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Graco 4ever convertible car seat

Aglassrn
New Arrival

My husband and I are flying w our boys (ages 3.5 and 2). They both have a graco 4ever convertible car seat. We wanted the car seats for our rental car once we reach our destination. My car seats say they are FAA approved but they seem so wide to me to fit comfortably on the flight.  Does anyone have  any experience with this specific model? My other concerns are lugging them through the airport and through security, but also concerned w checking them and having them damaged. I’ve read the cosco convertible car seat is a good option to fly with but didn’t know if it was worth purchasing. Any and all Input would be helpful. Thank you! 

11 REPLIES 11

Re: Graco 4ever convertible car seat

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@Aglassrn wrote:

My husband and I are flying w our boys (ages 3.5 and 2). They both have a graco 4ever convertible car seat. We wanted the car seats for our rental car once we reach our destination. My car seats say they are FAA approved but they seem so wide to me to fit comfortably on the flight.  Does anyone have  any experience with this specific model? My other concerns are lugging them through the airport and through security, but also concerned w checking them and having them damaged. I’ve read the cosco convertible car seat is a good option to fly with but didn’t know if it was worth purchasing. Any and all Input would be helpful. Thank you! 


I'm not sure yet what we'll be doing yet in my own family yet, right now we have a 2-yo and one on the way. Our system with one child works well though.

 

Our current practice is that we keep the "deluxe" car seat in our home vehicle, and we bought a cheaper Cosco model for use when traveling and for when our daughter has friends over that we need to pick up from their place, if grandma and grandpa visit, etc.

 

In that regard, we're not out a huge amount if the traveler car seaet gets damaged as opposed to the expenseive one that we leave in place for the most part. The traveler is one of the same models that many car rental companies would provide you, about $50 retail, ($15/day from the car rental compoany and you might as well buy one!) I'm sure it meets the same safety requirements, etc...it's a little tougher to install, doesn't convert to a booster later, but is fine for a 2-yo while we travel.

 

I recommend you purchase a bag for anything that you check - Southwest sells blue stroller / car seat bags for $17 I believe at ticket counter, or if they are out then at the baggage office (allow extra time to procure one) - this will prevent minor scuffing and we have in fact had to replace two of the bags over 40+ flights but without significant damage to our equipment which was the point.

 

For ticketed children, you may consider a CARES harness available on amazon or Bed Bath and Beyond (20% off coupon works!) - https://www.amazon.com/Child-Airplane-Travel-Harness-Restraint/dp/B0012E4FV8/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8...

 

I posted a thread about this harness that you can search for - much easier inflight than a car seat.

 

If you do decide to bring the seats onboard, maybe plan on you sitting with one child and your husband with the other, as it will be tight on space and potentially against the rules to put two car seats in the same three-seat row. (I interpret it to be okay, but the wording is not totally clear - you can't block access to the aisle with a car seat...there's another big thread on that you can search for.)

 

One other person (from that same earlier thread if I recall) checked her car seat in the original box for extra protection - feel free to do that if you have the box and don't mind carrying it around at your destination. You might have to open the box to prove that it is full of baby gear to get the free extra bag if you need the allowance.

 

At Midway we have a system where I drop off wife and daughter and we curbide check car seat and suitcases, and take stroller through MDW and gate check it. This method works great when you may have to walk extended distances in the airport concourse. 

 

Then we use the CARES harness in-flight, which daughter has found "mostly agreeable" but does try to wiggle out sometimes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Graco 4ever convertible car seat

Aglassrn
New Arrival

Thanks so much for your input!! I really appreciate it! 

Re: Graco 4ever convertible car seat

Aglassrn
New Arrival

I have one more question. What have you checked w the reusable bags? We’re leaning towards checking the car seats and purchasing those bags. Was curious how protective the bags are. Thanks again 

Re: Graco 4ever convertible car seat

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

They are not firm at all, but protect from scuffing/rubbing marks. You wouldn't want anything protruding from them which could be damanged.

 

We've put the car seat in there, another one for the stroller, and when we had the infant car seat/stroller combo we put both in one bag.

 

Also for infants we put a pack-n-play in its own bag, and had the second bag for the car seat/stroller (gate check). When daughter got older, we use it for the traveler car seat in one and stroller (gate check) in the other.

 

The bag packs like this (Edit: I found a better picture of a lady showing it from folded to packed):

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=7hvcsgLd&id=92F38E85E115B5298EF1104A374ED2D47D...

 

Edit 2: also make sure if you will gate check any items to get to the gate before boarding started and get a gate check tag so that you are ready for family boarding.

 

You'll carry the item down the jetway to the door of the aircraft and drop it there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Graco 4ever convertible car seat

elijahbrantley
Rising Star
Solution

Thanks for the detailed info @DancingDavidE!

 

I totally echo having a second, smaller car seat!  Our main, large car seat never has to be removed from the car, and we have one that is cheaper that travels with us.  We have less concern if it is damaged, and it is SO MUCH EASIER when we get to the parking lot cause we just grab our pre-packed extra seat and go.

 

Speaking of pre-packed: I HIGHLY recommend getting a travel bag in advance from Amazon.  I have found that they typically are slightly thicker than the SW ones.  You can pack it at home, again saving time.  Note that SW covers loss on baby items, but they do not cover damage.  With that said, we have never had any issues with damage to any baby items - stroller or car seats.  We personally always check the car seat and keep the stroller with us to gate check.

 

Finally, this page on SW's site has a link to seat dimensions if it would make you feel better to know that in advance.

 

Happy flying!

-A List Preferred, Companion Pass holder, Community Champion.

Re: Graco 4ever convertible car seat

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

If it's likely you will be traveling with the kids occasionally over the next few years I would highly recommend the CARES harness, it's so much easier to work with and carry to the gate than a car seat. Check the car seats and avoid having to haul them through the airport. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Graco 4ever convertible car seat

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor
Solution

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

If it's likely you will be traveling with the kids occasionally over the next few years I would highly recommend the CARES harness, it's so much easier to work with and carry to the gate than a car seat. Check the car seats and avoid having to haul them through the airport. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat


Here is some live-action for @Aglassrn on the CARES harness.

https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t5/Family-Travel/CARES-harnesses/m-p/75683

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Graco 4ever convertible car seat

LittleBrother
New Arrival

We used the Graco SlimFit and it just barely fit in the airplane seat with the arm rest down and the carseat cupholders folded in. These car seats are the same aside from the folding cup holders. If you raise the arm rest you should get your 4ever to fit with just slight overlap of the cupholder into your middle seat.

Re: Graco 4ever convertible car seat

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@LittleBrother wrote:

We used the Graco SlimFit and it just barely fit in the airplane seat with the arm rest down and the carseat cupholders folded in. These car seats are the same aside from the folding cup holders. If you raise the arm rest you should get your 4ever to fit with just slight overlap of the cupholder into your middle seat.


Do you recall which row you were in, or generally front few rows, middle, rear?

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.