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Old 03-01-2008, 08:24 PM   #1
shoppgirl
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stroller damage by airlines

I have never travelled by air with strollers, but will have to for our family's first trip to WDW. My girls are older, and therefore could get away with walking in the airport. I just want to lug personal strollers for when we arrive in Florida. My question is: Would it be better to gate check the strollers or put them in a padded bag and check it in with luggage? Which way would be "safer" for the strollers so that they won't get damaged? I don't have the most expensive strollers, but they are nice enough that I wouldn't want any dents, major scratches or tears. Just wondering what your experiences have been with strollers and airlines. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:41 PM   #2
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I always gate check my strollers. I do have younger kids, but I think they are a bit safer gate checked. I will warn you though, I still have seen some be damaged even though they are last on and first off.
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Old 03-01-2008, 08:43 PM   #3
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i believe the gate check ticket is a waiver

I'm pretty sure that the gate check ticket for strollers might have a damage waiver on it. I always take my oldest, yuckiest stroller when I travel by plane.
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Old 03-01-2008, 11:47 PM   #4
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We gate check our stroller but we also put in a stroller bag as well. We just do it right before boarding and then have it waiting for us as we leave the plane. That way we have it to use in the airport and it still stays protected.
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Old 03-02-2008, 05:43 AM   #5
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I was concerned about stroller damage when we took ou DD on her first trip to WDW. We have a Maclaren that we brought into the airport w/ us and when it was time to get on the plane, I slipped it into a golf bag, so it wouldn't get damaged. It fit perfectly in there and I didn't have to buy a special bag.
Next time we travel it will be w/ a larger stroller, so I am not sure what I am going to do.
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Old 03-02-2008, 07:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strmtroopr96 View Post
We gate check our stroller but we also put in a stroller bag as well. We just do it right before boarding and then have it waiting for us as we leave the plane. That way we have it to use in the airport and it still stays protected.
What kind of stroller do you have and where did you get the bag? I want to purchase one for my quest and one for my britax preview.
Thanks
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Old 03-02-2008, 12:25 PM   #7
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We have a Peg Pliko. We had no choice but to gate check when DD was younger because we needed it in airport. They are ROUGH with the strollers and as a result we did have the frame get bent on two separate occassions.

If you can check it like regular luggage I'd go that route. We've had better luck that way then at that gates. If it's in a bag or padded that is the way to go.
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:12 PM   #8
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We have had United Airlines break two gate-checked strollers. Those guys are in a hurry, trying to get the flights out on time, so they're pretty rough with the baggage. We were lucky and both times the (not so bright, apparently) gate agent didn't ask us to sign the gate-check tag with the waiver on it, so they paid for us to get a brand new stroller twice. I'm not sure that a stroller would be more or less likely to be broken if checked through (if checked through they are still going to make you sign a waiver), but as with any checked luggage, it has a smaller chance of arriving at your destination at the same time you do. I'd just do whichever is easier - if it's easier to check it rather than dragging it through the airport, great, but keep in mind it's a nice place, if your kid won't sit in it, to put your carry on bags!
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Old 03-02-2008, 03:19 PM   #9
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I have not had good experiences w/ gate checking strollers...two completely lost (HOW?) and never showed up....one came covered in a black greasey substance and I couldn't put my child in it...and one came so mangled the man who brought it up to the gate looked at me and said, "I have no idea!" LOL! We made jokes for a long time about how many strollers we'd have to buy in a year. We finally decided an inexpensive umbrella stroller was the most we'd take w/ us and if we needed a nicer one we'd just buy it when we got there.
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Old 03-02-2008, 05:00 PM   #10
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I have gate checked strollers on three strips. On one when we were coming home, the stroller was damaged so that the canopy was no longer usuable.

I have also checked a stroller as baggage. We didn't use any type of bag. It was an old stroller and we really didn't care if it was damaged. I certainly didn't want to spend any money buying a special bag for it. So, I just folded it like normal, put a name tag on it, and gave it to the agent at the check-in desk. That stroller was not damaged at all.
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Old 03-02-2008, 05:12 PM   #11
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We gate checked our Maclaren Volo on our way to Disney and the handle padding got slit. I was not pleased but I always know which one is my stroller because of it.
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Old 03-02-2008, 08:04 PM   #12
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I also have had strollers damaged by the airlines. Once my stroller was even damaged and it was IN a travel bag! I couldn't believe it. As much as I hate not having my "good" stroller when I'm away, I only gate check umbrella strollers now.
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Old 03-03-2008, 01:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeroBeachGirl View Post
What kind of stroller do you have and where did you get the bag? I want to purchase one for my quest and one for my britax preview.
Thanks
We used a Peg Perego P3 both times and found an Eddie Bauer stroller bag at TJ Maxx. But there are many different stroller bags out there in different sizes and styles especially online. I never really see any in stores around here but there are tons on Ebay and all the online stores/websites usually have them.

The bag that we do have isn't padded at all and is a huge bag. I have a Quest too but haven't flown with it but for that I would want something padded. There is a bag that I have seen on Ebay from a local seller that looks perfect for the P3 or Quest. The brand is JL Childress and it seems to really be padded. I have seen the Preview but not folded...does it fold like a Quest? If so, then this bag would probably work for that too.
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:11 AM   #14
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United Airlines broke TWO of our gate-checked strollers. In 1999, they destroyed our Graco travel system (the kind with the attached car seat.) They looked up the price of a replacement and gave me a max reimbursement number. I found a new stroller at that cost, submitted the receipt, and they paid me the price of the new stroller.

In 2004 they destroyed my deluxe umbrella stroller on the way TO our vacation. Since I had no possible way to buy another stroller on vacation, they gave me a "loaner" umbrella stroller from their lost and found and let me use it for the length of our vacation. I returned it to the same counter when we checked in for our flight home. Then I went through the same reimbursement process again.

Bottom Line: Unless you pack/pad it really well, it won't make a difference if you check it at the counter or at the gate - the stroller goes through the same rough handling, and will probably have some hefty wear & tear at the very least.

Disclosure: I was a Flight Attendant for United at the time they destroyed my strollers. I should have known better.
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Old 03-04-2008, 04:41 AM   #15
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I would definitley bag it in something that will keep it protected, our Graco Travel System got cosmetically destroyed on our August Trip between the grease and the large tear in the canvas!! Its still usuable by all means just does not look as "nice", my pretty pink stroller looked very rough by the time we got home, between the airlines and sticking on the Dirty bus floors for 10 days
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