I've never needed to do this before but after being told it'd cost £270 to hire 2 car seats in Portugal this summer we've decided to take them with us (and I don't know if I'd trust hired seats anyway).
Luckily we're flying BA so we can take them without them counting as part of our luggage.
BUT I'm a bit worried about how the baggage handlers might handle them. I've seen the way cases get chucked about and even sometimes just coming onto the baggage carousal they drop down with quite a thud (the one at Heathrow terminal 1 does anyway) Does anyone know if they get treated differently to normal cases? Anyone had issues with damaged seats before? Is it still better to take them and take that risk than hire them and take a risk there about what their history is?
you might not want to read this. i took our car seat once on hols. the way it was treated meant i a) didnt use it when i got back and b) wasnt sure how safe it was when i was using it on hols. i would risk the car seats you use there. and that seems ridiculous cost- we go abroad a lot and usually pay something in the order of £20 to hire car seats. they arent great often (thought once they were clearly brand new, bought for us) but i think that is better than damaging the ones that are used all the time back home. that said you can prob use the special items route but i personally would never take my own car seat on a plane again. i would ring aorund car hire places as that is ludicrous. you could buy new ones oer there for that price...
my main thing is that damage isnt necessarily visible. after any car crash it is the impact that makes it sensible to change it- what is the difference between that and a big drop from a baggage handlers?
Debi, I've just come back from Portugal and car seats (3-point harness type) were around E15 per week. (having said that we arecheapskate always just take our own, after 7 years of flights have never had any problems)
All the hire companies we've looked at online were going to charge loads for the seats. The cheapest we found was 100 euros for both for the 2 weeks but the car hire price was more with that company than others.
I've looked at threads on here and read lots of horror stories about the seats you can get given as hire ones (or not given as seems to happen sometimes too) so it's so hard to know what the best option is.
I think we might try wrapping them in bubble wrap then if they're dropped we'd know as the bubbles would burst. And we can get handle with care stickers on which hopefully the baggage handlers would pay attention to.
Ds2 will hopefully still just about fit in his rear facing seat but will be big enough to go forwards so we could dump that seat when we get back if we suspect it's been dropped (not planning on having any more children so prob won't need it). And I bought a £25 highback booster for ds1 so if that gets damaged its not the end of the world.
I don't think how well they are looked after is any different depending on who you fly with as the baggage handlers are the same whoever you're with. The advantage of BA though is that the seats don't count as part of the hold luggage allowance.
And yes buktus is right- the energy involved in a crash is the issue (thanks for the reminder though, I'd forgotten about that and I'm a science teacher )
we've taken our own many times and not had a problem. I've never wrapped them because I want the handlers to see what they're handling - if you're worried about them dropping stuff i think they're more likely to let that happen to an anonymous oddlyshaped bin liner than an obvious car seat. Some baggage handlers have kids too.
I know about this because it's similar to riding hats - both contain polystyrene-type material designed to absorb the energy of an impact. Even if there is no visible damage, riding hats have to be thrown away after a fall, because they may not absorb future impacts