Strapping Young Lads
Car services that come with car seats
Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport recently starting providing travelers with free “self-service” strollers to help families maneuver through the terminals. We won’t hold our breath waiting for a similar service at JFK. But while schlepping strollers to the airport seems unavoidable for the time being, at least you can leave the car seat at home. Here are five good NYC-area car services that will provide (and install) a car seat for you.
Diamond Car and Limousine Service
212.254.9400 or 800.706.3495; diamondcarlimo.com
Diamond serves the Tri-state area, including all five boroughs, all airports, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey and Connecticut. We love their thorough booking process (they inquire about your child’s weight and age to provide the right car seat) and the fact that their cars are super clean without reeking of perfumed air fresheners. The average airport ride is $85 (plus tax and tolls); car seat fee included.
Legends’ rates are the least expensive of our roundup—plus they only charge five bucks to install a car seat. They provide rear-facing infant as well as toddler seats. A pickup in Manhattan below 96th Street, going to LaGuardia, is $40; JFK is $55 and Newark $55 (plus tolls).
This fancy pants car service says its drivers are vetted through background checks and specially trained in child passenger safety, ensuring every car seat is age and weight appropriate, and properly installed. Drivers help you in and out of the car with no attitude, and they don’t permit tipping. But prices come with a sticker-shock: $135 to LGA, and $160 to JFK or Newark ($100/$125 with a $300 annual membership).
If it’s your first time with Queens-based Continental, owner Matthew Vaccarino (just call me Matt) will be driving you—and passing along his direct number. The rate to LGA is $60 from anywhere in Manhattan; JFK $70, Newark $80. A car seat is $10 extra; book the day before to guarantee availability.
This no-frills operation has been in business for 17 years, and has about 3,000 corporate customers to show for it—including the New York Times. Parents like Grand for its “good price and service.” The average fare to airports is $50 to LGA, $60 to JFK, and $75 to Newark. A car seat is $20 extra. Serves all NYC neighborhoods.