Getting to the Airport with a Baby

Parent Q&A

Select any title to view the full question and replies.

  • Hello! Does somebody have a reliable service for cars to take you to the airport? I have had not bad but not great experience with the services that I find on the internet. The vans are usually old and the drivers speed. 
    To complicate things, we travel with a kid that needs a seat, luggage and dogs. 
    Thanks in advance!

    I am not sure about dogs but give Marvin Town Car Service a try. They are a local business and our go-to and only airport transportation service we use nowadays. We've tried everything and this is the most reliable, clean, private, and comfortable service. It's not cheap but it's not terribly expensive and the piece of mind is worth it in our opinion. It's about $95 from our house in Oakland to OAK airport. SF airport drop-off costs a little more.

    We used a limo company, they happily provided child seats, or stored our for our return pickup.  That was a decade ago, call around!  

    Also not sure about dogs either, but we've had great experiences with for airport transfer from home in Oakland to SFO and back when we need a car seat. $99 each way for us

    I’m not sure about dogs but we use Wingz. They have car seats and you can book a car in advance.  They are super reliable. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Shuttle or taxi that provides a carseat?

May 2004

Does anyone know of a shuttle or taxi service that will provide a car seat? We want to leave our car seat at home when we take an international trip later this year. The question is, how do we safely travel to and from the airport with our 2.5 year old? (For shorter trips, I drive to the airport and leave my car there, but that would be too expensive for this trip.) Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks. Eden

Yellow Cab Express (848-1234) and Direct Airport Service (841- 8294) both offer car seats.

I use a towncar service, Limozone, and the owner Mr. Singh will provide a carseat on request. You need to give him advance notice so that he can get it installed before he arrives. His towncar has a shoulder belt in the front passenger seat, two shoulder belts in the back seat, and a lap belt in the middle back seat. He would install the carseat in the back on one of the shoulder belts. His number is 510-506-5039. As a general matter, Mr. Singh is an extremely reliable, honest person running a great car service. I use him for every ride to the airport that I take as do many of my friends and family. He also has boosters available if you need those. But again, advanced notice is needed. Good luck and enjoy your trip. Shannon

You might want to try the Tote 'n Go Portable Car Seat. Here is the catalog description: The ''Car Seat'' you can fit in a Diaper Bag! Never get caught without a car seat again! This portable travel vest is ideal for vacations, taxis, and carpools, and makes a great second car seat for grandparents and caregivers. Converts ordinary seat belts into an instant five-point safety harness. Machine washable cover, with a padded backrest and impact-absorbing stress plate. Weighs just 4 lbs. Meets all auto safety standards - not approved for aircraft use. For kids 25-40 lbs. or up to 40'' in height. Not FAA approved drama mama

We always use Babes Airporter (510-317-6983). The owner has young children and can supply carseats if requested, and he is very carseat ''friendly'' so we always use him even if we are bringing our own carseats. The price seems the same as Bayporter or less, and he is flexible and reliable. - Charis

Carseat for Airport Shuttle?

Sept 2002

I will be traveling by plane with my 13-month old son for the first time and have many questions about how to go about this. I found answers to many of my questions on the archives, but one I haven't found is regarding using the shuttle provided by rental car companies to get you to and from the terminal and the rental car. Do I have to strap my son in a carseat for that short ride or can I just hold him in my lap' I'm trying to recall the shuttle that Hertz has and I don't think they even have seat belts available. I know I sound overly worried, but I would appreciate anyone offering their experience doing this. Thanks! Kris

We have travelled a lot with our 19 month old and found the easiest thing to do in rental car shuttles is to leave him in the stroller and lock the breaks. Of course, we also hold onto it in case it's a wild ride, which you know they can be. We've never had any problems with this. The added benefit is one less time in and out of the stroller - flying days have lots of these, at security, for nursing, to board the plane, etc. Good luck and have fun on your trip! Signed, a travellin' mom!

We have traveled many times with our son since he was an infant, and we have always just held him on our lap on the shuttle rides to the rental car and parking lots. There are not any seatbelts to attach a car seat. Now that he is two, he actually looks forward to the bus rides, probably because he doesn't have to wear a seatbelt! Ann

June 2002

Has anyone had any good experiences w/ airport shuttle services who have safe infant carseats (that were not recalled) as well as being prompt? I'm getting nervous b/c no one I call could or would tell me even the name brand nevertheless the model of the infant car seat they propose to use for my child. We're leaving in a few days so I may or may not see your responses. Thanks in advance.

I thought I was reading my own request for info regarding airport shuttles with a baby car seat which I wrote about 8 months ago. I called nearly 10 shuttle services in the East Bay including Bay Porter who didn't even provide them and all had no idea what , nevertheless, the name brand it was. From their response, it was obvious this is not a frequented question. I too was trying to make sure they weren't recalled. Once I negotiated with one of the taxis to take us to the airport and then drop the seat back to our home. One thing I've learned the hard way is that if you're planning to rent a car with a car seat at your destination, they charge you for it although they often don't say so upon booking. I've seldom regretted bringing my own carseat and airlines used to not count them as luggage items. I don't know after 9/ll. Susan

Getting baby to the airport - not taking carseat

Jan 2002

I would like to know how people usually get their infant baby to airport (before a long flight), --I have looked up at the web site of, there is something under this topic, but not the detail I would like to know: if to take BayPorter, how people deal with child safety seat, if I don't plan to take a car seat on airplane, since it won't be very useful at the destination anyway (Beijing, China). I have asked people at BayPorter, they told me they don't provide a car seat, however, if I want to install mine, it is okay with them. It seems to me that a car seat is not required by law for a van, and they suggest me to hold my baby on my lap. Or, if I don't take a car seat with me, I have to give up using a shuttle (such as BayPorter) altogether?

This is what I've done: Hold the baby in lap for cab ride to airport.

Check the companies that offer limo/cab service. For a family, the fare can be less than the total of individual fares in Bayporter and the like, and I remember (although it's been years since my daughter was that young) that we had located at least of couple here in the East Bay that had child seats available. Norm

My daughter is barely 2 and we have already been 6 times to Europe:We took the first trip when she was 4 months old, last time this xmas... guess this makes me a sort of expert.

We very often used Bayporter to go to the airport and taken our carseat, Bayporter will make you pay for an extra passenger, but not full fare. The suggestion of carring an infant on your lap is idiotic and bayporter should be reprimended for that. Infants must be on carseat,regardless of the style of the vehicle. You say you will not need the carseat in China: is it because you will not need to drive anywhere or because in China is not mandatory? Even if not required by law you should still keep your baby in a car seat. And here, how would you take your baby to the airport without a carseat? The carseat can be check in, as luggage

As an alternative, you could get a car service. Delancey Limo for example provides a carseat, so you will not need to take yours along. From berkely is about $70

When making the plane reservation, ask for a bassinet.The airline will sit you in a bulkhead seat and after take off will attach a bassinet in front of you. call the airlines to confim your basinett. Then call again and reconfirm again (and again). On my last trip there was this poor 8mos pregnant woman with a 15mos baby, squeezed in one seat with no bassinet.... the plane was packed and she was absolutely miserable!

Maximum load for the bassinet is 22lbs (all airlines): my daughter was a big and long girl and by her second trip she was already spilling out ot it but it still did its job. From than on we got her her own seat and used the carseat.

Travelling with an infant is very easy.... it gets a little more complicated and tiring when they start to walk...

Just make sure you have extra supplies (nappies etc) in case you get delayed. Some airlines are great and helpful (Virgin/Lufthansa/KLM) some other are horrible (United/Alitalia) so you better be prepared. Breastfeed or give bottle or something to suck to your baby during take off and landing: helps to ease ear tension.

A thought about the car seat: if by chance you have a separate seat on the plane for the baby, then I would by all means take the car seat. We had a seat for our son on the flight, and he slept half the way there and all the way home in his familiar car seat on the plane. Well worth the cost of the ticket. Karen

I don't see it on the web, but I read recommendations for Babes Airporter (510-317-6983) on this list last year and used them and was very pleased. The price seemed the same as Bayporter or less, and he was very flexible and reliable. Tell the owner that you need a carseat and how old/big your child is and he will provide one.

As a follow up to few posting re: how to get child to airport. Please be aware that it is ILLEGAL in California for children to ride in ANY vehicle (that includes taxi, vans and other commercial -and farm- vehicles) without the proper restraint system. While exceptions might be in place in other states, California requires the use of an appropriate (for age/weight)car seat/booster in all vehicles. Please refer to California Vehicle Code and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

I am not sure how to get your infant to the airport without a car seat. Considering how some (not all) airporter van drivers drive, I think I would definitely want a car seat. I recommend you take the car seat. Even if you don't feel you will be using it in Beijing, you may end up finding it a handy place to put your infant on the airplane (if there is a spare airplane seat) or while traveling around Beijing or visiting family and/or friends.

About the car seat: I would definitely take it with you. You can then use it on BayPorter (after being in a rear-end collision with my baby, I would never drive without using a car seat). We take the car seat with us to the gate: if there is an empty seat on the plane, your baby will get it, and you can use the car seat on the plane. If not, you can check the seat at the gate.

We had a terrible experience in LA when our flight got cancelled and we were re-routed to Burbank AFTER we had turned in our rental car. The local bayporter sent a HORRIBLE driver to take us across town to the airport (we even got into a fender bender on the way). I held my 9 month old in my lap and clenched my eyes shut. I had tears streaming down my face by the time we made it. He drove way too fast in commute traffic (carpool lane) and my husband was *this close* to asking him to pull over and letting him drive. I will never travel without a car seat ever again. Maybe you could have a friend drive you to the airport or park your car in economy long term parking -- it might work out to roughly what you would pay to get there and SO worth the extra cost. Or maybe they have large enough lockers at the airport to store it until you get back?? Felicia