Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

how to check in a stroller without a baby or toddler at the airport

If you’re looking to check in a stroller without a baby then this is the only guide you need to read.

I have personally contacted airlines from around the world and asked them this exact question!

Let’s get started…

What do the airlines say?

The short answer is yes you can.

However, it usually comes with an extra charge if you’re traveling without a child.

If you did have a child with you most airlines would let you check it in for free.

So, to get clarification I contacted a whole host of different airlines through their social media accounts to get the definitive answer on this matter.

From American Airlines, Southwest, JetBlue, United to Emirates, Etihad and RyanAir.

Here’s what I found…

American Airlines

“There is a cost to check a stroller if you don’t have a little one along with you.”

United Airlines

“Without a child on the reservation, this would need to be checked as standard checked luggage. “

Southwest Airlines

“We do not allow our Customers to gate check a baby stroller for free if the baby is not flying with you on your reservation. This helps us continue to provide it for free going into the future. You are welcome to check it at the same time as regular luggage at the ticket counter though”


“Typically, and adult travelling without a child would need to have a stroller checked in for any applicable fees, as it is not required for mobility purposes. “

Delta Airlines

“Complimentary gate check for strollers is only available when the child is traveling along with you.”

Frontier Airlines

“I apologize for any inconvenience. Regrettably, you would have to have an infant on your reservation to get the free checked stroller. Please let me now if you have any additional questions”

JetBlue Airlines

“We will courtesy gate-check your stroller. It will not count as one of your checked bags and there is no fee assessed. This courtesy is extended regardless of whether or not you will be traveling with the infant/child. Hope that helps! “

Hawaiian Airlines

“Please note that strollers and car seats will only be free of charge as carry-on or check-in baggage if the adult guest is traveling with a child. All fees will apply if it doesn’t fall on our restriction. To view our baggage fees & restriction, please visit https://on.hwnair.com/2MRMHn3.”

Spirit Airlines

“You’re welcome to bring a car seat/stroller free of charge if you are travelling with a child. However, it’s not allowed to be used on board. We only allow car seat that is FAA approved to be used on board.”

“If you are traveling without the child, you can bring a car seat/stroller and it will be considered as a checked baggage. Please be informed that standard baggage charges will apply. Please see link below for additional information. http://ms.spr.ly/6180TKHoK

SunWing Airlines

“With regards to your inquiry, a stroller is considered a complimentary item for passengers travelling with a baby or infant. If they are not travelling with you, this would need to be checked in while you are checking in your baggage, this also will be subject to additional fees.”

“Further information can be found via the link below regarding our baggage allowance;  https://www.sunwing.ca/pages/en/baggage-info

Alaska Airlines

“I believe you can, but it’s probably best to reach out to our preflight team to confirm this. You can text them at 82008 or give them a call at 1-800-252-7522. If you decide to text, please limit your text message to 160 characters. Anything more than that may not be received by Reservations”

Air Canada

“If you’re not traveling with an infant or child, your stroller will count as a checked item (fees are applicable depending on the fare type you hold).”

Air Transat

“It’s not possible to gate check a stroller if there is no child on the reservation. You would have to check it at the check-in counter at a fee.”

Porter Airlines

“Strollers and car seats can be gate checked for free and do not count towards your baggage allowance unless they are non-collapsible and/or weight over 50 lbs.”

“No problem! It does indeed, there shouldn’t be a problem gate checking a stroller regardless of whether or not the child is traveling as well. “


“If you’re travelling without the baby, we’ll count the stroller as part of your baggage allowance. In case of any excess baggage, the excess charges will apply.”

Ethiad Airlines

“If you are not travelling with a baby and have a baby stroller, it will be considered part of you baggage allowance.”


“You can bring a stroller as a check in baggage instead of a regular check in baggage as long as your stroller meets the allowed weight and dimensions.”

“Should you wish to add extra baggage, you can add the baggage yourself via My Trip: http://klmf.ly/1FD4D43

Cathy Pacific

“If you check in a baby stroller without a baby, it will count as one of your baggage allowance”


“With out child’s you will need to book for the service. Take a look to our fees here: http://tinyurl.com/pntvaw3

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it…

As you can see most airlines require you to travel with a baby in order to check in your stroller for free.

Here are the airlines that let you check in your stroller without a baby:

  • JetBlue Airlines
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Porter Airlines
  • KLM

However, in all my years traveling I’ve never seen a member of airport staff ask for proof of a child when checking in your stroller.

There could be a whole host of reasons why your child may not be with you. So you could risk it and try your luck.

Simply, just ask for a tag for your stroller and either check it in or drop it off at the gate.

When we have done this, it’s usually been my husband that will drop off the stroller while I look after the kids, and its never been an issue.

If you do get asked you could just say something like, ‘my partner is looking after the little one’, or ‘the baby is getting is nappy changed’ or ‘they’re getting some duty-free’. The list of reasons could go on.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and found it helpful. Let us know how you get on with your stroller in the comments!

Kelly Bullock