Infant Travel Policy: Int’l, US and Domestic Flights

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When it was traveling just for two, it was easy to get around the airport and also boarding. But once it becomes traveling with an infant, the whole traveling game gets trickier. What to do with the stroller, how about the bassinet? To help you, we have compiled an information-heavy guide that will come in handy as you journey with your baby.

North America Route

According to the TSA, here are some policies on the 15 most popular airlines in North America:

American Airlines  Only small, collapsible and light strollers (up to 20lbs/9kgs) can be checked at the gate. Any stroller that weighs over 20lbs/9 kgs is too large or is non-collapsible must be checked at the ticket counter.

Delta Airlines  Children’s strollers and seat restraints are not counted as part of the standard baggage and therefore can easily be checked for free. For your convenience, these items may be checked at curbside, the ticket counter, or at the gate.

Southwest Airlines Passengers traveling with children will be allowed to check one stroller without charge. This is in addition to the regular free baggage allowance. Southwest Airlines will not assume liability for damage to strollers, (and) an optional Southwest-branded reusable car seat/stroller bag is available for purchase at any Southwest Airlines ticket counter for a $15 one time fee.”

United Airlines United accepts one stroller and one car seat free of charge for each child, including children under the age of two traveling on an adult’s lap and infants traveling internationally on 10 percent of an adult fare. If requested by the customer, United can check strollers at the departure gate. United is not liable for damage to strollers. Customers cannot purchase excess valuation for strollers.

Air Canada  Air Canada strongly recommends the use of small collapsible umbrella type strollers. A stroller with a collapsed diameter not exceeding 25.5 cm (10 in) and a length not exceeding 92 cm (36 in) is allowed, in addition to your carry-on allowance, regardless of destination. It can be checked at the gate to be delivered to you at the aircraft door at the end of your flight. Large strollers: Because gate facilities in airports are not designed to accommodate them, large, heavy strollers will need to be checked in and will count as one piece of baggage toward the maximum number of checked bags allowed by your fare type. Large strollers are also subject to space limitations, and there is a risk that they cannot be accommodated in the aircraft.”

JetBlue  Strollers should be folded down. If it doesn’t fit through the x-ray machine, the TSA officers will find other ways to screen it. JetBlue will courtesy gate check strollers, but please be aware that strollers are not covered for damage if checked. JetBlue assumes no liability for loss, damage or delay..”

Alaska Airlines Stroller will be checked in free of charge. Parents can check this in the ticketing area, or wait until the gate.

WestJet Strollers are permitted at no charge under the checked bag allowance.

Aeromexico One stroller, bassinet or baby carrier up to 44 pounds (20 kg) or 45 inches (1.14 m) is permitted at no extra charge.”

Spirit Airlines Can check one stroller for no extra cost at the ticket counter. You may also check these items at the gate and these will be waiting for you in your arrival city upon leaving the aircraft.

Frontier A stroller may be checked free of charge when traveling with a child.

Volaris Can take the stroller to the aircraft entrance, and you will receive it at your destination.

Hawaiian Airlines  Stroller must be checked-in if it is: non-collapsible or weighs over 50 lbs. Strollers are free to check and they may be checked at the gate.

Allegiant Air Stroller can be handled as checked baggage at the time of check-in at the ticket counter or gate check it during boarding. There is no charge for one stroller per fare-paying passenger. Gate checked strollers will be stowed in the cargo hold of the aircraft during the flight and delivered to the gate or passenger loading bridge upon arrival.

Virgin America Virgin America will accept assistive devices and certain other devices at no additional charge, including strollers. Virgin America will not assume liability or responsibility for fragile or unsuitably packaged items, including strollers.”

*** Strollers that aren’t being checked (or are being checked at the gate) will need to be screened by the X-ray, and you can carry your child when going through security. Necessary items in the stroller for your kid, such as formula, are allowed to exceed the normal 3.4-ounce limit but need to be declared.

Source: Information also supplemented via each airline’s website

International Route

For international airlines, here are some policies on major carriers as indicated from Skyscanner.

Aer Lingus If the buggy/stroller is checked in at a check-in desk it will only be available on the baggage belt at your destination. If the buggy/stroller is handed in at the boarding gate it can be collected at the applicable collection point at your destination. The collection points for a buggy/stroller will differ by destination. Due to safety requirements and restrictions at some airports, it is not always possible to collect buggies/strollers at the aircraft door.

 Air Canada A stroller with a collapsed diameter not exceeding 25.5 cm (10 in) and a length not exceeding 92 cm (36 in) is allowed, in addition to your carry-on allowance, regardless of destination. It can be checked at the gate to be delivered to you at the aircraft door at the end of your flight. Anything larger, it will count as one piece of baggage toward the maximum number of checked bags allowed by your fare type. Large strollers are also subject to space limitations, and there is a risk that they cannot be accommodated in the aircraft.

Air France: Small foldable strollers are allowed to go on as checked in at the gate, but the stroller dimensions cannot exceed 15 cm x 30 cm x 100 cm / 5.9 in x 11.8 in x 39.4 in (on international flights, except between continental France and Pointe-à-Pitre, Fort-de-France, Saint Martin, Cayenne, Réunion, Mauritius, Punta Cana, Havana, Santo Domingo). Other foldable strollers will replace the hand baggage allowance for infants, and its dimensions cannot exceed 55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm / 21 in x 13 in x 9 in. In addition, it must be packed in a carrying case that covers it fully.

Air Malta: A collapsible buggy is carried free of charge on all Air Malta operated flights. You may keep the buggy until you get to the aircraft steps. It will then be stowed in the aircraft hold and will be delivered to you with your baggage upon arrival at your destination.

American Airlines: Each ticketed customer is allowed 1 stroller and 1 car seat to be checked free of charge. If you have a and a car seat only 1 can be checked at the gate. Strollers over 20 lbs / 9 kgs must be checked at the ticket counter

Air New Zealand: Infants and children can take a stroller and/or car seat for no extra charge in addition to any other allowances, even if their fare does not include checked baggage. Single strollers with a completely collapsible frame and seat will normally fit in the overhead locker on our 777-300, 777-200, 787-9 and A320 Domestic aircraft only.  On the other aircraft, they must be checked in because there is limited locker space. If the flight you are traveling on is full, airport staff may request that your stroller is checked in. Prams, three-wheeled jogger-style buggies, and larger strollers do not fit in the overhead locker and must be checked-in on all aircraft.

Alitalia: Kids strollers are checked in at the gate and passengers can have the strollers delivered to the gate upon arrival. For Alitalia group flights arriving at and in transit through Italian airports2 served by the Company, you can request at check-in that the stroller is delivered for immediate use upon disembarking or at the gate (accessories such as covers, bags etc. must be removed).

British Airways: If you have a small, fully collapsible and lightweight pushchair/stroller(with maximum dimensions of 117cm x 38cm x 38cm/46in x 15in x 15in when the pushchair is collapsed), you will qualify to take this right to the aircraft door and collect at the aircraft door at most airports. The staff will put your pushchair into the hold and will do all possible to return it to you at the aircraft door. Please arrive at your departure gate no later than 45 minutes before departure time, and prepare to pre-board the aircraft. Pushchairs that fold down into a carry bag, such as the Yo-Yo Zen and are within the maximum hand baggage dimensions, can be taken on board in place of, but not in addition to, your larger cabin bag.

Cathay Pacific: Infants are allowed 2 pieces of luggage with a total weight of 10kg / 22 lbs, in addition, an umbrella-type collapsible stroller or any type of foldable stroller within the standard cabin bag size and weight after folding (if cabin stowage is available). Pram or buggy will need to be checked in.

Delta: For delta airlines, you can bring 1 stroller and 1 seat free and it can be checked either at curbside, gate or in the ticketing area. If your car seat is FAA-approved and your child is traveling in his or her own airline seat, you can generally carry your car seat onto the plane for use there.

 Emirates: Infants (who do not have a seat) are allowed 10kgs and one bag. In addition, customers are permitted to bring one carry-cot or one fully collapsible stroller into the cabin if there is room. If there is no space for these items in the cabin, they will have to be checked. However, if checked, they will not count against your baggage allowance.

Etihad: Flights to/from the US and Canada (Piece Concept) – one piece of checked baggage, with a maximum weight of 23 kg (50 lbs) and maximum total dimensions of 158 cm. All other Etihad flights (Weight Concept) – 10 kg of checked baggage. All Etihad flights: Cabin baggage: one extra handbag that must weigh no more than 5 kg. One fully collapsible stroller, carry-cot or approved car seat, as a carry-on item if cabin space is available or else as checked baggage. At the check-in desk, luggage tags will be placed on any pushchair or stroller. You will still be able to use these within the airport up to the departure gate. On arrival at your destination, the pushchair or stroller will either be returned at the aircraft door or should be collected at the baggage carousel (this is determined by local regulations in each country).

Icelandair: Infants without a reserved seat have no hand baggage allowance, and the checked baggage allowance depends on the fare purchased: Economy Light – no checked bag, one stroller, and one car seat or carrying basket. All other fares – one bag up to 23 kg (50 lbs) and 158 cm (62 in), one stroller, and one car seat or carrying basket.  Babies aged under 2 with a reserved seat are entitled to the same baggage allowance (both hand and checked baggage) as an adult.

KLM: For a child younger than 2 years of age who will be traveling on your lap, you may bring:  1 piece of hand baggage with baby care items weighing max. 12 kg (26 lbs) and with dimensions max. 55 x 35 x 25 cm (22 x 14 x 10 in). 1 piece of check-in baggage of max 10 kg (22 lbs). If your child’s baggage is carried in one of the parents’ check-in baggage, this baggage may weigh no more than 23 kg (50.5 lbs) per piece; 1 collapsible buggy; 1 car/child seat. If the buggy (of max. 15 x 30 x 100 cm (6 x 12 x 39 in) will not fit under the seat or in the overhead baggage compartment, you can check it in at no extra charge. Where facilities allow for it, you may wheel your child in the tagged buggy to the departure gate. At the gate, the buggy must be handed in for loading. The buggy/pram may have a protective cover but this may not contain any other items.

Lufthansa: Children under two have a free baggage allowance of one bag weighing up to 23 kg. This does not apply to the Economy Class Light fare. In this case, only the accompanying adult can add one piece of baggage to their booking for a fee of EUR 25 per route. Additional pieces of baggage must be checked in as excess baggage. A car seat or folding buggy or pram or a baby seat may be transported as carry-on baggage free of charge.

Malaysia Airlines: 10 kg of purely baby essentials (including a bassinet or carrycot) over and above the free baggage allowance as allotted to an infant’s accompanying adult passenger. The acceptance of baby prams/strollers as cabin items will be on a first-come, first served basis. Once the storage space is taken up, these items will need to be loaded in the aircraft hold.

Norwegian: Stroller is included in the ticket as baggage, whether it be checked at the gate or at the ticket counter. However, infants are allowed 5kg of checked baggage (under two years) and can bring a reasonable amount of baby food and milk/formula for the flight.

Qantas: Strollers can be checked at the gate and also at the ticket counter. Allowance for infants is the same as adults.

Qatar Airways: 1 pushchair or travel cot is allowed in addition of 10-23kg of checked baggage depending on route.

Ryanair:  2 items of baby equipment free of charge per child – 1 pushchair plus one of the following items: car seat or booster seat or travel cot. There is no cabin baggage allowance for infants sitting on an adult’s lap or infants aged 8 days to 23 months who are seated in an extra comfort seat. However, a baby bag up to 5kg can be carried by the accompanying adult in addition to their own cabin bag. Infants with their own seat can carry up to checked-in 10kg of baggage allowance and small carry bag.

Scandinavian Airlines: Your infant may travel with one piece of checked baggage weighing up to 23 kg/51 lbs (max size: 115 cm/45″) except in SAS Go Light. No carry-on is included for your infant

Singapore Airlines: Strollers can go into the cabin if it meets SIA’s standard cabin bag dimensions (up to 7kg and sum of length, width and height should not exceed 115cm. Infants may bring 23kg of checked baggage within US and 10kg outside of US

Swiss: Infants (0-2 years of age) have an allowance of 1 piece of baggage weighing up to 23kg with total dimensions of 158 cm (L+W+D), plus a folding buggy.No carry-on baggage allowance exists for infants. But you are permitted to bring baby food on board along with a certified car seat that can be installed on your child’s seat on the flight.

Thai Airways:  An infant (not occupying a seat) is entitled to one piece of checked luggage, the sum of whose dimensions does not exceed 115 cm (45 inches) at the maximum weight of 23 kg. Plus one fully-collapsible child stroller or pushchair or infant-carrying basket.

Turkish Airlines: Your stroller can only be carried as checked baggage in the aircraft hold. For this reason, your stroller can be brought as far as the aircraft entrance, where it must be handed over to a member of staff. Please remember that you can bring a car seat that has been separated from the stroller frame into the cabin plus 23kg of checked baggage.

United Airlines:  Children under 2 traveling internationally (including to Canada, Guam, and Mexico) without a seat are required to have a purchased ticket and are subject to infant fares and taxes. Large, non-collapsible strollers or non-folding wagons cannot be checked at the gate, so please see a United representative at the airport check-in counter to check these items. Up to 23kg of checked in baggage

Virgin Atlantic with a lap child or lap-held infant: Virgin Atlantic charges the customary 10% of the adult fare for infants and babies under 2 years riding on an adult’s lap. Each lap child is allowed one complimentary checked bag weighing up to 50 lbs. (23 kg.) and one carry-on bag. Collapsible strollers can be used up to the gate or checked in at the ticket counter.

Source: Skyscanner & individual airline websites

China Domestic Airlines 

China Eastern: Infant tickets can be purchased at 10% the price of an adult fare, for both national and international flights. The only difference between the two types of flights, in this case, consists of the free baggage allowance, which is none for domestic flights, while for international flights is:

• Weight Concept – 10 kg.

• Piece Concept – 1 piece of checked baggage, with the maximum weight corresponding to the travel class and size not exceeding 115 cm.

A foldable baby stroller can be checked free of charge for each infant passenger.

China Southern: When an infant ticket is purchased at the price equivalent to 10% of an adult ticket, the infant is entitled to a free baggage allowance of 10 KG to be carried on.

Additionally, one cradle or foldable baby car (with the dimension not larger than the volume of storage space available) can be carried without charge. No baby car seat allowed on board. A baby car seat can be provided on international flights.

Juneyao Airlines A passenger with an infant ticket does not have the free baggage allowance but may have a pushchair consigned free of charge. For a domestic flight, the total weight of hand luggage should not exceed 5kg and the volume of each article should not exceed 20cm*40cm*55cm

Air China Free baggage allowance for all infants flying on Air China: 22 lb/10 kg. An additional folding baby carriage or cradle may be checked. Provided that the cabin space permits, such as folding baby carriage or cradle may be taken into the cabin with the approval of Chief Attendant.

Hainan Airlines Free luggage allowance with an infant ticket: one piece, no more than 23 kg and with dimensions not exceeding 115 cm /45 in (length + width + height) for a luggage-by-piece flight; 10 kg for a luggage-by-weight flight. One folded baby stroller or cradle may be taken on board. A stroller is permitted in the cabin if its dimensions do not exceed 20 x 40 x 55 cm and its weight does not exceed 5 kg. The stroller may be stored in an overhead baggage bin. If either the size or weight surpasses the limit, it will be checked in free of charge.

**For all airline bookings, call the airline for detailed information including if covers are needed for car seats, strollers plus total baggage weight

Source: Skyscanner, Seatguru and individual airline websites

How about Using Airline Bassinet?

When it comes to traveling with your little one, most airlines have the option of providing a bassinet for infants. However, this would require an advanced reservation with your airlines and also a reminder during the check-in process.

Click Here for bassinet dimensions on these popular airlines worldwide, including restrictions so you can plan your trip better, via Flying with Baby.

Cover Image: Sydney Morning Herald

We would love to hear from you! What are your tips for traveling with an infant? Let us know in the comment box below.