Switched Flights & A Broken Stroller, Thanks American Airlines

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image: Google Maps

Our recent flight to Grenada was one of the odder ones that we’ve been on in quite some time.

When I originally booked our award flight with AAdvantage miles, the only award availability had us flying from New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Philadelphia. We then had a tight connection for our next flight to Miami where we’d have an almost three-hour layover before flying to Grenada.

Here are a couple of odd (interesting) things that happened.

While waiting to board our flight to Philly, we were watching news about the Pope getting ready to board his flight to… Philadelphia at JFK Airport.

Then I heard an announcement from AA. They were looking for volunteers to take the next flight. For the inconvenience a $375 voucher was being offered.

I was charging my phone and playing on one of the iPads by the charging station so I went to AA.com and did a search for LGA-MIA. It turned out that there were a few flights which could get us there within the time needed to still catch our flight to Grenada.

I mentioned it to Kim but laughed it off, thinking the airline wouldn’t agree to this plan.

Around 5-7 minutes later my name was paged. I headed over to the desk and was asked if I’d like to take a Miami flight rather than waste time going to Philly first.

I knew this was a much better option for us but I still asked about a voucher. A man who seemed to be the supervisor immediately said that this was an offer to help us and that they didn’t even need our seats. Hmmm…

We thought it over and decided to make the switch even though I felt we might be leaving some money on the table. However, it would make our annoying day a bit better and give us more time at the Miami Amex Centurion Lounge.

While asking about sitting us together on the new flight, they nodded at me, not answering until everything was switched. We then noticed how they stupidly gave us three separate seats. Yeah, that wasn’t going to work. I’m pretty sure that Lucas, while a seasoned flyer at a little over 3.5 years old isn’t allowed to sit by himself during a flight!

We then left the gate I was definitely a bit annoyed. We now had to figure out where to go to transfer. We ended up walking right past the transfer gate due to feeling the need to rush to make the new flight. Luckily we figured out where we needed to go. We then crossed paths with the supervisor from a few minutes earlier.

He was smiling and said, “It’s a good thing you switched, the Philadelphia flight is delayed”. I then commented about the seats and he apologized and we went on our way.

At the gate for our Miami flight, they switched it so Kim sat with Lucas. I sat one row in front of them. No big deal.

Right after we boarded, Kim pointed out to Lucas how the man outside was pushing his stroller on the runway to the plane. This was fun for Lucas to see but a bit odd since I collapsed the stroller when leaving it at the gate.

Upon landing, our stroller was already waiting for us which seemed great. I mentioned to Kim that this was the first time our stroller was ever delivered opened up, not folded flat.

After pushing Lucas I noticed that something didn’t feel right.

Upon a quick inspection, I realized that somewhere along the line, American Airlines had broken our trusty stroller. A stroller that’s been on every single trip we’ve been on with Lucas. (Yeah I’m a bit sentimental about it!)

We were pointed to the baggage claim area to report the damage.

After around 10 minutes, our report was filed and we had some paperwork to fill and submit when we got home. There were no guarantees what would be covered…

We were able to use our stroller during the trip but there were a couple of problems doing this. It’s quite flimsy now. The broken arm of the stroller keeps popping out-of-place and I was afraid Lucas would get hurt by this. Since the part is broken, it’s makes pushing the stroller quite difficult.

When we got home, I called the customer service phone # and got some more info.

Here is where I’m at:

I now need to fill out paperwork related to what happened. They’d also like some photos of the damage if possible. I was told to send a receipt, which we don’t have since the stroller is like 2.5-3 years old. Instead, I need to submit an image with price of the same/ similar item to show the value of the stroller.

I was told that payment would take 4-6 weeks. At this point I was still unclear if I would definitely be refunded. Due to this, I asked what I should do. If we weren’t covered I wouldn’t be buying the same stroller, if we are, I want the same one!

The AA rep assured me that we will get paid back. The online report which was filed stated that our stroller was broken and could not be fixed or used.

This made me feel a bit better about the situation. We’ll now have a new stroller but our trusty stroller which has been to 28 countries, flying over 180,000 miles seems to have taken its last trip.

2 thoughts on “Switched Flights & A Broken Stroller, Thanks American Airlines

  1. Our daughter is expecting her first. What stroller brand do you recommend for travel and what other gear if any is vital when traveling with a 6-12 month old?

    Thanks mark

  2. Mark D- Congrats! Glad to see a grandparent getting involved & curious about family travel! I’d recommend a stroller from Baby Jogger, either the City Mini or City Mini GT. I’ll be addressing this topic in an upcoming post. Thanks for inspiring the idea!

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