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Have you ever gate-checked your stroller on an international flight?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I've travelled a lot with DS but never taken a stroller before. I'm hoping that someone can tell me about checking an umbrella stroller at the gate... Did the stroller survive?

 

Thanks!


Edited by PatioGardener - 3/12/12 at 5:19am
post #2 of 21

We did this when we went to the UK.

The stroller very much survived and in perfect working order without a scratch.

It was awesome. Gave us something in the airport to put DD or the bags in, and helped for the long trek from plane to baggage claim.

You really do gate check it. Taking it right up until you go in the door of the plane.

Depending on where you land, the stroller is either right at the plane door, or you sometimes have to get it at baggage claim.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by colsxjack View Post

We did this when we went to the UK.

The stroller very much survived and in perfect working order without a scratch.

It was awesome. Gave us something in the airport to put DD or the bags in, and helped for the long trek from plane to baggage claim.

You really do gate check it. Taking it right up until you go in the door of the plane.

Depending on where you land, the stroller is either right at the plane door, or you sometimes have to get it at baggage claim.



Thanks! This is exactly what I was hoping to hear. DS is getting big to carry for miles in the airport while I also lug the bags, car seat etc., so I hope that a stroller will help.

 

Did you fly out of Toronto? I hope the baggage handlers aren't too grumpy this week! (We're flying Air Canada...)

post #4 of 21

We gate checked a stroller traveling from Houston to Hong Kong.  It survived, but the basket was banged up pretty bad and I had to use a tie to keep it up after that.  I wouldn't have gone without the stroller (and I NEVER use a stroller).  We were traveling with a 12 mo old and a 4 year old, neither of whom had ever flown, and we were staying for 2.5 weeks, so we had plenty of luggage.  I'm glad I brought it.  I bought a stroller bag to protect the stroller, but it got left in the car we rode in to the airport, so that likely would have really helped.

post #5 of 21
We flew to Israel and gate checked a carseat which seemed to survive unscathed. But another family who had checked a really nice looking stroller had to wait in the tube thing while they tried to find the wheel that had fallen off of their stroller. I don't know I'd they ever found it. I think You can buy bags designed for checking strollers, or even a duffel bag. That might give some protection.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by illiterati View Post

We flew to Israel and gate checked a carseat which seemed to survive unscathed. But another family who had checked a really nice looking stroller had to wait in the tube thing while they tried to find the wheel that had fallen off of their stroller. I don't know I'd they ever found it. I think You can buy bags designed for checking strollers, or even a duffel bag. That might give some protection.


I hadn't thought of that - thanks! Also I will make sure all the wheels are locked on!

 

post #7 of 21

We flew this winter on Sunwing and gate checked our stroller.  Easy peasy.  We left it right as we boarded the plane and we picked it up as soon as we debarked.

 

You may want to check your airline's policy on items for infants/toddlers.  If you're paying for a seat, then they have their own luggage allowance.  If not, then you'll have to see if you get a complimentary check in of one item for the toddler.  We were allowed to bring a stoller, pack n' play or car seat for no extra charge.

 

I think you're flying Air Canada, so double check on that as they've become quite particular with luggage.  And, I'd see if anyone has an Air Canada experience with strollers.  That's more of a gut thing, but I haven't always had the greatest Air Canada and luggage situations (as in, if you don't care about your stroller, don't worry).

post #8 of 21
I fly air Canada and have had no troubles gate checking our stroller. We have always had our baby on lap too.
post #9 of 21

We've gate checked our stroller lots of times. Once it got lost, and once we had to pick it up in baggage claim, but we always got it eventually and in fine shape. It's a battle tank of a Maclaren double, so it's pretty sturdy.

post #10 of 21

We've gate checked our BOB Revolution on the following airlines on international flights with (almost) no problems:

 

-United

-US Airways

-SpanAir (now disbanded)

-Lufthansa

-BMI

 

The only stroller-related problem we had was BMI's Dublin station claimed they would only gate check strollers under 5kg.  The BOB, even stripped of wheels, weighs 7.6kg.  We were mad because the London station told us nothing of the kind just a few days prior and happily gate checked it for us, no questions asked.  If we had had an umbrella stroller, this would not have been a problem. (Not that I regret taking the BOB - nothing like it for international travel!!)

 

Then we had a flukey problem with Lufthansa in Frankfurt.  When we disembarked, an agent came up and told us that the door from the ramp into the terminal was locked and no one seemed to have a key, so they sent all of our strollers on to the next destination with checked baggage.  All three families waiting for strollers were quite mad.  I don't think this had anything to to with Lufthansa policy, it was just a bad decision made by an individual. The strollers were tagged with tags that said "Deliver at Aircraft Door" in both English and German, for crying out loud! So I think that was an isolated incident, but know that things do happen.

post #11 of 21

I have gate checked strollers many times and they have always arrived just fine.

 

We have flown Air France to Paris a few times, and if it is a bigger stroller, they put it below and DON"T give it back to you at the gate when you land.  You have to pick it up at the baggage claim.  I didn't know that, and had to lug a 2 year old and all of our checked baggage through the airport (including customs and immigrations, etc - so it was for a while).  If you bring a small umbrella stroller, my experience is that they will stash it in a closet in the cabin so that you can have it as you walk off the plane.  But, for obvious reasons, it won't work with bigger strollers.  

post #12 of 21

We've done it many times and have never had an issue-- but we don't bring our expensive stroller, we bring the lightweight easy to fold Maclaren Volo.  It gets a bit dirty, but since it's mostly all folded up in on itself it's no big deal.  I also hang the car seat off the back of it while going through the airport which makes things SO MUCH easier!  That, or wedge the car seat (Cosco Scenera is our travel seat) onto the seat of the car seat, and have my son sit in the car seat.  He thinks that's funny. 

post #13 of 21

No. greensad.gif They destroyed my brand new McLaren because they couldnt figure out how to open/close it and just forced it....
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post

I've travelled a lot with DS but never taken a stroller before. I'm hoping that someone can tell me about checking an umbrella stroller at the gate... Did the stroller survive?

 

Thanks!



 

post #14 of 21

We flew from San Diego to Germany. They lost the stroller with car seat, it was a Alano flip it travel system by Graco. 

After a few days they had found the seat, but did not understand a stroller is missing also. After 2 weeks they finally found the stroller! What a drama...eyesroll.gif It had been left in London during transfer.

post #15 of 21

I have gate checked my stroller (a chicco higher end umbrella stroller). I dont bring it every time we travel, but a few times I have (over 9 years) - both international flights and national. We have always been instructed to CLOSE the stroller ourselves, and leave it by the door. And when it is returned to us, it is returned closed. It is usually waiting for us as we step off the plane. The baggage people unload this stuff first and bring it right up to us.  The biggest problem I have had is holding sleeping toddler while trying to close or open the stroller with the other hand.

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post



Thanks! This is exactly what I was hoping to hear. DS is getting big to carry for miles in the airport while I also lug the bags, car seat etc., so I hope that a stroller will help.

 

Did you fly out of Toronto? I hope the baggage handlers aren't too grumpy this week! (We're flying Air Canada...)


Yes, we fly Air Canada out of Toronto.

We use a highish end umbrella stroller. Also good for international travel as it can get in and out of almost any doorway and is not too big.

 

We have never had a problem at all.

 

post #17 of 21


I WISH they would have had the common sense to leave it closed. I closed it myself, but they did force it open when de-planing and that's what messed it up. They also tore one of the handles. Something had cut into the padding on it....I will be getting a stroller bag or case for it next time we fly.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunRise View Post

I have gate checked my stroller (a chicco higher end umbrella stroller). I dont bring it every time we travel, but a few times I have (over 9 years) - both international flights and national. We have always been instructed to CLOSE the stroller ourselves, and leave it by the door. And when it is returned to us, it is returned closed. It is usually waiting for us as we step off the plane. The baggage people unload this stuff first and bring it right up to us.  The biggest problem I have had is holding sleeping toddler while trying to close or open the stroller with the other hand.



 

post #18 of 21

OH. Too bad Topos.. That sucks.

post #19 of 21

DS is out of the toddler years but the title caught my eye -

 

We gated checked a framed backpack carrier (as large as some umbrella strollers) with no problem.  I bought a cheap duffle bag to put it in.

 

I have seen parents close and secure their strollers with cheapy bungee straps at the gate to keep the stroller closed.  On a flight to Mexico, I saw that parents put their winter coats inside the stroller first before closing it and bungeeing it closed, which I thought was clever.

post #20 of 21

Done it many times, but do watch when it goes through the x-ray machine that any pokey bits point up and not run over the rollers.  The security person (Pearson airport) flipped my stroller over, after I had placed it the proper way, and rammed it over the rollers so that it broke the attachment for the buggy board right off. duh.gif Other than that I've never had an issue.

 

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