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Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

Denver
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Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

Aloha! We are 10 weeks and counting! :) We are returning to Maui this spring (direct from Denver), but for the first time are bringing our children--5 year old twins and a 2 year old. I have read previous threads and got some great tips about activities and snacks, and we have LeapPads and other great toys and games geared up for the trip. However, my question is about the car seat for the 2 year old.

Should we be bringing it on the plane and buckling the car seat into the airline seat, then buckling the baby into the car seat? Or, would you recommend we just check the car seat with our luggage and buckle her in the airplane seat itself? (The twins are in little boosters, so those we will check with our luggage.) Any advice is appreciated! Thanks!

Omaha, Nebraska...
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1. Re: Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

I'm a bit of a car seat alarmist, but I would DEFINITELY bring the car seat on the plane. Checking it can cause structural damage to your seat (there's a high likelihood that your seat will be slung around like luggage is -- and we all know how that can turn out!) and you don't want that in the event of a collision. Better safe the sorry I say! Most car seats are FAA approved, but you'll want to check your manual to be sure.

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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2. Re: Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

I agree, car seat on the plane. Not only for protection of the seat-but for comfort of your 2. It is a "known" item, and will fit the baby much better than an airplane seat. In case of turbulence it will also be much safer.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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3. Re: Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

Obviously, it is safer to have 2 year old in car seat, but having done a few flights with a 2 year old, I would use a car seat . . .then they know it is just like traveling in the car and they can't get up and go. Flights with toddlers can be very trying and I think the car seat really helps - along with snacks, drinks, books and toys! :)

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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4. Re: Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

Yep, coalminer, that was part of what I meant-thanks for explaining it better!

San Diego...
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5. Re: Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

We have done it both ways. When we used the car seat she got restless as it is more confining. We found by giving her breaks from the seat such as walking up and down the isle when things were quite helped or take her out of the seat and put her on your lap a bit

Wisconsin
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6. Re: Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

I never used car seats on planes but this was 20 years ago when mine were small. Too much hassle.

Hartford...
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7. Re: Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

I believe you have to use the car seat if under 50 lbs or something like that. A 2 year old in a reg plane seat just wont work. Check the planes rules on this. We bought the harness thing I forget the name but it was 40 bucks and well worth it. It uses the planes seat belt and goes over the childs shoulders but I still think a two year old would be too small. I thinking it was over 30 or 35 lbs to use this harness.

As far as 20 years ago you probably was able to smoke on the plane too.

Edited: 20 January 2014, 21:29
Wisconsin
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8. Re: Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

Kids under 2 ride on parents laps only. No car seat needed

Hartford...
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9. Re: Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

Yes on lap 2 and under but I dont believe the OP is asking about lap

Denver
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10. Re: Long flight to Maui with 3 under 6--car seat on the plane?

The rule is actually 'a child who is older that two years of age' requires their own seat. So, as soon as they hit their second birthday, you have to buy them a ticket. She will be 2 years 3 months at the time of the trip, so lap baby isn't an option. (Not sure I would want to do that on a 7 hour flight, anyway!) ;)

I have checked the regulations and a car seat is not required. We can use one, or we can use one of those harnesses (she is the right weight/size for them) which a friend has offered to lend us.

As much of a hassle as the car seat will be, I am thinking that she is already used to sleeping in it on long car trips so might be more comfortable sitting in it and sleeping in it on the plane. Was just curious what others' experiences were, so I really appreciate all of the input.

If we go to belt the seat in the airplane and it doesn't fit for some reason, would they then allow us to gate check it?