Flying with a baby or a child: what do airlines offer?

Are you preparing to travel with your baby or with your child and have to travel by plane for longer or shorter periods of time? Be aware that some airlines have thought of everything to support the parents in this situation. Whether it’s luggage, meals or even little things on board, find out what the airlines offer to travel with your baby or your child!

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Flying with a baby: which luggage and which seat should you choose?

If you can travel very fast with a newborn – after a week without a doctor’s certificate – it is recommended to wait until the child is at least three weeks old to take a long-haul flight. Before the age of two, a child can travel seated on the parents’ lap, but they must have their own seat when they are two years old.

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Some airlines, such as Air France, provide a crib suitable for babies weighing less than 10 kg and measuring less than 70 centimeters, regardless of the cabin, depending on availability. If you wish to reserve one, please contact Air France as soon as possible once the reservation is made and at least 48 hours before departure. This measure is in force in many airlines.

Families with babies and / or children can also carry a high chair, stroller or maxi-cosi free of charge, depending on the airlines. This is especially the case with the Lufthansa company! In addition, the latter have special counters at the airports of Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich, so that families can store their luggage themselves.

British Airways offers families traveling with a baby the option of adding an extra bag in their hand luggage as well as two free items in the hold. It is then necessary to choose between a stroller, a car seat, a travel cot or even a baby carrier.

Easyjet has set up priority boarding for families traveling with children under 5 years of age. Two extra items can be carried in the cargo space of this company (travel cot, stroller, car seat, folding or fixed pram, harness pillow and / or backpack with baby carrier).

Can liquid baby food be taken on the plane?

While liquids larger than 100 ml and certain foods are prohibited in the cabin, these restrictions do not apply to liquids and baby foods. It is possible to take feeding bottles and jars on board, as well as non-prescription baby medicine. We especially advise you to give a bottle of sugar water or fruit juice to help the baby withstand the pressure during takeoff and landing.

Be aware, however, that security people may ask you to taste the food during inspection, so it is better to prefer resealable containers. Also avoid small glass jars that can break. On board, do not hesitate to ask the cabin crew for suitable water to prepare the bottle, or to heat the said bottle.

Please note: baby and child care products are not affected by these exceptions. You must therefore choose liquid products of max. 100 ml, placed in a transparent plastic bag of 20 cm x 20 cm.

To feed your baby or your child on board a plane

There are baby-friendly meals on many flights, but it is best to contact your airline before departure to be sure.

In terms of meal trays for children, the Spanish site Fabulist travel, dedicated to family travel, had by 2020 established a ranking of the companies that offered the most services intended for families. The German company Lufthansa was then named the best ally in travel with children, especially thanks to menus specially created for them, with funny names like “mouse with rice porridge” or “dragon millipede”.

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Changing tables are also available in almost all units, with the exception of some very small ones.

Baby sets are offered by some airlines

To appeal to parents and accommodate babies and children on board, some airlines also offer baby sets: for example, with Air France, all babies traveling on intercontinental flights will receive a duvet regardless of transport class. On Corsair flights, a baby box is provided for parents of babies under the age of two once on board.

To accommodate the youngest, some airlines also offer a wide range of entertainment on board, from game sets to movies and fun activities.

From what age can a child travel alone by plane?

It is also possible that your child will have to travel alone by plane. Rest assured, many airlines offer an accompanying service to minors, which generally concerns children from 4 to 12 years and up to 17 years at most, sometimes for an additional fee.

Children can then travel as UM passengers (unaccompanied minors) and are considered priority passengers: they first board the plane, are escorted to their seat on departure and are escorted to the person to pick them up at the airport of arrival. UM passengers are never left unattended from departure to arrival.

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Between the ages of 4 and 11, children can only travel alone with this service, while between the ages of 12 and 17 it is possible to either choose the UM service, or to travel alone, provided they have an authorization signed by a parent.

In general, airlines require that this escort service of minors be reserved at the time of booking the tickets because the number of unaccompanied children is limited on board.

Also read:

Long-haul flights: advice from a specialist to overcome the inconvenience during the journey

The 10 best airlines to travel with children

The 10 best airlines to travel with children

Traveling with children: the best destinations

Traveling with children: the best destinations

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