March 29, 2009,
A.P. asks from San Marcos, CA on March 27, 2009
How Difficult Is Traveling by Airplane with the Bob Stroller?
I have a short air flight to northern CA planned this summer and I really would like to take my Bob stroller. Does anyone have any experiences/advice they'd like to share regarding dealing with their Bob at the airport? Specifically, did you check it as a bag or take it to the gate? How hard was it to fold and put through the security check while juggling your child? Would you recommend purchasing the $100 carry bag designed for the Bob to prevent damage? Any other suggestions would be appreciated!
M.G. answers from San Diego on March 27, 2009
I have a BOB stroller that I took to the east coast last summer. I personally didn't want to drag it through the airport deal with folding it up at the gate, and decided to check it. We flew United, and it was not considered an extra bag. However, you may just want to check the airlines website or give them a call and double check to see if they charge for a checked stroller. I did also purchase the carry bag for it, as I have had plenty of things ruined in airport baggage. I felt that since the stroller itself was pretty pricey it deserved to be well protected. Instead of a stroller to take baby through the airport, I wore my 7 month old at the time in an ergo carrier to get through the airport. Much easier then dealing with a stroller in my opinion.
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S.O. answers from San Diego on March 28, 2009
DEFINITELY buy the Bob stroller carry bag! You wouldn't want it to get dinged up by the luggage guys.
Are you travelling solo? If so, I would check the stroller and carry your son in a sling or wrap or Baby Bjorn. If you have someone else travelling with you, it's a snap to take off the wheels and put the Bob into it's carry bag, once you try it out a couple of times at home.
Most airlines do not consider strollers and carseats as part of of your luggage count. You can also gate check your stroller so you can have your stroller in the airport. Then when you get to your gate, just ask for the gate tag then leave your stroller at the bottom of the ramp. Then when you land, they will have your stroller waiting for you outside the plane doors. Also, if you check in your stroller or carseat, most times when your luggage comes off the plane, they will hold it for you at the Customer Relations office, or just outside of it. So check there first before you wait forever by the carousel.
Now that we have a 4yo and a 2 yo, we just check in our Bob and bring a cheap umbrella stroller to wheel my 2 yo around in the airport. So you could do the same. That way you have the comfort of your Bob during your trip and just have something cheap and handy for the airport. Again you can gate check your umbrella stroller.
Have fun on your trip! My kids have flown from S. Cal to S. Dakota and to Austin, Tex with no real problems. Our next trip will be a 3 day drivin trip from S. Cal to S. Dakota at the beginning of May. Pray for my sanity!!!!
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K.M. answers from San Diego on March 29, 2009
I fly all of the time with our baby and her bob! just got back from t-ride Colorado yesterday. the bob will go through x-ray machine when it is folded up. or they can hand check - whatever you prefer. and then we gate check before we hop on the airplane. don't need the bag...strolller is super sturdy and i don't want any more stuff to keep track of!!
E.N. answers from San Diego on March 28, 2009
I don't have the Bob, but I have a Valco twin, which is similar from what I know (though bigger of course than the single). I travelled with it and took it to the gate, twice. One of those times, I needed it because I was travelling alone with 2 small toddlers (was not going to walk through an airport holding their hands or trying to carry them and all of the other things I had to carry). There is no doubt about, going through security was a pain in the neck, but I didn't really have a choice that time. My boys were big enough to stand alone so they had to stand while I handled the "stuff."
I think it depends if your husband is travelling with you or not. If he is with you, then one of you could hold the baby while the other handles the stuff. We did that once, too. It was still a pain going through security, but it was harder alone. If you are travelling alone, you wouldn't have anyone to hold the baby while you fold the stroller, etc., so I would find another way. If you take the stroller to the gate, they have you take the stroller all the way up to the plane then fold it right outside the plane. One of the baggage guys comes to get it, then they put it right outside the plane when you exit. My stroller came through it just fine, but I would imagine going through the regular checked baggage would be a bit rougher for the stroller.
Hope you have a great trip!
S.B. answers from San Diego on March 28, 2009
We've traveled multiple times with our Bob but always checked it. We typically took off the front wheel, bunjie corded it to the rest of the stroller (folded up) and bunjied the whole thing again for security.
We have an extra large tote and we've also packed in that before. But we've never tried to carry it on or get it through security.
M.C. answers from San Diego on March 28, 2009
I've traveled with my Bob with no problem, with no spouse to help. I always check it at the gate (and just fold it down). I don't see any reason to deal with checking it on as baggage.
Since it can't be put through the x-ray, it has to be inspected by hand at the security check. Sometimes this can be slow, but overall isn't that big of a hassle. I've found that when traveling alone with kids, the security folks are quite helpful in getting you through. Just allow extra time. It's worth it to be able to use the stroller in the airport for both baby and stuff.