American Airlines, like all airlines, allow strollers onto flights. Below you will find their latest policy on strollers and travel systems. Be aware, that American Airlines Stroller Policy may vary from other airlines.
American Airlines Stroller Rules
Carry- on and Checked Baggage
- Each ticketed customer is allowed 1 stroller and 1 car seat to be checked free of charge.
- If you have a stroller and a car seat only 1 can be checked at the gate.
- Strollers over 20 lbs / 9 kgs must be checked at the ticket counter. The majority of double strollers and some joggers are over this limit. It is highly likely that you will get stopped at security if at one of AA’s hubs if you try and gate check and asked to return to the main check-in.
You can take your travel system to the gate.
Which is easier, gate checking or checking the stroller at the main check-in desk?
I’ve tried checking my stroller/travel system at both the gate and at check-in, and by far the easiest option was using a baby carrier. Unless you have a travel stroller like the BabyZen YOYO (which packs up so small and fits into most hand luggage allowances) then the stress of having to take my baby out, dismantle a chunky stroller which included removing the wheels and packing into a protective travel bag – made me very hot and flustered.
Some other good travel strollers comparisons can be found here. Especially so as I was flying solo. A baby carrier made it so much easier. Obviously, if you are flying solo with twins or more, then a stroller is very much needed all the way to the aircraft door. If this is the case, ring American Airlines special assistance line 800-433-7300 and ask if you can have some help as you have to check -in your double stroller. If not, you may need to reconsider flying with AA.
Protecting your stroller.
It is a good idea to think about protecting your stroller. Whilst there are not many padded stroller travel bags available, something can be better than nothing, and you can add a few soft items to help protect your stroller too.
What can I expect?
As a general rule, don’t expect your stroller to be stored inside the cabin but instead in the hold with the rest of the luggage. There just isn’t the space.
The weight limit and reason for some heavier strollers having to be checked in immediately, is because it’s the baggage handlers who have to lift it from the gate, down stairs and take it to the aircraft hold. (As an aside, I had a major back operation due to an injury from helping with passenger bags in the cabin and trying to close the hat racks – so I can understand why a weight limit is in place.)
However, if you have a very compact stroller, it is always worth asking the crew if they do have room in the cabin. If they do allow it and have space, consider this a bonus. There are no actual designated pram compartments in the cabin to store them.
These days are several cabin sized strollers to choose from which can be part of your carry on allowance.
American airlines carry on allowance is as follows. (If you have a really compact travel stroller and want it to be used as your carry-on, it will need to meet these requirements:
American Airlines Carry-on requirements
- Shouldn’t exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches / 56 x 36 x 23 centimeters (including handles and wheels)
- Must fit in the sizer at the airport
If your items don’t fit in the overhead bin or under the seat, they may need to be checked. There may be additional carry-on bag restrictions at certain airports or on certain airplanes.
They recommend labelling your carry-on the same way you do checked bags in case this happens.
Cupboards which store aircraft equipment and/or premium cabins passengers’ jackets are usually used to store the occasional stroller. If the flight is full, it is highly unlikely that your pram will be brought inside. A travel system is considered one piece of luggage.
Always check which airline is actually operating the flight, as these are the airline rules you need to follow. American Airlines codeshares with British Airways for example, so you may book the flight on AA, but part or all of your flight may be on BA, in which case you follow British Airways regulations.
Where do I collect my stroller from?
Usually, you will generally collect it at the baggage belt, where you collect your suitcases. Also check in oversize baggage if you can’t see it on the belt. Some airports will bring it to the aircraft door on arrival once all other passengers have disembarked. It really depends on each airports policy, rather than the airline. A baby sling/carrier is highly useful if you need to collect at the baggage carousel.
Further Information on Flying With A Baby on AA
For more information on flying with a baby on American Airlines see here.
Additional accessories rules on American Airlines
- Play pens, wagons, cribs and “pack and play” count as regular baggage.
- If any of these exceed carry-on limits they’ll be checked and incur regular fees.
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Thursday 9th of September 2021
Airline tries to harass us for gate checking a double stroller under 20lbs. You know Airline stop doing this to parent traveling with multiple small kiddos who pay for tickets!
Thursday 9th of September 2021
I'm so sorry to hear that Channy. Very frustrating!
Saturday 1st of December 2018
Hmm good question. And I’m not sure. Usually the rules are if it’s free if baby is travelling. However, if there are exceptional circumstance such as picking up for adoption and have return flight details with baby on it etc then definitely bring all the documents and ask the airline before hand too.
Saturday 1st of December 2018
Can I check a stroller for free if I don’t have the baby with me? I’m meeting the baby at my destination.