Flying the Stroller Friendly Skies

stroller friendly skies

By Cheryl Rushing

It is nearly travel season and if you’re reading this you’re probably traveling with an infant or toddler, which brings its own set of challenges; flying the stroller friendly skies. We’re here to focus on a big one: traveling via air with a jogging stroller.

Each major air carrier has their own set of rules when it comes to strollers, but some basic guidelines apply:

  • The stroller can usually be checked at the gate.  Check with your airline if it is not listed below.
  • Most airlines will allow an umbrella stroller as a carry on, space permitting.
  • Most airlines check the stroller free of charge as long as the child is traveling with you, but please check the website or call the reservations number to verify before traveling.
  • The stroller must fold down/collapse (strollers that do not collapse must be checked at the ticket counter and may incur a baggage fee).
  • The stroller must be bagged and tagged (we recommend tagging inside and out). Label it with your name everywhere; like they tell you when you bring your toddler to preschool or day care, Label, Label, Label.
  • The airline is not responsible for damage to the stroller and damage waiver coverage cannot be purchased.

If you are planning on flying the stroller friendly skies; here is a breakdown of stroller guidelines for major US airlines when traveling domestically:


Reservations/Information: 1-800-247-8726

You may bring a stroller to the gate for ease of travel through the airport. The stroller may be gate checked just before boarding the plane and will be returned to the aircraft jet way upon arrival at your destination. Car seats and strollers may be checked free of charge; any other items are subject to standard baggage fees (i.e., portable crib, high chair, etc.).

For more information, here is AirTran’s policy.

Alaska Airlines

Reservations/Information: 1-800-252-7522

Car seats and strollers can be checked as baggage at no additional charge. If the car seat or stroller is needed in the airport, you can check it at the gate. Infants traveling on a purchased ticket should have a proper child restraint.

For more information, here is Alaska Airlines policy.

American Airlines

Reservations/Information: 1-800-433-7300

Strollers that are large, non-collapsible or over 20 lbs. must be checked at the ticket counter.

  • Strongly discouraged to avoid damage.
  • Facilities were not designed to accommodate these types of strollers
  • Must be checked at the ticket counter
  • May not be carried on the aircraft or checked at the gate; No strollers of any size are permitted as carry-on baggage.
  • Exempt from baggage charges when accompanying a child or infant who is traveling

For more information, here is American Airlines policy.

Delta Airlines

Reservations/Information: 1-800-221-1212

Children’s strollers and seat restraints are not counted as part of the standard baggage and therefore can easily be checked for free. For your convenience these items may be checked at curbside, the ticket counter, or at the gate.

For more information, here is Delta Airlines policy.

Frontier Airlines

Reservations/Information: 1-800-432-1359

If you need them, strollers may be used to transport your child to the gate, but then must be checked at the gate as baggage. The stroller will be returned to the gate at your final destination. (

Special Item Handling Fees

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.

For more information, here is Frontier Airlines policy.

Hawaiian Airlines

Reservations/Information: 1-800-367-5320

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.

For more information, here is Hawaiian Airlines policy.

Jet Blue Airways

Reservations/Information: 1-800-538-2583

Strollers/car seats

If possible, strollers should be folded down. If it doesn’t fit through the x-ray machine, the TSA officers will find other ways to screen it. JetBlue will courtesy gate-check any of the following: strollers, car seats, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or crutches. There is no limit to the number of assistance devices a customer may transport as carry-on or checked baggage, within reason. (According to an agent contacted by phone, there is no additional baggage fee to check a stroller.)

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.

Note: Please be aware that strollers are not covered for damage if checked. JetBlue assumes no liability for loss, damage or delay per the Contract of Carriage Section 19.

For more information, here is Jet Blue Airways policy.

Southwest Airlines

Reservations/Information: 1-800-435-9792

  • 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, CRSs or car seats. Each should be tagged as conditionally accepted and placed in a plastic bag.

For more information, here is Southwest Airlines policy.

United Airlines

Reservations/Information: 1-800-864-8331

One of the following infant articles may be carried on board, in addition to the maximum carry-on baggage allowance:

  • Diaper bag
  • Small collapsible stroller (space permitting)
  • Government-approved child seat (infant carrying seat or car seat)

Strollers and car seats as checked baggage

United accepts one stroller or one car seat in addition to a customer’s baggage allowance. When checked as baggage, all oversize and overweight charges will apply. First and second bag fees do not apply to either a stroller or a car seat. United is not liable for damage to strollers. Excess Valuation may not be purchased for strollers.

Note: If you are traveling with a stroller and a car seat in addition to the baggage allowance, only one of these items is carried free of charge.

For more information, here is United Airlines policy.

US Airways

Reservations/Information: 1-800-428-4322

You’re allowed:

  • One fully collapsible stroller or one child restraint device or car seat (no charge)
  • If you’re traveling with an infant outside the U.S. or Canada, the infant is allowed one checked bag (max 62in/114 cm and 50lbs/23 kg) — checked bag fees apply

For more information, here is US Airways policy.

Virgin America

Reservations/Information: 1-877-359-8474

We do not allow strollers in the cabin of the aircraft but you may check strollers plane side at the boarding gate for no additional charge. We will do our best to keep your stroller damage free however; Virgin America will not assume liability of responsibility for fragile or unsuitably packaged items such as strollers.

Airline policies are subject to change without notice. Please contact your carrier prior to your travel date to confirm the policy before you show up to keep from being surprised on your day of travel.

For more information, here is Virgin America’s policy.

If you have feedback on regulations that are stated or unstated that we do not have listed above, please provide us your feedback on flying the stroller friendly skies.

Cheryl Rushing is a former insurance agent and couch potato. In 2012 her life changed radically when she became a stay at home mom and found herself chasing after a very active little girl.

Cheryl never considered herself to be much of an athlete, but she began running in 2013 as a way to alleviate both her inertness and her boredom. Weight loss and energy followed. When Cheryl isn’t running (or running after Penny) she is a virtual assistant for Run Stroller Run and a freelance writer. She can be contacted at

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