Hauling stroller and baby car seats through airports while traveling around the world is not the most alluring aspect of family travels. It is a procedure for transit that every parent traveling with kids must endure. Hence, you need to know how to gate check a stroller.
The sheer thought of packing or loading such a huge chunk of equipment can be demoralizing and tasking. As a matter of fact, traveling with toddlers and babies is an adventure particularly when there are baby strollers involved.
Delightedly, there are different ways that shrewd parents can reduce the cost and inconvenience of carrying this equipment. When you finally finish your first trip dragging a stroller, you will realize that it is not a big deal after all.
Here are some basics about gate checking a stroller in the airport. It includes everything you need to know about traveling with your baby stroller or car seat.
We will also show you tips and strategies for traveling with your kids’ hassle-free.
If you prefer learning by video, this article is also explained here.
Can You Bring A Stroller on Board A Plane?
Of course, you can. Every parent can check-in along with their luggage and for ease we recommend you do this with stroller bags.
Most airlines carry strollers on board without extra charges. However, you must confirm this before flying.
Video: How To Travel With A Toddler/Infant
Watch this video to know more about gate checking your baby stroller.
How to Handle Strollers While Traveling
Whether you are a first-time traveler with a baby or is the first time you are carrying your gear while flying, we have got you covered. Here are tips to help you handle your stroller when you are traveling.
Inspect Your Stroller
You must check your baby stroller before going to the airport. Ensure that your stroller can be folded easily. This is to help the airline handle and pack your strollers according to their stipulations
You can get a travel system or umbrella stroller as other stroller models can be rejected by some airlines or they may attract extra fees. Contact your airline to find out information about this to clear all doubts.
In addition, you should never forget to carry your stroller bag with your stroller. It will shield your stroller from grime or dirt when flying. Also, it will help to lower the risk baggage handlers at the airport damaging your strollers.
If you forget or do not have one, you can ask the airport baggage handlers to give you a plastic bag that you will use to pack your stroller. Double-check and make sure that the stroller has no attachments or accessories like cup holders, stroller toys and so on.
They could get broken easily when managed by the baggage team. You can keep them stowed away inside your stroller bag. They should not be fastened to the stroller for obvious reasons.
Getting Pass Airport Security
On getting to the airport, the airport rules or regulations require that you put your stroller through an X-ray machine for screening or security scrutiny. You must remove your little one from your stroller then fold the stroller before it gets to your turn. This is because of how stressful the line and screening can be.
Some airport has specific screening lines for parents or families to remove the pressure of the screening process.
Stroller Gate Check
If you have a very big stroller that won’t fit in the luggage bin overhead inside the plane, you will have to examine the carrier at the gate.
During the gate checking procedure, the agent at the checking desk gives you a luggage tag that you will put on the stroller bag. When your baby stroller bag is tagged, you wait for departure time. At departure time you will leave your stroller at the jetway before you board the airplane.
You must make sure you fold your stroller before you leave. You should ask the gate agents to know how their airline handles the gate check process.
Most airlines provide early boarding for parents who need help with their youngsters. So, if you are flying with little kids, you should come to the airport early enough at least ahead of the preboarding time.
This will give the airline officials enough time to pack tagged strollers that were left to be checked on the jetway or jet bridge. Also, parents will have additional time to make their young kids tucked in before other passengers emplane the flight.
When you get to your destination, you are expected to standby with other passengers on the jetway to reclaim your baby stroller.
Gate checking strollers is important to help reduce the possible abuse from airport baggage handlers who might put them through the usual check-in procedure. Also, it also helps you get your strollers immediately you land and prevent your stroller from getting missing.
Storing A Stroller in The Aircraft
If your baby stroller is very small and the aircraft is not full, you may be allowed to bring it with you on board. In that scenario, you will store your stroller in the cargo compartment or overhead bin inside the airplane where other passengers’ luggage is stored.
This lets parents to easily access their strollers instead of waiting to collect it after alighting from their flight. Also, it reduces the chances of strollers getting misplaced during transfers to another connecting flight.
Making it to a connecting or the next flight when you’re flying with your stroller can be complicated. During the gate checking procedure of your stroller, you are given tags that have extra space on it to write the correct number of the next or connecting flight.
You must make sure that your final destination is correctly filled in the tag. Most people avoid or bypass this process to avoid the risk of your stroller getting lost particularly if your stopover is short.
You can collect your stroller and then check it in at the next gate all by yourself. In all, you must make sure that your stroller makes the connecting flight.
If you checked the stroller bag with a ticketing agent at the gate check desk, then you should expect the collection of your stroller at the baggage claim. Peradventure your baby stroller is very big, it might not come out in the baggage claim area. You can pick it from the oversized luggage collection area.
Benefits of Traveling with Your Stroller
If you are going for a short trip on local flights, you must travel with your baby stroller. Most baby strollers can be used in any place. Also, they can be loaded and folded easily.
Perhaps, you have connecting flights that require long maintenance or repairs, the stroller may help to free your hands from holding your baby throughout the whole waiting time. It will also give your kid a comfortable space to sit in.
There is absolutely no need to rent a baby stroller when you get to the final destination. This may be unavoidable if you don’t travel with your own stroller.
Traveling with your stroller put off the need to carry your infant or toddler through long corridors, particularly during the usual long-time overhauls at larger airports. Your kid can easily sleep inside them and then you can enjoy the rest of your journey.
Also, if you are traveling to big cities that includes going sightseeing you need a stroller. Sightseeing either in amusement parks or zoos normally involves long walks and a stroller comes in handy.
Some Recommendations for A Hassle-Free Travel with Your Child
It is surprising to see parents trudging with their kids in huge jogging stroller around the airport. These strollers can not be easily transported on buses, trains or rental cars.
It is advisable you travel with smaller strollers that can meet your needs. You should avoid travel strollers that are bulky and has designs to accommodate a baby car seat for your travel trips.
We recommend BabyTrend Snap N Go strollers for your travels. They are portable and can accommodate baby car seats, can be folded easily and has storage space underneath for carrying some essentials while traveling.
Also, it has a narrow-track build that allows you to navigate through crowd and tight spaces or passageways in airports and big cities.
Buy or Rent Stroller When You Get to Your Destination
You can decide to travel without your stroller. In this case, you get one when you arrive at your final destination. However, buying or ordering a stroller when you get to your destination can sometimes be expensive. But if you can afford it, you can then donate it to charity when you are leaving the city.
In some cities, there are stroller rental shops where you can rent a baby stroller for your child. This removes all the hassle of bringing your own stroller during your trips and all the steps of gate checking it at the airport.
If you are planning to rent a car at the airport on arrival and the company rents car seats too, then you can get one if it is available. If they don’t then you have to get one for your kid and you must be sure to check what children can use them.
This is not easy so traveling with your stroller could be the best option.
Bringing Your Own Car Seat
If you did not pay for an additional seat for your kid under the age of two, you may be lucky to get a seat for your kid if the flight is not full. You can go to the airport early and ask the agent at the gate post if there is an open seat on the flight.
Let them know you have a youngster if there are open seats. You can also plead for passenger rearrangement if the available seat is not on the same row with your seat.
That way your child will have a comfortable seat to rest in throughout the flight duration. But for this to happen, you must get to the airport before preboarding time not during the final boarding.
We do hope that these tips discussed in this article help you with your next trip with your little one. Gate checking a stroller is a simple way to make sure that your stroller travels with you to your destination and aid your movement with your baby.
The tips mentioned here will make the gate check process easier. If you are in a country and you don’t speak their native language, you can point out your stroller to the gate agent.
Most time they will understand and know what to do. They will most probably assist you to gate check your baby stroller. Do not get angry if the process is different from the one described here.
Every country and airline has different rules for reasons best known to them. The most important thing is that you and your baby board the flight and get to your destination.