Traveling with an infant or toddler by any means has its challenges, but air travel can be particularly daunting for new and seasoned parents alike. From the glares of fellow passengers when your baby has a meltdown, to the tricky carry-on situation with car seats and strollers, flying with a baby is a whole different ball game. But here are some caveats and tips for optimal travel with little ones.
If you are traveling with a baby, ticketing depends entirely on where you’re going. For domestic travel, if a child is under the age of two and is sitting in your lap it’s free of charge, but you do need to let them know in advance that you’ll be bringing a baby on board. For international travel, the fare rules are a bit different. Even if you plan on having your child sit on your lap, infants traveling abroad are required to have a ticket. If you’re traveling with a newborn, make sure you check with the airline carrier for any minimum age requirements. And if your little one turns two while you’re on your trip, keep in mind that you’ll have to buy them a ticket for the flight home.
If you’re taking a long-haul trip with a baby, you might be a bit concerned about holding your little one for that 10-hour flight. Many international carriers have bassinets available, but there may be some limitations. Some airlines offer them on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of travel. Others allow you to reserve a bassinet in advance. Some airlines place restrictions on how many bassinets are available per flight or where you can sit. Bassinets aren’t always guaranteed so the earlier you make your request, the better. Since policies on bassinets vary from airline to airline, you’ll need to check with your specific carrier.
Just as you need identification to board a plane, your baby also needs a form of I.D. For domestic travel, a copy of the birth certificate is sufficient. While you might not always have to show the birth identification, it’s always a good idea to have it with you. For international travel, you are required to have a passport for your child regardless of age.
Airport security can be strenuous on adults and going through the whole process with a baby can make it even more painful if you aren’t prepared. You will need to take the child out of the stroller and run the stroller and/or car seat through the X-ray. Infants are then carried through the metal detector by a parent or guardian. If you are carrying milk or formula, you must have these items separated from your carry-on to be screened. These items are exempt from the limitations on liquids.
Car Seats and Strollers
Most parents want to bring a car seat and a stroller when they travel. However, lugging these items through the airport can be difficult. Most airlines allow parents to check car seats and strollers without paying an extra baggage fee and you are generally allowed one stroller and one car seat per child traveling. If you want to keep these items with you, you are also permitted to gate check a stroller or a car seat. Should you decide to bring a car seat on the plane for your baby remember that it needs to be clearly labeled that is approved for air travel.
These travel tips were supplied with the help of OneTravel.