Traveling with kids. It's not the easiest task in the world, but one we have become accustomed to. And if I do say so myself, we are somewhat pros at it now. The munchkins took their first flight at 3 months, and have basically been flying ever since. When you have family spread out like both of ours are, travel is inevitable. For the most part, my kiddos are good travelers. There is the occasional squirming, screaming, and kicking of the seat, but we try to keep it to a minimum. I mean they are little kids after all and I can't expect them to sit in my lap perfectly still for 3 hours can I? (If your baby can, then tell me your secret. And don't tell me it's Benadryl; it doesn't work. Just kidding! Sort of...)
Anyhoodle, we have mastered the going-through-security-with-kids-stroller-bags-removal of shoes-collapsing of stroller-etc. perfectly. I know there is this idea that families take a while to get their act together when going through security. And normally, I'd say that's true. But they don't know Ms. Efficient over here. Pros, I tell ya!
Once we get through security, we put our kiddies back in the stroller and roll our way through the airport. They pretty much stay in their stroller until it's time to board and then we hold them, collapse the stroller, tag with Gate Claim tag, leave stroller at end of jet-way, and we're on our way. Once landed, we simple pick up the stroller on jet-way again and put the kids in stroller. Only that's not how it went this time... It went something like this:
While checking our bags and car seats at DFW, American Airlines Dude spots me with double stroller and kids
AAD: "You're going to need to check that."
Me: Calm, albeit sweating because I had just walked from the garage while pushing the stroller and pulling a rolling bag and it was 112 degrees outside. (And because I don't want you to think Hubs is a slacker, he was carrying a backpack along with our two car seats.) Is this guy talking to me? "What do you mean "check" it? You mean gate check right?"
AAD: "No. You need to check that stroller here."
Me: Slightly irritated that this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. "What do you mean I have to check my stroller here? We fly all the time. We always gate check our stroller."
AAD: "It's a new rule. Oversized strollers must be checked at the counter instead of at the gate."
Me: Panicking. What the crap, American Airlines? Changing up your rules like that. "What do you mean by "oversized"? Our stroller collapses enough to go through the security X-ray belt so I don't really understand the problem."
AAD: "It's not about it going through the X-Ray machine. It's that it's a safety thing. People have gotten injured going up and down steps."
Me: Very irritated. So you're saying my stroller isn't safe? And what's this "steps" thing you are talking about? "I don't understand what you mean when you say going up and down steps."
AAD: "Because the crew has to physically carry the stroller up and down steps to get it on and off the plane. Some crew members have gotten injured."
Me: Blood pressure rising. And what idiot gets injured carrying a stroller? "So, let me get this straight. Because I have twins, and therefore a double stroller, I'm getting punished because I have a stroller that is 2 inches wider than a "regular" stroller?!"
AAD: "Ma'am, people have gotten injured with strollers that size. This is a safety concern. You're going to have to check it."
Me: Mad. "How big exactly are strollers allowed to be then?? I am able to roll my stroller through any doorway, and collapse it to put it through the X-Ray machine. So I'm a little confused on how this is "too big"."
AAD: "Well, it also has be under a certain weight."
Me: Very Mad. Not only is there a "size" limit, but now there is a weight limit?? "Well what's the weight limit??"
AAD: "I tell ya what. If you put your stroller on the scale and it weighs less than 20 lbs, you can take it with you."
Me: Emptying everything off stroller. Placing stroller on scale. 23 lbs. Defeat. Livid.
AAD: Taking stroller and placing tag on stroller.
Me: "I think it is absolutely outrageous that I'm being made to check my stroller. I understand that you are doing your job, but you have NO idea what this is going to be like for me. Whoever made this rule clearly doesn't have kids or understand the need for a stroller. And I see other people in this terminal brining their stroller. Ohhhhhh, but there's isn't "oversized" right??? That's because they only have ONE child." Hubs shuffling me out of earshot of AAD and trying to make me calm down. "Lucky them... only having one child at a time. I mean, why didn't I think of that. Stupid me for having twins and a double stroller that weighs 3 lbs too many...If I'm not allowed to take my stroller, then someone should be carrying my bags for me..."
You get the picture.
I'd like to say for the record that it is NOT fun traveling through an airport with (almost) 20 month old twins with no stroller and two bags.
Sure, here they are holding Daddy's hand walking like a good little boy and girl. But then this:
Turns into this:
Which then turns into this:
And so to that I say: Bite me, American Airlines!
Not to worry, I will be filing a complaint.
And also for the record, we begged and pleaded when checking in for our return flight and the lady was nice enough to ask her supervisor if we could take it, and she said, YES. Thanks, Cynthia at DEN!
Much love, (but none for AA)
Up Next: Race Weekend!