Gate Checking a Stroller Soon? American Airlines Has New Rules!

Attention all traveling parents!  Planning to travel soon and gate check a stroller?  You better double check the stroller rules because American Airlines has just changed theirs starting today.  The only strollers that can now be gate checked on American Airlines flights are collapsible strollers under 20 lbs. That’s right – any stroller over 20 lbs will have to be checked at the ticket counter!  Most of those massive travel system strollers are staying at the ticket counter along with the joggers and all double strollers!  Yeah, good luck finding a double stroller under 20 lbs!  Parents of multiples are going to have to bring separate single strollers or start babywearing through the airport.  Sounds convenient, doesn’t it?

We checked out the American Airlines website and there were already stroller guidelines in place.  Hmm…who knew?  While I always travel with a lighter-weight stroller, I guess I just figured if I could get it to the gate – they would check it.  Wrong!  Here are the current stroller guidelines for American Airlines:

There is a bit of good news though.  Checked strollers will not count as one of your baggage pieces (if a baby is traveling, of course) and no fees will be charged for the checked stroller.

Do you agree with the new rules or plan to fly more stroller-friendly airlines?

Baby Gizmo founder Hollie Schultz is the proud mom of three adorable kids. This certified CPS (Child Passenger Safety) Tech and baby gear expert is the host of the Baby Gizmo video reviews giving moms the inside look at baby products before they purchase them. Hollie is also the co-author of The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide. A former resident of Los Angeles, she and her family now live in North Carolina where she is having a blast designing and decorating her new home.


  1. This policy is so crazy! I just discovered it yesterday when we were checking in our luggage at the Minneapolis airport. It doesn’t save AA any time or money and seriously inconveniences its passengers. Umbrella strollers don’t cut it when you’ve got more than one child and enough carry-ons to keep everyone entertained on the flight, and you can only put so much in a backpack. You need the area under the stroller for the bags. This is just stupid, stupid, stupid, and I’m outraged! Plus, if you check a stroller at the ticket agent, it’s at a far greater risk of being damaged. When you’re going for a long vacation, that’s not a risk you can take! You need your stroller in the airport, and you need it intact when you arrive. And what if they lose it, or it doesn’t make your connection? Also, without a stroller, we wouldn’t make our connections. I’m so frustrated with this policy.

    You can contact Tim Smith at AA here:


  2. This is TERRIBLE!! We live overseas and with 2 kids under 2 years old our City Select helps us navigate the layovers. Melissa Scott, please post your experience and let us know if your strategy works. Thanks!

  3. I like Holly’s idea of using the Go Go Kidz & Ergo & a Maclaren , or you could use two umbrella strollers with stroller connectors. Go Go Kidz works well with the very inexpensive Evenflo Tribute carseat, which is also narrow enough to fit between the armrests (not raised) & is approved for airline travel.

  4. The GOGo Kidz is pretty awesome. You attach the carseat, load on the carry-ons. It serves as a stroller that can be carried on and the car seat doesn’t need to be removed (just pop the wheels off). Then bring a single umbrella. I love the Chicco capri as we can really weigh it down and it won’t tip. I used to bring an Ergo with us just in case I one of the older kids fell asleep. We have flown many trips from Japan to the US with 3 kids then aged: 6, 3, 6 months. I have plenty if times had to deal with getting all the carseats and luggage myself while corralling the kids, as my husband got the car. It’s great to have kids capable of helping.

    We also missed a flight before while waiting for our stroller at the gate. We had to run with 3 young kids, and no time to open the stroller. Babywearing and GoGo Kidz is the way to go.

  5. I have the city mini double and traveling with my 2 yo twins on Sunday on AA from LAX to Maui BY MYSELF. Are there any loop holes? I guess I’m gonna try my best to get around it. This is ridiculous….they are basically saying “mothers of multiple children are not welcome”. If I was traveling with someone, we could have 2 umbrella strollers but how am I supposed to carry all of our luggage and hold the twins hands by myself?

  6. I would be flying another airline. Period. With 5 kids to corral and all their crap, there is no way that we can make it from ticketing to the gate without a “pack mule”. I do have a lightweight umbrella double (Maclaren Concorde Duo) but there is no way in H, E, double hockey sticks that I’d let an airline TOUCH it…and the Graco DuoGlider that I use for flying with is WAY beyond 20lbs. Good Bye American Airlines!

  7. I’d go another airline! Unless they have free stroller rentals for multiples like you can find on some international airlines. I understand the weight limits to an extent, but I think the limit should be based on the amount of infants/toddlers traveling too.

  8. Umbrella strollers aren’t exactly suitable for newborns. In fact the light weight ones are recommended until at least 6 months of age. I personally wouldn’t use one until 1 years of age due to the lack of suspension and not very good recline. Baggage handlers need to be more careful and given more time to do their job then things wouldn’t get broken.

  9. There are a few versions of this type stroller: which I have heard is under 10 KG. I think they will not stand at the gate with a scale to check strollers weight, so as long as you don’t show up with a Bob duallie (for example bc it was mentioned) you will be fine with most any small stroller. It is just like they put a limit on how much your carry on weighs and how much you can bring on, unless you are on a tiny plane, they don’t care that much.

    Or maybe the airline people are working with Quinny Zapp?

  10. I agree with everybody that this new rule is ridiculous. I travel to Europe once a year. Good luck trying to get an umbrella stroller over all those cobblestone streets or just uneven sidewalks!!! INSANE! Flying just keeps getting harder and harder! SO irritating. Aren’t the expensive flights enough? Now we have to deal with all these rules they keep adding.

  11. I only have 1 and only travel with my Mac Quest vs. my everyday Bob. I actually don’t really understand why people try to travel with their large strollers. I really feel for those with 2+ kids though; do they even make a double under 20lb? I babysit in-home and own a bob duallie but even my old maclaren twin techno weighed over 20lb. I think it should be based on how many children you have traveling.

  12. Ridiculous! I think I know how to cheat though – we have the Baby Jogger City Select. If you take off both seats, I bet you can gate check the frame. If my husband and I both carry on a seat, we could get away with it… a little risky but worth a try!

    • Did you try this?? We are flying next month with our city select and I am contiplating this. By having the infant seat on it, and the extra seat and adapters in a suitcase, I bet the frame alone will be ok to check.

  13. This is crazy! How are u supposed to get two kids to an airplane?? And keep my toddler from running away while I struggle through security with a baby and luggage in tow.

  14. Wow I am flying next week and have the Orbit travel system…I will have to check my airline. Thanks for the heads up!

  15. I agree with scanpennett. And I also feel for parents with multiples. I travel often with my infant and think it us not only easier for me but everyone else if you have a small collapsible stroller for traveling. I leave my Bob at home on trips even though I prefer that stroller


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