I just returned from a week-long trip to Colorado with my entire family which was beyond lovely for a variety of reasons. First, let me say that if you ever have a reason to stay in Denver, stay at the Loews Hotel in the Cherry Creek area of Denver. Everything you could want is close by and the service is outstanding! You will likely not get the little added bonus of eyecandy I had (the U.S. Men’s Rugby team was staying there at the same time) but it is still a wonderful experience. Also, going from 100% humidity and 100+ degree heat to no humidity and a high of 75 degrees is something this confirmed Southerner could get used to!
One thing that wasn’t lovely was our flight experience. We flew from Nashville to Denver via Southwest largely because it was the cheapest direct flight we could find. This is the first time we’ve flown with our daughter since she was 4 months old. That is a whole other story and one I won’t go into now but sufficed to say, this was actually worse largely because we chose to bring a car seat on board with us.
Traveling with the car seat was actually my idea and I stand by it as a solid parental decision. I knew my 3-year-old wouldn’t want to sit still in a regular seat, and I didn’t want to deal with the ensuing power struggle on the plane. We were also going to be renting a car in Denver and I wasn’t feeling good about what our choices would be. So I said, “let’s just bring the car seat with us and she can sit on it on the plane.” Genius.
That was a lot easier to say than it was to enact.On the flight there, two different flight attendants told us two entirely different things about the seat. One said: #1 – it wasn’t going to fit because it was obviously too large, and #2 – it couldn’t protrude past the bottom of the seat (1. It did. 2. It didn’t). Then another said we weren’t allowed in the row of seats behind the Exit row after the other one told us to sit there!
On the way back to Nashville, we encountered the same thing only about different issues. This time we were told we had to put the car seat in the window seat by one attendant who then got into an argument about it with the other attendant in front of us. Both quoted their “manual” although neither knew for sure what was in it. For goodness sake!
My advice for future flyers is this. Before you fly, if you can buy, beg or borrow a car seat stroller do so. It will make getting through the airport easier. Also, find your airlines baby/toddler policies, read them and then PRINT THEM OUT and bring with you. It will help alleviate potential issues and make your travel much easier.
Because my motto is all about making it easier for parents in Huntsville, below is a list of airlines that fly out of Huntsville International Airport and a link to their child/toddler policies. How awesome is that? Make sure you tell me how great I am in the comments. It will make me feel better about myself and my recent travels 🙂
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.