Here's the scoop of the disaster that is the airline industry. Granted I owe a lot to the airline industry...my father works for one...but I'm a bit peeved as a paying customer. Instead of purchasing a cheap umbrella stroller to help me get Olivia through the terminals on my own, I took our expensive Maclaren, thinking it would be safe since I'd gate check the thing instead of putting it down in the belly of the beast. Well, was I ever wrong.
The stroller made it safely from Lawton to Dallas but not onward to Minneapolis/St.Paul. Instead, it sat at the Dallas gate by the ticket counter flashing itself to the world and saying, "I'm here for the taking!!" The Dallas gate agent told me I'd have to leave the stroller with her to put under the plane. To my resistance, she would not let me take it to the end of the jetway, which is a secured area not open to the public. She assured me it would be at the top of the stairs in the jetway when I exit the plane...oh, no it wasn't!!! Even the Captain went outside into the cold and down the stairs looking for it in Minnaoplis...our only hope was it had made it's way to baggage claim.
By the time we got down the claim our bags, I knew it was lost forever, for it was no where to be seen. I politely filed a claim, waited days for a phone call and nothing.
However, the clouds lifted today...one day prior to flying home again...for as I return from flying a little 1940s military observation Cub with my Dad, the glorious stroller was in my parents entryway!!! The airline delivered the stroller on their dime...as it should be. I call the stroller glorious because I've never been so happy to see one. I felt horrible that the first phone call to my Grandmother in months was to ask for the recipet because she bought the glorious storller for us as her baby gift for Olivia.
So....lessson learned....spend the extra $20 on a cheap stroller to fly with in the chance it might get lost along the way instead of taking the expensive stroller that will cost 10 times as much to replace. By the way, it was American Airlines who both lost and found the stroller again. Do what you wish with this information...book with another airline or buy a stroller....in any case, please don't take the expensive baby gear with you unless you can't afford to replace it!!!!