Help to stop airline discriminate Mothers & their children

Earcos49 - posted on 08/01/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )

9

0

4

Mommas! I need your help. My children and I went through a horrible experience while traveling with American Airlines. Im trying to let them know they cannot discriminate and treat mothers and their children so unprofessionally. Will you all please help me by signing and sharing? http://www.change.org/petitions/american...

2 Comments

View replies by

Sarah - posted on 08/01/2014

3,876

14

1082

I would agree with Chet. There are some things the airline staff could have and should have done differently, but there are many things you did to put more stress on yourself. If you fly regularly then you know that you have to remove your child from the stroller to go through security. If your child has issues with running off then that is something you need to figure out how to work around so you are able to comply with security. As Chet suggested maybe a harness or something might be something you may need to look into. For my kids one thing I have done is bought a stroller just for flying that is easy to fold up quickly and is lightweight and easy for me to handle. Also for future reference, when you take a stroller and want to bring it to the gate/plane with you.....go to the airline desk at your gate and ask for a gate check for your stroller. As you go down the gate to the plane leave the stroller right outside the plane folded up. They will put the stroller under the plane right before take off and then have it at that same place when you get off the plane at your destination. Most of the time there is not room for a stroller in the plane. I would also agree with Chet that the amount of luggage you brought looks like a lot. When traveling on your own think of ease. I have never known any airline to have a service to help with carry ons. When we travel we have a big bag that is checked at the ticket counter and then one backpack for each person to carry. This makes it MUCH easier for traveling! The backpack is also able to go under the seat making it easier when getting on and off the plane as well. If you are visiting family avoid packing things that they can get for you or you can buy once you arrive at your destination. For the tickets instead of using your phone try using the online check-in process. This allows you to check-in online prior to arriving at the airport. Then you just take your ticket to the counter to have your luggage checked. This makes the process much easier and faster.

Chet - posted on 08/01/2014

2,093

0

587

I'm really sorry. I do understand how difficult it is to fly with kids. We've flown both domestically and internationally with very young children. Not short haul flights - flights where we were in transit through multiple airports for 12 to 36 hours with various combinations of babies, toddlers and preschoolers in tow.

I really do feel for you. If I understand correctly, you were flying alone with a three and a half year old and an 18 month old, and only had two seats for the three of you. It's a difficult thing to do. However, at times you were expecting an unreasonable level of service from the airline.

Parents who don't believe in bribing children with candy or using leashes often feel that way to the exclusion of travel through airports. If your 18 month old is a runner and you have to travel on your own I recommend that you look at getting a harness or using a soft structured carrier in the airport. You usually have to take the carrier off to go through security, but 99% of the time you can have the toddler strapped to your body, even on the plane while you're getting to your seat, and you have far greater mobility than with a stroller.

I saw the picture at the top of your petition. You were travelling with a lot of luggage! Again, I know it's hard, but it helps to travel as light as humanly possible, especially if you're alone with small children. I know that kids often settle better with familiar objects, but that looks like an awfully large Elmo and a fairly large Super Mario on top of the kids, the stroller, the carry on bags, etc.

It is really obnoxious when staff sigh and roll their eyes! I've known lots of people who've worked in the airline industry though, and it's also hugely frustrating when a large percentage of passengers aren't prepared, didn't read instructions, have unreasonable expectations, and do things that make travel more difficult for themselves. Airlines operate on tight schedules with narrow margins and that doesn't typically bring out the best in people either. The staff could have certainly been more professional at times, but you can definitely do some things to make your next trip a little easier.

In general, if you are expecting to use a particular service you need to confirm that the service is available every time you travel. Call the airline in advance and try to get a note on your file if possible. Policies change all the time, and are not the same with all airlines or with all codeshare partners or in all airports. Find out how much earlier you should arrive at the airport to utilize a particular service, exactly what the service is called, and who you need to ask about it. If the airline can't offer the support you need in the airport you can also try contacting the airport itself in advance.

Lastly:

You can't say you were travelling with two infants. That makes it sound like you had two babies under 12 months. You were flying with a toddler and a preschooler.

If there is a computer problem with ticketing it often takes 20 or 25 minutes to fix.

Don't assume that all frustration you experienced with the airline staff was because of you. A lot of it was just frustration with their jobs and their situation in general.

I'm not sure how useful a petition is for this sort of thing. Most people have luck contacting the customer service department at the airline directly. Explain your situation in a professional way, and whenever possible, cite where the airline failed to follow it's own policies. If you can find on the website where AA promised to help parents with bags reference that for example.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms