Traveling with an non-ticketed lap infant? What can you bring for your baby for free?
Generally most airlines allow you to check both a car seat and a stroller free of charge. You can do so at the ticket counter or if you need either to transport your child to the gate you can gate check either or both and reclaim at the gate once you deboard the plane.
If you plan to gate check, be sure your stroller fits the airlines size and weight restrictions. Some airlines give a broad description of this, like United Airlines, that states large, non-collapsible strollers may not be gate checked where others, like American Airlines, specifically state if the stroller is over 20lbs it can only be checked at the ticket counter.
In addition to the free checked car seat and stroller you are allowed one diaper bag per non-ticketed infant. This is in addition to your carry-on and personal item (budget airlines like Spirit may have different rules so be sure to check).
There are some airlines that will allow you to check a pack n play at the ticket counter free of charge. However, before getting to the airport you should call the airline and ask them to provide a note verifying this rule, that you can print and bring with you. Another solution would be investing in a Phil & Teds Traveller V4 Crib an amazing travel crib which is only 6lbs and comes with it's own carrying case which fits as a carry-on or in a full-sized suitcase. You can read my full review here.
Here are 3 Reasons to Always Gate Check Your Car Seat and 5 Tips on Traveling with Your Car Seat.
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