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Thread: Car Seats

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    Banjo.Jon's Avatar
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    Default Car Seats

    We were wondering on what people did with car seats for kids. James and Lauren both need them and we wondered what other people had done when they arrived in NZ. Do you bring them with you, or just buy new ones when you arrive.

    Thanks

    Jon
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    kokopeli is offline God like figure
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    Unless you're planning to travel with the children on your knees, I would take them on the plane. It means you'll have a bit more to carry, but the airline won't class childseats as luggage and the kids will thank you for it. You'll need them once you start driving in NZ, so it's a shame to waste what you already own.

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    We brought ours on the plane, too. They are a bit pricey here and IMHO not of the quality you would find in the US.

    One thing to note is if they are booster seats or car seats. Air NZ wouldn't let us use the booster seat on their flights, so it just got stowed in the overhead. It wasn't really a problem, and allowed my 4 year old to curl up like a cat in his seat to sleep. You'll want to check to see if the model(s) you have are approved for airline use. Otherwise, you can probably check them for free or just carry them on and stow them.

    I also noticed that the cars here don't have the LATCH system, so you'll want to make sure you have any extra buckles or anything you need to be able to fasten them with the seatbelts. (Pardon my ignorance, but do you even have LATCH in the UK?)
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    Have we never recounted the sagas we had with car seats???? When we went over to NZ in June 2006 we didn't take our car seats with us as we had been told that the NZ were of a much higher standard to UK ones (yeah right!!) - so we hired some from the car hire place but to be honest they were in such bad condition that Ken actually went out and hired some from (I think) Babyfactory or BabyCity. These weren't actually much better - they didn't fit properly in the car we had hired, and we were advised by the girl at the shop to "wedge them in with towels, that's what everyone does!!!"

    We then bought some NZ ones when we bought our own cars, but to be honest we still weren't particularly happy with the way they fitted - we were told that the problem was because we had bought European cars, and car seats were designed more for cars from the Asian countries. We had been used to buying seats which used the ISOFIX system, but these seemed very hard to find in NZ either in the shops or online, so in the end we got Granny to buy us some in the UK and send them out to us, and they fitted perfectly (phew!!) When we decided to come back to UK, we wanted to bring the car seats with us on the plane so that we could use them immediately in the hire car from the airport - we had to check them in as luggage as they were far too big to take in the cabin with us, and to be honest there is no way the kids would have sat in them on the plane. They formed part of our luggage allowance, so bear this in mind if you are limited with luggage - worth checking with the airlines before you book as it could add a serious amount in excess baggage costs (Air NZ do not allow you to take them "free" - we were lucky that we were allowed 8 pieces of luggage between us on the return flight as we had travel cot, pushchair, car seats, as well as 3 suitcases!! The Hills never travel light!!! )

    Hope all is going well - any news on the house going on the market yet?

    Maggie

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    Thanks everyone. I'll make sure we take them on the plane with us.

    Maggie : House is being valued on Friday ready to go on the market later this month!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maggiemoo View Post
    Air NZ do not allow you to take them "free" - we were lucky that we were allowed 8 pieces of luggage between us on the return flight as we had travel cot, pushchair, car seats, as well as 3 suitcases!! The Hills never travel light!!!
    We didn't run into that problem on Air NZ. Was it because you checked them? Another option could be to take them on the plane as carry on, then have them stow them as they would stow a carriage/pram.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KiwiHopeful View Post
    We didn't run into that problem on Air NZ. Was it because you checked them? Another option could be to take them on the plane as carry on, then have them stow them as they would stow a carriage/pram.
    Hi KiwiHopeful,

    I checked with the AIR NZ call centre before we flew back, and they told us that we would have to check them in, we could not take them on the plane with us, so I decided not to risk trying to get them on the plane with us - not that I would actually have fancied lugging them round the airport after check in or at Hong Kong, the car seats are quite big and heavy (our kids are 2 and 1 so still need the full seat seats IYKWIM). One of our friends also got charged hundreds of dollars to bring their car seats back as they were over their luggage limit, so maybe its just luck on the day whether they allow them or not. We were just grateful that we had the extra luggage allowance from having flown out via LAX.

    Maggie

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    kokopeli is offline God like figure
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    Reading back through this thread, I think a lot depends on whether you get a 'nice' or 'nasty' attendant when you check in. We travelled with booster seats on Qantas, BA and AirNZ without any problems when we made our way here.

    I think our varied experiences are yet more evidence of the global anti-parent conspiracy! Can you imagine an airline telling a wheelchair user that their wheelchair has to be checked in as part of their baggage allowance. Or telling someone with a false leg to do the same. Come on airlines, parents don't take car seats because they really need to haul an extra 5kgs of plastic around, do they!?!


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