Gate Checking Your Stroller, Should You Be Worried?

gate check stroller

I’m part of a mom group online and I love to answer questions as well as ask them myself. (what is this rash on my kids arm is a popular one!) I digress.
Today there was a very honest question, which if you’ve never flown before, it’s a valid question. The question was:

How do I check-in a stroller when travelling on a plane? Am I able to keep the stroller up until I board the plane, is there a chance anyone could take my gate checked stroller? 

It’s certainly a valid question. If you’ve spent a good amount of money on your stroller, the last thing you want is to arrive at destination with no stroller.
Although anything can happen, here are the reasons that your stroller is perfectly safe at the gate.

First, what does Gate check Mean? Well, you’re allowed the item up until you walk into the plane – you leave it right as you’re boarding within the Catwalk and the cargo staff load it into a compartment in the plane.  Once you’ve landed, the cargo staff at destination unload that compartment and leave it for you on the walkway. Only passengers and authorized airline staff are allowed on the catwalk.  Ever since 9/11 having access to an actual plane is a really big deal.

Reasons why your gate checked stroller are very safe:

  • The only people allowed on the catwalk are passengers for that flight, airline staff, and the cargo staff.
  • Passengers have paid good money (more than the stroller is worth) to board the plane. The chances of them ditching their flight completely – once they are 5 feet away from actually going on the plane – is highly unlikely, so they won’t be going anywhere with it.
  • Airline staff – the flight attendants and captains are out of the question. Where would they store it while in air? The grounds crew (cargo crew) who are loading the plane would have to lug that stroller around all day (they still have other planes to load/offload) so where would they put the stroller while they work?
  • When you are getting off the flight, you’ll be out of the plane before the grounds crew have brought it up to the catwalk (you’ll see a variety of people waiting around for things they have gate checked – my son even made friends last time we were waiting around in SFO).  So as soon as the item is brought up, you’ll be the first to get it.

I hope that helps! If you have any other questions, don’t be shy!

Safe travels!

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