March 5, 2008

Protect Your Baby Gear from the Airlines

Here is a great article written by Richard Goore of Goore's baby store in Sacramento, CA. (Goore' is a great store if you need any baby gear). He addresses the issue of what to do when your baby gear is damaged when flying....

Don't let the airlines damage your car seat or stroller!

I received a call from one of my friends the other day telling me how frustrated he was with the airline they flew on for their recent summer trip. He went on to tell me that their new stroller they just got from Goore's is now damaged. It is still usable but the frame has a dent and the seat is dirtier than before. I was tempted to say I told you so (which I actually had done in the past) but I refrained. When they go on their next trip during the holiday season they will be using both a car seat and a stroller bag to protect their purchases.

The airline restrictions are not cut and dry. Most airlines have you sign a form stating that they are not liable for any damage they may cause to your stroller or car seat when it is checked (at the curb, counter or gate). Some do and some don't. Some simply forget for various reasons. Using travel bags for car seats and strollers will not only protect your purchases but also, in some cases, allow these items to be checked without signing a waiver. I am not sure if you will have a reliable argument should the airlines damage your merchandise but it certainly can't hurt. I just completed an extensive search to find what many of the leading airlines state on their websites regarding . For many there is not a clear cut and dry answer. The information is difficult to find if it is there at all. My suggestion is to call and find out where you can get it in writing. Here are a few of the websites I looked at.

American Airlines states"American is not responsible for damage to any stroller not properly packed in original packaging." That tells me unless it is in a box the hasn't been opened they are not responsible. They have info on car seats as well. For more precise information from American Airlines, Click here then scroll down to Infant Seat or Child Restraint Devices.

Southwest Airlines does not say anything specific on their website about waiving responsibility for damage but I know 1st hand they have you sign their waiver releasing them of responsibility for damage when checking your car seat or stroller. For information on these items when flying Southwest click here.

Continental does have a pretty clear explanation of responsibility when checking strollers, "Continental is not liable for damage to strollers." They do not mention that for car seats though. They count strollers and car seats as regular baggage which falls into the same size and weight restrictions. For more detailed information on Continental's guidelines click here.

These are just a few examples. It is advised to take the time to check the airline you are flying to completely understand their terms and conditions when checking car seats and strollers.

As recommended earlier, you should get a travel bag for your car seats and strollers when you check them. A number of stroller and car seat companies have their own versions that fit their specific products perfectly such as - Bob Joggers, Phil & Ted's E3 Sport Buggy, Bugaboo (Bee, Cameleon/Frog), Stokke Xplory, Sunshine Kids Radian & Compass Booster. If your stroller or car seat does not have a specifically designed bag don't worry. We have many great options for you. Here is a list of our favorites:

Car Seats


There are other options as well but these are the best sellers. You may be done with your Summer travel but the holidays will creep up on you quickly. Make sure you protect your investments so you can continue to use them well into the future.

Richard Goore

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