Help! We are flying to Ireland with Ryanair in a couple of weeks time with a 10 month old, and hiring a car when we get there. We are planning to take our pushchair frame (Graco Symbio) with the car seat and car seat adaptor. We won't be taking the pushchair attachment, so the car seat is an integral part of making it a pushchair IYSWIM. Do you think Ryanair will accept this as one single pushchair, or will we have to pay extra for the car seat?
The other option is to buy a cheap folding stroller (we are planning to do this soon anyway) and then to hire a car seat along with our hire car. However this will involve extra expense, and we'd rather have DS in his familiar rear-facing seat when we're there.
If I know Ryanair, they will be about as flexible as rock, and will take every opportunity to fleece you for money.
I would suggest the cheap stroller option, because airlines are notorious for damaging buggies in-flight, and I wouldn't risk a pricy travel system. We bought a £10 Mothercare cheapy, which did all holidays and was brilliant.
Then, when you get to the airport, bung the carseat in a thick black binliner, parcel up with tape, and check it in as luggage.
We still do this with boosters. Hiring carseats from car-hire companies can be a bit hit-and-miss; you won't get any help with fitting it either.
Word to the wise, under 12s are not allowed in the front seat of cars in Ireland, even if there's no passenger airbag.
Thanks for the advice, that's helpful. It would be the worst of both worlds though to take the car seat but not the wheels to go with it... plus they charge less for a car seat (£10 each way) than they do for an item of checked luggage (£20 each way). I'll bear in mind what you say about hiring a car seat though.
Well, I've just bought a Maclaren Quest on eBay and printed our boarding cards without adding a car seat to the booking - but I emailed the car hire company asking to add child seat hire but they have emailed back and said yes, but it can't be guaranteed. How do people manage to hire cars abroad with children if car seat hire cannot be guaranteed?!