14 July 2013

American Airlines Damaged My City Mini Stroller

Flash Back:
City Mini in happier days:
last summer in Berlin
And all I want to do is cry!

It is so dumb to be this irrationally attached to an object. And I didn't even know I felt this way about it. But seeing its metal frame handle bent and the gripper slashed makes me sentimental and sad. Not to mention the expensive carrying case being effectively destroyed -- zipper all but ruined and the straps ripped off -- that just makes me angry because of the obvious negligence or intentionality to open and damage it. When we got it off the carousel it was wrapped in plastic, but there wasn't a "hey, we had to inspect this and the bag broke" note. Just a jacked up stroller in a ruined bag. Waaah!

An American Airlines baggage counter worker was somewhat helpful (working with Shawn, because I probably would have been raging ridiculously and not helped matters). She said the bag might be covered or replaced. She's still checking into it, and in any case we have to take the whole contraption to a baggage counter within 30 days. Lovely.

But the stroller won't be covered because "airlines don't cover strollers." I get that an unpackaged stroller is a liability and likely to be damaged -- they're bulky and non-uniformly sized. But our Baby Jogger City Mini model is specifically designed for travel. It folds up, the wheels had clicked off and were stowed carefully inside the carrying case, which is smaller than a regular suitcase but just as stable as (or maybe more stable than) a soft-sided bag. So I feel like it should be covered just like any other bag. If the contents of a suitcase get strewn about, torn or bent, doesn't the airline compensate for that? At least partially? Maybe I have the wrong idea about how protected I am when I check a bag.

In any case I tweeted about my woes, because someone I follow had tweeted about how helpful American was to him with delays -- the corporate social media types knew more about the delays than the ground crew he was working with. @AmericanAir tweeted back to me to keep working with the baggage agent and then "sorry for the bent handle" when I tweeted an update for a couple friends who had expressed twitter sympathy. If AA is actually sorry they should cover the damage. Surely there's a way to fix the stroller, right?

I've emailed the Baby Jogger customer service to inquire about the availability of a replacement handle with grip. Hopefully it either isn't too expensive or the airline will actually cover the damage.

*Whimper, whimper, whimper*

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