One of the joys of a family vacation is going someplace new or at least far away from home. If you’ll be flying with children that can add a whole new dimension into your travel plans.
In researching the flights for our family vacation I noticed that most airlines had similar rules and protocol when it came to flying with children. Whether they say it or not, if you are flying with children who are two or under you should take a copy of their birth certificate.
I looked at the five main airlines’ policy on flying with children that fly out of Atlanta. In general, children two and under do not need a ticket to fly, but they’ll be sitting in your lap. If the child will turn two by the time of the return trip you will need to purchase a return ticket. Here are some more specifics about how some airlines’ policy on flying with children.
No ticket needed if the child is under 2, you’re 18 or over or you’re the legal guardian and you travel within the U.S.
You need a ticket if you want your child to travel in an approved restraint, they’ll turn 2 during the course of your travels, you’ll be flying with a second child (regardless of age) or you want your child to earn SkyMiles.
No ticket needed for children less than 2 years old. They’ll have to sit in your lap, but they can fly with someone 12 years or older. SouthWest also has Infant Fares that are discounted seats for your infant who will be sitting in their approved CRS, Child Restraint System, if you want them to sit in the car seat.
No ticket needed for children under 2 if you’re flying in the U.S. If the adult is traveling with 2 infants, then a ticket will need to be purchased for the second child. If you’ll be traveling internationally than a ticket must be purchased and is 10% of the adult fare, plus taxes, and the youth will be sitting on your lap.
Infants 2 and under can fly for no charge if they sit in someone’s lap. Someone who is 16 can accompany a child that is 5 or younger. American Airlines recommends using an approved child safety seat.
Any infant 14 days or younger can’t fly unless they have a doctor’s note is provided stating that it’s OK for them to fly. Children under two years old must be with a passenger who is at least 12 years or older, in addition to bringing their birth certificate.
As you can see, flying with children does vary slightly between the different airlines. This list was compiled as of July 24, 2012, so please check with your airline carrier for any specifics or to confirm that their policies regarding children are still the same. Is there an airline policy that we missed regarding flying with children?