Flying with a pack n play can be a challenge for parents, but it doesn’t have to be. This blog post will discuss what parents need to know before they bring a pack n play to the airport, which airlines allow pack n plays to be boarded free, and which require them to be checked in. I will also list all the airline services in the U.S that allow pack n plays to be boarded along with their child-travel policy.
I’ll also share alternatives to traveling with a playard, their pros and cons, and how you need to plan your trip with a baby. With a little bit of preparation, flying with your little one’s travel crib can be stress-free!
Bringing a playpen at the airport
When traveling with a pack and play, the first thing you need to do is check with your airline. Not all airlines allow pack n plays to be brought on the plane, and those that do have different policies.
Some airlines allow pack n plays to be brought on for free, while others require them to be checked in. I recommend getting Babymoov Naos Crib & Playard. It is one of the most compact playards available with just 8.8 lbs weight and comes with memory foam and a carry bag.
Can you take a pack and play on an airplane?
It shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve packed it well enough. Some airlines allow pack n plays to be brought on the plane as carry-on, while others require them to be checked in. Call and check with the airline you and your LO are flying.
Does it cost to check pack and play?
The Play ‘n’ Pack technically should count against your baggage allowance, but there are exceptions depending on how you get it. Remember that if your child doesn’t have their own bag allowance, you’ll have to pay for the packing and carry it as an extra bag.
Checking a pack n play with most airlines will cost $25-$35. This is in addition to the checked baggage fee. So, if you are flying with a pack n play and two checked bags, you can expect to pay $50-$70 in checked baggage fees. Again, it’s important to check with your airline before you travel to know what their policy is.
What baby items can be checked for free?
Baby gear that is considered mobility or a medical item can be gate-checked for free. Usually, they are:
- Car seats
These items must be checked at the ticket counter. Check with your airline for more information on their policies regarding these items.
Airlines that do allow pack n plays to be brought on board
Many airlines will allow you to bring a pack n play on board for free as long as it is within your carry-on or checked baggage allowance, so check with your airline before you travel. Here is a list of all the airline services in the U.S that allow pack n plays to be boarded either free of charge or as checked baggage:
💡 Travel Tip: When packing your pack n play, make sure everything is secure and compact. If you are checking your pack n play, pad it well to avoid any damage during transit.
I checked their website and found they haven’t explicitly mentioned anything about pack n plays. Only car seats are allowed to board free on Alaska Airlines, and they do not allow any free luggage, except one carry bag and one personal item. Their carry bag limit is 45 linear inches, like most other airlines. This means you can either pack some personal belongings or a pack and play; the choice is yours.
It doesn’t allow a free carry-on bag or checked luggage. You’ll have to pay for both, but you can board a pack n play, given it is effectively packed in your luggage. You can read more here.
American Airlines allows parents to bring onboard a Pack ‘n’ Play, but they will count it as regular baggage. You can, however, carry it free if it doesn’t exceed your allowed baggage limit. Call them to check and clarify as their free baggage allowance is conditional.
Unfortunately, Delta doesn’t allow pack ‘n’ plays to board free on the aircraft. They will count it towards your checked allowance. However, if your PnP is packed compact and within their free carry-on allowance size (45 linear inches) and weight, you may be able to get away with it. I highly recommend you call Delta to clarify.
💡 If you have a Platinum Delta AmEx or are a Silver Medallion, you may get up to 2 free bags and 1 for your companion.
With Frontier, you’re only allowed one personal item no greater 14″ H x 18″ W x 8″ D. This means you won’t be able to fit in a pack n play in it. However, they do allow playards onboard. You can either bring them as a checked carry-on bag or regular luggage. I would highly recommend you talk to their support before bringing a pack and play to the airport. You can check their luggage fee here.
Playards and pack and plays count towards standard checked baggage allowance, which ranges between $0 and $50 per bag. However, you can fly a PnP for free if you can fit it in your carry-on bag (22″ H x 14″ W x 9″ D) with a weight limit of 25 lbs. I recommend you call and check with them.
They explicitly do not allow pack ‘n’ plays to fly free, but if you’re traveling Blue, Blue Plus, Blue Extra, and Mint, you get a standard-sized carry-on bag allowance apart from 2 checked bags (depends on fare). You can technically board a playard for free if you can pack it well within the dimensions and weight limit. Don’t forget to call and check with them.
According to their website, you can fly a pack ‘n’ play for free if you substitute it with one of your two bags allowances. Just make sure it doesn’t exceed 50 lbs and 62 linear inches.
Unfortunately, they count pack n plays as your checked luggage and charge $50 per bag depending on the weight and size limit. You can read more here.
As United Airlines mentions on their website, they do not consider pack and plays as a mobility device. Thus they need to be checked as part of your baggage allowance. However, you can fly free if it’s compact and can be hand-carried or if you can fit it in your suitcase. Just make sure it is packed well. Their bag fee is $25 for each checked bag.
Like most other airlines, they allow no-charge storage for a stroller and a car seat, and parents can also substitute them for boarding a playpen. That is just great!
Alternatives to flying with a Pack n Play
There are a few alternatives if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of flying with a pack n play. You can check your pack n play at the ticket counter or rent a pack n play from your hotel or vacation rental. You can also bring your own travel crib, a smaller, lighter version of a pack n play. Whichever option you choose, make sure to do your research to know what you’re getting into!
Rent in advance for your travel destination
If you’re planning on renting a pack n play, it’s important to do so in advance. This will ensure that you get the pack n play you want and that it’s available when you need it. It’s also a good idea to call ahead to the rental company to make sure that they have the pack n play that you want in stock.
Borrow from a friend or family
If you are traveling to grandma’s or a friend on your vacation, asking them to arrange one for you can be a breeze. They can check with their friends who has a pack n play and borrow it for your trip. Just make sure to return it in the same condition you received it!
Purchase and get it delivered to your destination
If you’re planning to travel for over a week, purchasing one may be worth it. Usually, the average rental per day is between $7 and $60, depending on your destination location. This includes the delivery and pickup fee.
You can often find good deals on pack n plays online. Once you’ve found the perfect pack n play, have it delivered to your destination on your arrival.
3 Best Pack n Plays for air travel
Flying with a pack-n-play doesn’t have to be complicated. With some planning and preparation, you can make it a breeze. Just be sure to research the policies of your chosen airline. Call and check to see if they allow free-flying of the pack n play.
You can also rent it in advance, but make sure you confirm all the details with the rental company before travel. If you’re vacationing for more than a week, compare the rental to buying a PnP at your destination.
We hope this post helped answer your question about whether you can fly with a pack n play. As always, thanks for reading our blog!
Parents Also Ask
Can you check a pack n play for free?
First, not all airlines allow pack n plays to be checked for free. Some airlines require that pack n plays be checked in as luggage. Second, even if an airline does allow pack n plays to be checked for free, they may have size or weight restrictions.
Do airlines charge to check pack n plays?
Some airlines allow 1 or 2 bags to check for free, depending on your booking, whereas others only allow a carry-on bag and charge for every other checked bag. It is highly recommended to call and check with your airlines before visiting the airport on flight day.
Can you fly a car seat and stroller for free?
Most airlines allow parents to check a stroller and a car seat for free under infant mobility items but checking with your airline before travel is recommended.
Do pack and plays count as checked baggage?
Parents will need to decide whether they want to bring the pack n play on board as a carry-on item or if they will need to check it. If you plan to bring the pack n play as a carry-on, you must make sure that it fits in the overhead bin and complies with the correct limit. It is important to check with the airline to see if there are any restrictions on pack n plays.