Parents who are taking small children on vacation may find it challenging to fly with a stroller. It can be intimidating to consider pushing a stroller through an airport, checking it in, and picking it up when you get there. However, flying with a stroller can be a manageable process with proper planning and information. Given that most millennials prefer renting over owning a house, it is inevitable that millennial parents will require traveling someday to migrate. But how easy is it to fly with a stroller? By the end of this post, whether you’re a parent or a babysitter who needs tips when flying with a stroller, you can make your journey experience easier and more comfortable.
Airlines’ Policies on Strollers
It’s critical to be informed of the policies of the airline you are flying with when it comes to flying with a stroller. Strollers are subject to specific flight policies, so it’s important to confirm before purchasing a ticket.
Strollers are frequently accepted as free carry-on luggage or as checked baggage by most carriers. However, there may be differences in the specifics of how the stroller is managed while in flight.
The stroller may need to be checked at the gate with some airlines, in which case it will be taken from you just before boarding and delivered back to you once you arrive at your location. In this situation, the stroller will be kept with the other checked baggage, so it must be protected and correctly identified.
Other airlines might permit patrons to bring the stroller on board and stow it in the closets or overhead bins. While having access to the stroller throughout the journey can make it more convenient, it’s essential to remember that there may be size or weight restrictions on strollers.
To ensure you are aware of the airline’s stroller rules, contacting them before your flight is always a good idea. It’s best to be prepared because you might be asked for specifics about the stroller, like its measurements or weight.
Additionally, some airlines may provide priority boarding or additional help with bringing the stroller onto the aircraft for passengers flying with strollers. Make sure to notify the airline if you require this support so they can make the required preparations.
Types of Stroller
If you intend to travel with a stroller, it is crucial to be aware that some airlines may have limitations on the types of strollers permitted aboard or in the cargo hold.
One most widely used type of conveyance is the umbrella stroller. Due to their portability, low weight, and ease of rolling, these are ideal for travel. It’s important to consider your needs when selecting this type of stroller because some umbrella strollers might not be suitable for long walks or uneven terrain.
Another popular troller type for travel is the system travel stroller. These walkers typically include a car seat and a chassis for a stroller to which the car seat can be attached. With this type of stroller, you can transfer your child from the vehicle without taking them out of their car seat.
The jogging stroller is another popular type of stroller, but these may not be suitable for flight travel. Some carriers might not allow jogging strollers to fly, while others might require that they be checked in at the gate. It’s critical to clarify with the business that bringing a jogging stroller is allowed before leaving.
A travel stroller might be a decent option if you’re taking a baby or young child on your trip. Your infant will have a comfortable place to sleep in these strollers because the seats typically recline and convert into bassinets
Double strollers may also be an option for households with many children. Remember that double strollers can be bulky and that some carriers might not take them.
Gate-Checking vs. Checking at the Counter
Parents have the choice of gate-checking or counter-checking their stroller when they are traveling with one. Before going through security, you must check the stroller at the counter by turning it over to an airline employee at the check-in desk. In contrast, gate checking allows parents to keep their stroller with them up until they arrive at the gate, where they will give it off to the airline staff to handle.
As it enables them to use the stroller up until the very last minute, gate-checking is a popular choice for parents. With their child in the stroller, they can move around the terminal before leaving it at the gate to join the aircraft. It is handy because it eliminates the need for parents to wait at baggage claim for their stroller when they arrive because the stroller will be ready for them at the gate.
The disadvantages of barrier checking do exist, though. The stroller might not always be accessible when you arrive, which is one of the biggest problems. Parents may need to wait while the stroller is carried up to the gate because strollers that are checked at the gate are typically kept in the cargo hold by airlines. This may cause frustration, particularly if the parents are drained and eager to leave the airport.
Another alternative for parents is to have the stroller checked at the counter. To do this, give the stroller over to an airline employee at the check-in desk before going through security. Personnel will then load the stroller onto the aircraft after being tagged. The luggage claim is where parents can pick up their stroller when they arrive.
The stroller is more likely to be accessible immediately if you check it in at the counter, which is one advantage. Parents do not need to wait at the gate for the stroller to be brought up from the cargo hold; it will be ready for them at the baggage claim. By checking it at the counter, parents can also avoid the hassle of lugging the stroller through the airport, which can be difficult, particularly if they have other bags to carry.
Labeling and Packing
Labeling and packing are two crucial factors to consider when traveling with a stroller. The stroller will be more likely to arrive at its destination undamaged and be promptly returned to its owner if it is packed and labeled properly.
It’s crucial to take measures to avoid any damage during transport when packing a stroller for check-in. To prevent them from being misplaced or broken, it may be necessary to remove any removable components, such as the canopy or container, and secure them. To further safeguard any delicate parts, such as the wheels or frame, padding or bubble wrap is a good option.
It’s crucial to label the stroller clearly with the passenger’s name, contact information, and flight information in addition to correctly packing the stroller. This can make identifying the stroller easier and returning it to its rightful owner. For this purpose, airlines frequently provide luggage tags; these tags should be affixed to the stroller in a prominent place.
Additionally, clearly marking the stroller can help avoid any misunderstandings or mix-ups at the airport. As it may be simple for them to become perplexed, this is particularly crucial if the stroller resembles other strollers. By clearly labeling the stroller, the airline employees will be able to quickly recognize it and guarantee that it is returned to the right passenger.
Utilizing a label or luggage tag made especially for strollers is another choice for labeling the stroller. These are frequently affixed to the stroller frame or handle and may contain additional information, such as the stroller’s name and model number.
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Other Tips to Remember
Arrive early. When taking a trip with kids, it’s wise to get to the airport early. This gives ample time for security checks, check-in, and any unforeseen delays. Being early also allows parents to traverse the airport without feeling hurried or under pressure, improving the experience for both the parents and the kids.
Pick a foldable, lightweight stroller. It’s crucial to take the stroller’s size, weight, and mobility into account when picking one for a flight. For air travel, a compact, lightweight stroller that fits readily in an overhead bin or under the seat is recommended. These strollers are also simple to navigate airports, saving parents the trouble of checking them in at the gate.
Think about getting travel insurance. It’s a wise idea for parents to think about getting travel insurance to guard against any loss or harm to the stroller. Knowing that the stroller will be covered in the event of damage during transport will give you peace of mind.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Stroller
It’s crucial to consider where you’ll use a stroller before purchasing one. A smaller umbrella stroller might be more appropriate if you traverse congested city streets. Check the stroller’s safety for your child’s age in addition. While some strollers are better suited for infants with neck control or who can sit up unaided, others are better suited for neonates with a deep recline or bassinet mode.
Easy use is yet another crucial element. You should test the stroller in person to see how easily it turns and directs. To make sure it’s simple to use, try folding and unfolding it as well. Finally, think about the stroller’s weight. A stroller that is lighter is ideal if you plan to journey with it, but keep in mind that different manufacturers may define “lightweight” differently. Finally, before making a buy, think about your spending plan and the features you require.
Although flying with a stroller can seem like a difficult task for parents, it can actually be a fairly simple process with the proper planning. Knowing airline regulations, selecting a compact and lightweight stroller, and taking into account extra suggestions like showing up early and bringing an infant carrier or wrap can make the journey more relaxing and pleasant. By adhering to these recommendations, parents can make sure that their child and stroller get to their location safely and comfortably, making the journey enjoyable.