Baby stroller but no baby...

 
Old Sep 18, 09, 1:53 am
  #1  
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Baby stroller but no baby...

I'm intending on buying a baby stroller while traveling in the US, then returning to Europe with it.

Will NWA charge me for carrying this additional piece of luggage, since there will be no baby with me? (I will already have two check in pieces of luggage.)

Also, the transport bag for the stroller exceeds the 62 inch regulation (its the Bugaboo stroller bag) - will I be required to pay the oversized luggage fee?
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Old Sep 18, 09, 7:04 am
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Um, are you planning to check it in at the counter? If so, yes, they will undoubtedly charge you for the 3rd bag/oversize. If you had planned to take it through security, rolling it around the terminal (empty) and leave it at the jetway to gate check, I can see you getting away with it.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by Lyaec350 View Post
Um, are you planning to check it in at the counter? If so, yes, they will undoubtedly charge you for the 3rd bag/oversize. If you had planned to take it through security, rolling it around the terminal (empty) and leave it at the jetway to gate check, I can see you getting away with it.
Just ask for a tag and say the baby is being changed.

Probably a true statement ... as long as they don't ask where <lol>

Bob H
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Old Sep 18, 09, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by gottaluvNW View Post
I'm intending on buying a baby stroller while traveling in the US, then returning to Europe with it.

Will NWA charge me for carrying this additional piece of luggage, since there will be no baby with me? (I will already have two check in pieces of luggage.)

Also, the transport bag for the stroller exceeds the 62 inch regulation (its the Bugaboo stroller bag) - will I be required to pay the oversized luggage fee?
Are you at least pregnant? Or is this a gift? You can always pull a "Lucy" and wrap up a wheel of cheese in a baby blanket! If questioned just say that dad/the nanny flew with the child a day or two earlier and forgot the stroller.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by COpltASgldPHX View Post
Are you at least pregnant? Or is this a gift? You can always pull a "Lucy" and wrap up a wheel of cheese in a baby blanket! If questioned just say that dad/the nanny flew with the child a day or two earlier and forgot the stroller.
He,he,he. I actually considered doing this the opposite way- I was going to buy a stroller in England and bring it back to the U.S. I really wanted the Microlite fastfold and it wasn't available in the U.S. at that time.

I wouldn't lie, that leads to bad things. However, I see no problem with doing what another poster suggested and wheeling it through the airport, and gate checking it for your flight. You would have to ask the gate agent for a gate check tag. You do not have to explain that there is no baby- just ask for the tag.

Be aware that the stroller MUST fit through the x-ray machine at TSA. For the stroller I did purchase, the Uppababy, that means that I have to remove everything from the basket, the seat/bassinet, the wheels, the baby, and put it through. I then have to reassemble the thing on the other side. You might want to post something in the travel with Children section about the buggaboo to ensure that it fits through the TSA checkpoints (probably does, but you don't want a nasty surprise). You can then put in the bag at the gate. Ask for the gate check tag before you put it in the bag so they know what it is. But, make sure the gate check tag is on the outside of the bag when you check it.

One more thing- practice folding and unfolding thing and fitting it in the bag before you get to the airport. Usually they only fit in the bag one way- and you may have to remove the wheels.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by BobH View Post
Just ask for a tag and say the baby is being changed.

Probably a true statement ... as long as they don't ask where <lol>

Bob H
That's risky. I've been asked to show a boarding pass for the baby once or twice. Other times I haven't.

Best to have a plan B - see if some family at the gate would help you show a baby.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 8:26 am
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So bottom line - taking a chance. The definitely want to see the baby...!
What a pity. Cheaper for me to fly to the US to pick it up, than buy it anywhere in the EU.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by gottaluvNW View Post
So bottom line - taking a chance. The definitely want to see the baby...!
What a pity. Cheaper for me to fly to the US to pick it up, than buy it anywhere in the EU.
I still say try the cheese. If anything you'll get a good laugh if caught!

Actually you won't be fooling anyone since you are flying back to Europe and a lap infant would require a ticket and have a boarding pass.

I wonder if this is the reason they require infants to be ticketed on international flights?
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Old Sep 18, 09, 11:21 am
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Here is the official policy:
Strollers: One fully collapsible umbrella-style stroller may be carried onboard, in addition to the carry-on baggage allowance. Strollers are only allowed on board the aircraft if approved storage space is available.

Northwest passengers traveling with children may bring their stroller to the gate to be loaded there. A pink stroller tag will be attached to the stroller. At arrival, strollers tagged with pink tags will be brought into the boarding bridge for passenger pick up. *Subject to airport security policy.
It specifically says that it is for passengers traveling with children. I guess the question is what would happen if they find out you don't have a child? Could you check it at that point as excess baggage? If so, it might still be cheaper than purchasing in the UK.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 11:24 am
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Also, if you understand that (at least on DL) once the gate agent has begun boarding the flight, they must finish within 30 minutes or they get written up, this might give you a good idea of when you might want to ask for the tag if you are looking for a time that are least likely to ask further questions.

I have had GA's come up to me in the boarding area to try to gate check it early, so if you want to persue this strategy, then you would probably want to wait somewhere else until just before boarding.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 12:13 pm
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See if you can check the stroller.

Sometimes strollers are more compact if you take off some of the attachments, or use your own bag (like a garbage bag) for proection. If you're buying new, it may even come disassembled in a compact cardboard box.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by COpltASgldPHX View Post
I still say try the cheese.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 3:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Cellisttoo View Post
Be aware that the stroller MUST fit through the x-ray machine at TSA.
This is absolutely not the case when traveling with a baby. From tsa.gov:

If any of your child-related equipment does not fit through the X-ray machine, security officers will visually and physically inspect it.
That aside, I'd do as previous posters have suggested and just roll it on up to the gate and ask for a gate check tag. I must admit the rules are pretty unclear about what happens if you're trying this without a baby, both on the TSA side (e.g., you surely can't take infant liquids without an infant) and the airline side.
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