Flying with a baby: Airline rules on Baby milk, baggage, Seats etc.


Baby looking out of aeroplane windowFlying with a baby can be easy.  After all, their main activities are sleeping and eating! OK, so being well prepared of course helps alot. 

What do you need to know before you fly with your chidlren?  Here we look at baby air travel, taking baby milk and food on the aeroplane and the airlines rules and policies for flying with a baby and what they can do for you to make life as a parent a little easier.

Frequently Asked Questions:
At what age can a newborn baby fly?
Can I take baby milk and baby food on an aeroplane?
Does my baby need a separate seat on the aeroplane?
Which airlines have baby friendly policies?
Can I take a car seat onto the aeroplane?

At what age can a newborn baby fly?

Airlines generally accept newborn babies on flights from 7 days, though some may require a doctor's certificate.  See our airline baby friendly download for more details.  If you are in any doubt about travelling with your newborn, you should check with your midwife, health visitor or GP.  Some airlines have different policies for travel with premature babies.

Can I take baby milk and baby food onto the aeroplane?

The UK Department of Transport currently stipulate a restriction on liquids to be taken through airport security control. Each separate liquid can be no more than 100 ml and all must fit into a single plastic re-sealable bag which is about 20cm by 20cm in size.

Note that baby milk and baby food is not restricted by the 100ml rule. When flying with a baby, you can take baby milk and food in higher quantities than 100ml.  You can take as much as you reasonably need for the flight (though do allow for delays too).  You may have to verify them by tasting them yourself when you pass through customs.  Be aware that that includes opening sealed cartons or jars, so you will need to be able to close them afterwards. If you don't taste them as requested they will be confiscated. You can buy baby food and milk after you get through security (you don't have to have these verified as they are screened before they are put on the shop shelves).  Check with your airport as to what shops are available and if they will be open at the time you are flying.  In some Boots stores in airports you can reserve baby milk, etc/

Source:  direct.gov.uk, June 2013 © Crown Copyright

Does my baby need a separate seat when flying on an aeroplane?

Baby Sleeping with Mum on AeroplaneAirlines classify an infant as any child under 2 years old.  When flying with an infant, you generally pay a small fee for their travel.  A baby classified as an infant can sit on your lap for the duration of the flight.  The airline will provide you with a baby lap seat belt that attaches to your own. 

Some airlines will allow you to take a car seat into the cabin (see airline policies for more details).  If you take a car seat onboard you will need to have booked and paid for a separate seat.  On most aeroplanes, your baby will be required to still sit on your lap for take off, landing and at any time the fasten seatbelt light is on eg during turbulance.  From 2 years old, all children must have their own seat and cannot be on your lap during 'fasten seatbelt' times.  Some airlines will permit use of a car seat for children up to 3 years old.  Check with your airline first.

Can I take a buggy and carseat onto the aeroplane?

Here we have collated information about the baby friendly policies held by some of the airlines.  The information includes priority boarding policies, baggage allowances, minimum age requirements and more. 

Some general advice on airline buggy and car seat policies:

  • •  If car seats are taken on board, they generally must be 5 point harnessed with a rigid frame and able to be fixed using just the lap seat belt on the aeroplane seat. They will need to be either EU or FAA approved depending on the airline.
  • •  Most airlines will let you take a buggy all the way to the steps or entrance of the aeroplane.  Generally your buggy will not be available to you on landing until you get to baggage claims (after passport control). 
  • •  Some airlines restrict hold baggage to either a car seat or a buggy, but do please check with the relevant airline.
 
 

Picture of baby looking out of aeroplance courtesy of jyri via flickr.com

Baby sleeping on aeroplane courtesy of Adam Selwood via flickr.com