Attention all parents with young children! Are you planning a family vacation that involves taking to the skies? If so, then buckle up, because you're in for a wild ride!
Flying with kids can be an adventure filled with unexpected surprises, from temper tantrums to spilled snacks and everything in between. But fear not, because we've got you covered with some tips and tricks to make your next flight with the little ones as smooth as possible.
So fasten your seatbelts, stow your carry-ons, and get ready for takeoff into the wild world of flying with kids!
Going To The Airport
Taking kids to the airport can be an exciting experience, but it can also be a little overwhelming. To make your trip as smooth as possible, there are a few things you can do to prepare.
First and foremost, try to arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare. This will give you some wiggle room in case of unexpected delays or tantrums (we've all been there!). Additionally, make sure to pack plenty of snacks, toys, and activities to keep your little ones entertained while waiting for your flight.
And don't forget to take advantage of family-friendly amenities like play areas and nursing rooms. With a little bit of preparation and a lot of patience, you'll be jet-setting with your mini travelers in no time!
What To Take With You
Taking baby gear is a balancing act, too much and its a waste of time, too little and you will be wanting to come home. Things such as a stroller and car seat on vacation is like bringing an extra member of the family along for the ride. Sure, they might take up some extra space and require a little extra effort to lug around, but trust us, you'll be glad you brought them.
Because let's face it, trying to navigate a new city or beach town with a tired and cranky toddler in tow is no easy feat. So pack up that stroller and strap in that car seat, because they're coming along for the adventure!
At The Airport
When checking in at the airport with a stroller and car seat, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. First, look for designated drop-off points for these items. Many airlines have specific areas where you can leave your stroller or car seat before boarding. If you're unsure where to go, don't be afraid to ask an airline representative for assistance. They'll be happy to point you in the right direction.
Additionally, make sure to label your items with your name and contact information in case they get separated from you during the flight. By taking these simple steps, you'll ensure that your valuable gear arrives safely at your destination and ready for use on your family adventure!
The Dreaded Check-in
Checking in is the part everyone hates, get it over with and you are on your way, almost!
But checking in with lots of extra gear such as a stroller and car seat at the airport can be extra daunting, but is typically a straightforward process.
An airline representative will assist you with checking in your stroller and car seat. They may ask you to collapse your stroller and remove any detachable parts before checking it in.
As for the car seat, it's typically recommended that you pack it in a protective bag or cover before checking it in to prevent damage during transport.
Once your items are checked in, the airline will provide you with a claim ticket that you can use to retrieve them upon arrival at your destination. It's always a good idea to double-check with your airline beforehand about their specific policies and procedures for checking in strollers and car seats to ensure a smooth travel experience.
Is It Free To Bring Baby Gear
If you're traveling with young children, bringing a car seat and stroller along can be essential for keeping them safe and comfortable throughout your journey. The good news is that most airlines recognize this and allow passengers to bring these items along free of charge, even a bassinet and travel cot depending on the airline.
In fact, many airlines will let you check in your stroller and car seat as checked baggage, which means you don't have to worry about carrying them around the airport or lugging them onto the plane with you. Of course, it's always a good idea to double-check with your airline beforehand to make sure there aren't any specific restrictions or requirements for checking in these items.
With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can ensure that both you and your little ones have a stress-free travel experience from start to finish.
Strollers In The Airport
Using your stroller at the airport can be a great way to make traveling with young children a little bit easier. Many airlines will allow you to keep your stroller with you and then take it off you at the boarding gate right before you board your flight.
This means that you can use your stroller in the airport, which can be especially helpful if you have a long layover or need to get from one end of the terminal to another quickly.
To ensure that everything goes smoothly, make sure that the airline puts a tag on your stroller at the gate and gives you the baggage number. This will help ensure that your stroller is returned to you promptly upon arrival at your destination.
Additionally, it's always a good idea to check with your airline beforehand about their specific policies for using strollers in the airport and on board the plane, as some may have certain restrictions or requirements depending on the type of stroller or size of aircraft.
Which Strollers Are Best For Travel
When it comes to traveling with a stroller, the best options are typically umbrella strollers or tri-fold strollers. These types of strollers are generally more compact and lightweight than full-sized strollers, making them easier to maneuver through airports and fit into tight spaces on planes or in rental cars.
Umbrella strollers are particularly popular for travel because they fold up easily and can be carried over your shoulder like a bag, leaving your other hand free to carry luggage or hold onto your child.
Tri-fold strollers, meanwhile, offer a bit more stability and storage space while still being relatively lightweight and easy to transport.
Ultimately, the choice between an umbrella or tri-fold stroller will depend on your personal preferences and needs as well as the specific requirements of your travel plans. Some airlines may have size restrictions for carry-on items, so it's important to check with your airline beforehand to ensure that your chosen stroller will be allowed on board.
Car Seats On Board
Taking your infant car seats on the plane during air travel with you can be a great way to keep your child safe and comfortable during your flight. A lightweight car seat is preferred for obvious reasons. However, it's important to note that in order to do so, you must have paid for your child to have their own seat on the plane rather than a lap seat as a car seat counts as a full seat.
The car seat must be secured using the airplane's seat belt system, which is also not possible on a lap. Additionally, it's important to make sure that your car seat is approved for use on airplanes and meets all necessary safety standards.
Before your flight, make sure to check with your airline about any specific requirements or restrictions they may have regarding bringing car seats on board, as some may have certain size or weight limits, but most car seats should be accepted.
Benefits To Taking A Car Seat In The Cabin
Taking a car seat on the plane with you can offer several benefits for both you and your child. Firstly, if it is a familiar car seat, they may feel more comfortable and relaxed during the flight, which can help them sleep better and make the journey more enjoyable for everyone.
Additionally, while some airlines may provide bassinets for infants, these are not always the most comfortable or practical option. When the fasten seat belt sign turns on during takeoff, landing or turbulence, parents are usually required to remove their baby from the bassinet and hold them in their lap until it's safe to return to their seat.
This can be disruptive for both parent and baby, especially if they were sleeping comfortably in their bassinet. By using a car seat instead of a bassinet, your child will already be securely fastened in when the fasten seat belt sign comes on, so there is no need to disturb them unnecessarily.
Overall, taking a car seat on the plane with you can make traveling with an infant much easier and more comfortable for everyone involved.
You can easily purchase a stroller bag and/or car seat cover available that can help protect your stroller and car seat from damage during plane travel. These covers are designed to fit over the stroller or car seat, providing a layer of protection against scratches, dings, and other types of damage that can occur during transit.
Some stroller covers even come with wheels and car seat bags can have backpack straps or a car seat carrier, making them easier to transport through airports.
Additionally, using a travel cover can also help keep your stroller or car seat clean and free from dirt and debris that may accumulate during travel. Overall, investing in a good quality travel cover is a smart way to ensure that your stroller and car seat remain in good condition throughout your travels.
10 Tips for Flying With Young Kids
- Plan ahead: Book your flights well in advance and choose seats that are most suitable for your family's needs.
- Pack smart: Pack only essential items in your carry-on bag, such as diapers, wipes, snacks, toys, and a change of clothes.
- Check airline policies: Check the airline policies regarding traveling with children, including baggage allowances and any special requirements.
- Get to the airport early: Arrive at the airport early to allow plenty of time to get through security and board the plane without feeling rushed.
- Take advantage of pre-boarding: Many airlines offer pre-boarding for families with young children, so take advantage of this opportunity to get settled on the plane before other passengers board.
- Bring snacks and drinks: Pack plenty of snacks and drinks for your kids to keep them occupied during the flight.
- Bring entertainment: Bring books, tablets or other devices loaded with games or movies to keep your kids entertained during the flight.
- Dress comfortably: Dress your children in comfortable clothing that is easy to move around in and suitable for the temperature on board.
- Prepare for takeoff and landing: Talk to your children about what to expect during takeoff and landing so they are not scared or surprised by any noises or sensations.
- Stay calm: Above all else, stay calm throughout the flight even if things don't go according to plan. Young children feed off their parent's energy so keeping calm will help them stay relaxed too.
What To Do If Your Gear Is Damaged
If your stroller or car seat are damaged during a flight, it's important to take action as soon as possible. Here are some steps you can take:
- Report the damage: As soon as you notice the damage, report it to the airline staff at the airport. They will likely ask for details about the damage and may file a report.
- Take photos: Take photos of the damage as soon as possible so that you have evidence of what happened.
- Keep all documentation: Keep all documentation related to your flight, including your boarding pass, baggage claim ticket, and any reports filed with the airline.
- File a claim: Contact the airline's customer service department to file a claim for reimbursement or repair of your damaged stroller or car seat.
- Follow up regularly: If you don't hear back from the airline within a reasonable amount of time, follow up with them regularly until your claim is resolved.
- Consider legal action: If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your claim, consider seeking legal advice or filing a complaint with relevant consumer protection agencies.
Remember that airlines have different policies regarding liability for damaged items, so be sure to check their policies before traveling to ensure that you understand your rights in case of damage.
You're Ready To Go
In conclusion, flying with young children and taking a stroller or car seat can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. By planning ahead, packing smart, and being prepared for potential issues like damaged items, you can make your travel experience smoother and more enjoyable.
Remember to check airline policies before traveling and to communicate with airline staff about any concerns or issues that arise during your flight. With a little bit of preparation and patience, you can travel comfortably and confidently with your kids and their necessary equipment.
Flying With Kids, Airport, Car Seat, Stroller FAQS
How can I keep my child entertained during a long flight?
There are several ways to keep your child entertained during a long flight. You can bring books, coloring books, and small toys that are easy to pack. You can also download movies or TV shows onto a tablet or phone for them to watch. Another option is to bring snacks and games that you can play together.
How can I make flying with young children less stressful?
To make flying with young children less stressful, it's important to plan ahead and be prepared. Make sure you have all necessary documents such as passports and tickets, pack smart by bringing only essential items, and consider booking direct flights if possible. It may also be helpful to choose seats near the front of the plane so that you can disembark quickly once the flight lands. Finally, don't forget to communicate with airline staff about any concerns or issues that arise during your flight.
Can I bring a stroller on the plane with me?
Yes, most airlines allow passengers to bring a collapsible stroller on the plane with them. It will need to be checked at the gate and stored in the cargo hold during the flight. Some airlines may also allow larger strollers to be checked for free at the ticket counter or gate.
Do I need to bring my own car seat when flying with my child?
It depends on your preference and the age of your child. Most airlines allow parents to bring their own car seats on board, but it's important to check with the airline beforehand as some may have restrictions on the type of car seat that is allowed but a convertible car seat should be fine. For infants, many airlines provide bassinets or infant seats for use during the flight. However, if you prefer to have your child sit in their own car seat for added safety and comfort, it's recommended that you bring one along.
Will a car seat count as a piece of luggage?
Yes, a car seat typically counts as a piece of luggage when traveling on a plane. Most airlines will allow you to check a car seat for free as long as it's being used for an infant or young child that is also traveling with you. However, it's always recommended to check with your specific airline beforehand regarding their policies and procedures for checking car seats and any fees or restrictions that may apply. Additionally, if you plan on using the car seat on board, some airlines may require that you purchase a separate seat for your child in order to use the car seat on board.
What do planes do with strollers when flying?
When flying, most airlines will allow passengers to bring a collapsible stroller on board with them. However, the stroller will need to be checked at the gate and stored in the cargo hold during the flight. Once the plane lands, the stroller will be returned to the passenger at the gate or baggage claim area, depending on the airline's policy. It's important to note that some airlines may also allow larger strollers to be checked for free at either the ticket counter or gate. It's always recommended to check with your airline beforehand regarding their specific policies and procedures for bringing a stroller on board.
What are the best US airlines for flying with kids?
There are several airlines in the USA that are known for being family-friendly and accommodating to passengers traveling with children. Here are a few options: Southwest Airlines - This airline is a popular choice for families due to their open seating policy, which allows families to sit together without having to pay extra fees. JetBlue Airways - JetBlue offers amenities such as free snacks and drinks, in-flight entertainment, and additional legroom, making it a comfortable option for families. Delta Air Lines - Delta offers pre-boarding for families with young children and has a variety of in-flight entertainment options, including kid-friendly movies and TV shows. Alaska Airlines - Alaska Airlines provides priority boarding for families with children under the age of two and allows parents to gate-check strollers and car seats at no additional cost.
Ultimately, the best airline for flying with kids will depend on your specific needs and preferences. It's always recommended to check with the airline beforehand regarding their policies and amenities for passengers traveling with children.
Can I use the stroller during a connecting flight?
Generally, if you have a connecting flight, you will need to check your stroller at the gate before boarding the first flight. The stroller will then be transported to the connecting flight and you can retrieve it either at the gate or baggage claim area of your final destination. However, some airlines may allow you to request that your stroller be returned to you during a layover or connecting flight stop, depending on the airport's policies and procedures. It's always recommended to check with your airline beforehand regarding their specific policies for retrieving strollers during a layover or connecting flight stop.
Can I bring a car seat on a plane?
You can bring a car seat on a plane. In fact, many airlines allow parents to bring car seats on board for infants and young children. However, it's important to note that the car seat must be FAA-approved and fit within the dimensions of the airplane seat. The Britax car seat is a great option as Britax Car Seats are approved. Additionally, some airlines may require that you purchase a separate seat for your child in order to use the car seat on board.
When traveling with a car seat, it's also recommended to use a car seat travel bag or carrier to protect the seat during transport. The car seat bag will also help you identify it eassier. Many manufacturers offer lightweight car seats and specific travel bags designed for their models, such as Britax car seats.
It's always best to check with your airline beforehand regarding their specific policies for bringing your child's car seat on board as well as any restrictions or fees that may apply. And remember, when counting your luggage for your flight, be sure to include your car seat as one of your items and always get a tag for it!