Travelling with infants is a whole new ball game. Everything from what to pack to planning your itinerary can become significantly more complex. Flying with infants, ofcourse, is perhaps the most stressful part of the journey. Especially with long overhauls at some of the big airports can mean lugging your child through the long hallways between airport terminals.
If you’re traveling with a baby or young child, bringing a stroller can be a big help. Not only can you move faster but sometimes your child can easily fall asleep in the stroller thus easing their and your journey. And when your sightseeing involves a lot of walking, a stroller can be life saver.
However, carrying as unwieldy a thing as a stroller can be disconcerting, especially when flying. With airlines, across the world, tightening their belts and treating extra luggage with increasing disdain, it is important to be informed about the rules practices around carrying a stroller around during your travel.
This blog will help you do just that. We shed light on some of the biggest concerns about travelling with a stroller and also encapsulate policies of popular airlines when it comes to checking in strollers. Read on…
Can you bring a stroller on the plane?
The simple answer is Yes. You can check it in with your baggage. Most airlines don’t charge additionally for strollers as courtesy, but it is better to confirm before flying for budget airlines (see the policies of some popular airlines below).
These days most airlines (domestic and international) also provide what is known as gate check-in for strollers. Which means once you arrive at the ladder point of the aircraft (or door in case of an aero bridge) the airline staff will load it with the check-in bags. Once you arrive, you can just ask the cabin crew to retrieve it for you.
This is a great service and you should definitely opt for it, if available (best to check at the check-in counter, while collecting your boarding passes). Because, when you check it in at the gate, there are less chances of the stroller being mishandled. Plus, you can use it through the airport until you depart. Same at the arrival airport. It also means you dont have to wait for the stroller on the luggage carousel.
When should I bring one?
Even the lightest strollers are heavy (around 5 kgs). For short trips and local flights, using a baby-carrier, or a back carrier (for slightly older infants) may be a better alternative. They strap onto your body and can be easily folded and packed away. However, it can be back breaking for the parent if out and about for a longer time and with babies over 18 months old.
Some airports and even malls provide strollers to ease your transit or shopping experience. If you have booked a flight with a long overhaul, it is better to check up on the special facilities for infants. It may just allow you to skip the hassle of carrying a stroller, entirely.
If you are travelling with two or more toddlers and if your itinerary involves extensive sight seeing, then the stroller is totally worth it. Especially when travelling to large cities or when your sightseeing involves zoos and amusement parks, having a stroller can make a big difference. Many strollers also have additional storage that can help carry/ replace the nappy bag.
What you need to know?
Make sure you go for an umbrella stroller as those fold nicely and airlines are used to handling and stowing them away. Your normal city stroller, may not be accepted by the airline atall, so do be careful in this regard. Whether fully checking or gate-checking a stroller make sure to remove any stroller attachments like drink holders, bag carrier etc. Securely strap it in its folded position before allowing it to be checked.
Check out the gear we keep to help you travel better with kids
To give you an idea about the rules behind stroller check-ins, we have briefly encapsulated the policy in this regard, of some popular airlines below:
For safety reasons, children above the age of 7 days and under the age of 2 years as on the date of travel are regarded as Infants. A maximum of 7 kgs as hand baggage is permitted for infants. Infants cannot travel in their own seat and must be seated in an adult’s lap. Gate check in for strollers is permitted.
Young guests between 2 and 12 years of age (at the time of travel) will be considered as children. Guests up to 2 years will be considered as infants. They provide full check in of strollers for international flights at no cost while for domestic it should be within the 15kg baggage limit. Gate check in for strollers is also allowed.
Baby strollers/buggies/prams, can be carried free of charge as checked baggage provided they are being used by an infant, child user that is travelling. Otherwise, a checked baggage allowance must be pre booked.
They allow you to gate check in the stroller.
For children 2-11 years of age: You are allowed “one fully-collapsible pushchair (stroller) and one car seat”, in addition to regular baggage allowance.
For infants under age 2: You are allowed to bring a stroller and car seat, but no other extra checked baggage.
You can carry an approved car safety seat, a small bag of food and nappies (for consumption on the flight), an umbrella type collapsible stroller (if cabin stowage is available); when travelling with a child or an infant, on the plane.
A fully collapsible stroller or pushchair, carry-cot and infant food items may be checked in without charge or can be checked in at gate.
You can bring one fully collapsible stroller or carry-cot, as a carry-on item if cabin space is available or else as checked baggage.
Baggage allowance for i is 10kgs, and one bag. In addition, you are permitted to bring one carry-cot or one fully collapsible stroller into the cabin if there is room. However, if checked, they will not count against your baggage allowance.
You can carry 2 items of baby equipment free of charge per child – 1 pushchair plus one of the following items: car seat or booster seat or travel cot. Children’s pushchairs can be checked in at the gate (provided local conditions permit this).
All baby pushchairs can be brought till the door of aircraft but only car-type baby carriage are only allowed to be taken into the cabin. They carry push chairs free of charge.
They allow one collapsible stroller/pushchair or carrycot per infant, without charge, additionally to the free baggage allowance to which each infant is entitled.
Please visit your airline’s website for the full and latest policy on stroller check-ins before travelling.
In sum, as we always say, travel equipped to travel better. And if you need any specialized gear for your next trip, you can always rely on Bragpacker.com to provide you with the best gear to Rent, Try or Buy.
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