Parenting & Family

Air Canada and car seats

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  • Oct 29th, 2018 10:57 pm
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[OP]
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Jan 11, 2008
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Air Canada and car seats

We are travelling with an under 2 year old (infant on lap so no seat). After much thought about getting around, we have decided we'll have to bring our own carseat.

From the Air Canada site, it does say you can bring a carseat at no charge. From the info online it looks like you can gate check a stroller but seems to indicate that the carseat has to be checked with the regular luggage. We are bringing a smaller stroller and the carseat doesn't attach to the stroller.

For those that have checked carseats, how did you pack it? We've only got about a week to go, but I see some travel bags that Walmart sells (although they are red bags that say "gate check" in big letters they don't seem to have anything else). Not sure if I should buy one, but I have to decide soon.

I'd so much prefer to gate check it, but if we can't how do you best protect it in the hopes it isn't damaged before getting to your location? This is our first trip with the little one and I have no experience with this.

Thanks!
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25 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 18, 2008
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Just flew AC last week with my 7 month old. I brought a car seat and they check it into the oversized luggage section. It essentially is the same as checked luggage but I had to bring it to a different area at the airport. They will bag it up for you first in a large plastic bag. With regards to the stroller, you will need to bring an umbrella stroller. AC won't accept anything other than an umbrella stroller I think.
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Jul 5, 2001
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We borrowed a friend's "red gate check" bag and our car seat was fine.
[OP]
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Thank you. We are bringing our less used carseat. I know how luggage is handled and that is a concern, but I guess we don't have a choice!

Thanks for the info about the stroller. We bought a smaller stroller on sale just for the trip.
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Mar 29, 2015
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Wood Bridge
I've seen lots of non "umbrella" strollers on air planes recently. I think the baggage people dont seem to care any more, it is more work for them to "refuse" than to just "toss it in the cargo area"
Deal Fanatic
Sep 21, 2004
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Just check it in as is. They treat it as fragile oversize luggage. We've checked ours in plenty of times and have never had any issues. They put a plastic bag on it and it's free.

You already have a toddler to manage. Last thing you need is to lug a car seat around too.
Deal Expert
Oct 6, 2005
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Yes, you just bag and chuck your car seat into the oversized cargo area ... there's no special provision for protecting the seat :(

Saying that, we've been on about a dozen flights with the car seats these last few years with no ill effects. The seats are stronger than you think :)
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Nov 7, 2008
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If it gets damaged in anyway. They'll provide you with a car seat at your destination (Brand new in box). This happened to us. Then you need to fill in a damage complaint form to get reimbursed for your damaged car seat.

This is what happened to us. We had a $200+ car seat that we brought and it got damaged. They provided a car seat that was worth less than $100, and not the same type. So we filed a complaint, waited FOREVER to get it dealt with, but eventually got reimbursed. Just have to make sure you have pictures, receipt of your car seat.
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Thanks everyone. One of my concerns was if it gets damaged on our way to the destination. Although not the best solution, glad there will be a way to get from the airport to the hotel if that happens...and we'd after to deal with reimbursement afterwards! Hoping for the best.
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Jul 9, 2008
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Last 2 years we did trips to Vancouver with our small children. Both years at least one of our car seats didn't make the destination with us. We have 2 car seats and a booster seat brand new in box courtesy of Air Canada.
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We are back and the carseat made it both directions without damage. We just used the plastic bag they provided at Pearson for the carseat but bought a red gate check bag for the stroller.

There were several empty seats on both flights. This is the first time we have been in a plane in 3 years and the only time we'll fly without a seat for our daughter since she's almost 2, but I wonder if they ever let people bring their seats on board even if they didn't buy a seat for the infant when the plane has many empty seats. We didn't even ask at check in since we assumed they don't, but just curious.
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Apr 19, 2010
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I am flying with a 28 month old in Feb.

I want to bring the car seat on the plane with me to secure him in it in his own seat.

As long as it fits in the seat, I should be ok? Obviously, i need to make sure its aircraft approved, etc.

Has anyone done this?
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Dec 24, 2005
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kanewtz wrote:
Dec 17th, 2015 9:49 am
I am flying with a 28 month old in Feb.

I want to bring the car seat on the plane with me to secure him in it in his own seat.

As long as it fits in the seat, I should be ok? Obviously, i need to make sure its aircraft approved, etc.

Has anyone done this?
all the time

we actually bought a totally separate seat for flying as the one in our car is kinda expensive (and WAY too heavy to lug around the airport)
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Oct 30, 2006
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We flew Southwest from Buffalo to Orlando with a 7 month old. At Buffalo Airport we had the option to bring the car seat to the gate and gate check it with the stroller (full size BTW). We lucked out as I asked the lady at the gate desk about gate checking and she said the plane has lots of seats available so we could bring the car seat on the plane and we did not have to hold our Daughter on our laps.

My suggestion would be to ask if there are seats available on the plane and if you can gate check the car seat when you are checking in. not sure where you are going but I would suggest bringing your regular stroller that the car seat fits in unless it's awkward for your destination. the umbrella ones just don't roll are well and you'll have to carry the car seat vs. clicking it in the stroller.

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