Leavin’ on a Jet Plane.

Ok – so now that I am officially taking Leah on a plane by myself… I’m terrified. And excited. And have lots of questions – if you’ve flown with a baby/toddler… help!

Kyle will be in Toronto on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday – then drive to Buffalo Tuesday when he’s finished.

Leah and I will fly to Buffalo on Monday. (No, I’m not giving exact dates… don’t try to rob us). Kyle will be flying home with us, but I have to get us there… alive. And happy. Well, as happily as possible.

So my biggest questions for today are:

  1. Do I need to bring her birth certificate or something to prove that she is indeed under two? Especially since she is as tall as a three year old. Or do they just take your word for it?
  2. I’m assuming that since she is free… she will be assumed to sit on my lap? Is that right?
  3. Can you rent just a car seat from a car rental place? Kyle will be renting a car in Toronto to drive to Buffalo, but I will need to get Leah and I from the airport to grandma’s house… can I just rent a car seat to put in the car of the person who picks us up? Or do I have to rent my own car? I’m pretty sure you can rent a car seat WITH a car… but I’m trying to just rent the car seat if I can??
  4. Is the ear popping really that bad? Should I expect screaming?

Ok – that’s all I have and need answered today. I’m sure there will be more as I get into the thick of planning…

 

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane.

  1. Ooh! I have answers! I flew by myself with Shaylyn at 4 months and had to find out the same things…. I’ll respond when I get a chance later. 🙂

  2. Alright…..so my answers are brought to you by Southwest Airlines because that’s what we flew and it’s the information I got from them. I guess other airlines could be different? Here’s what I know from them….
    1) You need to bring a copy of her birth certificate, not the real thing. Obviously my 4 month old didn’t come close to resembling a 2 year old and they still wanted her birth certificate.
    2) Yes, she’ll have to be on your lap and not in her own seat. If you want her to have her own seat you have to buy it (which you can do, but why do that when you only have a little time left for her to be free??) However….on one leg of our flight the plane was nearly empty and we had the whole row to ourselves and Shay took up as much room as she wanted.
    3) Probably a couple of options here with the car seat. I’m sure you can find a place that rents car seats, especially if you have to rent a car I bet the rental company does it. Southwest is really awesome with car seats – you can check them for free AND it doesn’t count as a bag. What I did….I checked 2 suitcases, and her car seat base all for free. I’m guessing Leah doesn’t need a car seat base anymore so that’s one less thing to worry about. As carry-ons I had her diaper bag, stroller, and car seat (the one that snaps into the stroller.) Then….once you get to the gate you can go to the counter and let them know you have the stroller and car seat to check at the gate (also for free.) So then I got to stroll her all the way to the plane, dropped off the stroller and car seat, and it was waiting for us when we got off the plane. Are you planning on bringing a stroller too? If so and assuming the airline you fly is the same as Southwest (which you should double-check) if I were you I would…..check her car seat with your suitcase (they even put it in a bag so it doesn’t get banged up), and bring a diaper bag and stroller with you in the airport. Then check it at the gate so you can get it when you get off the plane. I don’t know if every airline does all that for free…but it’s one reason why I love Southwest. 🙂
    4) I’m not sure if I got extremely lucky when we flew or if I was “well prepared” but Shaylyn did not scream on the flights. The advice I got from a few people with a baby and the ear popping was to nurse her on the way up and down. This way she was swallowing and would hopefully naturally pop them. Seemed to work for her? Since obviously Leah is past that…I’d suggest giving her something to eat during those times so she’s swallowing? Seems like it would work the same way.

    If I think of anything else that would help…I’ll let you know!

  3. Soooooooo if I “gate check” this car seat – what does that mean? I take it through security and everything and give it to the lady (or guy) at the gate? And they promise not to break it? Or what? I’m not gonna bring a stroller – Leah by herself is gonna be a trip in an airport… the less I have to carry/push/pull/worry about… the better.

    • I’m not sure you can gate check the car seat…just the stroller if you want to use it/push her in the airport. I think you’ll have to check the car seat, like you do a suitcase. Then it will be at baggage claim when you get to Buffalo. What airline are you flying? You will probably have to pay for the car seat as a “bag” if you’re not flying an airline that does free checked bags or maybe they don’t count a car seat, which was the case with Southwest Airlines.

  4. The more and more I think about it – I don’t think I’m gonna take the car seat… I will try to exhaust all other options first. It is a giant, awkward, heavy thing and I’ll probably need all eyes on Leah even just to get to the ticket counter. Not to mention, it was not cheap and I would die if I got to buffalo and it did not. Or if it was broken. Maybe I’ll just rent my own car when we get there… can you rent one for 15 minutes? haha.

    I’m not sure about the airline we’re gonna fly. I would like to do southwest, but Kyles work has to book his first, and then I will book ours to match his returning flight… hopefully they do that this week.

    This is exhausting. Ha.

    • Haha! You’ll figure it out! And hopefully you’ll have the same experience I did…I was all geared up for it to be the worst day of my life and it really wasn’t so bad! I think Shay knew how worried I was about it and decided to take it easy on me. 🙂 You can do it!!

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