Traveling w/ children on AA.

Old Sep 9, 19, 2:52 pm
  #1  
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Traveling w/ children on AA.

Thanks in advance. Apologies if there is a current thread on the topic. I only fly AA once or twice a year and we have a relatively (under 1) year old child. I'm looking for some clarification about AA's policies regarding children. After our experience I checked the website but it doesn't really answer my question.

When we flew from DCA-ALB we checked our luggage curbside. I had previously called AA to register our lapchild. We checked in fine and AA announced preboarding. No issues. We checked 5 bags. They charged us for one.

On the return flight we checked in at the ticket counter. They asked us all sorts of questions. Baby's name, birthdate, who's holding the baby? Huh? They also charged us 85 bucks for luggage. When we approached the gate, I asked for and received a tag for the stroller we were gate checking. They never announced preboarding for infants and when we asked the gate agent she said AA doesn't preboard people traveling with kids.

I know the website says you need to ask for it and it seems like "maybe" they will oblige but maybe not...

Is there any rhyme or reason to this on AA and what was with all of the questions and the difference in baggage fees inbound vs. outbound?

I mostly fly UA and while people like to gripe about the airline on FT, I'm a huge fan of their policies regarding kids and preboarding.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 3:52 pm
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A few thoughts:
- I think they’re supposed to see the baby so would assume that prompted those questions
- Pre-boarding is available “if you need it” do not automatic but we’ve never had an issue
- Would guess one of the agentes charged you the wrong bag fees. AA’s Policy on this is not particularly easy to follow
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Old Sep 9, 19, 5:28 pm
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Did you ask why they charged $85, when they told you the amount? (I assume you paid the $30 fee the first time, that is the domestic bag fee for a passenger's first bag. (This was the child's bag). The only $85 fee I could find was for a third bag on flights to and from Brazil
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Old Sep 9, 19, 5:32 pm
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Was a bag overweight?
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Old Sep 9, 19, 5:49 pm
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Your baggage allowance, if any, is on your e-ticket receipts? What do those say?
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Old Sep 9, 19, 9:50 pm
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Originally Posted by DCEsquire View Post
Thanks in advance. Apologies if there is a current thread on the topic. I only fly AA once or twice a year and we have a relatively (under 1) year old child. I'm looking for some clarification about AA's policies regarding children. After our experience I checked the website but it doesn't really answer my question.

When we flew from DCA-ALB we checked our luggage curbside. I had previously called AA to register our lapchild. We checked in fine and AA announced preboarding. No issues. We checked 5 bags. They charged us for one.

On the return flight we checked in at the ticket counter. They asked us all sorts of questions. Baby's name, birthdate, who's holding the baby? Huh? They also charged us 85 bucks for luggage. When we approached the gate, I asked for and received a tag for the stroller we were gate checking. They never announced preboarding for infants and when we asked the gate agent she said AA doesn't preboard people traveling with kids.

I know the website says you need to ask for it and it seems like "maybe" they will oblige but maybe not...

Is there any rhyme or reason to this on AA and what was with all of the questions and the difference in baggage fees inbound vs. outbound?

I mostly fly UA and while people like to gripe about the airline on FT, I'm a huge fan of their policies regarding kids and preboarding.
I love AA policy that they donít announce family boarding like UA, BA or IB. If you approach them and let them know you have a lap child - you will preboard with wheelchair and whoever else needs to board early.
If they had separate family boarding group like Southwest where 10 people prevoard cuz they have a 17 years old child with them.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 9:22 am
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I didn't question the bag fee. I should have. Looking at my credit card receipt it looks like it was 2x 40 (80). I still don't understand that since I thought the first bag was less. Should have been 30 each I think. We had 4 bags + car seat. We get 1 free each ticket then first bag should have been 30. https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...age-policy.jsp

I was shocked that AA didn't announce preboarding. There were no wheelchairs. And they also didn't announce preboarding for those needing assistance. Doesn't appear they have any special provision for that either. https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...ng-process.jsp

I mean wow.

Skeptical blog posts i've read FWIW suggest that AA just wants the $ for priority boarding fee so they don't have a formal policy.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 9:25 am
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If you get one bag free, some airlines charge the second bag fee for the second checked bag instead of pricing it as if it were the first checked bag by someone who doesn't get a free bag.

Note that lap infants have a different baggage allowance than passengers with paid seats.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 9:37 am
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Flew AA last week domestic with an infant on lap, and i had to call AA and add the child's name on the reservation. They don't get any security pass like we received with spirit on our last trip with the childs name on it and go to the agent where they checked my ID. We also checked a stroller on sprit for no charge (both ways)
With AA I was told to go directly to security check at the airport ( didn't have any checked bags)

Also no preboarding, just go to the lane to board early( if you want)
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Old Sep 10, 19, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If you get one bag free, some airlines charge the second bag fee for the second checked bag instead of pricing it as if it were the first checked bag by someone who doesn't get a free bag.

Note that lap infants have a different baggage allowance than passengers with paid seats.
Interesting. So we get one bag free per ticketed parent but we pay "second bag" fee even though it's the first paid checked bag. Traveling AA is like a different universe. Granted I'm mostly UA and this kid thing is new!

Lap child gets one diaper bag and car seat free.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by DCEsquire View Post
I didn't question the bag fee. I should have. Looking at my credit card receipt it looks like it was 2x 40 (80). I still don't understand that since I thought the first bag was less. Should have been 30 each I think. We had 4 bags + car seat. We get 1 free each ticket then first bag should have been 30. https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...age-policy.jsp

I was shocked that AA didn't announce preboarding. There were no wheelchairs. And they also didn't announce preboarding for those needing assistance. Doesn't appear they have any special provision for that either. https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...ng-process.jsp

I mean wow.

Skeptical blog posts i've read FWIW suggest that AA just wants the $ for priority boarding fee so they don't have a formal policy.
The page you linked to regarding the boarding process notes that you can request early boarding with children under 2. If the GA didn't allow it, that was an error on their behalf. I can't see why you would need to pre-board with a lap infant. It doesn't take any extra time, unlike trying to buckle two car seats in properly. That's a pain.

The second bag fee is $40. You both checked a second bag. 2x$40 = $80.
Edit: I see someone else already chimed in on this. I agree that it isn't very intuitive.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 10:42 am
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Originally Posted by deeruck View Post
The page you linked to regarding the boarding process notes that you can request early boarding with children under 2. If the GA didn't allow it, that was an error on their behalf. I can't see why you would need to pre-board with a lap infant. It doesn't take any extra time, unlike trying to buckle two car seats in properly. That's a pain.
GA specifically said AA doesn't preboard infants. I agree it wasn't necessary this trip - although it was helpful when she was younger and we used a paid ticket and car seat.
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Old Sep 10, 19, 2:02 pm
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1. Clearly the GA was wrong about infant pre-boarding.. No need to turn this into more than a one sentence complaint as you now know that it is not an AA policy.

2. AA's second bag fee is no different than DL or UA's. It has been this way since all three carriers started to charge for bags.
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