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Pushchairs on planes: check these airline restrictions

Plus our latest reviews of buggies for taking with you abroad
Woman in airport with toddler in pushchair

If you're planning on taking your pushchair on a plane this summer, check your airline's pushchair policy before you fly.

Airlines generally let you check in a fully collapsible pushchair for free, but some different restrictions apply regarding the size and weight of the pushchair and where it needs to be stored on the plane.

Ignore them and you could be hit with extra stress and extra charges once you arrive at the airport.

If you're flying with Jet2, for example, and bringing along a stroller, you need to make sure that it weighs less than 10kg. But go with Flybe and you get a more generous pushchair weight allowance of 23kg max. At British Airways, it's all about the dimensions of your pushchair, which must not exceed 117 x 38 x 38cm.

Before you jet off, check our chart below to see whether you'll need to buy a smaller stroller before you fly. Or read on for three of the latest buggies we've tested that might fit the bill.

Looking for a more compact pushchair to travel with? See all our pushchair reviews - we list the weight and dimensions within the tech specs

Airlines' pushchair policies

AirlineHold or cabinWeight or size restriction
Air CanadaHoldMust not exceed 25.5 x 92cm when folded.
Aer LingusHoldNone.
Air MaltaHoldNone.
American AirlinesHoldStrollers over 9kg must be handed in at the check-in desk. All other strollers can be checked in at the gate before boarding.
British AirwaysHoldMust not exceed 117 x 38 x 38cm.
Cathay PacificHoldNone.

Stowing your stroller: cabin or hold?

Most airlines require your pushchair to be transported in the hold, although if a stroller is small enough it can be transported as cabin luggage. This is providing it fits within the airline's size restrictions for carry-on baggage, of course.

Typically you can choose between leaving your stroller at the check-in desk to be put in the hold free of charge, or you can retain it until you board the aircraft as long as you've had it tagged at the check-in desk to ensure it can be carried through security.

In either instance, you'll need to make sure it's a foldable pushchair that ideally weighs less than 10kg (simply because any more than that is getting pretty heavy). Some airlines specify that strollers need to be 7kg or less in order to be taken in the cabin.

Due to safety requirements and restrictions at some airports, it's not always possible to collect strollers at the aircraft door, in which case you'll collect yours from the baggage reclaim instead.

In most cases you won't lose any luggage allowance by taking a pushchair. But, though the majority of airlines let you take a stroller for free, if no child or infant is travelling with these items, standard hold luggage charges can apply.

Four buggies for your summer break

Our tests have found that the claimed dimensions of a stroller don't always match up with what we measure in our lab.

So we'd recommend checking our pushchair reviews before buying a new pushchair if you want it to be a specific size for taking on-board an aircraft. See below for some of the strollers we've tested if you're thinking of buying a stroller to take on holiday this summer:

GB Qbit+ All Terrain, £239.95

GB Qbit+ All Terrain pushchair
  • Weight: 7.6kg
  • Folded dimensions: H49 x W31 x D54.5cm 

The Qbit+ pushchair has been around for a while but it's still available to buy and features a convenient, one-hand fold which should make it easy to put up and down when on public transport. It's really lightweight and compact and is suitable from birth until your little one weighs 17kg (typically four years of age). The seat is world-facing only though, so it may not suit parents who would prefer eye contact with their newborn. How did our experts and parent testers find it to use?

Read our GB Qbit+ All Terrain review to find out more about this pushchair and how it fared in our lab tests.

Joolz Aer, £42.99

Joolz Aer pushchair
  • Weight: 6.3kg
  • Folded dimensions: H26 x W45 x D54cm

This pushchair is super lightweight which should make it convenient to travel with and it's affordable. It also has a one-hand fold, for added ease when out and about. It can only be used once your baby reaches six months old and up until your child weighs 22kg (typically around four or five years old). The seat on this pushchair isn't reversible and is world-facing only. The price is definitely tempting, but did we find that this cheaper pushchair skimped on comfort and usability?

Take a look at the full Joolz Aer review to see if it ticks all the boxes.

Joie Litetrax 4, £169.95

  • Weight: 9.1kg
  • Folded dimensions: H60 x W29 x D79cm

This compact Joie pushchair also features a one-hand fold which will come in handy when you're on the move. It's suitable for use from birth up until your child weighs 15kg (about three years old). The seat is world-facing only so if you want your newborn facing you, you may want to also consider the Litetrax carrycot accessory.

Read the full Joie Litetrax 4 review to see what our experts and parent testers thought of this travel-friendly pushchair. 

Peg Perego Veloce, £600

Peg Perego Veloce pushchair
  • Weight: 10.8kg
  • Folded dimensions: H42 x W52 x D80cm

If you're travelling with a baby under six months old, the Peg Perego Veloce is an attractive option as unlike the others, the seat is reversible so you can have your baby facing you when they're young and then facing the world when they're that bit older. It's also fairly compact which makes it great for accompanying you on your travels. It can be used from birth up until your child weighs 22kg (usually about four or five years old). 

Read our full review of the Peg Perego Veloce to see whether it impressed in our lab tests. 

Can I also take my child's car seat on our flight?

As well as a pushchair, many airlines also allow you to bring a car seat on a plane. This can result in a more comfortable in-flight experience for the youngster and come in handy if you're hiring a car at your destination.

Find out more about airlines' car seat policies and what car seats we'd recommend for flights in our guide to taking car seats on a plane.