A few days ago I posted a photo on Instagram uploading our chair in reverse gear to the plane. I told you that I would explain our experience and what we had been able to investigate on the subject. At that time I was happy because I had achieved something very important, but we were not aware of what would happen next.
While I tell you about this experience, we are going to go by parts to be able to add valuable information when traveling with babies by plane.
1.- FIRST STEPS: Request information during the reservation
If you are traveling with a baby by plane, you should bear in mind that:
- If your baby is under 2 years old It will travel in your lap with a belt extension that the stewardess will give you to dock it. There is also the possibility of being able to travel with a car restraint system as long as it is adapted for this type of situation and you make the reservation of an adult seat.
- If your baby is over 2 years old You will be traveling in an adult-like seat and, on rare occasions, you may travel in a car safety seat. Some companies do allow it, but this SRI should always be oriented in favor of the march (which is not our case)
For more information I leave you here a PDF ( Fly with a baby PDF) where you can consult the prices for children, if you can bring a stroller and a seat for free (Edited: Ryanair in its latest update also includes a second accessory that can be: crib, stroller, etc. In any case, confirm it because sometimes they contradict each other) And if your little one is going to be able to travel sitting in his retention system or you are going to have to check in. In any case you should always discuss it with the airline. Although your safety seat indicates that it is approved for that use, you must confirm it so that the seat is reserved for you and the stewardess does not put you in trouble saying it does not fit. If you have problems, all you have to do is show the paper where you specify the approval for that use (in instructions or on the chair itself, you must carry an CE sticker and the certification mark for the use of airplanes).
Doesn't it seem contradictory that everything inside the plane is required to be secured during take-off, landing and during turbulence, except for children under 2 years of age? According to tests carried out by CAMI (Civil Aerospace Medical Institute) Belly belts that connect the child via an abdominal belt attached to the adult's seat belt can cause problems in borderline situations (rough landing, very tight turbulence, or troublesome takeoff) They noted that during the dynamic test, the child could experience body impacts against the front seat. I think there are very few people who know that some airlines can travel with a safety seat. With more expensive conditions, yes 🙁 When I have a gap I will give a few more laps to this topic that I find very interesting.
In our case, M could not travel sitting in her chair, because they do not allow chairs in reverse. They should always be chairs oriented in favor 🙁 Which seems fatal to me. Searching on youtube I have found several videos (in the US) of rear seat installations. It would be great, right? (It will be necessary to investigate if the scenario is similar to cars)
2.- BILL A CAR SEAT OR RENT IT AT A DESTINATION
Why did we decide to check in the car seat instead of renting it at the destination?
Easy! Because they gave us no choice in any car rental company of leaving us a chair in reverse gear.
I am going to give you some examples to give you an idea of what they were proposing:
- AVIS: It does not have chairs in reverse and does not even know what they are
- SIXT: It does not have chairs in reverse and does not even know what they are
- GOLDCAR: It does not have chairs in reverse and does not even know what they are
- CENTAUR: It does not have chairs in reverse and does not even know what they are
- EUROPCAR: It does not have rear-facing seats and does not even know what they are
Do you understand why we take our chair?
Fortunately Klippan is launching a VERY INTERESTING proposal rental of chairs in reverse gear in many destinations. Here you have the link where can you check if your destination has this service. Too bad we did not arrive on time because they had just started, but now it is available 😉
And what if we don't have the option to rent a chair with the car rental company? That we should check in the car seat. As you have seen in the previous section, there are airlines that can bill you at no cost (most), but you should always ask because there are some cases that only allow one thing (or cart or car seat or cot).
My recommendations if you are going to check in the chair are:
- Talk to the girl at the counter in case they can let you take it to the plane (like the stroller). In our case they let us take her, but when we got to the destination, although We insisted, they did not let us take it. Total absurd because we had it in front of us. Simply, a stewardess decided not to, and that's it! So the chair took a few pounding.
- If you have to check it in the same place as the suitcases PROTECT IT WELL! It is no use putting it in the plastic bag that some companies give you. If you put it in a box protect it with porex or bubble wrap (Do not close it until you reach the counter because they will make you open it). I discussed it with Norwegian at the claims desk and they said yes we could have carried it in a box. Instead on the phone they said no. You see, each one does what he wants, when he wants and how he wants. You guys try it. Supposing the chair has its own travel bag (or find one that fits you) Do not hesitate and use it! At least it will protect you from scratches because the blows will not matter. We were put on the fragile sticker and it didn't do much, but maybe it would have been worse.
- He insists that it is a fragile article (He insists a lot, listen to me). They will take better care of it, but don't think it will be wonderful either. It is a safety seat and, in the same way that a helmet cannot receive blows, neither the chair. A beaten car seat is unusable.
- Do not detach from it until you see it leave the special baggage belt (Nor does 100% assure you that it will reach its destination) but at least you know that it does not stay on land. Below I tell you what happened to the friends with whom we traveled.
After our experience and seeing that the airlines or baggage handling companies GO FOR IT, my MAIN recommendation is that you rent the chair at destination (having the opportunity as you have now with Klippan). You will not run the risk of being destroyed and you save yourself the trouble of carrying it.
3.- RISKS OF BILLING THE CAR SEAT
On this trip we were able to experience two cases, ours and that of a family friend with whom we traveled (which was almost worse).
- CHAIR BEATEN AND SCRATCHED EVERYWHERE (OUR CASE):
Our experience has not been anything positive and I don't think you gave too much of the experience we would have had with another airline.
The chair arrived at its destination full of blows and breaks as you can see in these photos. We could also see how they took her in the van that goes from the plane to the tapes. They put it on top of all the suitcases and since it is not a stable element, it fell to the ground several times while the van was running. It took several blows and finally they ended up crushing it with several suitcases (I suppose so that it remained subject). Bumps that are not recommended for a safety seat since it makes it useless.
These are some of the blows (in the photo the magnitude is not appreciated). When we saw the safety seat (which was intact) come out on the treadmill with the textiles removed, the part that holds the belt broken, full of bumps and scratches and with the inner porex full of tears… we could not understand who had fought with she 🙁
But at least, it came. Useless, but it came. We have made a complaint but they have told us that we must wait 8 weeks for them to answer us. What do we do? How do we travel with M? Do I have to buy another chair until they give me a solution? At the moment, things are not progressing and I am beginning to worry a lot.
- NEVER ARRIVE AT DESTINATION:
Another risk that you may have, if you invoice the chair, is that it does not reach its destination, as was the case with our friends.
They are 11 months old, who usually travels in a baby carrier in reverse gear up to 13 kg. They checked him in for the special baggage belt. When we arrived at the destination, we waited two hours and he did not arrive. They made the claim and told them that they would call them to deliver it to them as soon as possible. But how did we get to the house where we were staying if the little one had no chair? They had to rent a chair from the rental car company. Tachán! Pro-driving chair for a little one who weighs just 9 kg. Here you have the photos:
They waited one day, two, three, and nobody was calling. There was no way to locate the carrier. They spent all the vacations and when they got back home they were told that the baby carrier had flown to Mallorca these days again 🙁 Therefore, in addition to spending all the vacations traveling with a chair not recommended for a little one of its characteristics, when arriving from Back they had to find life to go home.
You see that the safety of our children is an issue that needs more work to make it easier to travel with them. From here I appeal to all airlines to organize their protocols a little better and to car rental companies that add a fleet of seats in reverse gear urgently!
You can already find places in many parts of Spain to rent. Here is the reverse gear chair rental list 😉