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Can you take a pram on a plane? Everything you need to know about travelling with a pushchair or a lightweight stroller

Travelling with a baby doesn’t need to be stressful. If you’re planning to jet off with the family, here’s everything you need to know about boarding a flight with a pushchair in tow, including tips and advice from parents.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Jan 19, 2023

pram on a plane

No one said that travelling with kids was easy, but taking a pushchair on a plane is entirely possible, as long as you know all about airline restrictions and follow them carefully.  

Whether you’ve booked a family holiday with Jet2, Ryanair, easyJet, British Airways or Thomas Cook, we’ve got all the details you need to know before heading off on a family holiday

Do you have to pay to take a buggy onboard a flight? What are the size and weight limits for strollers? Can you take my pram as cabin luggage? Fear not. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to.

We strongly recommend double-checking with your airline before you fly but we’ve put together a handy guide that addresses all of the key questions to consider, including tried-and-tested pram recommendations that are perfect for planes, and travel tips from the Mumsnet forums

Read next: The best lightweight strollers, according to parents

Can you take a pram on a plane?

As long as you’re travelling with a young child, most airlines will allow you to check in a lie-flat, collapsible pushchair free of charge. However, airlines have different rules and restrictions in place when it comes to pram size and where pushchairs can be stored onboard a flight.

Some airlines insist that your pram, pushchair (and car seat if you need to take one) are stored in the hold, while others allow smaller, fold-down buggies and strollers to be taken on board and stored in the overhead locker compartments. If you’re taking a pram onboard with you, there are strict size and weight restrictions to comply with so it’s important to be aware of the latest advice from the airline you’re flying with. 

Read next: The best pushchairs to buy

Can you take a pram as cabin baggage?

Some airlines will allow you to take a fully collapsible stroller as carry-on/hand luggage, subject to size and weight restrictions. It’s worth noting however that in most cases, this is instead of your own hand luggage (so you won't be able to have another bag of your own). 

What size pram can you take on a plane?

As a general rule, pushchairs going into the hold need to be fully collapsible and weigh less than 10kg. 

According to the International Air Transport Associations’ passenger baggage rules guide, a pushchair should have maximum dimensions of 56cm x 45cm x 25cm to be ‘cabin approved’ (and be placed in the overhead lockers as carry-on/hand luggage). 

That said, the size and weight of the pram you’re allowed to take on a plane varies from one airline to the next so we’ve looked at guidance from a range of airlines below. 

Do you have to pay extra to take a pram on a plane?

No. In most cases, taking a pram or a stroller onto a plane is free of charge if you’re travelling with a child. 

Read next: The best travel systems, as tried and tested by parents

What’s the best pram to take on a plane?

Whether you’re placing a pram in the hold or in the overhead lockers, here are the best pushchairs to take on a plane, as tried, tested and recommended by Mumsnet users.

1. BabyZen Yoyo2

Mother pushing baby in Babyzen buggy

Price: RRP £430 | Buy now from John Lewis 

When it comes to travel-friendly lightweight strollers, Mumsnet users can’t speak highly enough of the BabyZen Yoyo2. This compact pram has cabin-friendly dimensions when it’s folded down (52 x 44 x 18 cm) so it’s small enough to meet most airlines' cabin luggage requirements. Being able to put a sleeping (or wriggly) baby straight into a pram as soon as you land can make for a smooth start to a family holiday. The downside? At £400+, it doesn’t come cheap but if you're a frequent flyer it’s worth the expense. 

What Mumsnet users say

“Baby Zen Yoyo!! Fits in the overhead compartment!! I’ve flown with 6-month-old alone and checked a bag and brought buggy as a carry-on so I have it as soon as I leave the plane - also have a tiny flat so it takes up no space” - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, Fupoffyagrasshole

“We have three kids, four buggies and family in different countries. Seriously, if you will travel a bit or are planning more than one kid, get a Yoyo. Nothing else even comes close in terms of making flights with kids easier.”  - Recommended by Mumsnet user, badg3r

2. Ergobaby Metro+ Stroller

Ergobaby Metro+ buggy

Price: RRP £299 | Buy now from John Lewis

The Ergobaby Metro+ folds down to a very compact and slimline size making it a convenient option small enough to fit in most overhead cabin compartments. It looks similar to the BabyZen Yoyo but is a more affordable option. 

What Mumsnet users say

“Absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE our Ergobaby Metro+. And it's got the AGR seal of approval so designed to be good for bad backs!” - recommended by Mumsnet user, EisforElephants)

3. Silver Cross Pop

Silver Cross Pop Stroller

Price: RRP £245 | Buy now from Amazon

The one-handed ‘pop’ unfold of this lightweight stroller makes it an ideal travel companion. It’s too big to store in an overhead locker so you’ll need to check it in or drop it off with baggage handlers at the gate but this lightweight all-terrain pushchair is a popular choice to take on a family holiday, whatever your destination. 

What Mumsnet users say

“Silver Cross Pop, I bought mine second hand and I’ve taken it on flights several times.” -  rated by Mumsnet user, Sakura03 

"I love mine, it is so lightweight & a fab town buggy. Used it from when my DS was 3 and half months old... travelled to NZ with it" - recommended by Mumsnet user, bounty007

4. Joie Pact

joie pact buggy

Price: RRP £160 | Buy now from John Lewis

This affordable travel buggy is a fraction of the price of other cabin-approved pushchairs. With a large SPF sun hood, it’s ideal for summer beach holidays. It doesn’t sit entirely upright though and it’s better suited to smooth terrain. 

What Mumsnet users say

“Joie Pact! Took it to Tenerife & it was great. Prefer it to my expensive Maclaren.” - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, DigitalGhost 

5. Micralite Profold

micralite profold buggy with child inside

Price: RRP £240 | Buy now from Micralite

This great all-rounder works well as an everyday pram as well as a lightweight cabin-approved buggy. Weighing just 7kg, this compact, easy-fold stroller is surprisingly robust for its size, making it a great travel option when flying with toddlers. 

What Mumsnet users say

“Have a look at the Micralite Profold. Much cheaper than the Yoyo.” - recommended by Mumsnet user, Monstamio

“I have the Micralite ProFold for my almost seven-month-old and love it. It weighs under 7kg and is cabin-approved when folded down (with one hand)!” - rated by Mumsnet user, Theeasypeasywoman

Do you need to use a pram cover when flying? 

While it’s not compulsory to use a pram cover when putting your pushchair in the hold, we’d recommend using one to protect your stroller and prevent it from getting broken or damaged during transit. 

“We've always used them - they're great" - recommended by Mumsnet user, IwishIhadtimetoreadnewspapers

Read next: The best double buggies to buy, as tested by parents

Sleep on flight

Top tips for flying with a pram from Mumsnet users

1. Get a stroller bag to protect your pram 

Baggage handlers can be a little well…. haphazard when loading and unloading luggage, so if you’re putting a pushchair in the hold, a stroller bag is recommended. Not only are they waterproof to keep your pushchair dry and hygienic, but they can prevent scuffs and scratches to the frame, chassis or fabric. 

“I've never had a pram be damaged while flying but they do get thrown around. Some airlines (Emirates and Air Canada that I've used) give you big bags to put prams and car seats in. They are only plastic though so wouldn't protect against more than scratches.” - experience of Mumsnet user, Jestem 

“We had a stroller bag from Amazon (think the brand was Diono?) and it was great. We did 5/6 overseas trips with no damage.” - recommended by Mumsnet user Daisy2990

2. Opt for a pushchair you can take on board 

Storing a pushchair in the hold is fine for most people, but if you have a very young child or struggle to carry a toddler, it’s worth bearing in mind that you won’t get it back until luggage collection, meaning the journey through passport control could be challenging with a babe in arms. Unless you’re using a baby carrier or a baby carrier backpack, you may find it easier to opt for a stroller that meets your airline’s hand luggage/carry on requirements, allowing you to travel with it from door to door. 

“You can always take it to the gate when you board but I rarely get it back when we get off, it always goes to luggage collection. I ended up buying one I could take on board with me and put in the overhead bin or under the seat. Lifesaver when I travelled solo with my son.” - advice from Mumsnet user, MissMooMoo

“I’d definitely recommend a carry-on stroller. Super easy to use and no having to carry your baby through the airport if they don’t bring it up to the aircraft door.” - recommendation from Mumsnet user, TroubledLichen

Read next: How to clean a pram, including top tips from Mumsnet users

3. Protect it from knocks and scuffs

Before you put your pushchair in the hold, try and protect it as much as possible. You can wrap the handlebars in bubble wrap or foam to protect them or consider cable ties to hold the pushchair shut. You may also want to remove accessories like cupholders or bump bars to prevent them from getting lost or discarded. Some airports have a plastic wrap machine, which can be a useful way for sealing the entire unit if you don’t have a stroller bag.

“If you have to check in a pram with your luggage there’s that plastic wrap machine you could use. Squeeze it as tightly shut as possible and wrap away - may prevent some damage.” - tip from Mumsnet user, KathArtic

4. Buy a cheap stroller specifically for travelling

Unless you’re travelling regularly, it may not be worth investing in an expensive fold-down pushchair, particularly as they’re handled roughly at times. The alternative is to pick up a cheap stroller specifically for travel, one that will meet your short-term needs without being a huge loss if it gets lost or broken during the return trip. 

“Don't take an expensive pram on a plane. They get chucked all over the place. It could get broken or lost. Get a cheap holiday one.” - advice from Mumsnet user, DearMrDilkington

5. Use a sling or a baby carrier 

If you’re putting your pushchair in the hold, you may want to consider taking a sling or baby carrier in your hand luggage. The walk-through to baggage reclaim can be quite challenging without a pushchair and a sling will allow you to have both hands free for passport control and luggage reclaim. 

“I'd recommend a sling as while you drop the stroller off at the gate on departure you often don't get it back till baggage reclaim on the other side and it's a bit of a walk sometimes!” - tip from Mumsnet user, Bipbipbipbip 

Read next: The best baby car seats to buy

6. Check your insurance

If you’re travelling with an expensive pushchair, it’s worth checking your travel insurance before you leave in the event of loss or damage during your journey. 

“Check out your insurance, I paid an excess waiver for less than £10 for a year. That way if it's damaged I'm covered.” - advice from Mumsnet user, wwwwwwwwwwwwww

Read next: The best buggy boards to buy

Woman wearing baby sling

Alternatives to flying with a pram

If the thought of flying with a pram is enough to put you off booking a family holiday, there are some alternative options to consider. 

Hire a pushchair 

Many modern hotels now provide concierge or rental services, particularly at family-friendly resorts. While this won’t help at the airport itself, once you’ve got to your hotel it means your travel around the resort is covered for the duration of your stay  

“We found a rental company that worked with our hotel. We hired a baby jogger city mini and a bouncer for £50ish for the week. Delivered & picked up from our hotel. Used a carrier at the airport. DS was 6 months then.” - recommended by Mumsnet user, anonymouse 

“I wouldn’t take the risk and arranged to hire one. The guy from the hire shop was at the hotel as we arrived, left it with us and even collected it again so we didn’t have to traipse up with my daughter!” - a positive experience from Mumsnet user, ROSEgarden

Take a sling or a baby carrier

Depending on your destination and the age of your child, you might not even need a pushchair at all. When travelling with  younger babies, you may find it easier to simply take a baby carrier or a baby carrier backpack, which can offer a less restrictive and hands-free travel experience.

Read next: The best double buggies to buy

Can you take a pram on a Ryanair flight?

Yes, Ryanair allows two items of baby equipment per child (e.g. a pushchair and a car seat, a booster seat or a travel cot) free of charge. 

Ryanair doesn’t allow carry-on pushchairs, however, in most cases Ryanair will allow you to take your tagged pushchair right up to the aircraft steps, reducing the need to walk long distances while carrying your baby.

Can you take a pram on an easyJet flight?

Yes, easyJet allows two additional items for your child to be put in the hold free of charge (travel cot, pushchair, car seat, collapsible or non-collapsible pram, booster seat and/or baby back carrier). The items can then be collected at baggage reclaim when you arrive at your destination.

easyJet also allows you to take a carry-on pushchair that meets its hand luggage dimension requirements (45 x 36 x 20 cm, including handles and wheels) and weighs less than 15kg.

Can you take a pram on a British Airways flight?

Yes, a pram or pushchair can be placed in the hold on a British Airways flight, so long as it is a single-piece, slimline and fully collapsible pushchair. Pushchairs with maximum dimensions of 38cm x 117cm x 38cm can be taken up to the aircraft door, whereas larger pushchairs will need to be collected at baggage reclaim.

Pushchairs that fold down to meet carry-on baggage requirements can be taken on board, subject to space and in place of your own hand luggage bag. Maximum carry bag dimensions vary depending on your destination, so check your flight details before you travel. 

Can you take a pram on a Jet2 flight?

Yes, Jet2 allows a collapsible pushchair and/or a car seat or a travel cot to be carried in the hold for free, subject to a maximum weight of 10kg.  

Alternatively, you can use a carry-on pushchair in place of your own carry-on hand luggage, subject to a 10kg weight limit and maximum dimensions of 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (including any wheels or handles).

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