Air Travel Series: The Car Seat & Stroller Conundrum Part 1: Infant Car Seat

There are so many facets to air travel with a baby that I’ve decided to break them down into multiple posts. I found that one of the most seemingly daunting (but in reality not that complicated) part of baby travel is what to do about a car seat and stroller. Depending on your baby’s age, you’re either dealing with an infant car seat or a convertible car seat. So here’s the deal for new babies and their infant car seats.

In all likelihood, you will be bringing your car seat and base with you when you’re flying. We (like 90% of parents I know) have the UPPAbaby Vista Stroller, which conveniently works with the UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat. If you have a different car seat, you can buy an adaptor for the stroller to fit the car seat.

At The Airport

My preferred method of baby travel (and all travel) is to ALWAYS gate check. I am not standing on that check baggage line or waiting for that dumb carousel unless I REALLY have to. It’s easy to go through security/airport with all your bags tossed in the Vista’s massive undercarriage, with your baby chillin in the car seat attached to the stroller. At security they will want to check the stroller for, I don’t know, bombs I guess? So that part is annoying, but literally it takes 4 seconds. I mean if you don’t have TSA Pre or CLEAR by now, I need you to do that immediately. You should at least be able to keep your shoes on while your baby’s car seat is being tested for explosives, amiright?

At The Gate

Then when you arrive at the gate, ask the gate agent for a gate check ticket. You will need a separate one for each of the following items – your stroller, your car seat, and your car seat base (if you brought it, which I recommend for safety). Once it’s time to board (you’re first!!) you quickly pop that baby into a carrier and push the stroller with car seat onto the jet bridge. At the jet bridge, you can put your stroller and car seat in bags if you have them. We always let our car seat and base travel free ball, but the stroller went into the UPPAbaby VISTA Travel Bag. It was annoyingly expensive but saved us a lot of damage on an even more expensive stroller. We learned the hard way that they do not treat strollers very gently on planes….

And that’s it! You collect your stroller, car seat, and base at the jetbridge.

Ready for the big leagues? I break down Convertible Car Seat Conundrum HERE.

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