Flying with a baby can be a daunting experience for new parents. Parents might have many questions before planning a flight with their little one. It is important to understand that different airlines have different policies for flying with infants. However, there are some general guidelines that parents should follow.
Age restrictions for flying with infants
Most airlines allow infants to travel as early as 2 days old, but some airlines have a minimum age requirement of 14 days. In general, an infant is considered to be any child under the age of 2.
What documents are required?
All infants, regardless of the flight destination must have a valid passport. Also, certain countries require a visa for infants, so it’s important to check the entry requirements for the destination country well in advance of departure.
It is always recommended to check with the airline for any other specific requirements, such as a birth certificate or medical certificate, before flying with an infant.
Baby equipment allowed
Parents can bring a stroller, car seat or a baby carrier for their infant. However, these items are counted as checked baggage and might incur extra fees, depending on the airline. Most airlines also allow parents to bring a diaper bag and a breast pump.
Strollers can be checked in at the gate or at check-in. When checking in at the gate, parents can use the stroller to carry the infant around the airport until the boarding gate. After boarding, the stroller must be checked in and stored in the cargo hold. For added convenience, parents can also rent strollers from the airport or the airline.
Most airlines allow parents to use a car seat on board for infants. However, it is important to check with the airline for specific regulations, as each airline may have different policy. In addition, a car seat must be certified for use on an aircraft and have a label indicating that it meets the safety requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Baby carriers are also allowed on board, but as with strollers, they must be stored in the overhead locker or under the seat in front during takeoff, landing and turbulence. A carrier can be a valuable asset for parents, as it allows them to keep their hands free while travelling with the infant.
Breastfeeding on a plane
Most airlines allow breastfeeding at any time during the flight, but it is always advisable to check with the airline before the flight. Mothers might also opt to pump breast milk before the flight and store it in a travel cooler. However, it is important to check with the airline for any special requirements for storing breast milk on board.
Flying with an infant in lap
Parents can opt to hold their infant in their lap during a flight, but it is important to note that it might not be the safest option. In fact, the FAA recommends the use of an approved car seat. However, some airlines do not allow the use of a car seat in the cabin.
Booking a seat for an infant
Most airlines allow parents to book a seat for their infant at a discounted rate, but it is important to check with the airline. Parents might want to consider booking a separate seat for their infant, as it provides extra room for the infant as well as the parents. In addition, it is also a safer option.
Airline policies for flying with an infant
It is always recommended to check with the airline for their policies and guidelines for flying with an infant. Each airline might have different policies and restrictions, so it is important to be informed before the flight. Some airlines provide special services for parents travelling with infants, including priority boarding and assistance with carrying luggage and strollers throughout the airport.
Flying with an infant can be a challenging and stressful experience, but it can also be an enjoyable one. Parents can take steps to ensure a comfortable and safe journey for their little one by following the guidelines provided by the airline and by being prepared. By planning ahead, parents can create a positive flying experience for the entire family.
- Q: Do infants require a ticket to fly?
- A: Yes, most airlines require infants to have a ticket, even if they are travelling on their parent’s lap.
- Q: Can I carry a breast pump on board?
- A: Yes, most airlines allow parents to carry a breast pump on board as a carry-on item or in a diaper bag.
- Q: Do I need to bring a birth certificate for my infant?
- A: It depends on the airline and the destination country. It is always advisable to check with the airline well in advance of the flight.
- Q: Are there any safety risks associated with flying with an infant?
- A: Flying with an infant can be safe as long as the guidelines provided by the airline are followed. The FAA recommends the use of an approved car seat for infants under the age of 2 during a flight.