How To Protect Your Pram When Flying

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After investing hundreds (if not thousands!) in a quality pram you may cringe at the idea of clumsy baggage handlers throwing it around in an airport terminal and damaging it, or even worse losing it (which is all too common these days)!

Fortunately, you have a number of options to at least minimise the risk of damage and loss when preparing for your next flight. Some a free and require some elbow grease, while others are quick and easy solutions that you need to pay for. 

In this article, we have covered the full spectrum of pram protection options so you can fly with a little more confidence next time around. 

How To Protect a Pram When Flying

Checking in Your Pram

Even the strictest discount airlines in Australia (like Jetstar!) will let you check in a pram for free. 

You should always double check your airline’s specific policies beforehand but generally, your options are:

  • Counter – You can check your stroller at the same time as your luggage. This gives you the option to fully prepare your pram before arriving at the airport (if you don’t need it to use it to get there!).  
  • Gate check-in – This is rarely necessary in Australia as most Australian airports offer a courtesy stroller after check-in. If traveling overseas you may find gate check-in a more common option so you can use it in the terminal. 

If checking in at the gate you then have to carry with you any protective items you plan to use for your stroller. This makes it more of a pain to get through security and we don’t recommend it when traveling with kids. 

The third option here is to bring it on the plane as carry-on. However, if it is larger than the standard carry-on luggage requirements you will not be allowed to with most airlines. So again we don’t recommend this option. 

8 Ways Protect Your Pram When Flying

This section assumes that you are checking in your pram. Most protective options are a trade-off between high/low cost and high/low effort. You are often spending money to buy convenience and time. 

If you have an expensive stroller then you may want to go the extra mile to protect it in transit. Whereas for something cheaper or older you may go for the lowest-effort options. 

With each option, we have provided a high-level summary of the cost and effort involved. 

Protective Pram Bag

  • Protection: Medium
  • Cost: $30 – $50
  • Convenience: High

Using a specially designed pram protection bag is one of the most convenient options when preparing to fly. 

Most have a soft shell and so are not foolproof protection but what they do offer is scratch prevention, and moisture protection, and if anything comes loose like wheels or grips, they will stay contained in the bag. 

However, the pram frame will still feel the full impact if it gets tossed around. So damage is still possible if it is a soft shell. 

They are almost like a large duffle bag and are lightweight, and can usually fit a single or double stroller

If you have an UPPAbaby pram then you may also be eligible for the Travelsafe program. This provides additional insurance for your UPPAbaby products when packed in one of their branded travel bags. 

Pack Your Stroller in the Original Box

  • Protection: High
  • Cost: Free!
  • Convenience: High

Keeping the original box is almost always the safest way to transport any product. This is our second best option because in reality, most people throw this away the day they unpack their stroller. 

But if you had the foresight to keep it then good for you! The packaging is specifically designed for transport so you will not get better protection! 

The best part is that it’s free!

Bubble Wrap the Stroller

  • Protection: High
  • Cost: $15 – $30
  • Convenience: Medium

Grab a roll of bubble wrap from Bunnings and you can have a thick layer of plastic holding everything together in no time. 

The thicker the layer the more protection you will have. Just make sure your corners are well covered so they do not pierce the bubbles while being moved around. 

Use good quality tape – and lots of it – and you will not have an issue. 

Plastic Wrap

  • Protection: Medium
  • Cost: $15 – $25
  • Convenience: High

You can do this on one of those big plastic wrapper thingos at the airport for a fee to ensure that you get a tightly wrapped stroller. 

This is an expensive option, but if you plan on using the pram on the way to the airport it is convenient. 

You won’t get the same level of protection as the DIY bubble wrap, but everything will be held together tightly and it is a high convenience option. 

Zip Tie The Collapsed Pram

  • Protection: Low
  • Cost: $2
  • Convenience: Medium

We are now getting into more minimalist solutions that require less effort yet reasonable protection. 

Using zip ties to hold the frame together offers zero protection to the pram itself. It will not prevent scratches, water damage, and other general wear and tear.

It is still a good low-cost and low-effort option to help hold your frame together tightly. This will minimise the likelihood of your pram being caught in a position that could bend or break the frame when jammed into tight spaces. 

A loose frame could be pushed into an awkward shape that could cause an important joint to snap or be disfigured making ytour stroller hard to use. 

If held tightly in a collapsed position your stroller will be flat at all times and should absorb some impact without any bending of the frame still intact. 

A big positive of this option is that when you arrive at your destination you can just cut the zip ties and it is instantly ready to use again! 

Wrap the Wheels

  • Protection: Low
  • Cost: $0 – $5
  • Convenience: Low

An extension of the zip tie option is to also wrap up the wheels to hold them in place. They will be exposed throughout the trip and without wheels, you have a useless seat and frame. 

So these should be taken care of!

Even a taped-up plastic bag to catch the wheels will be sufficient. But you can go for some better quality plastic wrap, bubble wrap, or anything you have one hand. 

The golden rule here is that anything is better than nothing.

Protect Foam Handles

  • Protection: Low
  • Cost: $5
  • Convenience: Medium

Handles are another component that is easily damaged or lost. They are also very easy to protect when traveling. 

A particularly vulnerable part of your stroller is the foam handles. This is low on our list as any damage will not make your stroller unusable but it can be the starting point of serious deterioration of your pram experience.

Protect them quickly & easily from sharp objects by wrapping them in thick duct tape, or again using plastic or bubble wrap. The latter will be easier to remove on arrival and won’t leave a sticky residue! 

Or you can go the extra mile with our next tip… 

Use Pool Noodles for Protection

  • Protection: Medium
  • Cost: $5
  • Convenience: Low

A cheap pool noodle can also offer great protection for critical components of your pram. 

By cutting them up and slicing down the middle you can achieve a tight fit over areas that are easily damaged like handle grips.

It is a bit more work than most of the other options on this list, but if you have an old pool noodle laying around then it is a cheap option.

Stroller in Airports

Alternatives To Prevent Pram Damage

Carry-On (Small Strollers Only)

While you may like the idea of keeping your stroller close by, if traveling domestically you will find that it is more trouble that it is worth. 

Most airlines offer no leniency on the dimensions of your carry-on items and most strollers will just be too big. 

Our advice here is to not bother… Save yourself the headache and just check-in your pram. 

Airport Courtesy Strollers

As mentioned earlier in the article, almost all Australian airports will have a courtesy stroller available for use witin the terminal. 

These will either be provided by the airline or the airport. 

This makes it easy to move young children around a crowded airport without the hassle of carrying one through check-in.

If traveling internationally this will be less reliable and you may want to opt for a baby carrier instead. You should check with the relevant airport or airline to see what your options are ahead of time. 

Travel With Your Back Up Stroller

The best way to avoid damaging an expensive stroller if to just leave it at home. You can buy a cheap umbrella stroller for $20 at K-mart, maybe take this on your trip instead. 

There is always a possibility that an airline could lose your pram altogether. If this thought gives you anxiety then the cheap substitute is the way to go. 

If you are considering this then our next tip may be even better!! 

Buy On Arrival

If you are going to buy the cheap K-mart version of a stroller then you can just do it at your destination. 

This eliminates the hassle of having to travel with a pram completely. 

Yes, you may still want to travel home with it. Or you could recycle, donate, or discard it. This will still be the cheapest (and most useful) thing you buy on holiday!

Fly in Off-Peak Times

While the concept of a less busy airport may seem laughable in 2023, you may have an easier time with your stroller if you fly on what have traditionally been slower travel days.

This usually means a Tuesday or Wednesday in the middle of the day, or early on a Sunday morning.

If passing through major cities in Australia then the Qantas terminals are also usually the least crowded (but tickets far more expensive). S you could opt to fly with this carrier for an easier airport experience. 

Are Australian Airlines Responsible Stroller Damage

As a general rule, it is your responsibility to ensure that your pram is adequately protected prior to check-in. If not, it is unlikely that an airline will be held responsible. 

You should check an airline’s policy on damaged items and flying with children prior to traveling with a stroller. Most are similar and can be updated at any time. But for the sake of an example, here is an excerpt from the relevant Rex Airlines policy:

“The Company is not liable for damage to baggage where damage is the result of normal wear and tear (this includes, and is not limited to, damaged handles and wheels). The Company is also not liable for damage to items that are not sufficiently protected and packaged for air travel (the passenger is responsible for taking such measures), especially for odd-sized items.”

If you have travel insurance then you may also be able to make a claim there. This is more relevant if you are flying internationally. 


The more effort (or money) you put into protecting your stroller for flying the less likely you are to have something go wrong. 

All of these options offer different levels of protection and are better than doing nothing and hoping for the best. 

Remember, that if damaged your options are likely to be limited for any reimbursement. So protect the most important components carefully so that you come out at your destination with a functional stroller.

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