Important Questions: Flying With A Baby
Can you bring your own car seat on the plane? Will the gate agent announce pre-boarding for families with young children? Can you gate-check a stroller?
Airline policies change frequently, so it’s a good idea to call ahead or check your airline’s website every time you fly to make sure you know what to expect.
Most U.S.-based airlines follow these policies on all domestic flights (though it can’t hurt to double-check before you buy your ticket):
1.) Babies typically must be at least 7 days old to fly. (Some airlines allow younger infants with a doctor’s written permission; others extend the minimum age up to 14 days or have additional restrictions.)
2.) Lap babies (under age 2) fly free on domestic flights, usually one per paying adult; you may need to present proof of age. This does save you money, but it’s important to note that babies riding in airplanes are safest in government-approved car seats (the label should read “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft”).
Your airline might allow you to bring your car seat on board if the flight isn’t full, but there’s no guarantee if you haven’t bought a ticket for your child that you’ll get an extra seat.