Of all the articles we wrote on the merits of gate checking your car seat, I am very sure you are convinced why you should actually do the deed. But for most people who hasn’t tried it or is still struggling to decide as to why you need to gate check your car seat, allow me to simplify why. Truth be told, it actually boils down to three things:
- Damage Protection – Bringing your car seat personally to the gate reduces the number of people handling car seat. Which in turn, reduces the chances of being damaged while being transported across the airport to the plane. Now, might want to protect your car seat from dirt and germs it will come in contact while inside the plane. So you need a safe container to secure it before handing it over at the gate when you board the plane. You don’t want your daughter’s face rubbing a car seat that came in contact with a dirty bag from a bayou that is not even in the map…..do you?
- Seldom Lost – You know the stories. Baggage got delayed. Worse lost and sent to another state or country. Airline apologizes, promised to get luggage back in 2-3 weeks and while you are at it, get a discount on your next ticket. You are lucky if the airline can provide you with a car seat, at least for the duration. But there is no guarantee. Guarantee that they have one ready, or guarantee that they have the size you need or if you even like the make of the car seat. You can always ask one from the car rental or a friend or family member at your destination can lend you one. Better yet, why not buy one? Lets face it, it is not about replacing the car seat, you can always buy one and resolve the issue. It is the hassle! The delay! The anxiety and frustration that would totally ruin a well-planned and sought after vacation. All because you didn’t buy a gate check bag.
- No Guarantee on a free seat – Some people try to bring their car seat on the plane. For those who buy the extra seat beside them that would be fine. But for those who are actually taking the chance of getting a free seat have the odds stacked against them. Don’t gamble! If you can’t afford buying an extra seat, buy a car seat cover instead. Trust me, you can’t be lucky all the time.
So, still undecided? To gate check or to bring it aboard. What to do? For me, I always make sure that my kid’s car seat are gate checked. You’ve heard the stories, about strollers and car seats checked in along with your baggage. If it’s not damaged, it gets misplaced by the baggage handlers and your car seat gets delayed by a day or two. It is not worth the hassle! So better get a car seat travel bag. Check out AMT PRO and get this awesome car seat travel bag ONLY $29.77! TOTAL CONVENIENCE for a gate check car seat bag FOR LESS THAN $30.