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Airlines and Baby Equipment – FAQ’s

Airlines and baby equipment are not a match made in heaven.

Prams and car seats are easily damaged if not packed well, pieces go missing in the hold, straps and harnesses catch on the baggage belts and tear, or they often get left behind on full flights because of their bulk and awkward shape. Airline policy on the carriage of baby equipment varies, but not much. We work with most of the airlines at Dublin Airport, so we’ve put together a Q + A on things we’ve learned and questions we are asked frequently. It’s a general outline but it does vary depending on the airlines, so it’s always best to double check.

1. What baby equipment can I bring on the flight?

Most airlines allow at least a pram to be checked in for free. Aer Lingus and Ryanair allow you to check in 2 pieces of equipment for free and additional items are charged at €10 each way (Ryanair).

2. How do I get a bassinet on a long haul flight?

We get asked this all the time, and it literally depends on the aircraft as to how many bassinets are available. You will have to go to your local customer service desk to request one, but they will not guarantee it. Something we learned from our customers is that during turbulence you must take the baby out of the bassinet, regardless of whether they are asleep or not… it might actually work out better to let the baby sleep in your arms.

3. Can I bring my pram to the aircraft gate?

Yes, you can. The airlines would prefer you to check it in with your luggage, but you are permitted to bring it all the way to the aircraft steps. If you do, make sure to collapse it, pack any lose items (adaptors) in your hand luggage and tuck in any strapping, for the ground handling staff… it delays take off if you don’t and believe me, you don’t want baggage handlers trying to figure out how to collapse your pram – it’s not pretty! At security, you will be asked to take your child out of the pram so it can be screened… no matter if junior is asleep or not.

4. What should I do if my equipment doesn’t arrive or arrives damaged?

Check your equipment fully before you leave the baggage hall and if there is damage go to the airline’s customer service desk immediately and make a claim. It’s harder to make a claim once you’ve left the baggage hall as you can’t get back through security. Keep all of your documents and receipts, including boarding cards, EVERYTHING. The claim will take a couple of weeks to process. Most airlines will cover damage. If equipment doesn’t arrive, it usually will be delivered to you at your hotel / home within 48 hours.

5. What if my car seat doesn’t arrive, or arrives damaged – how can I leave the airport?

Legally in Ireland you must have a car seat for all children up to the age of 12 years or 150 cms in height. Most airlines at Dublin Airport partner with The Stork Exchange to provide clean and safety checked car seats for passengers so that you can leave the airport. If you are traveling abroad, then some airlines will keep a small stock of equipment for such situations. You may also legally travel by public transport in Ireland (buses, taxis and trains) without a car seat, although this doesn’t take in to consideration child safety. For more information on airlines and flying with children, check out our travel experts, thestorkexchange.ie

For more information on airlines and flying with children, check out our travel experts, thestorkexchange.ie

About the Author

I’m Olivia Mai, founder of The Stork Exchange and Mum to two small children. The Stork Exchange is a children's equipment rental service that was born from a dearth of options for parents traveling with infants and small children. It's not easy to travel with kids, much less lug everything with you and speaking from personal experience we found the car seats and cots etc that are provided by many car rental companies or hotels etc are not great quality... so we set up The Stork Exchange!   We offer everything from isofix car seats, holiday 'buggy-in-a-bag', travel cots and highchairs, all quality brands, sanitized and safety-checked before every single hire. Our staff are trained and insured and will install the car seat into your car for you.

We work closely with a number of airlines and car rental companies and have spent several years developing and investing in our product range. I am constantly asked questions by parents about travelling with kids; what equipment to bring, what not to bring, what’s allowed by airlines, what’s not. Being at the airport day in day out means I am pretty close to it all and as a result have built up loads of knowledge, tips and nuggets of practical and useful information I'm happy to share. We also learn from the experiences of other Mums and Dads. It’s genuinely great to be able to help make the journey and holiday a bit easier for parents. 

Want to get in touch? Email us at info@thestorkexchange.ie. Check out our website and social channels at the icons above.

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