How to Gate Check a Stroller in 2020: Flying with a Stroller for FREE!

If you're traveling in 2020 we have the answer for you regarding all major airlines Stroller check policies!

In most cases Strollers travel free when you have a Stroller Travel Bag, like the Best in Class COMPONO Stroller Bag, Also available from Amazon.com:

Also don't miss out on our 5 Tips for Using a Car Seat Bag

Top 5 Tips for Car Seat Travel

Read our tips below on how to travel with a stroller, or jump straight to the full policies for all the major airlines listed below:

Benefits of flying with your own Stroller

 

For short trips on local flights, a stroller is a must. They can be used anywhere and can be folded and packed away easily. If you have connecting flights with long overhauls, a stroller might save your hands from carrying your child, and provides your child a comfortable place to settle in.

No need to rent a stroller when you reach your destination! 

wide shot of woman staring at her baby on the stroller

With a stroller, you will not need to hold your baby and walk through long hallways, especially during long overhauls at bigger airports. Your baby will fall asleep inside them, and you can easily enjoy your journey. For sightseeing that involves walking, a stroller might be a lifesaver.
wide shot of woman pushing stroller

When you are traveling to cities that include long walks for sightseeing in zoos or amusement parks, a stroller is totally worth it.

Here in this guide, you will learn more about checking a stroller when you fly, a must read if you're flying with your baby for the first time.

Can a stroller be brought on a plane?

Obviously yes, you can check in with your luggage, and we HIGHLY recommend only doing this with a Stroller Bag. While most airlines do not charge an extra fee for strollers, it’s better for you to confirm before flying (see 2020 Airline Stroller Policies below).

Check your stroller before going to the airport

There are a few things you need to consider with your stroller before arriving at the airport. Make sure that you have a stroller that is easily folded, so that the airlines may handle and stow them away per their requirements. You can opt for an umbrella stroller, because a normal city stroller may get rejected by certain airlines, or incur larger fees.

no stroller bag damaged stroller

Again, do not forget to take a stroller bag, or a stroller travel bag alongside your stroller. The Stroller Travel Bag will ensure your stroller is free from Dirt and Grime when travelling, and will help reduce the risk of damage from over zealous baggage handlers.

Whether gate checking or fully checking, double-check that your stroller is free from any attachments, such as drink holders, etc., as these can easily be broken when handled by the baggage team. We recommend placing all of these attachments free floating loosely in the Stroller Bag, but again, not attached to the stroller to reduce chances of damage.

How to handle strollers while traveling 

The thought of packing big equipment may seem like a daunting task. However, once you have completed your first flight you will realize that it’s no big deal flying with a stroller. Here are the tips for handling your stroller while travelling.

checking stroller on airplan

Getting through security

When you arrive at the airport, you will need to put the stroller through the X-ray machine for security screening checkpoints at the airport. Remove your child from the stroller, and fold it. 

luggage screening

Some airports have a specific line for families that helps to eliminate some pressure during the process.

Gate checking your stroller

If your stroller is too big for carrying on and placing in the overhead luggage bin, you will need to check it at the gate. 

When gate checking the desk agent generally provides you a tag to place on your Stroller Bag. Once tagged and time for departure you'll leave the Stroller in the Jetway just before stepping foot on the airplane. Ensure to fold the stroller before leaving it.

Check with the gate agent ahead of time to ensure this is how your airline handles gate checking.

gate check stroller

For people who need assistance while traveling with young children, airlines do offer early boarding. Hence, try to arrive at the airport before the preboarding time.

When you have arrived at your destination, generally you'll wait on the Jetway to retrieve your stroller. Gate checking your stroller will generally reduce the potential abuse baggage handlers would place on it through the normal check-in process, and will have your stroller in your hands as soon as you deplane. 

Storing the stroller inside the aircraft

If the stroller you are carrying for your infant is small enough, you might be able to carry it along with you onto the plane. In that case, the stroller will be stored in the overhead bin, where the rest of the carry-on luggage is kept. 

storing stroller in the cabin

This allows the parents for easy access to their stroller and reduces the chances of getting lost while transferring it to another flight.

Ensuring your stroller makes connecting flight 

Shifting your stroller to a connection may be tricky when you are traveling with it. In general, when checking your stroller at the security gate, the tags that are provided have extra room in it for writing the number of your connecting flight; ensure your final destination is filled in correctly.

Many people avoid this process because of the risk of getting it lost. Alternatively, you can pick up the stroller, and check it on the next gate by yourself. If your stroller is large, collect it from the oversized luggage area.

Finally, do not miss reading our top tips on how to travel with a Car Seat Travel Bag, an absolute must have like our best in class Car Seat Bag!

Top Tips for Car Seat Travel

Airline Stroller Policies for 2020:

Air Canada Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

You can bring one stroller for each child you are travelling with in addition to your carry-on and checked baggage allowance and regardless of your destination.
Air Canada strongly recommends the use of small collapsible umbrella type strollers.
Small strollers - with a collapsed diameter not exceeding 25.5 cm (10 in) and a length not exceeding 92 cm (36 in) - can be checked free of charge at the baggage counter or at the boarding gate. When accepted at the baggage counter, your stroller is delivered to the arrivals baggage hall at your final destination. When accepted at the boarding gate, it is delivered to you at the aircraft door at every point in your journey.
Large heavy strollers can only be checked at the baggage counter because gate facilities in airports are not designed to accommodate them. Additional baggage fees do not apply. Large strollers are also subject to space limitations, and there is a risk that they cannot be accommodated in the aircraft."

Air France Gate Checking Policy:

TRAVELING WITH A STROLLER
You can transport a foldable stroller and car seat in the hold at no extra charge. Some strollers may be accepted in the cabin, subject to space availability. Depending on the type of stroller, the following size limits apply.
Small foldable stroller:* dimensions cannot exceed 15 cm x 30 cm x 100 cm / 5.9 in x 11.8 in x 39.4 in
Other foldable stroller: this replaces your child's hand baggage allowance and once folded, its dimensions cannot exceed 55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm / 21.7 in x 13.8 in x 9.8 in.
Please note: strollers must be packed in a carrying case that covers the stroller fully. In addition, for security reasons, some airports may have to deny access to strollers inside the boarding areas.
* Space permitting on long-haul flights, except between metropolitan France and Cayenne, Fort-de-France, Havana, Mauritius, Pointe-à-Pitre, Punta Cana, Reunion, Saint-Martin and Santo Domingo.

Alaska Airlines:

We will transport your child's car seat and stroller free of charge as checked baggage. You can check these items with your other baggage, or wait until you reach the gate area.

Alitalia Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

STROLLERS
Strollers for young travelers:
- you can only use foldable strollers, for which we recommend using a protective bag
- every stroller should have a tag with your name, address and telephone number
for children up to 11 years of age, the transport of strollers is free of charge for all destinations and travel classes
- you can transport a children's bicycle trailer as an extra bag
- you can take a maternity bag in the cabin as a replacement for your hand luggage, as long as the dimensions are no greater than 115 cm in total (55X35X25), and as an accessory bag as long as the dimensions are no greater than 45X20X36
For Alitalia group flights arriving at and in transit through Italian airports2 served by the Company, you can request at check-in that the stroller be delivered for immediate use upon disembarking or at the gate (accessories such as covers, bags etc. must be removed).
You can book a seat for young travelers that includes the same weight, size and quantity of baggage allowed for an adult ticket, plus the stroller (the same conditions apply to children from 2 to 11 years of age).
Children (up to 13 years of age on domestic flights and up to 14 years on international flights) must travel with an adult who must be present in the same travel class (if the parent is of minority age, the child can travel accompanied by the parent provided that he/she has been given parental authority).
Children under 2 years of age can fly with an Infant fare if they travel in the lap of an accompanying adult3 or, if the child uses an approved car safety seat, a separate seat can be reserved for them by purchasing a Child fare ticket.
If the child is traveling in an accompanying adult's lap, the adult is entitled to bring an additional bag of up to 10 kg. If the child occupies a seat, the baggage allowance will be the normal allowance for children from 2 to 11 years of age.
In any event, the presence of the child must be indicated when booking the ticket of the accompanying adult.
1. Some long-haul flights offer on-board bassinets, for children less than 76 cm long and weighing no more than 11 kg, which can be requested when booking. For operational reasons, this service might not be guaranteed on board, even if booked. In this case, the child must travel in the adult's lap. 
2. Excludes Cagliari, Genoa and Trieste airports
3. Alitalia would like to inform you that children up to 2 years of age can also travel in an adult's lap in long-haul Business Class. However, in line with IATA recommendations (*) and to guarantee a safer and more comfortable trip, Alitalia suggests the use of an approved child safety seat (CRS — Child Restraint System) owned by the passenger.
(*) The IATA states that the safest way of transporting an infant or child on board an aircraft is to use a child restraint system (CRS).
The IATA therefore recommends the use of an approved restraint system (CRS) for travel and encourages airlines to promote their use on board.

American Airlines Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

    Strollers

Each ticketed customer is allowed 1 stroller and 1 car seat to be checked free of charge Strollers over 20 lbs / 9 kgs must be checked at the ticket counter. All other strollers should be checked at the gate before boarding. If you have a stroller and a car seat only 1 can be checked at the gate.

British Airways Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

     Pushchairs

If you have a small, fully collapsible and lightweight pushchair/stroller (with maximum dimensions of 117cm x 38cm x 38cm/46in x 15in x 15in when the pushchair is collapsed), you will qualify to take this right to the aircraft door and collect at the aircraft door at most airports.
Please arrive at your departure gate no later than 45 minutes before departure time, and prepare to pre-board the aircraft.
The staff will put your pushchair into the hold and will do all possible to return it to you at the aircraft door. Pushchairs that fold down into a carry bag, such as the Yo-Yo Zen and are within the maximum hand baggage dimensions, can be taken on board in place of, but not in addition to, your larger cabin bag. As with all larger cabin bags, this is not guaranteed to travel in the cabin, but our staff will make every effort to accommodate it so long as space is available.
All other, larger pushchairs, including double and multi-piece pushchairs can be taken to the departure gate, however, on arrival you must pick up these larger pushchairs at the baggage carousel in the baggage hall.
Please be aware that walking distances at airports can be long, and if you bring a pushchair that does not fit within the criteria to be collected at the aircraft door, you should be prepared to transport your child to the baggage carousel by another method. Many parents find slings useful to carry their baby whilst keeping hands free for baggage.

Delta Gate Checking Stroller Policy

Children’s strollers and child safety seats are not counted as part of the standard baggage and therefore can be easily checked for free. For your convenience, these items may be checked at the curbside, the ticket counter or at the gate. 
Child safety seats may be brought on board the plane in certain circumstances. If you booked a seat for your child or if there is an open passenger seat in your row, you may place your child in an FAA-approved child safety seat during take-off and landing. If you have not purchased a seat for your child or an extra passenger seat is not available, the item must be checked at the gate by a Delta representative.
In addition to one bag carry-on allowance, you may bring a booster seat, other infant seat or bassinet on the plane as an additional free item, which is still subject to carry-on size restrictions. If you carry on an infant seat or bassinet, it must be secured tightly by a seatbelt to be stored on an aircraft seat.

Frontier Airlines:

SPECIAL ITEMS
A stroller and car seat may be checked free of charge when traveling with a child. A diaper bag may be carried on free of charge when traveling with a child.

Hawaiian Airlines:

Strollers, Bassinets and Child Restraint Devices
Strollers:
You may check in your standard collapsible stroller at the gate or at the check-in counter free of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult passenger and being used by a traveling child. If you have a large stroller we recommend that you check it at the ticket counter. Strollers over 50lbs and non-collapsible strollers must be checked at the ticket counter and will be returned to you at baggage claim.

Jet Blue Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

JetBlue will courtesy gate-check any of the following: strollers, car seats, child carriers/backpack carriers, booster seats, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or crutches. If you chose to check any of these items (at the check-in counter or gate-check), it will not count as one of your checked bags and there is no fee assessed. There is no limit to the number of assistive devices a customer may transport as carry-on or checked bag, within reason.
Additionally, this courtesy is extended regardless of whether the customer is traveling with the infant/child or is meeting the infant/child at their destination. 
Breast pumps are also permitted as a carry-on bag and are exempt from carry-on restrictions.
Note: Please be aware that strollers are not covered for damage if checked. JetBlue assumes no liability for loss, damage or delay per the JetBlue Airways Contract of Carriage Section 19.

KLM Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

You can bring one folding stroller (15 x 30 x 100 cm) and one child seat per child on board of every KLM flight. If the stroller does not fit under the seat or in the overhead compartment, you can check it in free of charge or hand it over to the KLM staff at the gate so it can be placed in the hold.

Lufthansa Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

At most airports you can keep a foldable buggy or pushchair with you until just before boarding. It will be returned to you immediately after landing.
Please enquire at baggage drop-off whether your buggy can be taken with you and handed over directly at the aircraft, and also please tell staff if you need your buggy or pushchair when making your flight connection.
At the departure gate our staff will make sure that your buggy or pushchair is taken on board.
Once the plane reaches its parking position, the buggy will be returned to you at the passenger boarding bridge or in the case of a bus transfer at the foot of the aircraft steps.
If you do not receive your buggy or pushchair on arrival, please contact one of our gate staff or the nearest service centre. Please note that the return of your buggy may take a few minutes.
Your buggy cannot be taken directly to the aircraft itself at the following airports:
Addis Ababa, Asmara, Billund, Birmingham, Bordeaux, Bremen, Catania, Copenhagen, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Hanover, London Heathrow, Nice, Orlando, Olbia, Palermo, Riyadh, Rome, Stockholm, Valencia.

Porter Airlines Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

    Strollers and car seats

When travelling with infants and small children, a collapsible stroller and a car seat are accepted at no charge in addition to your checked bag allowance.
You can choose to check these items at the check-in counter or bring them with you to the gate where they can be accepted as GatePorter items. Porter will Gate Check them for you. For your convenience, GatePorter items will be returned to you at your arrival gate.
Please note that playpens and other infant beds count as a checked bag and must meet checked baggage size and weight requirements. Porter strongly recommends the use of small collapsible (foldable) strollers. They can be checked at the gate and delivered to you at the aircraft door at the end of your flight. Gate facilities at most airports are not designed to accommodate large and heavy strollers. Therefore, they will need to be checked in and may count as one piece of baggage toward the maximum checked baggage allowance for your purchased fare type.

Qantas Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

Use of strollers
To make your time on the ground easier, most mainline Australian airports have strollers available for you to use once you have checked-in your own personal stroller. Staff will be on hand at the boarding gate ready to collect the stroller and to further assist you with pre-boarding the aircraft.

Ryanair Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

Can I carry my Pushchair/Buggy
Children's pushchairs can be used up to the aircraft steps and after landing the pushchair will be available at the aircraft steps (provided local conditions permit this).
Please remember to ensure that your pushchair is tagged at the baggage drop desk or at the boarding gate.

Southwest Airlines Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

Strollers and Child Restraint Systems (CRSs)
or car seats
Customers traveling with children will be allowed to check one stroller and one Child Restraint System (CRS) or car seat per child without charge. This is in addition to the regular free baggage allowance.
The stroller and CRS or car seat allowance applies to any type of stroller (umbrella, full size, jogging stroller, etc.) and CRS or car seat.
The Customer may check the stroller and CRS or car seat at the curb, ticket counter, or gate. Southwest Airlines will not assume liability for damage to strollers, CRS’s or car seats.
An optional Southwest-branded reusable car seat/stroller bag is available for purchase at any Southwest Airlines ticket counter for a $17 onetime fee. Bag dimensions are 42”X20.5X12.5”.

Spirit Airlines Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

Can I bring my child’s car seat and/or stroller onboard?
We will happily check one stroller and one car seat per child for no extra cost at the ticket counter. If you are traveling with two children, you are more than welcome to check a double stroller instead. You may also check these items at the gate. We’ll have them waiting for you in your arrival city when you get off the aircraft.
You’re welcome to bring an FAA-approved child restraint system (car seat) or an FAA-approved Child Harness Device (CARES) onboard as long as a separate seat has been purchased for the child. We will do our best to reseat you to an open seat (not including our Big Front Seats) if the car seat is too large for a regular seat. 
Some FAA approved car seats may not always fit in certain Spirit Airlines aircraft seats. Car seats may not be accommodated in any seat equipped with an inflatable seat belt. Additionally, car seats may not be secured in an exit seat or the row before or after the exit seats. Keep in mind that our Big Front Seats are a premium product and are available for an additional charge.

Sunwing Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

Baby/Infant Accessories
Infants without a paid seat are entitled two complimentary items such as a stroller, car seat, or playpen in addition to the 5 kg of carry-on.Please note - a diaper bag is considered a complimentary carry-on provided you're travelling with an infant; the size and dimensions of the bag fall within Sunwing's restrictions; and the bag contains supplies for the care of that infant.

United Airlines Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

Strollers and folding wagons
We'll accept one stroller or folding wagon free of charge for each child in addition to a car seat. This includes children under the age of two traveling on an adult's lap and infants traveling internationally on 10 percent of an adult fare, charged at the time of infant ticketing.
You'll have to check most strollers or folding wagons at the gate before you depart. You can still use them around the airport, though.
Large, non-collapsible strollers or non-folding wagons can't be checked at the gate, so please see a United representative at the airport check-in counter to check these items.

Virgin Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

Pushchairs and car seats for the hold
You’re welcome to bring one fully collapsible pushchair and a car seat in addition to your free checked baggage allowance.
Pushchairs can be checked in or used up until the boarding gate, when they'll be put in the hold. Once we land we’ll have it ready outside the aircraft doors wherever possible. At some destinations, you may have to pick it up at the baggage hall due to local customs restrictions.

WestJet Gate Checking Stroller Policy:

Car seats and strollers
You may check your stroller and/or car seat at your gate before you board. You may purchase an additional fare at regular price and bring your own Transport Canada approved restraint system for your infant to travel in. If you do, you must call us at  so we can add information to your reservation regarding the restraint system. Detailed information on accepted models and devices can be found on our car seats and restraint systems page.

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