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Car seat but no baby - what should we do?

Car seat but no baby - what should we do?

Old Jul 20, 15, 9:08 am
  #1  
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Car seat but no baby - what should we do?

This is an incredibly odd question but I was hoping for some advice about this situation. My husband and I (both UA Silver) will be traveling to DCA to visit my brother next month. We have been tasked with bringing him a car seat, 2 bases, and various other baby gear that another family member is giving to him for his upcoming daughter's birth. He is not in the financial position to purchase these things on his own so that is why this is happening.

We are flying both ways on United non-stop. How should we approach this situation? Since we get free checked bags we were thinking of checking one of our large hard-side Delsey's loaded up with one of the bases and the baby gear and then checking the car seat & other base as our second "bag". We have the box they came in, if that is helpful. We will be bringing our items for the trip in a carry-on.

We're child-free so we're completely out of our element with this request. The only things we've come up with so far are multiple jokes about showing up at the airport and pretending we forgot our kid at home (shouting "Kevin!" with the Home Alone face) Incredibly fun, but also unhelpful, haha.

Any advice?

Thank you!
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Old Jul 20, 15, 9:20 am
  #2  
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Get a doll and have some fun with the whole thing?

Your brother might also appreciate a sturdy carrier bag for the seat and base (they sell these uniquely for baby seats). You'll find that there's plenty of room for all the other crap as well. Stuff it in there and check it in!
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Old Jul 20, 15, 9:29 am
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That thought crossed our mind as well But I'm a terrible actress and wouldn't want anyone to think I was mocking people with true mental illness by pretending a doll was my child and then laughing about it. As it is I'm probably going to bring the "Boppy pillow" on as a "flight pillow" and get a bunch of weird looks - that thing is HUGE and very clearly for babies. Oh well!

Should we box everything into the car seat box? Or are you suggesting a different bag? I know I've read other posts about people checking in cardboard boxes with mixed results so I wasn't sure if that would be advisable for this situation. How would they "tag" a box like that?
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Old Jul 20, 15, 9:38 am
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Checking a box is fine, as long as the airline (some low cost airlines don't accept them) doesn't explicitly disallow it.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 9:52 am
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Car seat but no baby - what should we do?

flew the other day with my kids car seat as he had travelled ahead already with his mom. really no need to stress just check it in and off you go. nobody cares it's just another piece of luggage... ☺
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Old Jul 20, 15, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by undergrace View Post
Should we box everything into the car seat box? Or are you suggesting a different bag? I know I've read other posts about people checking in cardboard boxes with mixed results so I wasn't sure if that would be advisable for this situation. How would they "tag" a box like that?
If it were me I would want to at least keep the car seat in the box to have the insulation protecting it from the wrath of the baggage handlers. Having said that, I've checked my children's spare car seat on a few occasions with no apparent damage. Is there anyway you could order the seat online and either have it shipped to their house or pick it up locally upon arrival?

I really think you carrying it on with a doll of some sort would be entertaining. You must post pictures to this thread if you go that route, however.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 10:00 am
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Have you already purchased the car seat? If not, perhaps it's easier to just order it on Amazon or another site that offers free shipping. Failing that, keep it in the box and just check it. No one at the airport will care that you're traveling without a child.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 10:22 am
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The only real solution I see is to have another child and then visit your brother in 9 months
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Old Jul 20, 15, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by AussieExPat View Post
If it were me I would want to at least keep the car seat in the box to have the insulation protecting it from the wrath of the baggage handlers. Having said that, I've checked my children's spare car seat on a few occasions with no apparent damage. Is there anyway you could order the seat online and either have it shipped to their house or pick it up locally upon arrival?
This...or buy a padded bag specifically for car seats. We have a J.L. Childress one for our infant seat and it seems to have great padding (and assuming you are bringing an infant seat, lots of room for other stuff if you need it...I'm sure one of the bases plus other stuff would fit no problem. Plus has knapsack straps so we can carry through the airport easily when gate checking it, which is what we always do. Of course, we travel with the infant as well While bringing it through the airport is kind of a PITA, we figure it's a lot less of a PITA then it being delayed, which I hardly would've worried about 6 months ago, but since March, three round-trips at least one bag hasn't shown up on time in 3 of the 6 directions. But probably not as big a deal for you for that.

Good luck.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 10:33 am
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You should probably just check the box but if you're constrained in the # of pieces you can check, I have in fact checked a car seat with no baby before. The agent didn't blink. If you think about it, they see this all the time because often one parent is dealing with the kids while the other parents checks everybody in. I suppose she could have noticed there was no infant on the record, but it's so routine they just bagged it up and put it on the belt.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 10:54 am
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Originally Posted by nonstarter View Post
... I have in fact checked a car seat with no baby before. The agent didn't blink.
If you checked a car seat WITH a baby in it and the agent didn't blink, now that would be notable!

OP, as the others have noted, you should be fine checking the car seat, preferably but not necessarily in a box or bag.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 11:44 am
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Thank you everyone for your input. We do not want to have to purchase anything additional for this - as mentioned in my first post it was something tasked to us. We had decided to visit my brother before the baby comes, and while visiting another family member this weekend we mentioned our visit and were told "oh yeah, we have all those things for you to take to him" - completely caught us off guard. Apparently they had agreed to donate their old baby things to him and brother forgot to tell us we were expected to bring them He's never done anything like this before so it's not too annoying, but it would've been nice to have been ASKED. Oh well, I'll find a way for him to return the favor eventually.

I really don't think my brother will be flying with a newborn at all so any purchase made to help with future traveling would just be wasted money Looks like we'll just be shoving everything into the box and hoping for the best!
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Old Jul 20, 15, 12:52 pm
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They could always be shipped via UPS Ground

Working for Supershuttle in Miami, there are many South Americans who purchase these same baby items to go back to their home countries. Most of the time they will buy a large box and put these items in their original packaging inside a larger box that meets the guidelines of the air carrier. They need to have the original packaging for their own home customs clearance.

Last edited by teddybear99; Jul 20, 15 at 1:00 pm
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Old Jul 20, 15, 12:54 pm
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Has your other family member or your brother heard of UPS? I think it is a highly presumptuous request to ask you to bring that much stuff on an airplane flight, especially since you'd of course need to bring your own luggage as well. If it were me, I'd offer to pay the UPS charges (if your relatives are short of cash) rather than deal with the hassle of shlepping/checking all that extra baggage.
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Old Jul 20, 15, 3:01 pm
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We did ask if they looked into mailing everything, but the weight would make it fairly expensive. If it was truly going to be a burden we would have pushed back on accepting - but since we get free checked bags and our clothes/personal items can easily fit in a small carry-on, we weren't going to be using our free bag perk so it's not really a problem to use it for the baby stuff. And this is only going outbound, on our way back it's just us and our small bag, so it's not really a huge hassle. The things we do for family!
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