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.