what size stroller can i take on a plane


what size stroller can i take on a plane

Traveling with a young child often necessitates bringing along a stroller, but when it comes to air travel, there are specific regulations you need to be aware of regarding the size and type of stroller you can take on a plane. Airlines generally allow strollers to be checked at the gate or with your regular luggage, but the policies on sizes and handling can vary between carriers. This article provides a comprehensive guide on what you need to know about traveling with a stroller on a plane.

Airline Policies

Most airlines have specific policies regarding the transportation of strollers. Typically, there is no additional charge for checking a stroller, whether at the gate or the ticket counter. However, size and weight restrictions can apply. It’s crucial to check with your airline before traveling as policies can differ. For instance, some airlines may have a weight limit for strollers that can be gate-checked, while others may allow only umbrella strollers to be brought to the gate.

Types of Strollers

Umbrella Strollers

These are lightweight and compact, making them ideal for travel. Most airlines will allow you to gate-check an umbrella stroller, meaning you can use it right up to boarding the plane, at which point you leave it at the end of the jet bridge. It will then be waiting for you in the same spot when you disembark.

Full-Size Strollers

Larger, full-size strollers are often too big to be gate-checked and must be checked with your baggage instead. If you’re traveling with a full-size stroller, it’s advisable to use a stroller bag to protect it during transit. Some airlines might have size restrictions even for checked strollers, so verifying this in advance is wise.

Tips for Traveling with a Stroller

Check Airline Policies: Before you fly, look up your airline’s specific stroller policy on their website. This can save you time and hassle at the airport.

Use a Stroller Bag: If you’re checking your stroller, a stroller bag can protect it from dirt and damage. Some bags are designed to fit specific stroller models, while others are more universal.

Tag Your Stroller: Whether you’re gate-checking or checking your stroller as baggage, ensure it’s properly tagged with your contact information.

Prepare for Security: When going through airport security, you will need to fold your stroller and put it through the X-ray machine. Be prepared for this to make the process smoother.

Board Early: Many airlines allow families with young children to board early. Take advantage of this to get settled without rushing.

Traveling with a stroller doesn’t have to be a complicated affair, provided you’re aware of and comply with your airline’s policies. By choosing the right stroller for your trip and preparing ahead of time, you can ensure a smoother travel experience for you and your little one. Remember to check the size and weight restrictions for strollers with your airline, and consider the benefits of gate-checking versus checking your stroller as baggage.

With a little preparation, your stroller can be a convenient travel companion rather than a burden.

Navigating Airports with a Stroller

Navigating through airports with a stroller can be made easier with a bit of planning. Here are additional tips to make your journey smoother:

Compact and Lightweight: For ease of movement through crowded airports, a compact, lightweight stroller is preferable. It’s easier to fold up quickly and carry through security checks or down narrow airplane aisles.

Know Your Airport: Some airports are more stroller-friendly than others, offering family lanes at security and ample elevator access. Before you travel, look up the airport layout and services to plan the best route to your gate.

Stroller Accessories: Think about what you’ll need during your journey. Attachable storage compartments can hold essentials like diapers, wipes, and snacks, reducing the need to carry an additional bag.

International Travel Considerations

When flying internationally, it’s even more crucial to check stroller policies as they can vary significantly from one country to another and from one airline to the next. Some international airlines might have more generous stroller policies, while others could be stricter.

Backup Plans

Despite your best efforts, travel plans can change, and you may find yourself without your stroller at your destination due to delays or mishandling. Consider:

Rental Options: Some destinations offer stroller rental services, which can be a convenient backup option.

Portable Carriers: For very young children, a baby carrier can serve as a backup if you’re without your stroller for a period.

Advocating for Your Needs

Don’t hesitate to advocate for your needs when traveling with a stroller. If you encounter any issues or need assistance, airline staff and airport personnel are there to help. Whether it’s assistance folding your stroller or needing an early boarding time to get settled, asking for help can make your travel experience much more manageable.

Traveling with a stroller requires additional planning and preparation, but with the right approach, it can be a smooth experience. By choosing the right type of stroller for your travel, being familiar with airline policies, and preparing for airport navigation, you can minimize stress and ensure a more enjoyable journey for you and your child. Remember, the goal is to make your travel as comfortable and hassle-free as possible, so taking the time to prepare beforehand is well worth the effort.

When looking for a stroller that’s suitable for air travel, the ideal qualities are compactness, lightweight design, ease of folding, and durability. Some strollers are specifically designed with the traveling parent in mind, offering features that make them perfect for airports, airplanes, and everything in between. Here are several stroller brands and models that are highly regarded for their travel-friendly features:

Babyzen YOYO2

The Babyzen YOYO2 is often hailed as the ultimate travel stroller due to its ultra-compact design. It can fold up small enough to fit in most airplane overhead compartments and weighs just about 13 pounds (6 kg), making it easy to carry. Additionally, it offers a smooth ride, a reclining seat for nap times, and is suitable from birth when used with the newborn pack.

GB Pockit+ All-Terrain

Known for holding the Guinness World Record as the world’s smallest folded stroller, the GB Pockit+ All-Terrain is a marvel of compactness and design. It’s incredibly lightweight at just about 12.3 pounds (5.6 kg) and folds up small enough to fit in an overhead bin. Despite its small size, it’s sturdy and can navigate various terrains, making it an excellent choice for traveling families.


The UPPAbaby MINU offers a one-handed, one-step fold and stands on its own when folded, which is ideal for navigating through airports and boarding the plane. It weighs under 15 pounds (6.8 kg) and features a large sun canopy, a spacious seat, and a storage basket. It’s also compatible with infant car seats, making it versatile from birth.

Bugaboo Ant

The Bugaboo Ant is designed specifically for travel, boasting features like a compact fold, a lightweight frame, and a telescopic handlebar that doubles as a carry handle. It’s suitable for children from birth up to 50 pounds and offers a reversible seat so your child can face you or the world. The Ant is also designed to fit in most overhead compartments, making it an excellent choice for air travel.

Mountain Buggy Nano

The Mountain Buggy Nano is another top pick for traveling parents, thanks to its light weight of just 13 pounds (6 kg) and its easy two-step compact fold. It’s compatible with infant car seats without needing an adapter, making it a versatile travel system. The Nano also features a decent-sized storage basket and an easy-to-push design.

Silver Cross Jet

The Silver Cross Jet is notable for its stylish design, compact fold, and the ability to be used as a cabin-sized piece of luggage when folded. It weighs just 13.6 pounds (6.2 kg) and is suitable from birth up to 55 pounds. The Jet also features a fully extendable UPF50+ hood for sun protection and a peek-a-boo window.

Considerations When Choosing a Travel Stroller

When selecting a stroller for air travel, consider the following:

Weight and Folded Size: The stroller should be lightweight and compact enough to carry easily, even with a child in tow. Check if it fits in overhead compartments to avoid checking it in.

Ease of Folding: Look for a stroller that can be quickly and easily folded, ideally with one hand.

Durability: Travel can be tough on gear, so choose a stroller that’s built to last and can handle being gate-checked if necessary.

Comfort and Safety Features: Ensure the stroller has adequate padding, adjustable seating positions, and safety harnesses to keep your child comfortable and secure.

Each of these stroller models excels in different aspects of travel convenience, so the best choice depends on your specific needs, preferences, and budget. Always check the latest model specifications and airline compatibility before making a purchase to ensure the stroller meets your travel requirements.