Travel with Children - gate checking a car seat/stroller where do they store it?
Apr 15, 12, 10:08 am
Been reading a lot of threads regarding it and plan to gate check a 2 in 1 seat and a umbrella stroller, will be putting them both in a big travel bag the size of a regular luggage.
My question is when you gate check do they put the items in front of the plane somewhere or under with the luggage and other stuff you check at the counter? Have a lot of people experienced damaged seats when its gate checked?
Apr 15, 12, 10:28 am
It's different depending on the aircraft. Generally, strollers, wheelchairs and so on are loaded directly into the hold from the jetway. I'm not sure if they go in a container or in a special container but they are separate because they're loaded again, back on to the jetway on arrival.
Yes, gate-checked items can be damaged. A lot of us have had strollers get a bit bashed up. There are some ways to avoid this. Bagging the stroller keeps it clean and dry, but it wont really help with damage. In some airports, gate-checked items are exposed to rain, etc.
Foam handles often get torn so obviously covering those is a good idea.
Double secure your stroller with a bungee. Someone posted that they're not allowed on some airlines so bungee than bag, so that no one is hurt. The point is that most strollers have flimsy latches that can come undone easily. A half-opened stroller is more vulnerable to damage. You don't want some time-pressed baggage guy trying to get it folded down again!
For your information, if your child has a seat on the plane and the car seat is in "harness mode" (if s/he still fits it this way) then you can use it on board. Best way to get it there in one piece. Don't worry if it's slightly over the seat width. Raise the armrests.
Apr 16, 12, 10:00 am
Welcome to FT getliquid168!
Just be advised that most airlines will not be responsible for damage to these items if they are checked at the gate. They'll only cover it if you check them at the counter and they are in appropriate containers.
Apr 17, 12, 6:04 am
Good point and usually car seats have to be factory sealed in the original box. Check with the airline but this is often the case. This means that a pregnant woman transporting a car seat for a not-yet-born baby, or a friend/relative bringing one to a child at the destination. Not very practical if it's a car seat used by a kid with the parent.
Some passengers have had luck with compensation after gate-checked items were damaged. There's probably insurance for it but I haven't looked into it myself. A few of you, especially those with high ff status' have had luck getting the airline to at least somewhat compensate for damage but this is usually on a case-by-case basis.