Updated on February 5, 2024.
Fact checked
writing Written

Traveling with your family can be an ordeal, especially if there is a baby in the mix. There are a lot of questions that can arise when it comes to flying with babies, starting with how old a baby have to be to fly. Some airlines have restrictions, so you’ll want to check with them prior to booking, but typically healthy babies between four and six weeks should be able to travel without complications.

Key Takeaways

  • While healthy babies between four and six weeks can typically travel without complications, some airlines allow infants as young as two days old to fly. Always check with the airline beforehand and be prepared to provide a doctor’s note if needed.
  • Children under two years old usually do not need a ticket if they will be held during the flight. However, purchasing a seat for the baby might be necessary if the parent wants them to have their own space. Check with the airline for specific policies.
  • Ensure you have all required documents, including proof of age, passports, and any medical clearance if necessary. International travel with a baby requires a passport without exception.
  • Plan to hold your baby throughout the flight as car seats cannot be brought on board. If the baby can sit unassisted, purchasing a separate seat may be an option.
  • Depending on the airline and the type of flight, there may be exceptions or reduced rates for infant travel. Reach out to customer service to explore available options and make your travel experience smoother.

Are Their Age Restrictions to Fly with Babies?

Typically, it’s up to the discretion of the parent to make the call if their baby is ready to fly. There can be any number of reasons why an infant may need to travel, so if you want to fly with your baby, you should be able to.

You will need to check with the airline to ensure they do not have any limitations. While some airlines allow babies as young as two days old to fly, others will require a doctor’s note providing clearance for the baby to fly to discharge any liability in the case of an emergency. Keep in mind that your baby must have a passport to fly internationally without exception, so be sure to check if there is other documentation required for your baby to fly.

Does My Baby Need a Ticket to Fly?

It varies from airline to airline, but typically children under the age of two do not need a ticket to fly if the parent plans on holding them the entire flight. If the flight is not full, you may be able to get a second seat for them to sit in at no cost to you, but this is not guaranteed. If you want your child to have their own seat, you will need to buy one for them. They can only use it if they can sit unassisted.

Check your airline for full details because there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, you may be able to travel domestically for free, but you may need to pay for international flights. Often, these rates can be reduced, especially since they are not using any amenities; however, you’ll need to contact customer service to understand what your options are.

Do I Need Documentation for My Baby?

When Can a Baby Fly on an Airplane

Some airlines may require you to provide proof of age for your baby, especially if they suspect they are older than two years old. Additionally, you may need to provide medical clearance, passports, and other travel documents prior to travel. It really depends on your flight, so make sure to check with your airline if you have questions about what you need to travel with your baby.

Conclusion

Typically, babies between the ages of four to six weeks can fly; however, younger babies may be able to travel with a medical release. You may need to provide proof of age, passports, and other travel documentation to fly with an infant.

You cannot bring a car seat on the plane, so you will need to hold your baby throughout the flight. Children who are able to sit up on their own could have their own seats, but you will need to purchase it. Check with your airline for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I bring a stroller for my baby when flying?

Most airlines allow you to bring a stroller for your baby, and it can be checked in for free at the gate or as checked baggage. Some airlines even allow you to use the stroller until boarding the aircraft.

  • Are there any special amenities or facilities for babies on the plane?

Airlines may offer amenities such as diaper-changing tables in lavatories and baby bassinets for long-haul flights. However, availability varies, so it’s best to inquire with the airline before the flight.

  • What can I do to keep my baby comfortable and entertained during the flight?

Pack essential items like diapers, wipes, formula or baby food, and a favorite toy or comfort item for your baby. Consider bringing age-appropriate snacks, books, or games to keep them entertained during the journey.

  • Are there any restrictions on the type of baby carriers allowed during the flight?

Most airlines permit the use of baby carriers during the flight, as long as they are soft-structured carriers or wraps. However, bulky carriers like hiking backpacks may need to be checked in as baggage.

  • How can I handle my baby’s ear pressure during takeoff and landing?

Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding during takeoff and landing can help alleviate ear pressure for babies. Alternatively, giving them a pacifier to suck on can also be helpful. For older children, offering a drink or a small snack can be beneficial.