What Equipment Can You Bring On A Flight For Free?
One of the most frequently asked questions we get at Stork Exchange is around bringing baby equipment on a flight.
Many airlines have a ‘two free pieces’ policy but it is often unclear what that means exactly. If the buggy collapses in two, does that count as one or two pieces? If I want to bring a baby walker and no buggy, for example, is that possible? Is a baby sling or carrier counted as a piece of baby equipment? What about a trunki? Does the nappy bag count?
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We get a lot of questions, and thankfully where we don’t know the answer, our customers often relay their experiences. Here is a condensed list of what you can and can’t bring.
1. Aer Lingus and Ryanair both allow two free pieces of equipment, any combination of car seat / pram or travel cot. Anything else must be paid for.
2. A buggy that collapses in two is still one piece of equipment (but you’d be best to put it in a travel bag).
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3. Travel cots should be checked in.
4. If you want to bring the car seat on board, bear in mind it must have an aircraft approved sticker on it. This is because many car seats can’t be installed with a lap belt only so please check first. Also, you might find you get to the gate and the staff will not allow you install the seat in the cabin, mainly because the car seat can only fit on certain seats and on full flights staff don’t have the time for trying to juggle and move passengers around.
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5. A nappy bag has its own separate luggage allowance and is not considered a piece of equipment. It has to be 5kgs or smaller, and can be brought in addition to the regular luggage allowance.
6. It is two free pieces of equipment per child… so, if you have two children you are entitled to four free pieces, but you would be mad to carry all that!
7. A baby sling doesn’t count as part of the equipment allowance. I would go further and say airlines love when passengers use baby carriers and would prefer if everyone used them instead of a buggy!
8. Trunkis are part of your child’s regular free luggage allowance and not a free piece of equipment.
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When in doubt, just stick to two of the main three – car seat / cot or buggy. Bear in mind, you will be carrying the equipment, your luggage and invariably your child and their luggage so don’t overload yourself!
Remember to always fully collapse your buggy for ground handling staff. They allocate approximately four minutes of a 20 minute turnaround time to buggies, so you don’t want them trying to figure out how to collapse the pram, it might be obvious to you but all buggies are different and ground handling teams are not Mothercare trained!
Head to our Travel Expert for more handy information. And if you have a particular questions you'd like Olivia to answer, do let us know!