American Airlines ends late check-in for big strollers

Associated Press

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines is requiring passengers to check large strollers at the ticket counter instead of waiting until they get to their departure gate.

That means parents won't be able to push their children from the counter to the gate in strollers that weigh more than 20 pounds or don't fold up.

Parents will still be allowed to check smaller, umbrella-type strollers at the gate.

There's no baggage fee for strollers, no matter what size, the airline says.

The changes start Wednesday.

American posted the new policy on its website.

Most airlines have long prohibited parents from taking a stroller on the plane but have let them wheel their children right up to the gate before handing the stroller to an airline employee for checking.

American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said that some of the new, large strollers were difficult for gate agents to handle at the last minute during boarding. He said it's easier and quicker to send big items through the regular baggage process.

United has a similar ban on gate-checking large strollers, according to a spokesman. Continental, Delta and JetBlue allow strollers of all sizes to be checked at the gate.