Hey Lufthansa, Where’s Our Car Seat?

Lufthansa
image: Aero-Shots

Last Friday the Michael W Travels family flew to Athens, Greece with Lufthansa. We then caught a late- night flight to Larnaca, Cyprus.

We brought our car seat for Theo since we’d be renting a car in Cyprus. Rather than gate- check it, we decided to check it at New York’s JFK Airport through to Athens.

We wouldn’t need the car seat during our flight since Theo still travels as a lap baby.

Checking the car seat also made it easier for us in a couple of other ways:

  • It was one less thing to drag around the airports
  • We wouldn’t have to wait to collect it once the plane landed. This was key since we had a relatively tight connecting flight in Munich. (We got this stroller which fits in the overhead !)

We arrived in Athens around 12:00 pm and headed over to collect our luggage. I found Kim and my backpacks relatively fast but didn’t see the car seat. After waiting around 15 minutes, I headed over to the lost bags area.

When I presented the tag for our checked bags, the customer service rep scanned it and said that it didn’t make it out of Munich! This was odd since our other bags were on the flight.

I explained how we would be flying in the evening to Cyprus and needed the car seat for the next day. She told me that the car seat would be on the next flight, arriving in Athens around 3:30 pm.

At first I thought that this might save us a few dollars. Rather than pay to check the car seat in a luggage room (were were flying at 10:00 PM), I’d pick it up before checking in for our flight.

After spending a few hours around Athens, we arrived back at the airport at 7:00 pm.

Kim waited with the kids and I went back to pick up the car seat. The rep thought the car seat arrived and even took me into a room to look for it. After I couldn’t find it, she scanned the tag again and said it didn’t make the flight!

I was pissed since we needed the car seat for our time in Cyprus. She said once it arrived, it would be sent to Cyprus and delivered to us. I then told her about the problem with that idea. We were driving in the morning to an area around 1-2 hours from the airport. Also, we were staying at an Airbnb so there wouldn’t even be a place to drop it off.

She then told me that I shouldn’t worry and it would be delivered. I was also told to rent a car seat, send the bill to Lufthansa and they’d refund me the amount I paid. I wasn’t happy with this idea so I was offered some money. After a few moments I was told that I could get €50 plus the car seat would be returned. Fair enough…

The next day I expected an e-mail from the rep but I received nothing.

Late at night, I sent an e-mail to the handling company. I received a quick response saying that the handling company in Cyprus tried calling me about the car seat which had arrived in Larnaca.

I had clearly stated to the original rep that I did not have a phone which accepted calls while I was away!

I was then told that I could take a taxi to Larnaca Airport to pick up the car seat and then submit the receipt for a refund. This would waste a chunk of our day so I declined. I asked for the car seat to be held for pickup on the morning we flew back to Athens.

So was our car seat in Larnaca when we arrived to pick it up?

Yes and no!

While I was told that the car seat had arrived and the appropriate handling company knew about my fight time, the lost luggage room was locked when I arrived!

I then spoke to a supervisor who took down all of my info. He said the car seat would be delivered to our hotel and not to worry. He also mentioned that if someone opened the room in time, he’d deliver it to the plane.

After boarding, I received a phone call from lost luggage telling me that the bag was being delivered to the plane. Then a flight attendant came to our row and also told us the good news.

In the end, we got out car seat back with a lot of headaches  and wasted time.

(In case you were wondering, we ended up renting a carseat from the car rental company “Kem” in Cyprus. The whole reason we bring our own is that we’ve have had bad luck adjusting/installing rental carseats. Luckily the carseat from Kem fit Theo and was easy to install.)

Have you had a bad experience with a checked luggage not making it your destination? If so, how did the situation turn out?

2 thoughts on “Hey Lufthansa, Where’s Our Car Seat?

  1. We are still undecided on what to do with Teddy and his car seat for our trip to Sicily in 7 weeks. We could lap child him but instead bought him a seat becuase it was quite cheap. But I don’t think he will do well strapped into his car seat for the flights from SFO to FCO (he really likes to move and is quite squirrelly) and I don’t think I want to gate check and haul it around the connecting airport. Even if it is @mommypoints favorite, the Doona, and we could use it as a stroller. We have a lightweight stroller for trips that folds down to carry on size. Add in that Teddy is a large 10 month old know and rapidly approaching Doona limits and we don’t know what to do.

    Right now we are looking at the CARES for the flight and then renting a car seat in Sicily. But renting isn’t cheap and you don’t know what you get. But shipping through a car seat seems like a risk too.

  2. Bill- We never brought a car seat onboard- always gate checked it until this most recent time. We used the CARES with Lucas when he turned 2 for a bit. Wouldn’t Teddy be a bit small for it? (I don’t recall the specific size requirements.) The Doona is very expensive. Def not worth the investment IMO… Which stroller do you have? We travel with the GB Pocket. Super- small but not a stroller for everyday use.

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