Twins on a Plane

It’s scarier than “Snakes on A Plane” isn’t it? (or snakes in a mother***ing post office).

I’m taking the kids on an airplane for the first time on Thursday. I am terrified for many reasons. Not because I am afraid of flying, because I’m not. I really wouldn’t mind flying at all if it involved more leg room and cheaper drinks.

Here is my major concern: Am I supposed to fly with carseats? Can you other parents who have flown with two year old (a bonus if you have multiples) explain what I am supposed to do? The FAA rules are vague as are the rules of the airline.

I know that I can rent car seats with our rental car. I would really prefer that to hauling two huge ass convertible car seats through the airport.

Please let me know what you have done in the past. Thanks.

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  1. I did research into this before we went to Disney, luckily we found out the day before we left that the PB & the J were of weight and didn’t need a seat.

    Simple answer; Yes. They have to be FAA Approved (look for the label or safety sticker somewhere on the seat and it should say) and booster seats are NOT allowed as they aren’t FAA approved (Saw a lot of people who had booster seats inthe line but had to check them in with their other luggage after they got in line to board the plane).

    Your best bet to verify is the website for the airline you’re flying, that’s where I found (the night before we left) the information that The PB and The J didn’t need them because they were over 40lbs. The FAA’s and the TSA’s websites are where I found the information that the seats have to be FAA approved.

    Hope this helps.

  2. Would have helped if I read your entire post and saw that you already checked the FAA and the airline’s sites.

    I was told by the airline’s customer service (I also called them for verification) that if the child is over 40lbs, they don’t need a carseat. Otherwise, yes… you do have to tote those things throughout the airport.

    I never noticed before (probably because I wasn’t a parent at the time and didnt care) the amount of people who ARE lugging those things in airports.

  3. Regulations aside, if your kids are comfortable in their car seats – it’s worth it to take them. My son couldn’t sleep on a plane without his.

  4. Ok, I guess I am irresponsible, but Gabriel has flown at least 10 times already and we have never brought a car seat on the plane. He now sits in his own seat with his seat belt on. We just always make sure wherever we are going has a car seat we can use. The only reason you may need to bring one along if your destination doesn’t have one is a taxi cab ride, but you can request a taxi with car seats. Or if you go to NYC like we just did, they actually don’t care (which wasn’t the wisest but a it was NYC so what do you expect). I mean realistically your chances of the plane crashing are not like those if you are driving a car, but I guess I take the more careless route. We just travel so much I am thinking big picture and convienence. Lugging him and all our stuff around is enough. Where are you going anyway?

  5. Unfortunately – and somewhat surprisingly – I have never flown with a two year old. Whenever we have flown our kids have either been older than two and used Graco Turbo seats (which are FAA approved) or been under one and needed infant seats. In either case we always took a big stroller to lug the seats on and gate checked it (for free).

    As I recall, there is really no requirement for small ones to be in a seat at all – if they are young enough not to need a ticket they can ride in your lap. But we always got a seat for ours because it seemed safer.

  6. Supergirl has flown many a times, she has her own frequent flyer card. We have always taken the car seat for two reasons:
    1. her dad, the supersafe firemen, demands it
    2. she thinks when she is buckled in it she cannot get out, which may or may not happen in a regular seat.

    Pro’s are she stays in it the whole flight without fussing, and isn’t trying to run down any aisles. Con is I have to lug the thing around the airport, buckle it in, etc. Major con I see with two: where do you put them? Southwest requires me to put my daughter in a window seat so she does not block anyone’s exit. I am not sure the rule if you have two seats together (hope that makes some sense).

  7. oh, I forgot your question :) Southwest (that’s who I usually fly with) does not require a carseat.

  8. A guy I work with just came back today after vacation for a few weeks. He’s from London. He had to fly back from Heathrow the day after the bomb scare. They were in the airport for 8 full hours before GETTING ON THE PLANE. And it took them 5 to get through customs at LAX. Did I mention he’s got 10 month old twins?

  9. You’re braver than I. Good luck. I have no experience to share 😉

  10. You are a brave woman. My recomendation is just to take their carseats that you have. It seems like more work, but it will save you in the longrun. I have never even had someone at the airport look at mine to see what brand they were. And then my kids don’t think they can get up and walk around.

    Also, but some new toys and snacks (although nothing liquid now.) Also gummy bears or gummy worms…or fruit snacks would also work I guess. Give them to the kids when you take off and land. Keeps them distracted and helps their ears. I’ve done it a ton of times, although not alone. Good luck.

  11. No personal experience because I’m too freakin’ scared to travel ON AN AIRPLANE with my twin 2 year olds. 😀 In talking to friends, they say the carseat keeps them from wanting to roam the aisles because they know once they’re strapped in, they have to stay that way.

    Not sure how long you’re flying for, but good luck and keep us posted. We’re so terrified of what they’ll do on an airplane, we’re DRIVING 13+ hours at Christmas. I don’t know which is worse?!

  12. I’m a bad mommy. Once my daughter hit 2 years old she has always just traveled in a regular airplane seat with a lap belt on. The airline folks never said anything about her needing a carseat.

    I guess I don’t get why the seat is important on a plane. In a car, it’s all about crash protection. If the plane crashes, how is a carseat going to make a difference? (Not being flip here; I just don’t get it.)

  13. I left ours at home, or checked them… They always sat on my lap or in their own seat. It just makes it easier then trying to lug a car seat around (especially two).

  14. They always seem to fit in the overhead bin I have never had a problem.

    Kidding aside, take your carseats with you. You will need them where you are going anyway. Take a stroller to the airport and you get to be the first on the plane and they will check your stroller for you at the end of the ramp.

    Besides when the plane enters the earth like a dart, I am pretty sure it won’t matter whether that car seat held up.

  15. I’ve flown a million times with the kids now and we’ve never, ever brought a carseat. We’ve always checked them with our suitcases (you just take them out of your car, as is…they will bag them for you at the skycab or inside) or we’ve rented them with the rental car at the other end.

    I have three seats on a Delta flight tomorrow, and It’s just me and the kids. The baby will take off and land on my lap, but the 3 year old will only have the lapbelt the plane provides.

    Don’t lug them unless your kids really love their car seats and can’t live without them.

  16. We never took a car seat for Noodle (she has over 100,000 miles in 5 years). She was fine BECAUSE it is only a lap belt. That is the deal, the shoulder belt demands a booster or car seat, a lap belt does not. Now, the fact you are carrying 2 kids and I think one adult makes me think you may want to put margaritas in the sippy cup for the adult. Bless you.

  17. I always took the car seat. Sure, it was a pain… BUT she would sleep in her carseat but not in the regular airplane seat and I’m a germ freak w/ my kid so I always knew that while her carseat was grimy, they were HER germs. Plus, there’s something to be said for the 5 point harness, esp. if you’re travelling alone. I can’t believe Arwen just said they never travelled w/ a car seat. We’ve been friends for over half our lives and she can still surprise me.

    We take the kid transatlantic once a year to see her grandparents and it sucks ass now that she’s too big for a car seat. GOOD LUCK and have fun without any gels or liquids. We’re flying on Weds and I’m thirsty just thinking about it.

  18. Ditto others – always checked the car seat. Never lugged it onto the plane. In the future, will rent them. Such a pain in the ass (but an important one…sigh).

    Wishing you the best. I’ve found it’s easier as they get older, but still…the ratio here is not in your favor.

  19. No advice – WonderBaby was 6 months, and it was just she and I…

    But I’ll give you this – GOOD LUCK.

  20. I would say don’t bother with the carseats because they’re heavy and cumbersome, but the fact that you’ll have TWO kids to corale makes me think the carseats might be quite helpful (and the margaritas in the sippy cups might help even more)…

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