Airline Travel With a Stroller: What Should I Know?

airplane travel with a babyTravelling by airplane can be a daunting experience, and when you add a baby into the picture it can get even worse!

It’s very important to think about your child’s safety and comfort, and in doing so, you may be wondering if you should take your baby stroller with you on your flight.

A stroller can definitely make your experience at the airport much smoother. You’ve probably put a lot of work into finding the best stroller for you and your baby, so here are some tips for flying with a baby stroller.

  1. First, decide whether or not you want to bring your stroller on the flight. You must also check with your airline to inform yourself of their policies on bringing strollers onto air flights. It would be terrible to show up at the airport ready to fly, only to find out that your stroller isn’t suitable to take on the flight.
  2. Label your stroller properly with a permanent marker or tag. Information to include should be your personal contact information, flight information and destination. Your stroller will generally be checked in as luggage, and you’ll be given a tag for it, but just like any other luggage it’s better to be safe and use your own label, too.
  3. Have a canvas bag or some other means of protecting the stroller. Since your stroller is going to be stored with the rest of the luggage on the plane, you’ll probably want to put it inside of a bag to protect it from damage.

When you get to the airport, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Use your stroller in the airport. A stroller is a great advantage in an airport if you’re travelling with your baby. It makes things much easier, and you simply have to check it in at the gate.
  2. Most airports will tag your stroller as luggage. However, some airlines will not count your stroller as luggage that you have to pay for. As always, be sure to find out ahead of time. If it’s collapsible and small enough, it might be possible to store it in the overhead compartment, but most likely it will have to travel with the rest of the luggage.
  3. Confirm with the gate attendant that you will pick up your stroller on arrival. Although most airlines will give you your stroller on arrival, some will ship it along with the rest of the luggage to the baggage claim, so it’s best to make sure that you’ll get your stroller when you arrive.

Travelling with a stroller really isn’t bad as long as you know what to expect. Depending on the stroller you have (particularly the size) you will have a slightly different experience. If you don’t yet have a stroller and are thinking of buying one, here are the pros and cons of each when it comes to airplane travel.

Small Strollers vs. Large Strollers & Airplane Travel

A small umbrella stroller is very convenient for airplane travel. Since you generally want to travel as lightly as possible, it’s obvious why a lightweight stroller would be beneficial. Another great perk of having a lightweight stroller is that some airlines will allow you to store them in the overhead compartment (of course, check with your airline first).

Pros of a lightweight umbrella stroller
  • Compact, light weight, and easy to carry
  • Possible to store in overhead compartment of plane (check with airline first!)
  • Generally cheaper
  • Easier to maneuvered around the airport, through doors, etc
Cons of a lightweight umbrella stroller
Pros of a large, full-sized stroller
  • Storage space for diapers and other items
  • Many models have a canopy to protect from sun and rain – handy if travelling
Cons of a large, full-sized stroller
  • Might be a pain to bring through the airport; heavier to carry
  • Will need to travel in the luggage compartment
  • More expensive

Consider the pros and cons of each type of carrier and decide which is best for you.

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