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Convertible car seat for use on planes (graduating up from Cosco Scenera)

Convertible car seat for use on planes (graduating up from Cosco Scenera)

Old Jun 18, 17, 2:21 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2017
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Child convertible car seat or booster seat

I've travelled a few times with car seat and stroller combo (travel set) and checked them at the gate for free. Now that he's outgrowing the car seat, we're thinking of getting a 3-in-1 convertible car seat or a booster seat. These things are significantly larger, and obviously won't fit on the stroller, but we'll need one in the car ride to/from the airport.


Would we be allowed to check the larger car seat for free, or have to pick up at baggage claim? I can't find anything that mentions car seat size limitations to check for free, but I would assume that means there isn't a size limit and would still be free since it serves as a child car seat, right?


We'll be flying Alaska Airlines, but does anyone have experience flying with the convertible car seat or much larger booster seat with other airlines? We're not expecting to use it in the cabin, just want to check it; he'll be on our laps.


Thank you.

Last edited by resmind; Jun 18, 17 at 2:32 pm
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Old Jun 19, 17, 2:24 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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I wouldn't check a carseat at the baggage drop, I'd gate check it or use it on the plane, as I'd be worried about damage / loss. You can attach it to a luggage cart, a rollaboard, or carry it in a backpack if it's lighter). Bricca makes a great carseat bag with wheels as well.
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Old Jun 20, 17, 6:36 pm
  #3  
 
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We've always bought our children seats. It's much safer. There was a recent flight where several lap children got concussions during extreme turbulence. Plus, our child having his own seat has enabled us to have free hands/laps and to be able to use the tray table. Also, our kids have been able to sleep better in their car seats than in our laps.

There is no size limit on car seats that are gate checked. If they are not taken on board for your child to sit in, then it's best to gate check vs check at the counter.

Two good, lightweight options for carseats to use on planes are the Cosco Scenera and the Evenflo Sureride. The Scenera fits through the x-ray machines, but the Sureride doesn't. Both can easily hang off of the back of a stroller for transport using the tether strap, and both can nest if you end up with two of them at some point.

Also, you were mentioning boosters. But this isn't really an option for a child under two. In fact, booster seats are not recommended until a child is about 5-6 years old. Also, booster seats (at least belt-positioning booster seats, that don't have 5 point harnesses) are not FAA approved for use on planes.
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Old Jul 27, 17, 10:44 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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Convertible car seat for use on planes (graduating up from Cosco Scenera)

Hi!
We have a 2 year old soon to graduate from his Cosco Scenera. It has been a great super lightweight airplane/travel car seat for the last 18 months or so. Not perfect, but inexpensive, lightweight, and fits into any airplane seat, but he is getting too big for it. (For those who aren't familiar, the weight limit, both rear and forward facing, is 40 lbs, but since the seat is only 6 lbs and $45, and the width is only 17 inches, it is hard to complain about as a travel car seat!)

Its probably obvious from this post, but we always bring the car seat in the plane cabin and use it for the flight. It never gets checked. We have mostly rear faced on planes, and always in cars, but I think most of our airplane use from here on will be front facing. (Still rear facing in cars though, for as long as the new seat will allow.)

So, we need to size up, and I'm looking for recommendations. I have some ideas (Graco Contender and MySize) but I want to make sure I'm not missing any good options.

What we are hoping for:
-This is not our primary car seat at home, but we do fly and rent cars quite a bit, so both installing it in a plane and ease of install in a variety of rental cars is important.
-Narrow width! Most of our travel is on Alaska Airlines 737s in coach, with the very occasional CRJ, so some wide thing with dual cupholders isn't likely to fit comfortably. I don't even care if it has one cup holder.
-Weight. Under 20lbs? Under 15lbs? Our main seats at home are Clek Foonfs. We love them, but the seat weighs 38lbs. Not hauling that through an airport, even with a wheelie.
-Closed front facing belt path, so the airplane seat belt buckle isn't in his back

Would be nice to have:
-Low profile enough to allow for use of the tray table, though this isn't critical.

Anyone have an airplane-friendly car seat they love? Anyone else thinks it is pretty funny that 23 inch wide car seats bother to be FAA approved?
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Old Jul 28, 17, 11:51 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by RachelF2 View Post
Hi!
-Closed front facing belt path, so the airplane seat belt buckle isn't in his back
Sorry no suggestions - we have a Scenera for our recently 2 year old that still "works" for us (usually forward facing on planes) - but following along.

The belt path is crucial - really my only "complaint" about the Scenera - I've found that when really tightening the belt, it can put the buckle squarely under the cover - and we end up using a combination of blankets/pillows to buffer.
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Old Jul 28, 17, 2:37 pm
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We just returned from our first trip with the Evenflo Maestro on an old AA 757 and give a thumbs up to it. We had previously used a Scenera.

The cupholders can be removed with some finagling (practice removing at home or just leave them at home) to allow for tray table use and to reduce the width of the seat. There was enough room in the back so the belt buckle was not felt and it was pretty light (11 lbs).
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Old Aug 3, 17, 4:08 am
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Our kids were on the big side and able to use the Scenera well in to age 3.

But if you need to graduate, I would say that the Evenflo Titan (AKA Sureride) is like the Scenera's big brother.

You can get two for a great price here: http://www.childsource.com/evenflo-titan-65-2-pack/

The only downside is that it doesn't fit in the TSA x-ray machine, so it has to be hand checked.
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Old Sep 8, 17, 11:06 am
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Thanks for your input everyone! We ended up going with the Graco MySize, which worked very well. We used it both front and rear facing on the plane, armrest could stay down, toddler was comfortable enough to fall asleep, and it met almost my criteria. The Graco Contender is lighter but we liked some of the ease-of-use features on the MySize (easier LATCH connectors for example.) We used it on a Brica Roll and Go, which worked great in the airports. Most importantly, the front facing belt path is closed so the airplane seat belt buckle can't be felt in the car seat. The tray table couldn't be used, but you can't have everything really.
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Old Oct 3, 17, 12:32 am
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As others have said it is better to bring it on the plane due to damage concerns.

We have drug our Combi Corcoro around the world, very happy with its ease of install in different situations, light enough, and quite comfy for baby. Its the more expensive option, Cosco Scenera is also a great standby.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 10:12 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
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You can use one of those so-called convertible sits. Them look like those - https://www.bestadvisers.co.uk/convertible-car-seats
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Old Jan 19, 18, 8:30 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by resmind View Post
I've travelled a few times with car seat and stroller combo (travel set) and checked them at the gate for free. Now that he's outgrowing the car seat, we're thinking of getting a 3-in-1 convertible car seat or a booster seat. These things are significantly larger, and obviously won't fit on the stroller, but we'll need one in the car ride to/from the airport.


Would we be allowed to check the larger car seat for free, or have to pick up at baggage claim? I can't find anything that mentions car seat size limitations to check for free, but I would assume that means there isn't a size limit and would still be free since it serves as a child car seat, right?


We'll be flying Alaska Airlines, but does anyone have experience flying with the convertible car seat or much larger booster seat with other airlines? We're not expecting to use it in the cabin, just want to check it; he'll be on our laps.


Thank you.
Booster seats are not allowed - you cannot use one on a flight, because "airplanes do not have shoulder belts, and boosters require shoulder belts," However, car seats that convert to booster seats are okay to use, but only if you use it with the 5-point harness setting. Make sure the seat has the FAA approval

Last edited by BeatCal; Jan 19, 18 at 8:32 am Reason: toos short
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Old Jan 19, 18, 8:52 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by levilevi View Post
Sorry no suggestions - we have a Scenera for our recently 2 year old that still "works" for us (usually forward facing on planes) - but following along.

The belt path is crucial - really my only "complaint" about the Scenera - I've found that when really tightening the belt, it can put the buckle squarely under the cover - and we end up using a combination of blankets/pillows to buffer.
For the Scenera Next buckle issue take an inflight magazine and fold it in half.. slide it in the belt path between the buckle and the fabric cover and open it up. Works great to smooth out the back without stuffing pillows/blankets and dealing with an overheated child! Pretty sure I read this tip on FT somewhere so passing it along..
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Old Jan 19, 18, 5:52 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2016
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We recently had the same issue with the aircraft seat belt buckle with our daughter's Britax Frontier. What we found works best is to twist/rotate the non-adjustable part of the seat belt. This makes it shorter and therefore moves the buckle over to one side of the seat, often enough that it sits far enough off to the side that it won't bother her at all.. It will of course depend on the aircraft seat and seat belt, but we've never not been able to do this. It was actually our daughter who figured it out! Hopefully that's of some help.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 12:22 pm
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Wow - thank you both for the tips - for us a couple days too late - we just returned form cross country non stop BWI-SAN-BWI (5.5 hrs each way) on WN with the Scenara and seat buckle right on the right side - used a stuffed animal, but I like both suggestions... for next time
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