One of my biggest burning questions when I first started to travel with my daughter was “Can I take my pram on board an aeroplane rather than check-it as luggage?” Prams are an expensive baby purchase and the thought of your new pram being thrown across a baggage carousel is unbearable for a new mum. Not to mention the 1-2 hour pre-board wait without your pram and with a wriggly or sleepy baby. The simple answer to this is YES – most major carriers will allow you to wheel your pram to the gate where you can leave it with staff to check, dismantle and keep in the hold until you disembark. Aaaah, so you can enjoy your duty free shopping!
In many of the trips that I have taken I’ve had a transit period of a few hours. Your pram is generally handed back to you for the duration of your transit, or in some cases the airlines will supply you with a temporary pram, for example Emirates supply Maclarens for parents who transit through Dubai. When your journey is finally over and you exit the plane you may or may not be handed back your pram immediately, it really depends on the country in which you have landed. Some countries, such as Australia and the UAE, require the pram to go through baggage customs. In these instances you are generally given a temporary stroller. Fear not though, your pram won’t be mistreated, it will be delivered by hand to a special area in the baggage claims. I generally carry a baby sling with me when I travel for instances in transit and disembarkation when I’m without a pram. At least I can still have 2 hands free, and my baby enjoys being carried this way.
In my experience large airlines do not count your pram as part of your luggage weight and they won’t charge you excess for this item or the service of taking it to the gate. However, some budget airlines may not allow you to take your pram to the gate, or they may charge you for the luxury. In any event it is always smart travel to check the rules and regulations with your carrier before you fly, as you don’t want to get stumped on the day.