Flying with infants and children can be a daunting experience for parents. The thought of being confined to a small space with a crying baby or a restless child for hours on end can be overwhelming. However, with a little preparation and some helpful tips, air travel with children can be a smooth and stress-free experience.
When it comes to flying with a baby, there are some important things to keep in mind. Firstly, it’s important to check with the airline beforehand to see what their policies are regarding infants. Many airlines allow infants under the age of two to travel for free on their parent’s lap, but some may require a separate seat to be purchased. It’s also important to bring all necessary documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, as well as any required medical forms.
For parents traveling with an infant or young child, there are several things that can be done to make the flight more comfortable for everyone. Bringing plenty of snacks and toys can help keep children occupied, and it’s a good idea to pack a change of clothes in case of spills or accidents. It’s also a good idea to bring a stroller or baby carrier, as well as a car seat if necessary. With these tips in mind, parents can feel confident and prepared when flying with their little ones.
Preparing for Your Flight
When traveling with infants and children, it is important to be well-prepared to ensure a smooth and stress-free flight. Here are some essential tips to help you prepare for your upcoming flight.
Make sure to bring all necessary documentation for your child, including a passport or birth certificate. If you are traveling internationally, a passport is required for all passengers, regardless of age. For domestic flights, children under the age of 18 do not need a government-issued ID, but it is recommended to bring a copy of their birth certificate.
Choosing the Right Gear
When it comes to gear, it’s important to choose the right equipment for your child’s age and needs. For infants, a car seat or FAA-approved infant car seat is required for safety during the flight. A travel stroller or baby carrier can also be helpful for navigating through the airport.
To make sure you have everything you need for your child during the flight, create a packing checklist. Some essential items to consider include plastic bags for storing quart-sized clear or translucent bottles of breast milk, formula, or puree pouches. If you are traveling with expressed breast milk or medically necessary liquids, make sure to inform the TSA agent at the security checkpoint.
By following these tips and being well-prepared, you can ensure a comfortable and stress-free flight for both you and your child. For more tips check out kids on a plane a family travel blog.
At the Airport and Onboard
Security and Boarding Procedures
When traveling with infants and children, it is important to be aware of the security and boarding procedures. TSA officers will ask parents to remove their child from their carrier or stroller during the security screening process. It is recommended to pack all baby gear in a carry-on bag to make the process easier.
Most airlines offer pre-boarding for families with young children, which allows extra time to get settled on the plane. Parents should also be aware of the airline’s policies regarding child restraint systems. FAA-approved car seats can be used on the plane, but it is important to check with the airline beforehand.
In-Flight Comfort and Safety
Parents should prioritize their child’s comfort and safety during the flight. Some airlines offer Skycots, which are bassinets that attach to the bulkhead wall. Lap infants can also be held during the flight, but it is important to request a seatbelt extender from the flight attendant.
Parents should be prepared for diaper changes during the flight and should ask for help if needed. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding or bottle-feeding during takeoff and landing to help with ear pressure. Parents should also bring earplugs for their child to help with air pressure discomfort.
Dealing with Air Pressure and Discomfort
Air pressure changes during takeoff and landing can cause discomfort for children. Parents should encourage their child to swallow or yawn to help equalize the pressure in their ears. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving children over the age of one a piece of gum or hard candy to help with ear pressure.
If a child has a cold, parents should consult their pediatrician before flying. It is also recommended to bring a letter of consent if only one parent is traveling with the child. TSA PreCheck and Global Entry can also help expedite the security process for families.
American Airlines allows passengers to bring a stroller for free in addition to their carry-on allowance. The stroller can be checked at the gate or at the ticket counter.
If the stroller is checked at the gate, it will be returned to the passenger at the gate upon arrival. If the stroller is checked at the ticket counter, it will be returned to the baggage claim area at the passenger’s final destination.
The stroller must meet the size and weight requirements of American Airlines. The stroller should be collapsible and fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of the passenger. If the stroller is too large or heavy, it will need to be checked as baggage.
Passengers traveling with an infant or small child may also bring a car seat on board the aircraft. The car seat must meet the size and weight requirements of American Airlines and be FAA approved. The car seat can be used in a seat next to the passenger or in a seat in a different cabin class if the passenger has purchased a ticket for the child.
Passengers should notify American Airlines in advance if they plan to bring a stroller or car seat on board the aircraft. This will allow the airline to prepare for the additional items and ensure a smooth boarding process.