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Old 10-12-2012, 11:35 AM   #1
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Is a bag for a gate checked stroller really necessary?

I will be flying alone with my DS who will be 3 months. I will be gate checking his baby jogger city mini. I looked at the bags to put the stroller in but I'm not sure how I would accomplish that while also holding DS. Is the bag really necessary? Do the strollers get damaged?
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
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I just bought the bag for the city mini for our upcoming trip. I tried it out, and while it will certainly protect the stroller, its a bit cumbersome to deal with. I had to lay the bag open on the floor, take all the wheels off, stow them just right in the pockets of the bag, then lay the stroller on top. It is not something I would be able to do right at the plane door (it would have to be done while still at the gate in the terminal).

Last time we flew, we gate checked our stroller (not the mini, a different one) in its bag. We saw the baggage handlers haul about 5 or 6 umbrella strollers all stacked on top of each other up from the plane and basically dump them in a pile outside the plane door. Then, the guy came back with just our stroller bag, holding it by the handle, and gave it right to us. He appreciated that it was in a bag since it was so much easier to hold.

For flying alone with a little baby, I probably wouldn't use the bag. I would still be concerned about the stroller getting dirty or damaged though. Do you have another stroller that might be easier to handle (and don't mind risking damage) like a cheap umbrella stroller or a frame stroller for an infant seat?
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:13 PM   #3
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Our City Mini was fine at gate check without a bag
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Old 10-12-2012, 01:27 PM   #4
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I never used a bag but I did use an bungee cord to make double sure the stroller didn't open by accident. Many of the luggage handlers won't know how to fold a stroller and by tyring to force it closed can cause damage.

I also took off any extras cliped to the stroller, bags, toys, cup holders etc - prior to flying. If you need/want them at the destination just pack them in your checked bags and put the stroller back together at your destination.

There are occasions when luggage is out in the weather - even gate checked bags so if your flying in winter or rainy weather I would consider a stroller bag.

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Old 10-12-2012, 01:53 PM   #5
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we had the clip that holds our stroller closed break off during one of our flights - ever since then, we put the stroller in a bag.

I purchased a double-stroller generic bag from babies r us. It's large enough that I can fit DD's booster seat for the car when we bring that along too.

It is a little cumbersome to manage getting down the jetway, but we do appreciate having everything in tact when we arrive.

Bungi cords are a great idea to pack along anyway - we use them to strap things to the stroller until we gate check our bags.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:35 PM   #6
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We always use a bag and for a city mini I would definitely use one! How are you getting to the airport? Driving yourself or getting a ride? If you have someone taking you, you can get a companion pass so that you can have an extra set of hands to help you get through security, etc. Then someone can come with you to the gate. If you are doing it alone I'd just lay the baby on a blanket on the floor while I put the stroller in its bag. Do this just before they start boarding and then just carry the now bagged stroller down the jet way and leave it by the door before you get on the plane.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:01 PM   #7
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Lots to think about to make things easier with a baby! Does anyone know of a bag that fits the city mini where you don't have to take the wheels off?
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:08 PM   #8
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I think we must just have bad luck, but we've had 3 strollers damaged by gate check... Didn't matter if it was in a bag or not. Hoping for better luck in Dec.
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