, I am not likely to know if the car seat gets dropped and therefore I am putting my child at risk without knowing.

2. Do car rental companies in the US supplier the ISOFIX base by itself? Or will I need to bring this also?

I might be being a bit precious but am keen to hear how others have addressed this issue.

Lancashire, United...
Destination Expert
for Playa Blanca
Level Contributor
37,437 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

No one can know if your seat will get damaged or not. If you are taking your own seat I would think you have to take everything connected with it but I don't know.

You may be better asking on the Miami or Florida forum and you could also ask on The Dibb, where there are more British posters than on Trip Advisor.

Trondheim, Norway
Destination Expert
for Trondheim
Level Contributor
4,788 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

1. Not likely, but it can happen. Our car seats (got a 5yo) have been on 5-6 flights a year without any damage at all. Handler's seldom drop anything, and car seats are quite easy to hold on to. But there are no guarantees.

2. Check with the rental companies.

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
Level Contributor
6,973 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

How old is your child? Depending on age, you may want to conisder a car seat that is also airline approved. That way he/she can sit in it on the plane and be safer while probably more comfortable (for you also).

Anything can get damaged in an aircraft hold. A nylon/canvas bag would be a good idea to at least keep it clean and prevent straps and buckles from catching other things in the hold.

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
Level Contributor
14,158 posts
245 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

Any thing can be damaged on a plane. We have checked our grandchildren's car seats many times, and they have been returned only slightly smudged, but one can be dropped or run over or thrown in a field. You can not guarantee security with checked luggage.

When possible we prefer to take the child seat on the plane because it is easier for the child.

In the alternative, most car rental agencies in the US do rent acceptable car seats. There is an additional daily charge, and I have always thought it was worth it to bring our own. You should certainly check with the agency you are using so you can determine if you want to pay for one in the US or risk bringing your own.

atlanta
Level Contributor
4,409 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

I don't think the rental car company will supply the base you need.

That would be part of the car seat and they generally rent them as a unit.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
Level Contributor
15,679 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

Hi,

Car seats like that *tend* to be one of the later/last things to be loaded into the aircraft as they're odd-sized..

On a narrow body aircraft (like the B737) bags are loaded one-by-one into the cargo hold and are 'stacked' in such a manner as to maximize space/volume.. Think of it like a game of Tetris-- you load bags in the most space efficient manner leaving as little open space as possible.. and odd-sized things like car seats tend to be last as they don't "fit" well into this format..

On a wide-body, like the B777 you use those aluminum container (correctly called a Unit Load Device or ULD) and the same concept about loading applies.. You try to load as many bags as you can into the ULD-- therefore you'd leave off until the end, things that are odd-sized or shaped as they'd hurt you when it comes to space maximization.

Naturally, this is no guarantee that can't or won't be damaged as bags can shift in flight, they can get caught in mechanical belts and conveyers, etc.

I've seen some parents put the seat in a box-- but as boxes are crush-able-- I'm no so sure this is a real value-added in terms of damage prevention.

I'd say on the statistical side, you'd have a low odds of damage.. these items tend to be handled a little bit differently due to their unique shape.

Travel Safe,

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
25,856 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

The risk of damage is less about whether the seat is obviously broken, and more about the fact that any impact to the seat can weaken the plastic, rendering it no longer crash worthy. This is why a seat that's been in a single accident, even if it shows no signs of damage, is no longer usable; the plastic may be weakened enough to render it unsafe in the next crash. If the seat is dropped, tossed, or has any sort of pressure put on it in the hold, or while loading or unloading, it will no longer be considered crash worthy, and since you have no way of knowing how it was handled, you won't know whether it's crash worthy or not. I would never check a car seat unless it was in the original box with packaging material, to protect it from those sorts of forces.

Sacramento...
Level Contributor
159 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

We always buy a seat for the child and an airline approved carseat, thereby avoiding checking the seat and assuring we have a safe one for the child on the other end. Car rental companies are notorious for having old, dirty and unknown crash and recall status carseats. I would not leave your child's safety in either the airline or rental agency's hands.

Bath, England
Level Contributor
125 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

We have not purchased an airline seat as she is young enough to ride in the sky cot. We will have to check the car seat, I have checked with the airline.

Thank you for all your comments, for those who take car seats with them, do you take the base unit too?

Illinois
Level Contributor
17,429 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Will My Baby's Car Seat Get Damaged On Flight?

Can the car seat be installed in a car without the base? If not, then take the base. Mine (13 years ago) could be used without the base, so I didn't take the base. I would not expect the car rental company to have a compatible base.