Now that you’ve decided on American Airlines for your next family holiday, it is important to know more about their stroller policy and what to expect when traveling with children in strollers. This article will explain more about the AA stroller policy and lay out what it’s like to fly with kids.
When flying on an American Airlines flight, you are allowed to bring a collapsable stroller under 20 lbs (9 kg) right up to the boarding gate. Strollers that are over 20 lbs will need to be checked in with your luggage at the ticket counter. You can bring 1 stroller per ticketed customer for free.
Bringing Your Stroller to the Cabin in American Airlines
If your stroller is below 20 lbs, you might be able to bring it with you to the cabin. There is no clear policy on this so you need to ask before. In any case, having a compact collapsible travel stroller will increase your chances to bring it to the cabin.
What else can I bring on the flight?
Each ticketed customer can bring a car seat and a stroller for free. However, you can only bring one of them to be checked at the gate. This means if you plan to gate-check your stroller, you need to either bring your car seat to the cabin or check it on the ticket counter.
Read here for more details about American Airlines car seat policy.
Breastfeeding women can also bring a soft-sided cooler bag for breast milk. According to the TSA rules, formula, breast milk, and toddler drinks/foods greater than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) are permitted in carry-on baggage and don’t need to fit within the standard quart-sized bag.
Read more about the complete baggage rules here: AA baggage policy summarized.
Which stroller should I bring?
When bringing a stroller on a plane, it’s best to ensure you have the appropriate stroller to make it fast and convenient for your family to get on and off the plane. No one wants to have a delay at the gates, especially when traveling with impatient little ones!
Strollers that are fully collapsible and under 20 lbs can be brought up to the gate and possibly to the cabin, so you’ll want to look for a simple model of travel stroller. Here’s our curated list of the best travel strollers for different needs, many of them below 20 lb. Check it out!
Strollers at the check-in desk.
If you plan on bringing a larger stroller, you will need to check it in as luggage. Which can be done at the check-in desk. From this point, you will have to carry your child as you pass through security or use an airport stroller.
This decision will depend on how comfortable you are flying with children and if you have help to get you through security. Some families prefer no stroller to make the gate experience seamless. Still, umbrella strollers are recommended if you have long wait times at the gate.
Strollers going through security
When bringing your umbrella or collapsible stroller through security, you will need to put it through the x-ray machine. To prepare to go through security, take your child and any items out of the stroller before arriving to help make the process seamless. Children who can walk will have to walk through the metal detector alone and be subject to a pat-down procedure should the sensor go off. Children under twelve don’t have to remove their shoes for this process.
Strollers at the gate (gate-checking)
Now that your stroller is through security, you can unfold it and use it in the airport as needed. American Airlines offers early boarding for children under two, so it’s best to make use of this time and check your stroller in when called. This gives the airline plenty of time to load the strollers and also offers families lots of time to get organized and settled before the flight. More about this at gate checking a stroller.
Protecting your stroller on the go
One of the worst things to find out after a flight is to see that your stroller is damaged or unusable. It is an important mobility device for young children and can be hard to replace in specific destinations. Here are some tips to protect your stroller while you are traveling.
1. Cover your stroller
Whether you are traveling with just an umbrella stroller that will go in the overhead bin or you decided to check in a bigger stroller as luggage, it’s always a good idea to use a stroller cover. Some strollers you purchase will come with a cover for them, but if yours doesn’t, you can purchase them from any kids/baby store that sells strollers or a department store. If you don’t have a cover, you can also ask the attendants for a plastic bag to cover the stroller.
2. Remove attachments
If you have any attachments on your stroller like a coffee cup holder, snack tray, or extra storage in the bottom, it’s best to remove them for traveling and leave them at home or pack them in your suitcase where they can’t be damaged.
Traveling on American Airlines with small children
American Airlines tries to make the experience of flying with small children as seamless as possible. It’s perfectly alright to bring formula, breast milk, and weaning foods onboard (not part of your allowed liquids) and one diaper bag per child. Children from two days old to two years old can be carried on an adult’s lap free of charge for domestic flights and at a 10% charge for international flights.
Change tables are abundant within airports, and wider aircraft and bassinets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can board early at the gate if you fly with children under two.