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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:02 pm 
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i have a crazy paranoia question. if we can work out the logistics me, BabyPunk, and my parents will be flying to Georgia either this weekend or possibly in a couple weeks to see my ailing grandfather before he passes.

my husband will be staying home. do i need some sort of documentation for BabyPunk?
she's over 2 now so i have to buy her her own seat.

since we're not leaving the country im not sure if i need ID for her. she does have a passport but the other issue is she and i dont share a last name.

would her birth certificate be better?

im guessing im getting more anxious than necessary about this which is typical for me :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:57 pm 
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I think you should be fine with either. We used L's birth certificate for our flight to Florida. I am so sorry to hear that your grandfather is sick.

I should update about our trip out of JFK to Vienna and back!

It turns out that Austrian Airlines won't let you use a carseat for children over 2, so you would have to check it, which we didn't feel comfortable with. Because non-US carriers aren't bound by the FAA, you can't assume they'd let you bring a car seat and it was a huge bummer for us (but probably way easier than trying to shuffle a stroller, a carseat and a suitcase around the world.

We ended up borrowing a CARES harness, which I wasn't a huge fan of - it didn't really tighten properly so it wasn't very secure and slid all over the place. It straps right where the person behind you's tray would be, so on the way to Vienna, the guy behind us tried to move it up when he got his food, without letting us know he was going to do that, and Leela had the chest clip on, so he ended up almost garroting her with it. Because it wasn't very secure, Leela didn't sleep well going to Vie even though that was her normal bedtime. I think she would have slept through in a car seat. It wasn't too bad though - she just watched a lot of videos (Shaun the Sheep is awesome).

Austrian Airlines didn't have a vegan kid's meal, which sucked because the vegan meal was tofu curry and rice and it was way too spicy for Leela (but super yum for me). I hadn't really thought about it, and it wasn't a great outcome for us. Next time I'm going to pack sandwiches for her. I was supposed to get a "Vegan Breakfast Pastry" on both flights, but ended up with Turkey and Cheese, which was gross, on the way to Vienna. I thought it was maybe Tofurkey and Vegan Cheese, but no luck. I got the right Vegan Breakfast Pastry on the way to JFK and it was delicious - tons of roasted veggies in a pannini.

JFK was amazing at check-in - they waved us past all the lines and we were at our gates in 15 minutes. On the way back we weren't as lucky. And I was subjected to three levels of random checks on leaving Vienna, that involved getting us and our stroller swabbed for explosives and 2 levels of pat downs plus reissuing our boarding passes etc, which meant we ended up missing preboarding and Leela was totally freaked out by all of it. It was annoying, but we still made our flight. And we had almost no traffic going from NJ to JFK so our drive was 90 mins. On the way back we were in Friday rush hour summer traffic and we got into the car at 2:30 and made it home at nearly 7. It was crazy, but Leela slept in the car and my husband and I had a sweet extended car date, with beautiful views over the metro area.

L was FF in Vienna and was fine with it, but wasn't even a bit upset to be back RF once we got home to the US.

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:16 pm 
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[quote="Tofulish"
It straps right where the person behind you's tray would be, so on the way to Vienna, the guy behind us tried to move it up when he got his food, without letting us know he was going to do that, and Leela had the chest clip on, so he ended up almost garroting her with it. [/quote]

OH. MY. GOD!!!! that is scary! probably a scary surprise for poor Leela!

i have no idea what to do about her seat. she's too small for a CARES harness so that doesnt even matter but i feel like the carseat is GINORMOUSLY HUGE and then i would have to figure out how to secure it into the airplane seat. i dont even know how it goes in the car. my husband always does that. though i guess im going to have to figure it out since he's not coming with us.
i dont know how to get through the airport with a toddler and a ginormous carseat.

i chatted briefly with my aunt a few weeks ago about me going by myself with BP so i could make it down there (my parents original plan was to wait til my mom retires which is in about 2 weeks now) but then i realized theres no way i could wrangle both her and a ginormous carseat and whatever luggage we have through the airport.

and now i dont know how cranky the TSA would be if for example my dad handled the carseat during the security process while i wrangled BP. it seems to depend on the airport and also the day how i can go through security with her. sometimes i am waved to the speedy no checking security and ive walked through the metal detector with her on my back in the Ergo and all i got was a quick bomb check. other times ive had to wait in the regular line and then wasnt allowed to have her on my back and had to walk with her through the metal detector and was given a bomb check and a pat down.

i honestly dont even know if im going to be going at this point. my mom was saying they might go this weekend because according to one of my aunts my grandfather is doing poorly and asking for my dad (i think at this point he is the only one of the kids who hasnt made it down there yet) but when i look at flights they are like $700 each for a nonstop flight to Atlanta. my aunt works for Delta so apparently we could get something called a "buddy pass" which would make it a ton cheaper but it would be basically like flying stand by and i dont envision 3 adults and a toddler getting onto the same flight on a weekend.

i told my mom not to worry about the logistics of cramming me and charlotte into their plans and just making sure my dad gets down there but we'll see.
so much up in the air right now!

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:31 pm 
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We ended up buying a Cosco Scenera ($40) for our flight to Disney. Many of the car seat safety groups recommend doing that as it is a light seat, perfect for travel, and is cheap. That way you don't have to lug a massive seat and don't risk any damage to your main seat in transit.

But that said, Leela was the only kid on our flight to Disney in a car seat. There were so many kids that the flight didn't even have family pre-boarding because almost everyone had kids and many of them were younger than Leela and either in their own seats or in someone's lap for take-off and landing. And it wasn't that the families didn't have carseats - we had so many of them in the luggage area! I don't personally feel great about checking carseats, given how much they get bounced around, but that is also the subject of much debate on car seat safety boards.

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:38 pm 
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I just flew with Stella solo recently and I usually bring her birth certificate, but forgot it this time. She also has a different last name than mine. I told the Jetblue employee that I forgot it and she said they didn't need it anyways, as it was to prove age and S was obviously under 2. It was totally fine!

I wore her in my ring sling and they made me take her out of it since it sets off the metal detectors. Kinda annoying, but a nice lady nearby helped me out carrying stuff so it was okay.

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:38 pm 
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we've always gate checked ours when we travel. im not sure if that goes to a different spot or what happens with it.

we've only flown with her twice though (so 4 flights total)

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:42 pm 
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My Zoetrope wrote:
I just flew with Stella solo recently and I usually bring her birth certificate, but forgot it this time. She also has a different last name than mine. I told the Jetblue employee that I forgot it and she said they didn't need it anyways, as it was to prove age and S was obviously under 2. It was totally fine!

I wore her in my ring sling and they made me take her out of it since it sets off the metal detectors. Kinda annoying, but a nice lady nearby helped me out carrying stuff so it was okay.



ah ok. the last time we flew with her it was out of the country and it was right before she turned 2 and we still were having her sit on our lap so we definitely needed it then. i might bring her passport just to have something with me.

the Ergo is nice because it doesnt set off a metal detector but i back carry her now that she's older so i need help to get her in and out (im sure some people could do it solo but not me!)

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:55 pm 
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Yeah, now that I think about it, it would probably be wise to bring some sort of ID for her if she has her own seat. I guess I would assume if she has her own seat, they would treat it like they do an adult seat, checking the ID to the boarding pass when you go through security and at the gate.

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:25 pm 
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We actually have a CARES harness for each of our kids and we love them. We have literally only ever flown Southwest, though, so maybe it's more obnoxious on other airlines? We just have a quick chat with the person behind us about needing to put their tray table down for a second to install the harness and it's fine. There is actually a slightly updated version that came out since we got our first one, and it has a more streamlined design, but I didn't find either model difficult to use. Edie was restless last time we flew (around 18 months) and she only wore it on takeoff and landing, but Sven has always been 100% fine wearing his the entire plane ride.

We always bring documentation for both our kids, even when they both have seats. The airline has never cared at all unless we needed to prove one was under 2, but I figure it's probably a generally good idea to have documentation when you're traveling just in case. I've also never needed to prove that I bought a seat for an under-2 toddler, they just trusted me on it (we like to have the extra space!).


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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:50 pm 
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thanks for the responses everyone. sadly BP and I cant make the trip to GA.
it was decided my parents needed to go this weekend and to pay for a full price nonstop ticket this close to the date it was $700+ per person and i needed 2 tickets because BP is over 2.
flying stand by with a toddler to use the cheap "buddy passes" my aunt can get because she works for Delta sounded like a bad idea and too many potential ways for it to go horribly wrong so just my parents are going.

feeling sad and guilty about it but it made the most sense.
we'll probably be flying soon again for something else so at least i wont have to ask about ID again (though my husband would be going with us this time!)

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:33 am 
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This is more of a preschooler question, but wondering how those with 3-6 year olds manage the never-ending walks through the airports when traveling? We're headed to the States next week, with Freya and I traveling ahead. I'm sure we'll be fine at both ends of the journey, she'll be wired at the start and the walk from the gate in MI is like 5 minutes usually. We've got a layover in Dulles though, and this is the first time we're traveling without a stroller. Normally, when tired, I'd just carry her on my shoulders, but it's going to be hard to do that with bags. When we flew last, we connected in Oslo and had to check her stroller anyway for the puddlejumper flight, but they had these luggage carts with shopping cart seats in them (and later I discovered, strollers) that you could use. Can't see anything like that at Dulles though. Tried out the MT this morning but it's a bit of a faff. Are there any tricks that I'm missing or do people just tough it out?


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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:38 pm 
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i wear BP on my back in the ergo in airports. depending on the airport and the mood of the day of the security i have been able to go through the metal detector wearing her in a couple places and in a couple places i had to put her down and put the ergo through the xray thingy.

sounds like you are traveling by yourself with her though? i cant put her on my back by myself (except at home when i lay her on the bed and do it) but i know people do do it by themselves.

if i went by myself with her i would probably end up carrying her in my arms which is not a great solution

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:56 pm 
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We haven't had lay overs but the stroller was key for us this summer. Can you gate check a stroller and get it back without it going straight to your destination?

I know you've posted Freya is pretty big, and at 40lbs I really can't carry L in a carrier for long periods any longer. Even if she wants to be carried, which she doesn't.

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:01 pm 
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Yeah, we bought a small umbrella stroller for the airport and gatechecked it.

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:38 pm 
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We have a trunki suitcase that helps. A preschooler can ride it while you pull it. Sometimes my daughter insists on pulling it herself instead of riding it. The past two times we have flown we were able to do it without a stroller because of this.

https://trunki.borderfree.com

It's not perfect, but good enough when she gets tired of walking.


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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:45 pm 
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That's adorable!

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 10:02 am 
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So not a toddler but I'm flying next week alone with a fussy 4 month old who now fights sleep like it's her job. So nervous!

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:22 pm 
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think she will nurse while flying?

we dont really let BP watch much tv or play with electronics so i save it for when we need distraction because then it's super novel. i know baby lobster is only 4 months old but something simple may distract her if she gets fussy. i have a fisher price app on my phone that i imagine was free because i cant enivsion having paid for it but it's called laugh and learn baby animals or something and all it is is a cartoon animal appears on the screen and a voice is like ELEPHANT or whatever and then it makes an elephant noise then you have to touch the screen and a new animal appears. it does that for awhile then eventually a song plays.
you might have to touch the screen for her but watching the colors and stuff might be distracting for her if you need it.

otherwise i say boobs and a favorite toy. we did not fly with BP until she was 18 months though so not sure specifically what might help for a 4 month old. i definitely see people do it though so you arent alone!

we're flying again with BP next month and i hope shes as good as she was our previous two plane trips.

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 1:44 pm 
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Yup, nursing was always the key for us. Also, if you can put her in a carrier, most flight crew will let you stand in the back near the toilets and jiggle for most of the flight--whenever the fasten seatbelt sign is off. We took tiny wu from Copenhagen to Tucson when she was 5 months and she was either in the Moby or latched on for pretty near the entire trip.

We're leaving for AZ again next week and it will be our first trip where tiny wu is not nursing. I feel vaguely nervous about this. She and I went to London in August, and she announced to me that "when that light goes off, Mama, it's OK to have milk." So yeah, salient feature of airplane travel to her has been: only nurse when the fasten seatbelt sign goes off! (Obviously this was just because she nursed well past two years old when she had to be in her own seat). Total it's about 26 hours of travel and I devoutly hope that I've packed enough entertainment. We've got several books, including a new story book and a new seek and find book; crayons, markers, paper and stickers; and obviously her beloved toy hedgehog Hugo. We don't have an iPad or do any screen time, other than skype, with her, so it will be an old-school trip!


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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:07 pm 
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I flew solo when Stella was about 5 months old, and I just tried to postpone her nap until take-off so that she would sleep the whole time. Lot of walking around trying to keep her awake before we boarded, but she fell right asleep when we settled into our seat and I started nursing her. She fell asleep before we even took off, and I was mildly concerned that her ears would bug her and wake her up but she was totally fine. My arm fell asleep though while holding her in the seat while she slept and that was pretty uncomfortable. Keep a sweatshirt or your coat or something on your seat with you so you can tuck it under her or on your armrest.

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:49 am 
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Thanks for the tips!! They're very helpful! The flight is 2.5 hours long so hopefully nursing and sleeping will occupy most of it. Some days she's he'll bent on no naps but hopefully that's not the case! We have a 2 hour car ride after we land and who knows how that will go. The only time she's been.im a cat is coming home from the hospital!

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:55 am 
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cars usually have a magical sleep quality about them.

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 10:36 am 
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Haha laughing at my typo. In a car. Not I'm a cat.

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 Post subject: Re: Toddler air travel question
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:17 am 
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i saw this book at the library the other day and quickly flipped through it.
it's the best airport book ive seen for kids. i believe it's new so it actually goes over security and other stuff the older books dont have in them.
it even shows a young kid getting upset because their stuffed animal has to go through the xray machine (which totally happened to us last month on the way home from CO despite the fact that BP has been through airport security like 7 times)

i didnt actually read the whole thing but it looked pretty good. if BP hadnt already been on a plane 8ish times i would get it for her if we had to fly again.

https://www.amazon.com/Airport-Book-Lisa-Brown/dp/1626720916/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468246426&sr=8-1&keywords=airport+book+lisa+brown

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