Can You Gate Check a Wagon?

by SharonKurheg

Over the years, some families with young children have “upgraded” from a simple stroller to what’s commonly called a stroller wagon.

a couple of children in a red wagonIt makes sense for them – a stroller wagon can easily hold 2 (or sometimes more) kids, allows for instant space for napping, plus it can hold lots of “stuff.” Many models also offer a cloth “roof,” seat belts, and the ability to push or pull the wagon. Super deluxe models offer padding, storage pockets, battery/power packs, and even the ability to hold up to 4 kids. And it can be folded so it can more easily fit into a car.

a screenshot of a productStroller wagons are admittedly big – that last one above, the $899 W4 Luxe Quad Stroller Wagon, is 49″ long, 54″ tall (with the roof attachment) and close to 24″ wide. Some places, such as Disney parks, have already banned them for years. The Georgia Aquarium also put a moratorium on stroller wagons in mid-2023. Jazz Fest in New Orleans also doesn’t allow wagons, nor do certain locations in Las Vegas during specific events. All of these places say (or at least suggest) the stroller wagons are too large and cumbersome when within large crowds.

That being said, stroller wagons are popular and are still accepted in more places than where they’re not. So the big question is:

Can foldable stroller wagons be gate checked, like any other stroller?

The answer is: it’s complicated.

Some U.S.-based airlines specifically mention stroller wagons. Some do not. For the ones that don’t, you’re generally at the mercy of the gate agent. Here’s what each airline officially says, and, when the answer isn’t clear, what some passengers have encountered in the past few years:

Alaska Airlines

Mentions stroller wagons? Yes, with caveats.

We will transport your child’s car seat and stroller free of charge as checked baggage. You can check these items with your other baggage, or wait until you reach the gate area.

This also applies to stroller-wagons that are designed for, and actively used for, carrying children and are collapsible to under 90 linear inches and 35 pounds. Standard bag fees/rules apply to larger wagons, those not designed to carry children, or those carried in addition to a stroller.

Visit our Batteries and electronics page if the car seat, stroller, or wagon has a battery or power bank.

By the way, that aforementioned W4 Luxe Quad Stroller Wagon weighs 63 pounds (with seats), and folds to 44.5 x 29 x 20. Whomp whomp.

a baby stroller with height and height

Folds down for “easy” travel? Not on an Alaska Airlines plane. You’ll have to check it as luggage and meet it at the carousel.

Allegiant Air

Mentions stroller wagons? Not specifically. Only “strollers.”

You may check a stroller as checked baggage at the time of check-in at the ticket counter or gate check it during boarding.

There is no charge for checking or gate checking one stroller per fare-paying passenger.

Gate checked strollers will be stowed in the cargo hold of the aircraft during the flight and delivered to the gate or passenger loading bridge upon arrival at your destination.

From Reddit:

I called Allegiant (and waited on hold for an hour)and they told me – “depends if the agent at the gate thinks the wagon looks like a stroller or not. Good luck” — Bitter-Sun-7311 (11-9-23)

Update – I saw a family in the check in desk ahead of us with like one of those giant foldable wagons that they sell at costco and they let them gate check it without any issues — Bitter-Sun-7311 (11-25-23)


American Airlines

Mentions stroller wagons? Yes


Delta Air Lines

Mentions stroller wagons? Not specifically. Only “strollers.”

Children’s strollers and child safety seats are not counted as part of the standard baggage and therefore can be easily checked for free. For your convenience, these items may be checked at the curbside, the ticket counter or at the gate.

From Twitter:

a screenshot of a social media postFrom Reddit:

I just flew Delta with 2 young kids and a folding wagon. When I went to gate check it for our first flight, the attendant said they couldn’t gate check it because Delta doesn’t consider it a baby item. I pushed back and they agreed to try gate checking it, but that the handlers at the end of the ramp would probably send it back up and they’d have to check it to the final destination as normal baggage. I guess we were lucky because it wasn’t sent back and we were able to use it in the next airport to get to a connecting flight. The wagon looks very similar to a stroller when folded and put in its travel cover, so that might be why. — gud_morning_dave (7/14/22)

2 kids, one wagon. I just flew home via delta and was so pissed they made me pay $30 to check my wagon. On the way out, they didn’t bat an eye and I gate checked it for free. The only thing was they said it had to be picked up I’m baggage claim due to it not fitting in overhead storage. Ok no worries. Then on the way back they hit me with their “wagon policy” at check in. $30 to check it before security, $40 if I wanted the convenience of checking it at the gate.— drivel111 (1/13/23)

Sounds like you’re at the mercy of the Delta employee of the day. But officially unofficially, chances are you may not be able to gate check it like you would a regular stroller.

Frontier Airlines

Mentions stroller wagons? Not specifically. Only “strollers.”
Can I bring a stroller onboard?
You can bring a stroller, but once you take it to the gate, it must be checked from there. The stroller will be checked in free of charge.

Will I be charged a fee for bringing a stroller?
No, you will not be charged a fee for checking a stroller, or a car seat. By the way, you can use the stroller in the airport, and the gate agent will check it at the gate.  The stroller will be returned to you by our ramp agents at your destination so you can use it at the arriving airport too.  

I could find very little anecdotal information about people flying on Frontier with a stroller wagon. Sorry.

Hawaiian Airlines

Mentions stroller wagons? Yes

Conditions of acceptance – Strollers

  1. Strollers as Checked Baggage

    1. Strollers presented at check-in will be accepted for transportation in the baggage compartment only. The passenger must be traveling with a child using the stroller, otherwise the stroller will be accepted as checked baggage and all applicable fees apply.
    2. Wagons, carts and other items presented at check-in will not be accepted in lieu of a stroller. The item will be accepted as checked baggage and all applicable fees apply.
  2. Strollers as Gate Checked Baggage

    1. Strollers presented at the gate that do not fit beneath the seat or in an approved overhead compartment will be accepted for transportation in the baggage compartment only.

    2. Strollers that are gate checked will be returned to the passenger at the gate upon arrival. The passenger must be traveling with a child using the stroller, otherwise the stroller will be accepted for transportation in the baggage compartment and checked to the final destination.

    3. Wagons, carts and other items presented at the gate will not be accepted in lieu of a stroller. These items will be checked to the passenger’s final destination and must be retrieved at baggage claim. Checked baggage fees may apply.

Expect to count your wagon as a regular bag on Hawaiian Airlines, and you’ll meet it at the luggage carousel after your flight.


Mentions stroller wagons? Not specifically. Only “strollers.”

Strollers and car seats do not count toward your carry-on or checked bag allowance. You may check them through when you arrive at the airport or gate-check them at the jetbridge.

From Reddit:

Was able to gate check with JetBlue today. — Scoopit20 (7/26/23)

Buddy with twins had a problem with this. His outbound airport was fine, nbd, but coming home they were crazy nitpicking and he ended up having to check the car seats he was going to carry on the wagon because NO WAGONS. Really screwed him up. 2 year old kids had to sleep all curled up on the chairs, fussy, not safe. And he even called to make sure. I wouldn’t risk it based on his experience, but check. This could go either way. — YesDone (7/26/23)

Yes I bring mine all of the time and it is pretty big. You can def gate check. — its_tac0_time (7/26/23)

Saw 3(!!!) at CUN today – they let them gate check. — bkpeach (7/7/23)

Sounds like they might let you gate check it…or they might not.

Spirit Airlines

Mentions stroller wagons? Not specifically. Only “strollers.”

United Airlines

Mentions stroller wagons? Yes

Standard strollers, folding wagons, and car seats can be used to get to your gate and then checked for free. They’ll be returned to you on arrival. Collapsible strollers can be stored in-cabin.

In conclusion:

The only airline that specifically says they’ll gate check a stroller wagon, without any caveats, is United Airlines.

Alaska Airlines will also gate check a stroller wagon, but only if it’s smaller than a specified weight and linear inch limitations.

American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines both specifically they will not gate check stroller wagons; they must be checked as luggage (and paid for as such).

All the other major U.S.-based airlines – Allegiant, Delta, Frontier, jetBlue and Spirit – don’t specify whether or not they’ll allow you to gate check a stroller wagon, and anecdotally, you really can’t come to a 100% conclusion for any of them.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Earl B. January 8, 2024 - 6:24 pm

Very timely post! Flying home from BOS recently we were in line for boarding behind a young Dad trying to gate check one of these folded-up wagons. Gate agent (Delta) told him no. They could check it, but not “pink tag” it, and it would have to be claimed at baggage claim at other end. “Thanks for making my life a living hell” was, I believe, the exact quote from the irate customer who of course claimed that they had “always” been permitted to gate check the wagon before. For what it is worth, the folded up wagon (with its own cover) was indeed more compact than many bulky strollers we see gate-checked all the time. I felt bad for him.

MU January 9, 2024 - 12:28 pm

We just recently flew American Airlines and United. We checked in ( not gate checked ) a Radio Flyer collapsible wagon, both airlines allowed us to do so free of charge. It had never crossed my mind that they would possibly charge us for it. I’m thankful they didn’t, but it will be interesting in the future to see what happens.


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