I’ve used this blog as a platform for sharing my family ups and downs, giveaways, updates on pregnancies, freebies, and now I’m sharing about my recent travel experience. George (@mrpreggers) and I recently hauled the family across the country all the way to CALIFORNIA for some family fun and my Take Shape For Life convention. Our weeklong vacation was awesome! Hands down it was amazing to take our babes to some seriously awesome places and create memories that hopefully Ab will remember and poor Jack will live through via pictures. But I’m going to have to share these experiences with you in a different post, this post is reserved for the epic fail that is American Airlines.
We started our travels at Dayton International Airport via American Airlines and it was GREAT! We brought our checked bags, one each per paid ticket which was Ab, George and myself, and we had our carry-ons, our stroller that holds both babes and both carseats. YES that is a lot but from my research it was all okay to bring with us. I was concerned with our stroller only because I have only traveled Southwest Airlines with Abbey and never been on this airline before so my first question at the ticket counter was, do I need to check the stroller or can it be checked at the gate. The lady at the ticket counter was so nice and assured us that it was okay for the stroller to be checked at the gate, FABULOUS! So our trek across the country via plane started in Dayton with a slight layover in Dallas then our final arrival at LAX.
Fast forward a week and a day and we are checking in at LAX this morning at 8:00am – what a disaster! We still had all the same stuff and started checking it all in at the ticket counter with no help and the ticket agent noticed our stress and requested a younger man to help with our bags, she was our saving grace in the morning but then it all went downhill from there.
Once we left the ticket agent and headed up the elevator (that the ticket agent pointed out for us because of our stroller) and started for TSA, we were stopped by an American Airline employee. Stopped because our stroller was too big to be gate checked. WHAT?!?! No problem, I stayed calm because this was clearly a mistake as we traveled from Dayton to LAX with said stroller with no problems. A supervisor was called over to help us and at this point I’m sweating bullets that we are going to be late for our flight, we hadn’t even gone through TSA yet on a busy Sunday morning at the LAX airport. The supervisor comes over and I’m basically doing a demonstration on how amazing our stroller is and she was not impressed. She had me take off some of the “parts” which were Jack’s Chicco car seat and the adapter for our City Select Stroller then head back downstairs to weigh my stroller. We went downstairs, weighed the stroller and it was over the “24lb” weight limit that was news to me as a weight limit for gate checked strollers.
The supervisor was super helpful despite my fear/panicked/sobbing attitude. All I kept thinking about was, “how are we going to get through some of the busiest airports, LAX and Chicago, without our stroller?” We had our carry-ons and diaper bag and really how do you carry a 3 month old infant and keep track of a very busy toddler while man-handling all the bags with diapers, extra clothes, snacks, games, etc?
The supervisor called over a new ticket agent to check our stroller – ARGH – and I said that if that was the case then the car seat and adapter for the stroller needed to be checked too (how are we going to carry those along with all the other stuff I listed and the two kiddos?) and that’s when the attitude started….the ticket agent was laying in on me about how I shouldn’t have brought such a heavy stroller, WHAT?!?!
As a reminder, we made it through Dayton to Dallas to LAX with this same stroller and stuff with ease, how could we not make it back?
Hands tied, we had to check our stroller…
I took the opportunity to share this experience via Twitter, what else would I do? @AmericanAir was extremely responsive but not too helpful.
Three airplanes later we arrived in Dayton tonight around 7:45pm and headed to baggage claim to pick up all of our stuff. Great news, it was all there! BAD NEWS, our stroller was BROKE! Yes, BROKE!
Hmmmm….bad attitude ticket agent (second one) at LAX about our stroller and now it is broke….coincidence?
So in Dayton I had to track down an American Airline employee to get help on the broke stroller and to see what could be done. We met Amy and she was so sweet and so helpful but poor Amy couldn’t help us much. She was empathetic and really was upset that LAX made us check our stroller and didn’t understand, Amy was also upset that our stroller was broke and suggested that we surrender to the damage claims which meant losing our stroller for a week while it was either being fixed or replaced via insurance. We were okay with this option and waited for Amy to write up the paperwork.
BUT then Amy came back to us with more bad news, she had to call her supervisor, Alan, to help her with the paperwork and he said that per policy strollers were NOT covered under the damage claims and that he would be out to talk to us. So we waited and waited and waited. In the meantime I had George getting the car so we could load up and go to get the kids home at a somewhat decent time. When Alan came out to talk to me he had the policy paperwork all printed out and highlighted the section that spelled out how strollers were not covered. I explained how LAX forced me, they FORCED ME to check the stroller and then broke it and how was that not covered but Alan was just referring back to the policy. I asked him if he as a person, not an employee, thought it was fair for a family to travel from Dayton to LAX without checking the stroller then being forced to check it from LAX back to Dayton and then it was broke. He thought it was, and that’s when I knew that he wouldn’t be that helpful. I asked for someone else to help me and he suggested his manager Rodney and that’s where this story pauses for now. I have already left Rodney a message and expect to get a phone call from him by tomorrow and I can’t wait to hear his answer when I ask the question:
How will you help me brag about you and your company?
Because right now, it’s not great what I’m posting to Twitter/Facebook/Blog and I ask all of you to help me! Please retweet my posts on www.Twitter.com/JesyHerron and please share my story. I don’t think it’s fair that I was forced to check our stroller and then it was broke by American Airlines and they won’t do a thing for me. They want me to work with baggage services but I was told that their policy is policy. Does that seem fair? This is a $500 stroller and it needs to be replaced!!! We would love your help!! Love you all!!