Have you ever checked a baby buggy at the gate (ie at the door of the plane) and then got it back on landing at Heathrow?

(17 Posts)
SaltyGoodness Tue 14-Jan-14 04:13:41

Am hearing a lot of stories of not getting it back till baggage reclaim, where it turns up at oversized baggage. In the scary stories it's always bashed to bits hmm

Am flying from USA to Heathrow in a few days... would love some feedback?

PlainBrownEnvelope Tue 14-Jan-14 04:34:35

I've always got mine back at the gate if I've wanted it. However, my understanding is that occasionally it's not possible (due to the configuration of the gate itself- this wasnt Heathrow though). Sometimes I've told them just to send it to reclaim and it's never been bashed up when I got it back.

ThisIsYourSong Tue 14-Jan-14 04:37:41

I've had both. Never any damage though

SofiaAmes Tue 14-Jan-14 04:40:37

Yes all the time with British Airways and No, never with Virgin. That was 12 years ago. Things may have changed.

SofiaAmes Tue 14-Jan-14 04:41:37

Also, bear in mind that although most of the luggage carts in the usa have a place to put a baby, the luggage carts at heathrow do not, so bring a sling! Or a cheap umbrella stroller that you can put in the overhead bin with you.

Rosa Tue 14-Jan-14 06:33:13

Only place i have ever been given buggy back at door of the plane was Madrid. Use a buggy bag as it does protect the buggy a bit and its cleaner for the baby /child after being in an aircraft hold.

Buggy is likely to be seen again only at baggage reclaim but you will need to check with the crew at the gate prior to boarding (not check in staff). Buggies are usually put in the hold.

What airline are you using?.
I doubt very much that there will be enough space for any sort of umbrella stroller; there's usually only enough room for say two bags and a coat in the overhead compartments. This is particularly the case in economy.

Board as soon as you are able to. Good luck with the flight over; you will feel the effects of jetlag a few hours after arrival into the UK. As you gain time when you return the effects of jetlag are minimal.

Who btw is collecting you; have these people got a suitable child seat?.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Tue 14-Jan-14 12:20:44

I have always taken mine to the gate and got it back at reclaim, that is at gatwick though. I have never had any damage.

christine44 Tue 14-Jan-14 12:34:23

I did but was a nightmare as had two little ones plus hand luggage and the BA crew then watched me as I struggled up huge flight of stairs into terminal with no assistance. No offers of help and lifts out if service. In peices by time got to top with everthing. Wished left buggy with luggage. Guess I was unlucky

PavlovtheCat Tue 14-Jan-14 12:37:41

I always took a stroller into the plane from heathrow to US and back, then got it back as we got off, main problem with this is that i had to wait for everyone to get off before I got it back so huge queue at immigration. I found BA particularly helpful, they helped me on with DD and my bags (mine and hers) and folded the stroller for me, put it in one of their lockers and got it out and let me off first one time (DH was busy getting duty free hmm) Never had issues with it ending up at reclaim personally.

evertonmint Tue 14-Jan-14 12:38:44

I've never received mine at the door in a UK airport, always at Baggage Reclaim. Our car seat was damaged (the isofix bars got bent so we have to use it with seatbelt now) but our buggy was always alright. I always took a sling so I could get from plane to baggage more easily.

At various other airports around the world except bloody Heathrow.

Except for the time I refused to get off without th buggy and they got someone to get it who told me he wasn't insured to carry it up the steps. I was traveling alone with DS who was two and had fallen asleep and I couldn't carry him and the bag. Every other airport we had been through they brought the buggy to the door of the plane.

BirdersWife Tue 14-Jan-14 17:25:50

It's a relatively new thing but on some BA flights you can now get the buggy back at the gate including at Heathrow. We have done it once, but it took ages as we had to wait for the entire plane to disembark and then the pilot went down to get it for us as there was no one to do if for us. Everyone else was well ahead of us in the queue at passport control. You need to ask at check in and they will use a special label if it can be done,

SaltyGoodness Tue 14-Jan-14 20:28:41

Hmm... Thank you, it sounds like more trouble than it's worth, especially if it means being last off and facing longer queues at immigration! No thanks. Will try and sling it, and check in the pram.

We are flying United, not BA unfortunately.

DD is 3 weeks old so I will most certainly not be putting her in an umbrella stroller! She's much too little and head floppy for that.

superram Thu 16-Jan-14 23:22:39

Use a sling-I found it useful even when I was sitting in my seat-hands free to drink wine eat.

SaltyGoodness Mon 20-Jan-14 15:43:06

Update to all this... Thanks again for the advice... in the end we checked in everything but the sling, and I barely even used the sling as she's 3 weeks old and still so easy just to carry smile (yes, I know this won't last!)

When we got off the flight, ground crew at the door asked if we had a pram... we said no. We started walking through the eight thousand miles of corridors to get to immigration and about three thousand miles through, there was a gaggle of airline and ground staff who asked again if I had a buggy/pram! They grabbed another couple right behind us who were also hand carrying their PFB grin to ask if it was theirs. So it looks like pushchairs etc do get through before the baggage hall, but maybe not always at the airplane door. Sure hope the buggy in question was reunited with its tiny owner...

lucymh Sun 26-Jan-14 15:14:59

I have checked both car seats and strollers at the gate. I definitely recommend having a stroller in the airport, particularly in Heathrow, because it's a very long and tiring walk otherwise. Also the stroller gives you somewhere to stash snacks, handbags etc.

I've never had a stroller damaged. They usually give you a big bag and some tape to wrap them up in. Sometimes they don't return them to you at the gate, but at LHR they will.

The upside of taking a car seat to the gate with you is that sometimes if the flight is not heavily booked, you can take a car seat on board and strap your baby in for a good sleep (hands free!) while you eat and watch movies (heaven).

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