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Advice please - taking buggy on the plane...(18 Posts)
Until now we have only gone on short breaks in the UK and just loaded up the car. In November we will be travelling abroad by plane. I'm trying to plan ahead and decide what to do with regards to the buggy.
We currently have 2 buggies. Our main buggy is a Baby Jogger City Elite which we use with a lovely snuggly Baby Jogger footmuff. Our second buggy is one we bought second hand and very cheap from Gumtree - a Mamas and Papas Tempo - a typical umbrella buggy that is fully functional and serves its purpose very well and survives the bashing it gets in the overcrowded buggy sheds at nursery!
I am having a debate in my mind as to which buggy we should take away with us. We are going somewhere cold, so my instincts tell me to take the Baby Jogger and I can't be sure what terrain we will encounter so seems a more sensible option.
My questions really are:
1) Which buggy do you think we should take with us?
2) If we take the BJCE, would you recommend purchasing the Travel Bag?
3) Is it worth buying the BJ travel bag specific to the Elite or would a generic one from ebay made to fit the Elite serve the purpose? Also, are the BJ ones specific to the Elite, Mini, Summit etc etc or are they all one and the same?
Thanks in advance for your help as always.
You can usually take your buggy to the gate/steps of plane and it's loaded last/unloaded first & waiting for you on arrival. I would take the comfiest one. Also think about road surfaces - lots of european cities have very cobbly streets with few ramped/lowered sections & lots of steps. I found a pneumatic tyred buggy better than small mclaren type wheels in this instance.
The BJ bags are specific to the type, i.e. you can get one for the elite. I got a citi mini one although it's worth mentioning that it was for the 3 wheeler (not mentioned in the description) so I had to make a bubble wrap pocket for my other front wheel.
Depends if you want to fork out £45 for a bag - its not essential, and it means you have to faff a bit at the gate putting it all in the bag (although BJs are very quick to pop the wheels off). But it will protect the pushchair a bit, especially as it gets returned on the baggage carousel with the other luggage. Plus I tucked things in the bag like the raincover etc.
I saw someone say the other day that buggies in travel bags have to come through with the regular luggage - and apparently there's a time limit for unloading a plane, so these get done first. I can't tell you the amount of times I have been left waiting for a buggy long after all the other luggage has come out. If you think about it, the buggies are the first off the plane, get put at the bottom of the luggage train, and so eventually depending on unloading, come out last. Plus at some airports you have to go to different baggage reclaim belts to pick pushchairs up.
I have a Nipabout travel bag which is very good and have just given a JL Childress one to someone for a holiday.
Whenever I have flown the buggy has come out with the normal luggage anyway. Is that just a cheap airline thing? I usually take a sling to carry baby from plane to baggage collection.
I'd take the buggy you least mind getting battered. They really don't treat them gently. Last time I flew my maclaren got shoved through onto the baggage collection thing so hard it fell off the side and one of the hub caps popped off. Luckily I found it and popped it back on again! Lightweight buggies do surprisingly ok on difficult terrain it's just harder work to push them sometimes that's all.
Even if you walk the buggy to the doors of the plane, if you are arriving at an international airport the chances are that you won't get it back until the baggage carousel. It will get turfed around, left in the rain, and generally mistreated so it's really a question as to what you will do if you get there and it's inoperable and how much of a PITA it will be to get it fixed.
Option a) bring decent buggy in proper bag and check it in from the start. Pram is protected, dry and you travel through the airport with just what you can carry on.
Option b) walk either buggy to the departure gate and hope you get it back quickly, dry, and unbroken.
Option c) bring cheap buggy and upgrade foot muff or buy your DC a very snuggly all in one outfit and warm boots and gloves.
It depends on the airport too. Few times we found out that we have to carry our buggy down the stairs to get on the plane. It was horrible with all 3 pieces of hand luggage + baby + toddler + stroller with only 2 people to carry all this.
I'd take the cheap stroller with very warm footmuff (option c )) considering it might get damaged, lost or messed up.
If you decide to take BJ travel bag is recommended cause of the fold with seat fabrics on the outside.
This or other way you'd need to spend some money...unless your BJ footmuff fits mothercare stroller or you take BJ hoping it'll be still clean when you get it back.
Just remember that some european countries are not very child friendly with all the lifts and baby change like UK.
When we went to Amsterdam, we had to carry our heavy Graco up and down the stairs a lot and we never went to some of the museums because of that. Toilet with baby change (we were lucky to find baby change lol) in McDonalds was on the first floor with NO lift.
In NY we just used baby carrier and left our buggy at the apartment cause it was very difficult to get on the subway through some of the gates with the pram.
i couldn't find any regular travel insurance that covered the buggy on the plane so took my cheapest to replace buggy. Depends a bit where you are going though. When I have flown to the states to see my brother the buggy has been put in 1st class while we fly cattle class, but when we have done a package holiday it has been chucked about and the bag has been damaged but not the buggy
Get yourself one of these
I have a BJ Elite and it fits in nicely, pad it out with packs of nappies and coats as its not padded.m
The post office are one of the very few companies whos travel insurance covers prams/strollers.
If you haven't got insurance cover take the cheap stroller and a snug cover or snowsuit for child. I emigrated to Canada last year and took my big britax pram and the hood hinge got snapped by the luggage handlers. Another option is to take the more comfortable stroller but strip down the breakable parts to pack in your case separately?
Thank you all so so so much for the advice - we really appreciate it (DH and I!).
We will have a think for what to do and let you know what we ended up deciding.
This is a company trip so they sort out all the insurance I believe, but will double check that with DH. If not, the tip about the post office is incredibly useful.
PS DH doesn't know it but I sense me seeking out a Gumtree bargain for something second hand that's a bit sturdier and more substantial that our umbrella fold!
Oh and sorry to sound really silly here - will they not let me take it to the door of the plane so I can use it in the airport, or will they make me check it in with the luggage?
(In my mind, I had imagined using it round the airport and then putting it in the bag to give them at the door of the plane).
yes you take it to the door of the plane or as near as humanly possible and they chuck it in the hold etc last thing
Just look out because there is one baggage handler at Gatwick which won't let you take a pushchair to the gate unless it's under something tiny like 7/8kgs ie it has to be checked in. A nightmare for parents waiting for a plane.
Just a quick note to say thanks. A successful trip with a buggy in perfect condition at the end. The sunshine kids bag was great value and did the trick and also meant we didn't end up with loads of coats and baggage on and off the plane (stuffed the coats in at the gate!). Highly recommended...thanks for all your help.
I moved to Canada in July. My DH flew over a month before I did so I was alone with my 18mo ds, all our luggage and a stroller. Fun. I got the BJCM GT, so it would be easy to fold at the door of the plane. I also got a sunshine kids car seat travel bag off eBay, my pushchair fit perfectly in there, along with the raincover, buggy snuggle, a few toys and my gro-blind I wheeled the pushchair right up the door on the first plane and it was waiting for me the other end. The same happened for each of the three planes I went on, making life much easier! The bag protected the pushchair for the most part, but the handle on the bag ripped partway they the journey. No biggie for me. It was worth the PITA to have a decent stroller over here.
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