Can You Gate Check a Double Stroller? 9 Points to follow

Gate checking provides the convenience of using your personal double stroller until the moment you board the plane, sparing you from the hassle of navigating the airport with children and numerous carry-on items without the aid of a stroller.

However, you might wonder why opt for gate checking over traditional checked baggage for your stroller and car seat? Rest assured, this process allows you to keep your stroller close at hand, ensuring it’s readily available when you disembark from your flight.

Whether you’re dropping it off at the ticket counter or at the gate itself, gate checking ensures your stroller and car seat remain accessible and free at the gate, offering you flexibility and peace of mind throughout your journey. So, if you’re wondering, “Can you gate check a double stroller?” the answer is yes, and it’s a smart choice for families looking to simplify their airport experience.

Why Gate Check a Double Stroller in the First Place?

can you gate check a double stroller

Gate checking lets you use your own double stroller right up until boarding the plane. This avoids the need to transport kids and all your carry-ons through the airport without a stroller. But why choose gate checking instead of regular checked baggage?

There are several key benefits to gate checking a double stroller instead of checking it at the ticket counter:

  • You can use the stroller all the way to your boarding gate for easy transport through the airport.
  • Skip baggage claim – gate-checked strollers are waiting as you get off the plane.
  • Less risk of damage compared to regular checked luggage.
  • Strollers count as extra items, not part of your checked bag allowance.

Gate checking certainly provides convenience compared to alternatives. But there are also a few potential downsides to consider:

  • Limited space on planes means gate-checked strollers may not always be accommodated.
  • You need to fold up and carry the stroller yourself to the gate.
  • Risk of stroller damage if roughly handled by airline staff.

Even with the disadvantages, gate-checking a double stroller is often worth the perks for families traveling with kids and lots of gear in tow.

What Are the Airline Policies for Gate Checking Double Strollers?

can you gate check a double stroller

Understanding the nuances of gate-checking a stroller is crucial for hassle-free air travel, as each airline has its unique policies and restrictions in place. To ensure a smooth journey, it’s imperative to familiarize yourself with your chosen airline’s guidelines regarding stroller transportation before you even book your tickets.

This knowledge will help you navigate the process seamlessly, whether you plan to bring a stroller on the plane, gate check a stroller, or travel with a car seat and stroller combination.

 Airlines like Southwest Airlines may have specific rules for accommodating one stroller and one car seat, and if you’re traveling with a double stroller, it’s especially important to confirm whether gate checking is an option. So, before you head to the boarding gate, take the time to research and understand your airline’s stroller-related policies, ensuring a stress-free and comfortable journey for you and your little one.

In general, most major US airlines allow gate-checking lightweight double strollers free of charge as long as they fit size and weight restrictions. However, the details differ between airlines.

Key Airlines and Their Double Stroller Gate Check Policies

Here are the key things to know about some top US airlines’ gate check policies:

American Airlines:

  • Allows gate checking 1 double stroller and 1 car seat per child.
  • No fee for gate checking.
  • Must fit within size limits of 115 linear inches (length + width + height).

United Airlines:

  • Allows gate checking 1 stroller and 1 car seat per child.
  • No fee for gate checking.
  • Must fold small enough to fit in the boarding gate area.

Delta Airlines:

  • Allows gate checking 1 stroller and 1 car seat per child.
  • No fee for gate checking.
  • Must be foldable to 45 linear inches or less.

Southwest Airlines:

  • Allows 1 stroller and 1 car seat per child to be gate-checked.
  • No fee for gate checking.
  • Must fit within size limits of 115 linear inches when folded.


  • Allows 1 stroller and 1 car seat gate checked per child for free.
  • Must be collapsible and fit in 75 x 43 x 16 inches or less.

Alaska Airlines:

  • Allows gate checking 1 stroller and car seat per child for free.
  • Must be collapsible within 115 linear inches size restrictions.

The key things to note are a number of items allowed, size restrictions, and any fees involved. If your double stroller exceeds size limits, you’ll likely have to check it at the ticket counter instead.

Tips for Reviewing Gate Check Policies

To ensure a smooth gate check experience, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always verify directly with your airline to understand current policies.
  • Check size restrictions and measure your stroller’s foldable dimensions.
  • Understand any limits on a number of strollers and car seats allowed.
  • Know ahead of time if fees apply for oversized or extra items.

Calling the airline directly if you have any doubts is the best approach. Policies can change so checking for updates is critical.

How Should You Prepare Your Double Stroller for Gate Checking?

Proper preparation of your double stroller will make the airport gate check process much smoother.

Here are some tips for getting your stroller ready for gate check:

  • Practice folding – Make sure you know how to collapse your stroller into the most compact shape possible. This helps it fit size limits.
  • Remove loose items – Take off anything that could easily get damaged like parent consoles, cup holders, etc.
  • Affix gate check tags – Use the gate check tags provided at the gate desk to identify your stroller.
  • Use a stroller bag – A padded stroller bag adds extra protection when the gate is checked.
  • Bring the manual – Keep the stroller manual with you in case you need to refer to folding instructions.

Taking a few minutes to get your double stroller gate check ready will prevent any issues when the time comes to check it at the gate.

What Types of Double Strollers Are Best for Gate Checking?

can you gate check a double stroller

Not all double strollers are ideal for gate checking. The design and size impact how easily it can be transported through the airport and fit on the aircraft.

Frame Strollers are the Most Portable

Basic frame double strollers fold down into the most compact shape. Their minimalist and lightweight design makes them the best choice for gate checking.

However, the basic design also means fewer amenities and a smaller storage basket capacity. If you pack light, frame strollers are the easiest to maneuver through airports.

Umbrella Strollers Fold More Compact Than Full-Size

Umbrella double strollers offer more features than a frame stroller but fold up smaller than full-size models. They easily meet gate check size limits.

The biggest downside is umbrella strollers are less durable and rugged than heavier stroller options. For occasional travel, they are a good compromise on features and portability.

Full-size and Jogging Double Strollers Often Exceed Limits

Full-size double strollers emphasize cargo space, seating comfort, and amenities over compact folding. Most do not collapse small enough for gate check size restrictions.

Similarly, jogging strollers are bulky and unlikely to meet gate check dimensions. The substantial weight also makes them difficult to transport through an airport.

If you opt for a full-size or jogging double stroller, expect to check it at the ticket counter rather than the gate. The cargo space and seating may be worth the inconvenience for some families.

What Are the Alternatives If You Can’t Gate Check a Double Stroller?

Gate checking isn’t guaranteed – some double strollers simply won’t fit the size limits or Airlines may refuse oversized items at busy times. If gate checking won’t work, here are a few options:

Check stroller at ticket counter – Rather than gate checking, you can check oversize double strollers with your regular checked bags.

Airport stroller services – Many airports offer rental strollers you can use through the airport and gate check before boarding.

Baby wearing – For short flights, baby carriers allow being stroller-free.

Rent stroller at destination – Rent a stroller at your destination instead of bringing your own.

Gate checking is the most convenient if it’s allowed, but other options can also make traveling with kids manageable. Getting creative helps when your double stroller doesn’t quite comply with gate check policies.

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Gate Checking a Double Stroller

Avoid these common pitfalls parents run into when gate checking their double stroller:

  • Forgetting to measure size before arriving at the airport
  • Not knowing how to fold your stroller into the most compact shape
  • Assuming all airlines have the same policies
  • Removing accessories like parent consoles that can easily be damaged
  • Forgetting to affix gate check tags so stroller gets lost
  • Not using a protective stroller bag

A little preparation goes a long way to avoid these simple mistakes!

Tips for Navigating the Airport Without a Stroller

If you opt not to bring your double stroller or can’t gate check it, getting through the airport stroller-free is challenging. Here are some useful tips:

  • Wear baby in a carrier – This leaves hands free to carry bags and corral toddlers
  • Bring a collapsible wagon to pile both kids and gear into
  • Let kids walk as much as possible rather than carrying
  • Have each adult carry a child – divide and conquer!
  • Utilize airport stroller services – borrow an airport stroller when possible
  • Pack minimally – don’t haul more than you can handle without a stroller
  • Ask for assistance – if needed, request help from airport staff

It takes some creativity, but navigating an airport without a double stroller is possible. Just prepare and adapt to make it work.

Common Questions About Gate Checking Double Strollers

What if the airline refuses my stroller at the gate?

If your double stroller exceeds the maximum dimensions or the gate flight is full, the agent may refuse to gate check it. Be prepared to then check it at the regular bag check counter instead.

Can you gate check a double stroller and a car seat?

Most airlines allow gate checking one stroller and one car seat per child as long as size requirements are met. Make sure to verify the specific airline’s policy.

How much does it cost to gate check a stroller?

Gate checking a standard double stroller within size limits is free on most major airlines. But specialty or oversized strollers may incur fees if permitted at all.

What if my gate checked stroller gets damaged?

Airlines are liable for damage to gate checked strollers just like regular checked luggage. Report any damage and file a claim with the airline.

Can I take my double stroller all the way to the plane door?

No, strollers must be checked at the gate desk before heading down the jetway to board the plane.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is gate checking for a double stroller?

Can I gate check a double stroller for free?

Are there size and weight limits for gate-checking double strollers?

Is gate checking the only option for bringing a double stroller on a flight?

How do I know my airline’s specific double stroller policies?

Can I bring a car seat along with a double stroller when gate checking?

What is the advantage of gate checking a double stroller?

Are there any risks associated with gate checking a double stroller?

Can I gate check a double stroller for international flights?

Can I bring other baby gear, like a diaper bag, when gate checking a double stroller?

Key Takeaways on Gate Checking Double Strollers

To recap, here are the most important things to keep in mind:

  • Research your airline’s exact gate check policy in advance
  • Measure your folded stroller to ensure it meets size limits
  • Be prepared to check oversized strollers at the ticket counter instead
  • Remove accessories that could get damaged prior to checking
  • Affix gate check tags at the gate desk before boarding
  • Know alternatives like wearable baby carriers if gate check won’t work

While gate-checking a double stroller can certainly make air travel easier, successful experiences depend on understanding and following airline policies. With the proper preparation, you can minimize hassles and breeze through the airport even with kids and cumbersome gear in tow.

Does gate-checking a double stroller really simplify air travel with babies? For many families, the convenience outweighs the risks and limitations. But avoid problems by researching policies and being ready with backup options when gate checking falls through. Focus on safe travels, not struggling with strollers, by planning ahead.

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