Babies are expensive.
When we first purchased a stroller, I did not want to have to go out and buy other strollers for different uses (ie. travel). I wanted one that was comfortable for the baby, easy to push and fold, and not so expensive that I’d fret about it being lost, damaged or stolen. My one and only attempt at buying a cheapie umbrella stroller to keep in the car was a big, fat, FAIL.
When people ask me what kind of stroller they should travel with, my first question back to them is what kind of stroller they currently have. If they enjoy pushing it, and baby enjoys riding in it, and it folds down, there is really no need to go out and purchase another one. Until now, if it’s over 20lbs and their flight is booked on American Airlines.
According to MSNBC, As of June 1, 2011, American Airlines requires all strollers being gate-checked to be an umbrella-type that weighs less than 20lbs. Strollers that do not fit this bill must be checked as baggage- but they may do so fee-free (Gee, thanks.) The article suggests that United already makes families check larger strollers at check-in, but their website only says that “large-sized, non-collapsible strollers cannot be checked at the gate”. I am not aware of any strollers that don’t collapse in any way. Southwest was quick to point out that they do not place such restrictions on traveling parents. Refreshing, actually.
So now if I decide to fly American, I not only need to pay $25 for the FIRST bag I check, but I need to purchase a new stroller as well. We currently use an Uppababy Vista that folds nice and flat, but at 24lbs is over the limit. Chances are, I’ll go out of my way NOT to fly AA – I can add them to the list along with Spirit Airlines.
Maybe Spirit and AA can join forces to be that child-free airline that everyone is always clamoring for.