Have passport, will travel – but what if you have a baby and a stroller? Your bouncing bundle of joy may have you feeling like you’re on Cloud 9, but can you take them onto a plane and fly above the clouds with them if you have a stroller in tow?
In most cases strollers are allowed in airplanes, but it’s often more complicated than that. There are myriad rules for different airlines, states, and countries, so don’t assume what “flies” with one will with another.
1. Flying with Strollers on US Airlines
The bad news if you are flying with a US airline is that most US airlines don’t allow strollers beyond the boarding door.
The good news, however, is that you should be able to bring the stroller onboard, after you check them. Different airlines have different protocols for doing this, and thankfully the TSA provides a handy list of 15 of the most popular US airlines and their stroller policies, the basics being:
- American Airlines: Each ticketed passenger is allowed to take one stroller. Strollers 20 lbs and under can be checked at the gate, whereas any stroller over that weight needs to be checked at the ticket counter.
- Delta: Strollers do not count as baggage and can thus be checked for free at the curbside, ticket counter, or gate.
- Southwest Airlines: Passengers can check one stroller free of charge in addition to the free baggage allowance they already get. A reusable stroller bag is available for $15.
- United Airlines: One stroller as well as one car seat are free of charge for every child passenger, and these are checked at the departure gate. This includes children younger than two sitting in an adult’s lap and infants on international flights at 10% of the fare for adults.
- JetBlue: Strollers are courtesy checked at the gate.
- Alaska Airlines: Strollers are transported free of charge, and can be checked with the rest of your baggage or at the gate.
- Spirit Airlines: One extra stroller may be checked at no extra cost and may be checked at either the ticket counter or the gate.
- Hawaiian Airlines: Strollers must be checked in if they weigh more than 50 lbs or are non-collapsible. They are free to check and may be done at the gate via a claim-at-gate tag.
- Allegiant Air: Strollers may be checked at the ticket counter or gate when you check in. Each fare-paying passenger is allowed one stroller at no extra cost, but the strollers must be stored in the cargo hold until you reach your destination.
- Virgin America: You may bring on strollers and other assistive devices at no additional cost.
These airlines also note that they will not be responsible for any damage the strollers may suffer over the course of the flight.
2. Flying with Strollers on International Airlines
Below are some of the most traveled international airlines’ stroller policies:
- Air France: Foldable strollers and car seats can be placed in the cargo hold free of cost. Certain types of strollers may be permissible in the cabin depending on their size and the space available.
- British Airways: Fully collapsible lightweight strollers measuring 117 cm x 38 cm x 38 cm maximum can be taken right up to the aircraft door and are placed in the hold. Larger strollers must be picked up after the flight at the baggage carousel.
- KLM: One stroller per child is allowed, they must be stored in the hold, and have a protective cover.
- Qantas: You can check your stroller or use one available to you at airports.
- Ryanair: You may bring two baby equipment items onboard free of charge, one of which can be a stroller, and these must be checked at least 40 minutes before the flight.
- Aeroflot: Passengers may carry a stroller onboard free of charge and use it as checked in luggage, but the stroller must have a special tag. This service is not available at all airports, so check to see where you’re flying.
- Aeromexico: One stroller and infant are permitted per adult without counting toward the baggage luggage. If you are traveling with more than one child, they will each count toward the minimum fare for your route, and on international flights, applicable reduced fares apply.
3. Tips for Flying with Strollers
Finally, some quick tips for taking your babies and strollers on planes:
- Call ahead of time to make sure you know whether the stroller must be checked.
- Remember that you will need to submit the stroller to airport security. If it cannot fit through the X-ray machine, it will have to be specially inspected, so keep that in mind timewise.
- Small collapsible strollers may just be easier to take on as carry ons.
- If you have booked a transfer, remember to save room on the tag for your next connecting flight. If you are uncertain about this, ask staff for help.