On the Go > Baby Travel > By Air > For the Airport > Arriving at the Airport + Quick Tips for Various Airport Scenarios
Arriving at the Airport
What We Did If Sydney Was Awake: If Sydney was awake when we arrived at the airport curbside drop-off, we transferred her — still strapped into her infant car seat — directly from the vehicle and clicked it right onto our BABYZEN YOYO+ (check which car seat adapters are compatible with your umbrella stroller before purchasing). We stowed the J.L. Childress Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag (which is compatible with both infant and convertible car seats) — still rolled up and secured by its separate velcro strap — in the undercarriage of the umbrella stroller. Our diaper bag and additional luggage went over shoulders or was wheeled accordingly to the ticket counter.
We used the time waiting on line for check-in to unroll the car seat travel bag, unbuckle Sydney from the car set, disconnect the car seat from the stroller, strap Sydney into stroller seat, and zip up the infant car seat before Carlyle slung the travel bag over his shoulders with the backpack straps. Sometimes we checked it at the ticket counter; more often than not, we waited to check it at the gate to minimize the risk of baggage mishandling.
If the J.L. Childress Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag is your padded transport protection of choice, take care to wrap the separate velcro strap around the handle or buckles of the car seat to avoid losing it once the bag is zipped up (we wished this velcro strap were sown to an appropriate area of the bag for proper roll-up; our full review is coming soon on STWFU).
What We Did If Sydney Was Asleep: If we arrived curbside while Sydney was sleeping, we transferred her — still strapped into her infant car seat — directly from the vehicle and clicked it right onto our umbrella stroller. Then, we stowed the car seat travel bag in the undercarriage of the stroller. Our diaper bag and additional luggage went over shoulders or was wheeled accordingly to the ticket counter.
Whether we were checking the car seat at the counter or at the gate, we always found it best to wait until the last possible moment to awaken the beast. If checking the car seat at the counter, we transferred Sydney to the umbrella stroller seat (often waking her in the process) and packed up the car seat about 3-4 minutes before reaching the ticket agent. If checking the car seat at the gate, we didn’t disturb her until we were about 3-4 minutes from presenting our tickets and identification at security.
Some parents prefer to pack up the car seat and stroller for check-in at the ticket counter and carry their little one in a baby carrier from curbside to departure gate. This is also an efficient, handsfree option and many babies can sleep relatively well with the warmth of mommy or daddy’s body in the carrier. You would only need to retain the car seat if you’ve purchased a separate passenger seat for your baby in lieu of eligible lap-infant travel through age 2. Airlines also strongly recommend that children under 44 pounds be strapped into a CRS regardless when they have their own passenger seat (refer back to Purchasing Tickets).
Other Options: Our way isn’t the only way — or even necessarily the best way — for your family to navigate the airport with a baby. Check out other quick tips for various airport scenarios.
Get MOMganized For the Airport