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AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

Denver, Colorado
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AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

We traveled in December for Xmas. We gate checked our stroller, and when we arrived in DFW for our connection it was broken. The gate agent apologized, acknowledged that the baggage handlers had broken it, and told me that AA would take care of it. When I landed in Denver I tried to file a claim in the baggage office. The AA employee refused to take my claim or help me. He just said "call AA." Then we realized that $200 worth of Xmas gifts had been stolen out of our suitcase as well. When I called AA they said they wouldn't help me because I didn't file a claim right away, even though I tried to and they wouldn't take my claim at the airport. In the six weeks since this happened I have spent countless hours on hold with virtually every department of AA and still have not spoken with a live human being who has apologized for all of their mistakes or been able to help. They sent me a check for $40 when our total loss was $500. Any suggestions for who else I could contact? I refuse to give up this battle. Their system is obviously set up to wear people down so they just give up as it takes hours and hours on hold to even get someone in consumer affairs to answer the phone. This is so frustrating and wrong.

atlanta
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11. Re: AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

Problem one. Stroller. Did you by any chance get anything from the person who told you they broke it (like his/her name?) I expect the $40 is for the stroller and if you keep reading you may have been lucky to get that.. I didn't realize AA doesn't cover strollers. (See below) But if you got the person's name who said they would fix it that would help prove your case. If you didn't you may be stuck. You need to document who said what when about the stroller and put that in clear consise format and deal JUST with that as your first problem... then you move to.....

Problem two. Gifts. What were they? When did you call AA and tell them they were gone? The discussion of the stroller at the airport did not count as claim for the gifts. You have to tell them within their time limit. For Delta that's 24 hours. Probably about the same for AA. If you missed that you may be out of luck.

If the gifts were cool things like electronics or gift cards you are stuck. Here's the things AA won't cover

"American does not assume liability for any of the following items in or as checked baggage: antiques, artifacts, artwork, books and documents, china, computers and other electronic equipment, computer software, fragile items (including child/infant restraint devices such as strollers and car seats), eyeglasses, prescription sunglasses, non-prescription sunglasses and all other eyewear and eye/vision devices whether lenses are glass, plastic, or some other material, furs, heirlooms, keys, liquids, medicines, money, orthotics, surgical supports, perishable items, photographic, video and optical equipment, precious metals, stones or jewelry, securities and negotiable papers, silverware, samples, unique or irreplaceable items or any other similar valuable items."

If your gifts hit the above then once again you are out of luck.

(And no I don't work for AA nor am I a baggage handler!)

Edited: 03 February 2014, 20:33
atlanta
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4,362 posts
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12. Re: AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

and for everyone's general fund of knowledge.

The Baggage Handlers at DFW for AA work for AA!

California
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13. Re: AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

That's a shame OP, but AA clearly states on their webpage (as does every other airline I've ever flown):

"Please note: American is not responsible for damage to any stroller not properly packed in original packaging. "

I assume your stroller was not in the original package.

As already posted, there is no way to know when your Xmas gifts went missing. Even if you'd filed a claim at the airport, don't think you would have received anything.

Sometimes shipping things is best or carry on what is valuable.

Vancouver...
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14. Re: AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

These forums are for travel questions; not travel complaints. There is nothing that anybody here can do to rectify the situation. And when your first post is a complaint, well, you just need to realize that travel, especially air travel, has it's problems and situations. If you would have at least spent time reading this forum before your trip, you would have had some knowledge of this and maybe could have acted pro-actively. Chuck.

Belfast, United...
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15. Re: AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

Hi

That clause about pushchairs is crazy. Who has the original packaging with them, it's for carrying you baby not to be carried in a box. And $40 compensation, insulting.

But the gifts, that's just bad luck. But if you have similar house contents insurance that we have in the UK, your stuff may be covered under that.

Jackie

uk
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16. Re: AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

Yep, strollers are excluded by all airlines I know and are easily damaged. I know a lot of people with similar stories.

We travel a lot with baby and invested in a specially designed, padded travel bag for our stroller and always check it in at luggage drop rather than gate check. i always advise friends to dó similar or to buy a cheap stroller that they aren't too bothered about getting damaged (and is probably less likely to be damaged by their simplicity).

Before baby could walk we used a baby carrier through the airport. Now she toddles along with us and uses Up a lot of energy which helps with getting her to sleep on the plane ;) if she is really tired we're fit enough to carry her but we've never really had this problem.

Brooklyn, NY
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for New York City
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17. Re: AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

Yeah, it's the nature of strollers that makes them very easy to damage in transit. We have a relatively inexpensive umbrella stroller with no protruding parts AND a carry bag that we use when we gate check. The bag gets badly beaten up (it was practically in shreds by the end of a recent multi-country Asia trip) but it gives you an extra level of protection against damaged handles and wheels. (This is also why I NEVER gate check car seats.)

It sucks, but it's great that they reimbursed you for, I'm guessing, stroller repair. (As opposed to a brand new stroller. Most can be repaired easily enough. I wouldn't expect the airline to buy a $300 stroller.)

New York City, New...
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18. Re: AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

And $40 compensation, insulting.

______________

Second hand value of an average used pushchair?

MA
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for New England
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19. Re: AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

I had a new stroller (nice one, not just an umbrella stroller) go missing at Keflavik on a flight from Boston to Helsinki. I went round and round with Icelandair until I finally gave up. Still burns me 9 years later, but you do have to move on.

Edinburgh, United...
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20. Re: AA Broke our Stroller, stole Xmas presents and screwed us

"But Tom, sometimes you just can't carry on everything, could have been a cashmere sweater for niece or a few nintendo games for nephew."

Doesn't matter, as long as airlines won't take responsibility for valuables passengers have to act accordingly. It's not a human right to be able to check in expensive cashmere sweaters without risk. If you want to do this then pay up and get the proper travel insurance.