On the Go > Baby Travel > By Air > For the Airport > Arriving at the Airport > Quick Tips for Various Airport Scenarios
Quick Tips for Various Airport Scenarios!
From curbside drop-off or longterm parking, keep baby strapped into the car seat and click it straight onto a car seat-compatible umbrella stroller (like the BABYZEN YOYO+) or a car seat cart (such as the Go-Go Babyz Travelmate Deluxe) and proceed to the ticket counter for check-in (if you are traveling with a lap infant, you will not be permitted to complete check-in via mobile or online).
Traveling with car seat (low baggage-handling caution) and baby carrier or umbrella stroller:
Remove baby from car seat at ticket counter and check it within the padded protection of a transport bag along with everything you don’t need in-flight (e.g., extra diapers, a favorite baby blanket will fit in the void at center of the car seat). Load baby into carrier or strap into umbrella stroller and proceed to security. Baby can remain in carrier during security screening, but not in umbrella stroller, which must go through X-ray machine. Parent and baby are exempt from full-body 3D scanners, but will still pass through regular metal detectors. Continue to departure gate with baby in carrier or back in umbrella stroller.
Traveling with car seat (high baggage-handling caution) and baby carrier or umbrella stroller:
Check everything you don’t need in-flight at the ticket counter.
If baby is awake on ticket counter line, remove baby from car seat and slip it (car seat; not baby) into a padded transport bag, which can usually be carried like a backpack or dragged on wheels. Stuff baby care extras into the void at center of car seat before zipping up bag. Load baby into carrier and proceed to security (you will not have to remove baby from carrier during the security screening), or strap baby into umbrella stroller and likewise proceed to security (baby will need to be removed so umbrella stroller can be collapsed and examined in X-ray machine). Prepare for screening prior to presenting your tickets and identification, but begin the process at least a few minutes before reaching the security agent in order to avoid unnecessary delays. Parent and baby will be exempt from full-body 3D scanners, but will still pass through regular metal detectors. If traveling without a carrier, strap baby back into umbrella stroller.
If baby is asleep on ticket counter line, you may prefer to let baby continue sleeping in car seat as long as possible. Keep car seat clicked onto car seat-compatible umbrella stroller or car seat cart and proceed to security with boarding passes. You will need to awaken (read: disturb) baby and prepare for screening prior to presenting your tickets and identification, but begin the process a few minutes before reaching the security agent in order to avoid unnecessary delays. Remove baby from car seat and place car seat face down on X-ray machine belt (you may wish to zip car seat into padded transport bag prior to placing the fabrics of the car seat directly onto the belt). Parent and baby will be exempt from full-body 3D scanner, but will still pass through regular metal detector. Unfold umbrella stroller and strap in baby or slip baby into carrier.
Traveling with car seat and large stroller:
If you don’t like umbrella strollers or you will need your large stroller at your destination, one option is to leave the stroller seat at home and use the stroller base and infant car seat for the duration of your trip. You can modify the above steps to meet your needs with just your infant car seat and the large stroller in tow. Several friends of ours would check both their car seat and large stroller within the correlated transport bags at the counter (padded with extra baby essentials to maximize packing space, of course) and then stick to a baby carrier throughout the airport terminals.
Traveling without a car seat:
Traveling without your own infant car seat is perfectly safe if you plan to use a livery service that can provide an infant car seat at both your origin and destination. A car seat is sometimes available in large cities that host companies such as Uber and Lyft. However, it is important to note that Uber and Lyft operate with the IMMO GO Seat which is not at all suitable for small babies and not approved for toddlers under 31″ and/or 22 pounds. And — as I learned on a recent return into Newark International Airport — Uber Car Seat was not an option, so I begrudgingly boarded the Air Train and NJ Transit with a toddler, an umbrella stroller and an XL suitcase.
If you’re departing an urban area via a livery services with family-friendly conveniences, don’t forget that family or friends with car seats at your destination can also help lighten your travel load. Willing and able grandparents, aunts and uncles (and even really good friends) can invest in inexpensive convertible car seats, like the EvenFlo Tribute LX or the Cosco Senara NEXT, to keep on hand for frequent, little visitors.