If you're traveling with two or more little ones, a double stroller can be your best friend. The airlines controlling your access to the friendly skies can refuse to allow you to bring your bulky travel behemoths through security to gate-check before you board the plane, however. Check with your airline before you attempt to take a double stroller through security.
Taking It Through
Getting a double stroller through security isn't easy, but it is possible. You will need to remove your children and all their assorted paraphernalia from the stroller. If possible, you'll have to hoist it up onto the conveyor belt and send it through the X-ray machine. In most cases, a double stroller won't fit through, so TSA personnel will need to conduct a personal check, using wands and sometimes swabs to determine whether your stroller has any dangerous tendencies.
Many airlines still allow you to wheel your double stroller through to the gate and check it with the gate agent right before you board the plane. Get a tag from the check-in desk personnel before you board, and put your name, address and phone number on it, in case it goes astray. This is the most convenient way to travel with little ones, because it keeps them confined until you actually board the plane, but not all airlines allow it.
You can pick up a gate-checked stroller at your destination at the jetway just after you exit the plane at most airports; just wait until personnel return it to the jetway for you. Because strollers and other bulky, last -items go in the baggage hold last, they normally come out quickly, long before your regular luggage will find its way to the luggage carousel. If your stroller doesn't appear, ask the gate agent where to find it; some airports take all gate-checked luggage to baggage claim.
Checking It As Luggage
Several domestic United States airlines, including American and United, no longer allow parents to check large, non-collapsible strollers that weigh more than 20 pounds at the gate. Instead, you need to check the stroller in as regular luggage. While there is no charge for this -- a stroller doesn't count as part of your normal luggage -- it does leave you without a stroller to navigate through security and down the endless airline corridors. At the other end, you won't have a place to contain your little ones while waiting for your luggage to appear.