Handling Car Seat Challenges

Posted on June 27, 2011 by - Also by this author

It seems that every once in a while, we receive a request for a car seat. This can be a regular car seat for an infant or it can be a booster seat for a toddler. Almost all of these requests are for airport transfers. During the past 21 years, we have handled these requests in various ways. Many years ago we bought cars seats on EBay. These were not used. They were brand new. On EBay, they were significantly lower priced than buying retail.
However, I found they were abused. Passengers don’t care if their toddlers spill food and beverage all over them. They don’t care about wiping up the spills. Yet, they expect that when we have them in the car they are going to be in pristine condition for their precious cargo. Chauffeurs don’t care about cleaning them up either as they see them as a nuisance in both installing them and removing them. I have seen them tossed across the garage floor for “storage.” I have seen them put away wet and sticky and called a chauffeur out on it. But when no one is there to see and catch it, it happens. Then of course I have seen them completely disappear and no one knows where they went.
So the cycle repeated and we bought more. Then we had requests for booster seats, and over the last few years we have borrowed booster seats of office staff that had children of the age that used boosters. As long as it was in the day while they were at work, it was not a problem.
A month ago, I had a corporate client that asked for five booster seats at one time. This clearly exceeded the ability to borrow from the office girls. It actually forced a dilemma and I decided to tell the corporate client that they would have to supply their own car seats as that was not a service that we provided. Much to my surprise, they told me to purchase the seats and add it to their bill. I asked what we were to do with them after the passengers exited at the airport. I was told to “keep em” and use them in the future when you need them. Well, what a windfall. I now have more booster seats than I will probably ever use.
So, how about you? Do you provide them? Do you charge for them? How do you handle requests that exceed your capacity for providing safety seats?
   Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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