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DC Taxi with a Baby?
August 21, 2014 9:52 AM   Subscribe

If you're flying in to Reagan National Airport in DC with a baby and your own car seat, how do you get a cab to your hotel? Will the regular cabs at the cab stand be able to accommodate you, or should you reserve a car service or cab ahead of time? If the latter, can you recommend a company?

My family is coming to visit, and asked me to help them figure out how to get to their hotel. I've only ever taken a regular cab home from the airport, and I have no experience with car seats. What's the easiest thing to do? They're coming in too late to take the metro.
posted by bluefly to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I would take uberFAMILY from DCA. The car will have a carseat in it already, and they can place theirs in the trunk. Slightly more expensive than a cab, but infinitely more pleasant.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 9:56 AM on August 21


Oh wait, does VA still prohibit Uber? Because if so...scratch that, sorry.
posted by schroedingersgirl at 9:56 AM on August 21


Every car produced since 2001, which means essentially every taxi, has LATCH, which makes installing your car seat cake. We've done this plenty of times. If somehow the cab doesn't have LATCH, let them take another fare and use the next cab down the line (but this has only happened to me once in all the years we've been traveling with small kids.)
posted by escabeche at 10:00 AM on August 21


If they will be driving while in the area, then they will want their car seats. They can jnstall them in a cab, but the driver probably won't help.

If they don't need the car seat for their stay, hire a car service with a car seat. I've used American Sedan, but most reputable ones should have them.
posted by snickerdoodle at 10:02 AM on August 21


Every car produced since 2001, which means essentially every taxi, has LATCH, which makes installing your car seat cake. We've done this plenty of times. If somehow the cab doesn't have LATCH, let them take another fare and use the next cab down the line (but this has only happened to me once in all the years we've been traveling with small kids.)

Not my experience at all. Maybe 25% of my hailed taxis have had a usable LATCH. Now we avoid cabs as much as possible. It's such a miserable experience to go through cab after cab at the airport line.
posted by JamesD at 10:15 AM on August 21 [1 favorite]


I don't think you can get Uber from DCA, but there are usually some van taxis. I don't know if it's practical to carry the babe in arms and throw the carseat in the back, but if so there you go.
posted by psoas at 10:21 AM on August 21


you absolutely can get uber from DCA and you can request the uber family option which has a car seat already. uber isn't prohibited in virginia. hope you have a nice weekend with your family.
posted by kerning at 10:25 AM on August 21 [2 favorites]


I have traveled with babies and car seats, in cabs. Cabs must wait for passengers to install child restraints. Obviously your friends should have practiced installing and uninstalling their car seat enough times to do it quickly, but they should be fine in a cab.

If their baby is in a bucket style car seat that snaps into a base, it can almost certainly be buckled in without the base using the car seatbelt. This is the fastest install ever and you do it with baby already in seat. If they have a snap in stroller frame, the car seat basically is the stroller and it's all wonderfully efficient.

It's a little trickier if they aren't using a bucket, and then it depends on their car seat. We used a Cosco Scenera for traveling after our son outgrew the bucket. It's inexpensive and lightweight. We carry bungee cords in the carry-on suitcase and it's easy to attach to the suitcase while you're moving about on foot. However: this thing is a BITCH to install rear facing. You usually need to carry a chunk of pool noodle to level it with, and you really have to fight with it. If I were riding in a cab with this and my kid was even close to the legal limits (1yo, 20 lbs most places) I'd install it front facing, even if they were still rear facing at home. It's pretty easy to install front facing with the seatbelt.

This won't help your friend, but for other readers: if your kid is at least 3 years and 30 lbs, get a RideSafer travel vest. The things are awesome. Safer than a booster and so so so much more portable than a booster or a car seat. It has been a godsend - we've never actually had to travel with two car seats. Good for cabs too, because your kid is wearing it before the cab pulls up and then you just attach clips to seatbelt.

Tl;dr: your friends will be fine in a taxi as long as they know how to get their car seat in and out of a car efficiently.
posted by telepanda at 10:27 AM on August 21 [1 favorite]


Btw, I was just reading the uberFamily link with interest, and you should be sure your friends are aware of this:
"The child must be at least one-year-old, weigh 22 pounds and be 31 inches tall."
posted by telepanda at 10:32 AM on August 21 [1 favorite]


I don't know if it's practical to carry the babe in arms and throw the carseat in the back

Practicality aside, that is illegal in DC (and incredibly unsafe to boot).
posted by schroedingersgirl at 10:49 AM on August 21 [5 favorites]


I've car-seated in cabs a few times at DC area airports, it's fine. They don't mind waiting a minute for you to get your stuff together.
posted by mindsound at 12:59 PM on August 21


Wait, what? I have installed carseats and/or boosters in taxis for the past 9 years at DCA, and never thought twice about it. Don't all carseats have non-latch options? We just tossed ours in the back seat, pulled the seatbelt through the space in the carseat that is designed for it, clicked, and done. If you don't have an extra adult to hold the kid(s) while you are installing, a folding umbrella stroller is helpful, and it is easily tossed into the trunk.
posted by instamatic at 2:00 PM on August 21


Thanks. I couldn't remember if I'd seen people with car seats in the cab line before or not. And I didn't want to set my fam up for a fiasco. I have a car which is why they're bringing the car seat, but I won't be able to pick them up.
posted by bluefly at 2:47 PM on August 21


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