I’ve been home from my trip for almost a week now. I haven’t quite fully recovered. I don’t think I’ll do that again. Flying solo with two small kids is no walk in the park! I don’t need to bore you with a lot of details, but I’ll sum it up for you just for kicks.
Highlights: Snacks smooshed all over the floor where we sat at the terminal, Mr Orange licking the bathroom sink at the airport, Little Dude throwing an all-out fit waiting to board the plane, Little Dude kicking the seat the whole flight both directions, Mr Orange licking the bottom of his SHOE in flight after visiting the bathroom on the plane, Little Dude throwing an all out fit when I took his shoes off for security and again waiting to board the plane, both kids dropping everything in their laps on the floor so my seatbelt was almost never actually on, and Mr Orange had to pee RIGHT NOW before the seatbelt sign was turned off so I got lectured by a flight attendant.
On the way out, my mom helped me. Thank goodness! I had Mom roll my suitcase to the baggage check counter, while I wore my (30 lb!) backpack and rolled the boys in their car seats. Then I put their backpacks on the GoGo Kidz handles.
Here’s the setup I was working with:
I also obviously had wheels on the Radian which are not in the pics above. Here is a crappy cell phone pic of me walking through the parking garage with both seats in tow.
Now this worked great except going through security. The seats don’t fit in the scanner with the wheels on and have to be hand-screened which of course takes longer. But it was worth it to not have to carry them, check them or rent some upon arrival.
I installed both seats forward facing on the plane mostly to make it easier for me to entertain the boys and be interactive with them. FAA regulations state that they could not impede access to the aisle, so the Radian was installed in the window seat and the Marathon went in the center. This left me in the aisle. You know, in case I wanted to leave them behind in an emergency situation.
Also worth noting is that the Radian DOES NOT INSTALL WELL on the plane with the wheels on. Because the Radian is such a straight seat, the wheels pushed it out from the seat bight (crack) enough that when we landed, the whole seat leaned forward quite a bit. On the return trip, I opted to take the wheels off and carry it backpack style once we got to our terminal. I got a much more secure installation that way!
The nice features of the Radian are 1) It sits low enough that the child in the seat is able to use the tray table, and 2) It’s narrow enough that it fits down the aisle of the plane so you don’t have to lift it up over the seats. I rolled it on the wheels right to our seats on the way down and walked down the aisle with it on my back on the way home. Fabulous! (pics soon!)
The Marathon installs beautifully with the wheels on, though you do need a seatbelt extender. You can get them from the flight attendant. If you don’t use an extender or flip the female end of the buckle 180 degrees, your seat will be stuck and the pilot will not be happy about having to call a mechanic to come get your seat out by removing screws in the belt attachment. (pics coming soon!)
I am hoping to make this trek again in March, but with two not-so-minor changes. I will have another adult with me and I am buying a Ride Safer Travel Vest for Mr Orange to wear instead of using a car seat in the rental car. I plan on using the Radian for Little Dude both on the plane and in the rental car and Mr Orange will use just the plane belt during the flight and the RSTV in the rental car.