Friday, July 18, 2008

At the Airport - Tips about the Stroller - flying rugrats

Tips about Strollers when Flying with Kids

Strollers are an absolute ‘must have’ item for easing your ability to get around within airport terminals. You can also use storage space in mid-size or large strollers to hold carry-on items. Parents tend to have a lot of “gear” when flying with children.

Your stroller is a valuable tool that makes it easier for you to safely transport your child and carry-on luggage around the terminal and to your departure gate.

You will want to keep your stroller with you until the moment that you are preparing to step on the plane.

After check-in, you must pass through an airport security checkpoint. Most airports require you to remove your child from a stroller. You must then fold up your stroller and run it through the x-ray machine. Depending on the age of your child, security officers may instruct you to carry your child through the metal detector with you. If your toddler is walking it is common for security officers to ask your child to walk through alone though.

When you arrive at your departure gate, you will need to wait in line and speak to the gate agent about gate checking your stroller. The gate agent will provide a tag for your stroller and a claim ticket for you to keep. You do not surrender your stroller at that time. Keep your stroller until boarding time and you are preparing to step on the plane.

At your destination, you will need to retrieve your stroller. Some airlines bring strollers back to you right outside the airplane door in the same location as wheelchairs for the disabled. Other airlines may send gate-checked items to baggage claim. This is common if your flight is on a very large plane such as a Boeing 747-400.

Depending on the number and age of children you have with you, you may have difficulty getting your children and belongings to baggage claim without a stroller. If you are concerned about how you will manage if your stroller ends up sent to baggage claim, discuss your concerns with the gate agent before boarding. You can also discuss your concerns with a flight attendant during flight. The airline may be able to arrange a loaner stroller to be waiting for you at your destination. You can use the loaner to transport your child until you can retrieve your own stroller from baggage claim.