How to survive American Airlines new rules!

Hollie has already informed everyone of American Airlines’ new rules about strollers weighing more then 20 lbs.  This rule is a shock to most parents who are traveling with young children.  Many families travel with double strollers and all double strollers weigh more then 20 lbs when you add the wheels and canopies (which is how most strollers are used in my experience).  American Airlines urges parents to use umbrella strollers but what is their view on double umbrella strollers?

I made a call to American to find out if an umbrella double would be allowed despite its weight.  I was put on hold for a short while and unfortunately was told that the 20 lb limit would still be enforced despite using an umbrella stroller.  I asked how American Airlines planned to enforce such a rule since I usually don’t approach the ticket counter.  The agent was unsure.  She tried to claim TSA would weigh it but then I pointed out that other airlines don’t have a stroller policy like American’s.  She seemed surprised to hear this which revealed her level of ignorance on the issue.  It seems to me that you could make it to the gate with a heavy stroller (just as some oversized carry-ons do) but if deemed too heavy by the gate agents it will be moved to the checked luggage.  With this strategy you at least made it through one airport with your stroller but you will have a struggle on your hands when you reach your arrival gate.

I have traveled with Thing 1 & 2 alone at least half a dozen times.  I have actually never used a double stroller to accomplish this task.  The only double stroller I have ever owned is the Bumbleride Indie Twin and we all know as lovely as the Bumbleride is it would not do well for airline travel.  I could have bought a second more travel friendly double stroller but I never felt the need.  Admittedly, Thing 1 & 2 are not a runners so that helps when embarking on air travel with two toddlers.  However I still feel air travel is possible even for families with little runners.  Here are some products that can make your trip easier:

GoGo Kidz Travelmate: The Travelmate is a breeze to use with convertible car seats.  The wheels are rubbery scooter-type wheels and they glide over all smooth services including not so nice parking lots and sidewalks.  The Travelmate is easy to install and just as easy to uninstall at the gate or even on the airplane.  The Travelmate folds up small enough to fit in overhead compartments or can be gate checked for ultimate convenience.  Now they just need to come out with some double options for parents with multiples.

Traveling Toddler: Similar idea to the GoGo Kidz Travelmate but cheaper and makes traveling with luggage easier.  This product is new to me the but the Amazon reviews seem very positive.

Prince Lionheart Stroller Connectors: For anyone who already owns two similar single umbrella strollers this will be your most cost effective solution.  At only $12.95 this connector set can turn most single umbrella strollers into a double.  The connectors can be removed and stored easily so each single weighs under 20 lbs and would pass American’s new rules but you still get to push a double through the airport.  The bigger question is can it be pushed one-handed?

Safefit Backpack with Harness:  I know harnesses can be a bit controversial but for travel inside busy airports with ‘runners’ I think we can leave all our judgments aside.  I actually own the Eddie Bauer Harness Buddy and while its very cute I like this harness because it’s an actual backpack albeit a very small one.  The bag can hold some cars or a small notepad and some crayons.  I also appreciate that harness attachment is low on the bag to prevent any unwanted wrapping around the child’s neck.

Soft Structured Carrier: A baby carrier like the Boba 2G (as pictured above) can comfortably accommodate a young toddler.   A good carrier can be comfortably be worn with a toddler of any size.  If willing to make an investment – I highly recommend checking out the Bloo Kangaroo Kanga or Kindercarry’s Kinderpacks both of which have become my new favorites and each are worth every penny.  Before anyone says, “oh but my little one is already 30 lbs”  I can attest that I have used all 3 of these carriers on my 38 lb 4 year old and when worn correctly feels weightless on my back.  Now the workout on my legs is a different story.



  1. I am flying for the first time with my 4 yr old and 1 year old. I have a Maclaren Volo and UppaBaby Vista. We are heading to Colorado and I really want to take my Vista with us since it will actually work in the snow with the big wheels. I can also pack the ride along board for the 4 year old if needed. We are flying on Frontier, so they don’t have the same limit as AA, but I am not sure if it is a bad idea to check our nice stroller at the gate. Does anyone have any advice?

  2. The max. weight limit for a $10 umbrella stroller is 35 pounds, and most of the big toddlers are over that, including my old one. I first need to invest a light stroller has max. weight limit for 50 pounds. To make stroller connector work well, you better have two similar strollers in size and height, so that means I need to buy two light strollers because it did not work when I tried to connect a $10 and a light stroller (max. weight limit 50 pounds) at store. My young one is only 2 but he weights 30 pounds, and I can’t carry him on my back (my back is reserved for his car seat).
    I need to fly alone with two kids for 24 hours with 3 stops. Carrying a car seat for kid’s safety and a diaper bag with their changing clothes is tough already. That is why so many moms hate this new policy.

  3. I am 61 so this is not an issue that will affect me any more. But good grief, you can buy a $10 umbrella stroller at any Target store that probably weighs 5-8 lbs. so I’m not sure what the issue is. If you have 2 tickets then each ticket gets one stroller. If you have one ticket and 2 children then use one stroller for the largest child and a backpack for the smaller. These cadillac strollers weren’t available when my children were young and we seemed to manage. The bells and whistles are certainly nice but certainly not necessary. When we travel, we adjust our wardrobe, our jewelry, our shoe selection, the wgt. of our luggage, the amount of stuff we take w/ us, etc, etc. Why is Baby Gizmo turning a non-issue into a crisis?

    • It is an issue for many parents. I live abroad and just flew to the states by myself with my twins. American made the trip next to impossible. The gate attendants could not have been ruder and more aggressive in regards to a double that met their weight requirements, insisting that all doubles now need to be checked.

  4. We travel all the time. Now that my son is a toddler we check our maclaren with our luggage and use go go kidz travelmate with our carseat for our toddler. (They also have a twin option to connect two travelmates together!) At security we DO NOT change the car seat set up. We simply take our son out and tell the TSA agent the car seat needs a “hand check”. I tell them the wheels don’t come off. 9/10 times they are already finished checking the seat before our bags come through and we have our shoes on. I put our son back in the seat and offer a snack or video.
    We are then able to wheel him in the carseat all the way up to the plane door. The ratchet latch on the go go kidz is so fast that we just undo the travelmate and store it above, install the car seat and wah-lah! No reason you can’t do the same with twins.

    AA does suck though…we fly SW

  5. The problem I see with all of the products is the security check point. You will have to take the kid(s) out of the carseats and take the car seat off of the wheels. Strollers need to be folded, the carrier needs to be taken off and don’t get get me started about the LEASH. I have two “runners” and would never put them through something like that!

    I don’t think there’s a problem with using a light umbrella stroller. My Problem is the darn security check LOL

  6. I have tried both GoGoKidz and Traveling Toddler. The GoGoKidz was difficult to attach to 2 car seats in the limited time we had to vacate the plane and go up the jetway, with all the other passengers deplaning at the same time (not to mention the two 1-year-olds and all our carry-on luggage). To use the Traveling Toddler, our carseats (Britax) needed to be in forward-facing position. Another option is the Trunki – a suitcase you can pull while they ride.

  7. @Tera- You can use the carseat with the GoGoKidz on the airplane. We strap our into the seat with the wheels still attached without a problem. You can also check it at the gate, or remove the wheels and store them in the overhead compartment if you prefer. It’s a fabulous and must-have travel item! IMHO. 😉

  8. My answer to this would be not traveling on AA. I have almost 13 month twins and a 7 week old…and use a triple stroller. There is no triple that weighs 20 lbs!


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