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car hire/car seats and flying

(9 Posts)
victoriagirl Fri 07-Aug-09 20:08:47

We are flying on tues to france with our 18mth twins and hiring a car. Could do with some advice regarding car seats. Were going to take ours with us, but that seems a hassle- they are heavy etc and not sure how we will navigate the airport with kids, luggage, car seats etc. (do we wrap them?) But we don't want to get there and find they don't have two (car hire company says 'subject to availability') or they are not good quality. Anyone got any experience?

Mousey84 Fri 07-Aug-09 20:21:52

Do you have friends with lighter versions that you could swap with just for the holidays? As far as I know, car seats are part of your luggage allowance. For airport, you will be able to use a trolley, so shouldnt be a problem handling everything.

Last time I flew, I saw car seats with a luggage tag on them on the carosel at arrivals gate, but not wrapped, but you may want to cover them so they dont get wet or too dirty (or remove soft covers and keep in your suitcase??)

TreeTrunkThighs Fri 07-Aug-09 20:28:42

You can usually take car seats in addition to your luggage allowance for no extra charge. They get checked in as out size bags and ours have always been looked after.

Mousey's suggestion is a good one - maybe borrow lighter weight versions.

Have a lovely holiday.

victoriagirl Sat 08-Aug-09 08:25:03

Thanks for your replies. I guess part of our question was- are we being a bit over anxious about car hire firms- do they tend to have enough in stock and of good enough quality? Wondered what people's experience was?

holidaydreaming Mon 10-Aug-09 21:59:23

Only hired one once. Really old britax, disgustingly dirty, covered in I don't know what. We complained and got a discount, but would have just preferred a reasonably new, clean one!

Can they not sit in them in the plane, as I'd be a bit worried about them getting bashed about a bit in the hold?

DadInsteadofMum Tue 11-Aug-09 10:30:05

We used an all in one moulded lightweight polystyrene car seat whenever we travelled when DCs were smaller, now we take our own booster seats.

We used to put the car seat into its own bag packed around with towels and take it a part of our hold luggage, never got damaged.

Never mind the cleanliness of the seat from a car hire firm you have no way of knowing the history.

Caz10 Fri 14-Aug-09 22:16:03

Bumping this as just found it in a search and am a bit worried now! We are travelling Ryanair to Italy - would it be better then to pay for and pack our own car seat do you think? I'd be worried that it got damaged in the hold?

allnamestaken Fri 21-Aug-09 17:19:14

Just got back from Italy. We travelled by train and collected hire car from Rome train station. We did this last year with no problems using EuropeCar but this year went with Hertz, ordering a baby seat for our 2 year old and a booster seat for our 3 year old, which were not supposed to be subject to availability. When we got there we were told there was no booster seat and there was nothing they would do, we were advised to just *drive my daughter without it*. When I refused, pointing out it was illegal they told us to go and buy one ourselves which they would refund after deducting the hire charge! My husband didn't want to 'make a fuss' so we set off with bags and children to try and find one. We couldn't so went back and my husband trawled up and down the other hire companies seeing if we could hire one from any of them, while I demanded to see the manager. He refused to aknowledge me but after 20 minutes of me shouting in front of the rest of the queue he told me there would be one waiting for me. No apology, no refund and when I got there I saw 4 booster seats sitting in the car park. The baby seat provided was old, dirty and the clip was damaged making it very hard to clip my daughter in. We were charged 40 euros for each of the seats. Customer services in UK were sympathetic but not that bothered and refunded charge for one of the car seats. *Would never use Hertz again*.

flaime Mon 24-Aug-09 14:28:58

We took two polystyrene booster cushions for my DDs when we went to portugal last year as my DDs were 5 & 7. (put them in the middle of the suitcase and got them out at the car hire place. Only cost £5 each so happy to throw them away meaning we had room in the cases for pressies smile

My DS was only 3 so we hired him a booster seat, but when we got there they gave us a very dirty plastic seat which looked like it should have sat on a dining chair and not in a car. It was very uncomfortable and we wished we'd never bothered with it.

I did see several people check big car seats in at the airport, they put them in as special delicate items rather than heading off with the suitcases and they seemed to come out ok at the other end.

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