Taking Your Stroller Through The Airport (Survival Guide)
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Taking your stroller through the airport can be tricky business, especially if it’s not a compact travel stroller (like this one on Amazon).
Don’t worry though, it’s not as stressful as it seems and it can be made stress-free if you’re properly prepared.
So, sit back, relax, and follow these top tips for your next vacation.
Let’s get started…
How to get your stroller through the airport
Now we’ll cover everything from gate checking, taking your stroller on board to collecting it at the baggage claim.
We will guide you through everything offering great tips, tricks, and recommendations to help make your travel experience stress-free.
If you’re unsure what stroller you can take on a plane then this guide is for you.
Here are our top tips for getting your stroller through the airport with ease:
Getting ready for the airport
Before any vacation we always create a stroller checklist, to ensure we have got everything we need for the airport and our upcoming trip.
This includes everything from, giving it a good clean, bringing our rain cover, and sunshade cover to ensuring we have our toddlers buggy board.
So any stroller essentials you think you may need, I would recommend creating a checklist so you remember to pack them. This will make getting around the airport so much easier.
We tend to order any stroller accessories a few weeks before and then tick off a final checklist the night before we’re due to travel.
- Create a stroller checklist
- Give your stroller a good clean before you go
- Order any accessories or add-ons in advance
Check-in your stroller
When approaching the check-in desk with your stroller the agent should ask you if you want to check your stroller with your baggage or gate check it.
I would recommend gate checking your stroller, but either way, you’ll be presented with a luggage tag to tie to your stroller. If your stroller collapses into multiple parts you will be given as many tags as you need.
Be sure to fill in all your personal information, flight number, and destination address on the tag, just in case anything gets lost or separated.
A stroller bag (like this Universal bag on Amazon) will help protect and keep your stroller clean while in the aircraft hold and help reduce the risk of any potential damage.
Usually, your stroller will be waiting for you outside the aircraft, if not then it will be at the baggage claim. This is not ideal as you’ll have to carry your little one through the airport and could end up waiting a while. Therefore, I’d get a baby sling carrier to just in case.
Gate checking your stroller is not as difficult as you think. If you’d like more information this post will answer all your questions.
- Ask to gate check your stroller
- Fill in and attach the tag to your stroller
- Get a stroller bag and baby sling
- Check your airline’s stroller policy before flying.
Getting your stroller through security
Your next hurdle is getting your kids and stroller through security. This can be a nightmare if you’re not prepared, it’s the bit I dread the most!
The slight perk of having kids here is you can get the fast-track lane for families, this will pretty much get you to the front of the security checkpoint.
At this point you’re expected to have emptied all contents from the basket of your stroller, straps are buckled and you’ve completely collapsed and secured your stroller.
If you have any add-ons for your stroller such as cup holders or extra storage hooks, I would recommend removing these just in case they get caught or damaged.
To make things a little easier for this process, I would advise getting a universal stroller carry bag, so you can collapse your stroller well in advance and carry your little one. through the x-ray machine.
Just remember, don’t panic or stress at this point. Be prepared and you’ll be fine.
- Get in the family fast-track lane
- Remove all add-ons and contents from basket
- Collapse stroller in advance
- Consider getting a stroller carry bag
Checking your stroller at the gate
The beauty of gate checking your stroller means you can use your stroller right up until you board the plane, making life so much easier getting around the airport.
Keep an eye on your flight and gate number in the airport so you know where you’re going. We always get to the gate early enough to get a seat as it can become chaotic at times.
By arriving at the gate early this gives you time to get all your final bits organized for the flight ahead and most importantly to make pre-boarding!
Most airlines we’ve been on have offered early boarding for families with young children. This is great because it gives the airline enough time to load all the strollers onto the aircraft and give you enough time to get settled and avoid queuing for ages carrying your children.
So, simply leave your stroller at the gate, board the aircraft, get settled, and enjoy the flight.
- Get to the gate early for pre-boarding
- Families with young children get priority
- Ensure stroller is tagged and leave at the gate
Storing your stroller on board aircraft
I would always recommend taking your stroller on board the aircraft with you and storing in the overhead bin compartment.
This gives you easy access to your stroller and gets you from point A to B with no waiting around. Not only that it will reduce the risk of your stroller getting damaged by baggage handlers or during flight.
However, this all depends on your airline’s stroller policy, if your stroller is compact and lightweight enough you should be fine to take it with you.
We have the BabyZen Yoyo and have never had any problems taking it on board with us, this has made travel so much easier for us as a family.
- You can take your stroller on board if it meets the airline’s weight and size requirements
- Get a lightweight and compact stroller
Strollers and connecting flights
Taking your stroller onboard with you makes catching connecting flights easy. There’s no waiting around and no worrying if your stroller will turn up at the gate of your connecting flight.
If you’ve gate checked your stroller make sure your tag has the flight number of your connecting flight clearly visible.
You can check your stroller in either way; at the baggage counter or gate checking. If you want your stroller at your destination I would recommend checking it in with the rest of your luggage.
If you have a short connection time, then you might want to consider checking your stroller in with your regular luggage as sometimes they come off the plane quickly.
- Connecting is easier if you can take your stroller onboard
- Get the correct tagging on your stroller
Strollers and baggage claim
When the plane lands your next port of call will be the baggage claim, another bit I hate along with going through security!
Your stroller should then come out with the rest of your luggage on the belt, you might be waiting a while though!
I’ve never had any luck getting my luggage first, I’m usually the last one there, or I get my cases first then my stroller last!
If you’re lucky you might find your stroller in the oversized luggage area when you arrive at the baggage claim.
Hopefully, your cases will get unloaded just as quickly, but at least you have your stroller for your little one.
- Your stroller will be on the baggage belt with your cases
- If not check the oversized luggage area near the belt
- Pray there’s no damage
- Next trip consider getting a compact stroller you can take onboard.
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