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United Infants Policy

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Do I need to reserve a seat for my infant?

Children up to 2 years old (24 months) are not required to have their own seat. You must, however, inform United Airlines that you will be traveling with an infant on your lap. Only one lap child is allowed per adult. If one adult is traveling with more than one infant under 2 years of age, a seat will have to be purchased for each additional infant. You can also choose to purchase a seat for your infant as long as you have the proper child restraint device. A passenger must be at least 18 years old in order to travel with an infant on his or her lap.

Will I pay for my infant to travel domestically?

A child under 2 years old (24 months) can travel for free as long as the infant will be on the lap of another passenger for the flight.

Will I pay for my infant to travel internationally?

Yes, a child under 2 years old (24 months) is usually charged 10% of an adult fare plus taxes, even if the infant will be on the lap of another passenger for the flight. Infants traveling between the U.S. and Canada only pay taxes for their travels.

What if my child turns 2 on the trip; will I have to buy a ticket for the return flight?

Yes, a ticket will have to be purchased for any flight on which the infant will be over 2 years old.

What types of child restraint devices are allowed?

You may use an approved infant car seat on board the aircraft when you purchase a seat for your child. The seat must be an FAA-approved child safety seat device. Please note the following infant car seat placement restrictions: on one-aisle aircraft, car seats must be placed in window seats, on two-aisle aircraft, car seats must be placed in window seats or the middle seat of a center section. Car seats are not permitted in rear-facing seats on any aircraft.

If manufactured after February 1985, the car seat should also be certified for use in aircraft. You should seat your child in the child safety seat for takeoff, landing and during turbulence.

The FAA has approved the use of a child safety restraint system for travel. The system, CARES (child aviation restraint system), uses an additional belt and shoulder harness that goes around the back of the seat and attaches to the lap belt. Children weighing between 22 and 44 pounds may use this device. Visit www.kidsflysafe.com for more information.

What infant amenities are available on the aircraft I'll be flying (i.e. bassinets)?

What is united airlines policy with respect to strollers.

Strollers may be checked to your final destination without a fee, in addition to your normal baggage allowance.

Children can be transported in their strollers throughout the airport. However, strollers must be checked at the gate. No strollers of any size are permitted as carry-on baggage . Your child's stroller will be delivered to you at the aircraft door upon request at your connecting city or destination. Large-sized, non-collapsible strollers cannot be checked at the gate. Please see a United representative at the airport check-in counter to check your large-sized, non-collapsible stroller.

United is not responsible for damage that occurs to strollers that are not packaged in a box and checked at the check-in counter.

Which aircraft have baby changers in the lavatories?

Changing tables are available on certain types of aircraft.

Can I sit in the exit row with my infant?

If you are traveling with an infant or any child under 15 years old, you cannot sit in a designated exit row, in keeping with U.S. Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Only one infant per each grouping of seats on the aircraft is acceptable due to the availability of oxygen masks.

SeatGuru was created to help travelers choose the best seats and in-flight amenities.

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The Ultimate Guide To Flying United Airlines With Kids [2024]

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The Ultimate Guide To Flying United Airlines With Kids [2024]

Table of Contents

Where united flies, united mileageplus loyalty program, united lounges, how to book united flights, flying with kids on united, united credit cards, final thoughts.

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United Airlines flies to more than 300 destinations every day and is part of Star Alliance, the world’s largest airline alliance. With thousands of flights daily, you may find United has the most convenient itinerary for your family. But before you book, you should know what to expect onboard and at the airport.

Here is everything you need to know about flying with kids on United.

United has several hubs in large and convenient airports, including Chicago (ORD) , Denver (DEN) , Guam (GUM), Houston (IAH) , Los Angeles (LAX) , Newark (EWR) , San Francisco (SFO) , and Washington, D.C. (IAD)

Flying from a United hub airport increases the likelihood of there being a lounge to relax in before your flight. Lounge access is exclusive to those flying in certain classes; however, you may have lounge access from a credit card you carry.

For destinations and airports United doesn’t fly to directly, you can take advantage of its network of 35 partner airlines , including those within Star Alliance . You can book codeshare flights with United miles or cash directly on United’s website .

United’s loyalty program, MileagePlus , is free to join and makes it easy to redeem miles for free flights.

There are several ways to earn MileagePlus miles , including by flying with the airline or one of its partners. However, the best way to earn a lot of miles at one time is to open a United co-branded credit card (more on that below). Alternatively, if you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards -earning credit card, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve ® , you can transfer points directly to MileagePlus to redeem for flights on United.

Other travel-related ways to earn MileagePlus miles include linking your Marriott Bonvoy and IHG One Rewards loyalty accounts to your MileagePlus account to earn miles each time you stay at either of those hotel brands. You can also earn miles on car rental reservations with Avis or Budget and cruises booked with United Cruises .

Lastly, get rewarded with bonus miles each time you shop online through MileagePlus Shopping or earn miles through MileagePlus Dining , which rewards you for eating out.

Make sure to create a MileagePlus account for your child so that they can also earn miles and status!

Elite Status

United has 4 elite status tiers : Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum, and Premier 1K.

Elite status is earned by flying at least 4 flight segments on United or United Express , as well as completing a certain number of premier qualifying flights (PQF) and earning a certain number of premier qualifying points (PQP). PQPs are earned by making qualifying purchases on United, United Express, Star Alliance partner airlines, and more.

Elite status benefits vary based on status level, with the top 2 tiers granting members coveted PlusPoints . PlusPoints are a benefit awarded to Premier Platinum and Premier 1K members that can be redeemed for a seat upgrade.

When flying on the same itinerary with someone with United status, there are certain perks. For example, those with Premier Platinum status receive complimentary access to Economy Plus for themselves and up to 8 companions.

United Polaris Lounge Houston IAH kids on tablets

Lounges are a great way to settle down between the excitement of getting through security and the rush of getting seated on the plane. When traveling with little ones, it’s good to take those moments of calm when you can, no matter how infrequent they may seem on travel days.

When flying on United, you can choose between 2 lounges depending on your airline status or the cabin you’re flying in: United Club and United Polaris lounge . The latter is only available to those traveling in United Polaris class.

United Club is available to travelers flying in the following classes:

  • United business on either international or premium transcontinental flights
  • United Polaris
  • First or business class on a Star Alliance member airline

Star Alliance Gold status holders and those with United Club memberships or one-time pass holders also have access to United Clubs.

If you don’t have a United Club membership or one-time pass and you’re not flying in a premium cabin, you can still get United Club access with the United Club℠ Infinite Card or United Club℠ Business Card .

United booking a child

You can book flights with United and its codeshare partners, such as Singapore Airlines or Air Canada, directly through United.com . For families booking flights with children, you can add them to your reservation when searching for your flights. Alternatively, you can call the airline and have a lap infant added to your reservation.

For award flights with MileagePlus miles , you’ll choose the Book with miles option when searching for tickets.

United Airlines has made positive strides toward making flying more enjoyable for families. Just in the last year, United has introduced a new family seating tool, kids’ amenity kits, and brought back kids’ meals. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why you would choose to fly United with kids.

Flying With a Lap Infant

When searching for flights, you can add a lap infant to your booking directly on the United website. When adding passenger information, you must include your child’s full name as it appears on their ID (which could be their birth certificate or passport) , date of birth, gender, nationality, and country of residence.

Lap Child in United Polaris Business Class

After booking, you can add your lap infant to your reservation by calling 800-864-8331 . United does not require a lap infant to have a ticket when flying domestically.

A child is considered a lap infant when they are younger than 2 years old. For your child to qualify as a lap infant, they must be under 2 years old for the entirety of your trip . If your child turns 2 during your trip, you will be required to purchase your child a return ticket.

While your child can sit on your lap up to 2 years old, the FAA recommends that your baby fly in an FAA-approved car seat .

Bassinets are free in United Polaris business class and on select international flights in economy. You’ll want to call United directly to confirm that a bassinet is available on the plane scheduled for your itinerary.

Children younger than 7 days old cannot fly on United .

Priority Boarding for Families

United has priority boarding for families traveling with children younger than 2 years old . Unaccompanied minors can also board during preboarding along with active military members, customers with disabilities, and select elite status holders.

United has family seating policy for those traveling with children under 12 years old to sit together for free. The airline’s seat map finds adjacent seats for you when booking, even for basic economy passengers. The seat map will even offer Preferred Seats if necessary.

Did you know that airline rows only have 1 more oxygen mask than there are seats in the row? That means a 3-seat row can only accommodate 4 people, meaning you can only have 1 lap infant per row. If you’re flying with more than 1 child under 2 years old, you’ll have to purchase a seat for at least 1 of them or split the adults traveling across rows.

Onboard Amenities

United recently partnered with Sesame Street, offering a children’s travel kit with activities such as an activity book, crayons, and a puzzle to keep your little one busy during the flight.

United Airlines Kids Meal

Kids’ meals are also available on the following United flights for preorder:

  • Domestic flights over 2,000 miles
  • Premium transcontinental flights
  • Flights between Hawaii and mainland U.S.
  • Select short- and long-haul flights from the U.S. (not including Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean)

For those traveling with breast milk , United will provide ice to keep milk and formula cool and allow breast pumps on board at no additional cost.

Nursing pods and lactation rooms are a comfortable and secure way to pump or breastfeed when on the go. Check out our guide to Mamava pods before your next trip.

Entertainment

United Polaris IFE Screen with Disney Frozen movie

There are 2 options for inflight entertainment when you and your family fly on United.

Depending on which aircraft you’re flying on, there may be a seatback screen on the seat in front of you. In this case, you can watch TV shows and movies on DIRECTV or play games without needing your own device.

If no seatback entertainment is available, you can watch TV and movies for free on the United app with free inflight Wi-Fi on your own device.

Wi-Fi is available on most United flights , starting at $8 or 800 miles for MileagePlus members and $10 for all other passengers. Wi-Fi day passes and subscriptions are also available. T-Mobile customers get free Wi-Fi on United .

Unaccompanied Minor Service

Unaccompanied Minor United Airlines

Children aged 5 to 14 who travel without an adult must participate in United’s unaccompanied minor service . This service is optional for travelers between the ages of 15 and 17 traveling alone.

You can book your unaccompanied minor a ticket directly on United’s website. During the booking process, you’ll be required to share the name and contact information of the person dropping off and picking up your unaccompanied minor from the airport.

The unaccompanied minor program fee varies based on the number of children traveling. The fee is $150 one-way for 1 or 2 children, $300 one-way for 3 or 4 children, and $450 for 5 or 6 children. The fee doubles for round-trip flights.

Chase offers 4 personal and 2 business co-branded United credit cards . The following cards are listed in order from no annual fee to premium and from personal to business cards:

  • United Gateway℠ Card
  • United℠ Explorer Card
  • United Quest℠ Card
  • United Club Infinite card
  • United℠ Business Card
  • United Club Business card

You can transfer flexible rewards to your United MileagePlus account, including Chase Ultimate Rewards and Bilt Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio. Or transfer Marriott Bonvoy points at a 3:1 ratio with a 10,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred.

Earn United miles through United credit cards or transfer points directly to the airline from Chase, Bilt, or Marriott.

United is one of the 3 big legacy carriers in the U.S., a member of the Star Alliance, and an increasingly family-friendly airline . In the past year, the airline has brought back kids’ meals, partnered with Sesame Street, and made it easier for families to sit together on the plane. With several hub airports and direct or partner flights to destinations worldwide, United is definitely worth considering for your family’s future travels.

The information regarding the United Club℠ Business Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do kids need to fly united.

Travelers under 18 years old are not required to have any additional identification when flying on United as long as they are flying with an adult. Only the responsible adult must present ID when a child is flying as an unaccompanied minor.

Will United seat families together?

United’s seating policy guarantees that families traveling with children under 12 will be seated together. This is the case no matter the class of service, even if you’ve booked Basic Economy seats.

Does a car seat count as a carry-on?

No, a car seat does not count as a carry-on. A car seat and stroller can be brought on the plane at no additional cost as long as they can be placed in the overhead bin or used in the seat. Otherwise, you can gate-check your car seat or stroller before boarding the plane.

Do families get to board first on United Airlines?

Families do not get to board first on United. However, they get priority boarding along with elite status members and those on active military duty.

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About Ashley Onadele

Ashley discovered a love for travel in college that’s continued as her family has grown. She loves showing parents how they can take their families on trips using points and has contributed to numerous publications and podcasts.

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Flying on United with a Baby – Our Experience and Review

Is United a good airline to fly with a baby? Over the course of my son’s 60+ flights over the past 13 months, including one that was nearly 9 hours with United, we’ve had many chances to test this airline. It’s the one that services our home airport the most, and the one we’re the most loyal to.

Is it a good airline to travel with a baby or toddler? Here’s everything to know about infant policies, and the experience of flying with a baby on United Airlines:

Booking a Lap Infant

united travel with infant

Booking a lap infant on United Airlines is simple and straightforward. You just add them to the lap of one of the parents during booking. If you have a mileage account with United, which you might as well do if you fly with them, you can add your baby’s details and just check a box each time you want to add them to your lap.

I definitely recommend doing this during booking rather than trying to add them later. I have run into an issue previously where a client booked the ticket for me and didn’t add my son as a lap infant. When I called and added him later, they said that everything was fine, but when I showed up at the airport, it was not fine. Whoever I had spoken with didn’t properly add him, and we ended up missing our flight since the check-in agent couldn’t do it manually at check-in and we ended up on hold for over an hour trying to sort it out. It’s actually the only bad experience I have had with United, and almost made me decide not to keep flying with them.

But they’re the airline we travel with the most, and that we have status with. It helped me learn an important lesson – just add the infant when you book.

Like every airline I’m aware of, infants can be on your lap until they’re 2 years of age. This will be free for domestic flights and will cost 10% of the adult fare for international, or just the airport fees and taxes for Mexico and Canada. This fee will be added when you check out.

United Infant Policies

travel with a car seat

United provides free onboard bassinets in United Polaris business class and in Economy on some international flights. You’ll have to request it at the gate and will only be able to use it if you’re in one of the bulkhead seats.

If you’re traveling with a child of any age, you can bring the following on your flight for free in addition to your carry-on and personal items:

  • Diaper bag (does not count against your carry-on allowance).
  • Breast pump , milk or formula .
  • FAA-approved car seat (only if your child has their own seat, or you can gate-check).
  • Compact folding stroller that meets  carry-on bag size guidelines  when collapsed, like the gb Pockit .

Unfortunately United does not allow blow-up toddler beds like the Flyaway bed. They do, however, allow the CARES harness if your child has their own seat and is over 1 year old.

I have also found changing tables in the lavatories on just about every United flight I’ve taken.

You can also gate check strollers and car seats for free, or you can check them as hold luggage for free. Large or non-collapsible strollers, and non-folding wagons must be checked at the ticket counter. However, they’re also free.

The Experience of Flying United with a Baby

flying united with a baby

I’ve flown everything from the tiny 4-seat per aisle planes to the United Polaris Business Class with my baby. Overall, it’s a good experience that has been mostly headache-free.

United allows early boarding for any families with children under 2. What I appreciate is that you truly board early with United, right after Global Service, US Military, and customers with disabilities, as opposed to Southwest which allows the A group to board first. When I’ve been traveling solo with my son, I really needed that extra time to set everything up without a bunch of people trying to board right behind me.

I also appreciate that I’ve never had an issue with United employees questioning if my stroller really fits in the overhead bin. I’ve traveled with the GB Qbit (which is actually slightly over the allowed dimensions, but always fits regardless), Ergobaby Metro+ (read my full Metro+ review ), and Joolz Aer and they’ve all been allowed without issue.

Once on the plane, so far my experience with the service has ranged from fine to great. The service on US airlines has never compared to, say, Emirates or Singapore Airlines, but my expectations are managed on US airlines, and United is just fine.

Basic Economy

From time to time, I’ve booked the Basic Economy fare. Since United doesn’t count the diaper bag against your carry-on allowance, you’re good to bring it on. That said, booking seats together isn’t possible with basic economy. We’ve always been able to ask whoever is next to us to switch without issue, though, and if you get to the gate early, they may be able to help there as well.

With the exception of the exit rows, which children under 13 aren’t permitted to sit in, you can book any seat in Economy with a baby. I always recommend the window for some added entertainment and so that there’s a spot without anyone next to or walking by you. If you book your little one their own seat, United recommends that it be the window seat.

Premium Economy

This is pretty much your only shot at getting a bassinet seat on a larger and especially international flight. These seats have more legroom and are more pleasant to fly with a baby when you can swing it.

Polaris Business Class

Most recently, we flew United Polaris business class from Tokyo to San Francisco and I appreciated the level of service on the flight. The cabin crew were always happy to be helpful, which has mostly been my experience on business class with any top airline.

However one thing I wish they did on United that, though rare, I’ve seen on Singapore airlines, is to give priority access to the seats that have capacity for bassinets to those traveling with infants. By the time I’ve booked, I’ve almost never have access to those seats on United since the bulkhead is popular.

Though these seats had about as much room as I’m used to on an international flight, they weren’t as wide as the seats on our inbound Singapore Airlines flight. If you can possibly fly with them, DO IT.

Keep in mind that the exact seat configuration and features will depend on the aircraft. It’s always worth searching the specific aircraft you’ll be flying prior to booking to make sure you’re happy with the business class before splurging for it. United is usually pretty good, though.

Would I Recommend United to Parents?

Overall, United Airlines is a good one to travel with babies and toddlers. Although I wouldn’t say they’ve gone above and beyond like some international airlines I’ve flown with, they’ve still been accommodating and good to fly with a baby.

They allow priority boarding for families earlier than some airlines, make adding a lap infant easy during the booking process, and haven’t given me any issues about bringing on a stroller as a carry-on. Overall, their policies are pretty generous to those traveling with a baby.

With the exception of my one bad experience when the lap infant wasn’t added during booking, I’ve otherwise had good experiences flying with them with our baby.

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Kristin is the founder of Parenthood Adventures, combining her love of travel and newfound joy of motherhood. She's the creator of one of the most-read women's travel blogs in the world, bemytravelmuse.com, with a readership in the millions each year.

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United Airlines flying with babies

Are there any age restrictions for infants traveling on united airlines flights.

Infants under 7 days old are not allowed to travel on United Airlines flights.

Infants over 7 days old may travel on United Airlines flights only accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old.

When does United Airlines require a ticket purchase for my baby?

United Airlines requires you to purchase a ticket for your child when:

  • The child is two years or older.
  • The child turns two after outbound flights for the continuing/return flights only.
  • You are traveling alone with two babies under the age of 2 years – for the baby who will not be sitting in your lap.
  • You are traveling internationally, regardless of your baby’s age, and whether or not the baby travels as an infant on lap.

Does United Airlines offer discounts for infants or children traveling on domestic or international flights?

Infants who are carried on an adult’s lap on domestic flights (within the US, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands) do not require a ticket and travel free of charge .

Even if no fare is paid, a ticket is required for an infant to travel on international flights . Infants only pay taxes on the ticket when traveling between the US and Canada, or from Mexico to the US or Canada .

Infants traveling without a seat to all other international destinations are charged 10% of the adult fare at the time of infant ticketing .

Tickets for children occupying their own seats may be the same price as an adult ticket. The best way to determine the price of a ticket for a child is to search for flights using the “Make Flight Reservation” feature from the United’s website and select the number of children under the Travelers section .

Infants on Lap

Only one lap child per adult passenger is accepted on United Airlines flights. Infants under two years old for whom a seat has not been purchased at the applicable adult fare may not occupy a seat. On some aircraft, only one lap child is allowed per seat section, due to oxygen masks constraints. Passengers with lap infants may not be seated in certain rows on some aircraft.

Only on international aircraft , a limited number of bassinets can be reserved for use, free of charge . Bassinets are available for passengers traveling international segments in United Polaris business class ( on select Boeing B757, B767, B777, and B787 aircraft ) and United Economy ( on Boeing B757, B767, B777, and B787 aircraft ).

Bassinets may not be used during taxi, takeoff, landing, or when the seatbelt sign is illuminated. Bassinets are   29 inches (74 cm) long by 11 inches (28 cm) wide , large enough to hold an infant weighing 22 pounds (10 kg) or less. You may request a bassinet by calling United Reservation or to a United representative at the airport. United Airlines will provide accompanying seat assignments for an adult traveling with an infant and up to one travel companion, at no additional fee.

Infants with a Reserved Seat

Children traveling on their own tickets and unable to sit upright with the seat belt fastened must be carried in an approved child restraint device (infant seat). United Airlines does not provide infant seats. Only FAA-approved child safety seat devices may be used during takeoff, landing, and when the seatbelt sign is illuminated. Infant seats must be clearly marked with the original label. Car seats manufactured after February 1985 should also be certified for use in aircraft .

Booster seats, belly belts, and vests or harnesses (which hold the infant to the chest of the adult) may not be used on board the aircraft.

Seating Restrictions

Infant seats must be secured at all times in an aircraft seat, unless stored as carry-on. Infant seats cannot be used:

  • In a rear-facing seat.
  • In an exit row, the row immediately before or after an exit row.
  • In an aisle seat (on one-aisle aircraft, the infant seat must be placed in a window seat. On two-aisle aircraft, the infant seat must be placed in a window seat or a middle seat of a center section).
  • In First Class on Boeing B767 and B777-200 aircraft with three-class cabin configuration and on Boeing B757 with rear-facing seats.
  • In United Polaris business class on Boeing B767, B777, and B787 aircraft .

Infant & Child Baggage

The following infant and child articles may be taken on board, in addition to the carry-on allowance :

  • A diaper bag .
  • A breast pump .
  • A car seat – if you have not already reserved a seat for the use of a car seat, you may use adjacent unused seats to secure the child seat if space is available. If there are no free adjacent seats after boarding is completed, the child seat must be properly stowed.
  • A compact folding stroller that meets the carry-on size limits (e.g., gb Pockit Stroller, BabyJoy Pocket, Silver Cross Jet Ultra Compact).

For each child, United accepts free of charge one stroller or folding wagon and one car seat as checked baggage . Strollers or folding wagons may be used up to the departure gate. Only a compact folding stroller may be taken on board,  while large, non-collapsible strollers and non-folding wagons must be checked at the check-in counter. All other collapsible strollers and folding wagons can be checked at the gate and will be returned to you at the aircraft door at the destination .

Collapsible cribs, pack ‘n’ plays, and other similar products are not accepted free of charge and must be checked at the check-in counter as part of the checked baggage allowance .

The standard checked baggage allowance applies to children with purchased tickets, including infants traveling internationally on an infant fare . If the child’s baggage allowance is exceeded, the excess will become part of the accompanying adult’s baggage allowance. All standard checked baggage restrictions and fees apply.

United Airlines requires that children under the age of 5 must be accompanied by an adult passenger, 18 years or older, or the child’s parent/legal guardian on the same flight and in the same compartment.

United Airlines offers pre-boarding only for passengers traveling with children aged 2 and younger . Families traveling with children aged 3 years and older must board when their group is called. Passengers traveling children under 15 years of age may not be seated in exit rows.

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United Airlines Infant Policy

united airline

Take Flight with your Little One: A Guide to United Airlines Infant Policy

So you’re expecting a new addition to your family and wanderlust hasn’t gone anywhere! Traveling with a baby can seem daunting, but fret not, new parents. United Airlines offers a family-friendly policy to make your journey with your “mini-me” as smooth as possible. This guide will equip you with all the essentials you need to know about United Airlines’ infant travel policy , from ticketing and baggage allowances to safety regulations and in-flight amenities for your precious cargo.

Table of Contents

Flying with your Bundle of Joy: Lap Child vs. Seated Infant

United Airlines welcomes infants under the age of 2 on board. You have two options for your little traveler: a lap child or a seated infant.

  • Lap Child (Free Travel for Domestic Flights): For flights within the US, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, your infant under 2 can travel for free on your lap. This is a great option for short trips or budget-conscious flyers. However, only one lap child is allowed per adult passenger.
  • Seated Infant (Paid Ticket Required): You can choose to purchase a separate seat for your infant and secure them in a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved child restraint system (CRS) like a car seat or harness. This option offers more comfort and security for your little one, especially on longer journeys. A paid ticket is required for seated infants on all flights, including domestic ones. The fare will vary depending on the destination.

Ticketing and Reservations for your Infant Traveler

Here’s what you need to know about booking your flight with a little one:

  • Always Inform United Airlines: Regardless of whether your infant will be a lap child or occupy a separate seat, you must inform United Airlines at the time of booking. This helps the airline ensure proper seating arrangements and availability.
  • Booking Methods: You can indicate you’re traveling with an infant during online booking or by contacting United Airlines reservations.

United Airlines Infant Baggage Allowance

United Airlines offers a generous baggage allowance for your little one, allowing you to check one car seat or stroller (gate-checked) free of charge in addition to your standard baggage allowance. This comes in handy for transporting bulky baby gear without incurring extra fees.

Important Tips for a Smooth Flight with your Infant

Here are some pro-tips to ensure a pleasant flying experience for you and your precious passenger:

  • Plan Ahead: Pack light but ensure you have all the essentials for your infant, including diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, formula or breast milk (if applicable), and medications (if needed). Bring familiar toys and comfort items to keep your baby occupied and content.
  • Breastfeeding and Bottling on Board: United Airlines welcomes breastfeeding on board. For bottle-feeding, you can bring breast milk or formula in quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces (100ml) as long as it’s declared at security. Bottles filled with water can also be brought through security and refilled on board with flight attendant assistance.
  • Bassinet Availability: A limited number of bassinets are available on a first-come, first-served basis for infants under 20 pounds (9 kg) and who can’t yet hold their heads up unassisted. Request a bassinet at the time of booking to increase your chances of securing one.
  • Inquire About In-Flight Amenities: United Airlines offers some amenities to make your flight with a baby more comfortable. These may include diaper changing stations in lavatories and complimentary disposable nursing pads on some flights. Be sure to inquire with the flight attendants about available amenities.

Safety Regulations for Flying with Infants

Safety is paramount when traveling with your infant. Here are some key safety regulations to be aware of:

  • FAA-Approved CRS : If you choose to purchase a separate seat for your infant, ensure you have a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved child restraint system (CRS) to secure them during takeoff, landing, and turbulence.
  • Age and Weight Restrictions for CRS Use: Not all CRS are suitable for all ages and weights. Double-check the CRS manual to ensure it’s appropriate for your infant’s size and stage of development.
  • Flight Attendant Assistance: Flight attendants are trained to assist with securing your infant’s CRS. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if needed.

Additional Resources for Planning Your Trip with United Airlines

For the latest information and updates on United Airlines’ infant travel policy, baggage allowance, and other travel regulations, visit the United Airlines website at https://www.united.com/en/us/fly/travel/accessibility-and-assistance/traveling-with-children.html . The website also offers helpful resources on flying with children, including tips for packing and keeping your little one

FAQ’s

It depends on your destination and how your infant will be traveling. For domestic flights (US, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands), infants under 2 can travel for free as a lap child (no separate ticket required). However, for international flights (including Canada, Mexico, Guam) and for some routes between the US and Canada or Mexico to the US/Canada, even lap travel requires a paid ticket for your infant. The fare varies by destination, so be sure to check with United Airlines for specific rates.

Domestic lap travel is free, but for international flights and ticketed lap travel on certain routes (US-Canada, Mexico-US/Canada), the fare varies by destination. If you choose to purchase a separate seat for your infant, you’ll need to pay a discounted ticket price (lower than an adult ticket).

Absolutely! United Airlines allows you to check one car seat or stroller for free on top of your standard baggage allowance. However, make sure the car seat is FAA-approved for airplane use for your infant’s safety.

Unfortunately, only one lap child is allowed per adult passenger. If you’re traveling with more than one infant under 2, you’ll need to purchase a separate seat for each additional infant.

The good news is you can check one car seat or stroller for free on top of your standard baggage allowance. If your infant has a separate seat and ticket, they may be entitled to their own checked baggage allowance depending on your fare class.

You’re welcome to breastfeed your baby on board. For bottle-feeding, you can bring breast milk or formula exceeding 3.4 ounces (100ml) as long as it’s declared at security. Bringing bottles filled with water for formula or breast milk mixing is also a good idea. Flight attendants are happy to help with refilling water on board.

Yes, they do! A limited number of bassinets are available on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified infants. To be eligible, your infant must be under 20 pounds (9 kg) and unable to hold their head up unassisted. Requesting a bassinet at the time of booking increases your chances of securing one for your flight.

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Flying United Airlines With a Baby

By: Author Kenny

Posted on Last updated: August 17, 2023

In this post, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of flying United Airlines with a baby or toddler. Whether you’ve already booked a flight or you’re considering United as the best option for your trip with a little one, we’ve got you covered with what you’ll need to know to prepare for the experience.  Read on to learn all about flying United Airlines with a baby !

united travel with infant

About This Post

This post is  mostly  concerned with infants (under 2) who either need a car seat or fly as lap infants. That said, much of what we’ll have to say regarding seat selection and onboard experience will be relevant even once your little flyer can sit in their own seat unassisted. (Some information, like our discussion of onboard entertainment / tablet usage, is more relevant to older kids.)

You can find  official policy from United here . You should always confirm details of policy directly with the airline. This post discusses not only those policies, but how they impact your planning and experiences.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate, this site earns from qualifying purchases.

Booking United Airlines With a Baby

Well, for starters…

Can you bring a baby on United Airlines?

Yes. As long as your baby is at least 7 days old they can fly on United. United specifies, “We cannot fly infants younger than seven days old.”

Can my baby sit on my lap?

A child under two years of age can fly as a lap infant on United.

united travel with infant

Does my baby have to sit on my lap?

No. You can buy a seat for your baby when flying United Airlines, even if the baby is under 2 years old. For safety reasons, small children should be restrained in an FAA approved safety seat (usually a car seat) when in their own seat. We discuss which seats may not allow car seats later in this post.

Do babies fly free on United?

Babies under 2 years old who fly on an adult’s lap (i.e. without their own seat) fly for free within the United States on United. On flights between the US, Canada, and Mexico, you have to pay taxes only. On other international flights, there is a partial fare that varies by destination.

Babies of any age who have their own seat will typically pay the full regular fare. Some destinations may have discounts.

How do I book a lap infant or a seat for my baby on United?

United makes it very easy to book a lap infant. When you make your initial search, you’ll be able to click into “Travelers.” There, specify the number of “Infants on lap.” If you wish to have a separate seat for the infant, you can instead add one “Infants (Under 2).”

united travel with infant

Can you bring a car seat onboard United?

If you book a seat for your baby, you’ll be able to bring an FAA approved car seat onboard for their seat (subject to restrictions about which seats can have car seats, discussed below). United’s explicit policy is actually:

If you’re traveling with a child of any age, you can bring the following on your flight for free in addition to your carry-on and personal items:…FAA-approved car seat Cite

I suspect this is actually a bit mistaken (and if it isn’t I’d prepare myself for a crew to share my interpretation). Specifically, if you don’t book a seat for your baby then I’d expect you can only bring a car seat onboard if it can collapse into the size of a carry on . An ordinary car seat can’t fit in the overhead bin. Without a seat for it I don’t know where you’d put it. Here’s an example of a collapsible car seat (affiliate link).

You can check the car seat for free at the ticket counter (before security) or at the gate.

Can you bring a stroller onboard United Airlines?

You can’t bring a full-size stroller on the plane. You can check a stroller at the ticket counter or the gate for free.

However, United specifically notes that a stroller that collapses into carry on size is allowed onboard for free (to be stowed overhead as a carry on) when traveling with a child. They mention the gb Pockit as one such stroller (affiliate link):

united travel with infant

United does not specify a size restriction for gate-checking strollers, but I would recommend checking large strollers or double wides at the ticket counter before security (or at least asking them if you’ll be able to gate check it).

Does United Airlines have bassinets?

Per United, they have “free onboard bassinets in United Polaris® business class and in Economy on some international flights.” This is ambiguously phrased, and I believe it actually should just say they have “free onboard bassinets on some international flights.”

Information as to exactly which flights is hard to come by. SeatGuru’s maps suggest some 787s and some 767s have bassinets available. In any case, I wouldn’t suggest banking on a bassinet. If a United flight best fits your international route, it is worth contacting them to see if one is available, though.

Does United Airlines allow Diaper Bags?

When flying with a child, United allows you to bring a diaper bag for free “in addition to your carry-on and personal items.” I wouldn’t bring both a personal item and diaper bag for a child with a seat, but the rules do seem to allow this.

Does my child need a birth certificate to fly United Airlines?

Any time you’re flying with a lap infant you should be prepared with a scan of your child’s birth certificate to show they meet the “under 2” age requirement. While we’ve never been asked for this, it’s the sort of thing airlines can and occasionally do request.

united travel with infant

United Airlines With a Baby — Seat Selection

United Airlines has a huge fleet (851 planes as of publication) on around 20 different aircraft types. Almost all of these have multiple classes of seats, and within those classes there is variance in which seats are appropriate for kids. We definitely can’t cover every single one, but we’ll do our best to provide an overview.

United Seat Selection With a Lap Infant (Basics)

When traveling with a lap infant, you have a lot of freedom in picking your seat. Most notably, lap infants are not allowed in exit rows. The FAA requires everyone in an exit row to be 15 years or older.

I would also be hesitant to book a seat with an inflatable seat belt (or “airbag seat belt”). I can’t find any rule about this, but I know some airlines prohibit lap infants in these seats. Personally, I also can’t imagine it’s safe to have a lap infant in one of these since there’s literally an airbag ready to deploy from the seatbelt in case of an emergency.

These are typically seats at the front of a section, like the first row of First Class, first row of Economy, or any bulkhead row. That said, they seem relatively uncommon on United, and we’ve actually flown First Class bulkhead (on a plane without inflatable seat belts there) with Zoe as a lap infant:

united travel with infant

I see when attempting a sample booking that United allows me to book a seat that I know has an inflatable seat belt with a lap infant, but I wouldn’t be surprised to have a crew member ask me to move.

United Seat Selection With a Car Seat (Basics)

United specifies, “Car seats aren’t allowed in United Polaris business class on most Boeing 767, 777, or 787 planes.” This is helpful enough, but unfortunately not the whole story. For example, car seats also aren’t allowed in exit rows, though the seat assignment system shouldn’t have a problem catching that.

As with the lap infant situation (above), I’d be careful about booking seats with inflatable seatbelts when bringing a car seat, too.

As is usually the case, “Children in car seats should sit in a window seat with the car seat secured to the seat itself.”

United Cabin Selection With a Baby

Above we covered the specific types of seats that babies and car seats generally cannot (or may not) be allowed in. Next, let’s cover some of the factors you might want to consider in picking the right cabin.

United Economy and Basic Economy

United Economy seats make up most of the seats on United’s planes. Since exit rows and rows with inflatable seat belts will usually be marketing as “Economy Plus,” you usually won’t have any restrictions on picking an economy seat when flying with a baby.

We’re reviewed United economy twice:

  • Review of United 737 Economy
  • Review of United A320 Economy

united travel with infant

Basic Economy is the lowest cost United fare class , and it notably doesn’t include a carry on. You’ll only have a personal item. We’ve generally found a carry-on necessary for travel with a baby, so we don’t fly Basic Economy with a baby.

Basic Economy also doesn’t include complimentary seat selection. Update: United is rolling out a feature for families traveling with children that will allow them complimentary seat selection for one adult and one child, even on basic economy fares. So far the feature seems to be partially rolled out (I hope), as the best I can get is this “if seats are available we’ll put you together” notice:

united travel with infant

United Economy Plus

Economy Plus seats are seats in the Economy cabin with extra legroom. If you purchase an Economy fare, you can buy an Economy Plus seat at the time of ticket purchase. If you buy a Basic Economy fare, you’ll usually have to wait until check-in.

Economy Plus doesn’t come with any special benefits besides the legroom and seat location. The only semi-exception to this is that on some planes ( this one, for example ), the only Economy seats with outlets are the Economy Plus seats. This is distinct from, say, Delta Comfort Plus, which includes a variety of benefits alongside the increased legroom .

We’re generally fans of extra legroom options when traveling with a baby. Since a lap infant goes on your lap, the extra space between you and the next row is obviously valuable. When flying with a car seat, the extra inches can be the difference between properly fitting a car seat and awkwardly squeezing it in angled between the two rows.

united travel with infant

Once you move past the car seat age, the extra space is still nice because toddlers like to climb around a bit, though it’s much more nicety than necessity at that point.

As I mentioned above, Economy Plus is usually where you’ll find exit rows and inflatable seatbelts. United’s seat assignment interface will keep you from booking exit rows, but I’d also avoid the first rows of any sections (or at least Google some reviews, first) to avoid the potential of inflatable seatbelts issues.

United Domestic First

Domestic First is the class at the front of most United flights within the United States. Note that some longer domestic flights, like transcontinental flights or flights to Hawaii, might be flown on planes offering the more premium options discussed next.

Domestic First seats are usually in a 2-2 setup or a 1-2 setup on smaller planes. A two-seat row is perfect for a couple traveling with a lap infant or a lone parent traveling with a child their own seat.

On other airlines, we’ve booked a setup where one of us will sit with Zoe in a two-seat row while the other one sits in the aisle seat immediately behind in a three-seat row. This wouldn’t work as well on most United planes because of the partition between the two cabins:

united travel with infant

Besides the extra space and better seats, United First comes with free alcoholic beverages (not useful for the child, but maybe useful for a parent) along with premium food (specifics depend on flight duration). There are also a variety of other benefits, like expedited security and more checked bags.

While we’ve splurged for United Domestic First on a flight or two with Zoe , it is hard to justify the price. Specifically, as a family of three we can do pretty well in our own row further back in the plane.

united travel with infant

With a lap infant or a baby in a car seat, those babies tending to be younger, you’ll really have to think about how much you value your in-flight comfort vs. the stress of bothering other First passengers every time your baby makes a peep. We’re on the record as “babies everywhere” people, but that comes with the caveat that we try incredibly hard to avoid situations where our baby will be an excessive bother to other people.

United Transcontinental and International Premium Plus / Business / First / Polaris

These are the seats where it’s most important to do your research ahead of time. If you’re flying a long flight and considering a premium cabin, you’ll want to do a deep dive. Learn what you can about the experience (i.e. is there food? charging ports for toddler’s tablet?) but there are some less obvious things to consider, too.

For example, here’s a business class setup on British Airways (not United, just an example to make a point):

united travel with infant

I wouldn’t want to sit my child with or without a car seat in a configuration like that because I wouldn’t be close to them anytime the seatbelt sign was on. (I would, and did, fly that product with a lap infant, though).

United Airlines With a Baby — Luggage

Every passenger with a seat gets a personal item. United’s personal item size is one of the more restrictive of the domestic carriers. United limits personal items to 9 in. x 10 in. x 17 in. (22 cm. x 25 cm. x 43 cm.). That said, I’ve never had a problem with packing my usual backpack that I use as a personal item on every airline and which slightly exceeds that size.

Customers flying on fares except Basic Economy fares also are entitled to a carry on. This can be a larger bag, up to 9 in. x 14 in. x 22 in. (22 cm. x 35 cm. x 56 cm.). Importantly, Basic Economy fares cannot add a carry on later. If you attempt to bring a carry on with a Basic Economy, you’ll be charged a fee to check the bag at the gate along with a $25 penalty.

united travel with infant

As noted above, when we fly with a baby we almost always require a carry on. That means Basic Economy fares aren’t an option. Theoretically we could make separate bookings with two of us on Basic Economy fares and one of us on a regular Economy fare (with a carry on) to save some money, but that creates some logistical headaches we just opt to avoid.

Checked bags generally require a fee (exceptions are made for certain premium cabins).

Included Items for Families with Children

United specifies that families with children can bring the following onboard (without extra charge):

  • Breast pump, milk or formula
  • FAA-approved car seat
  • Compact folding stroller that meets carry-on bag size guidelines when collapsed

As noted earlier, I assume the car seat policy is specifically that a car seat can be brought if a child has a seat or if it can collapse into a carry-on size. In any case, families can also check one stroller and one car seat per child for free. These items can be checked at the ticketing desk (before security) or at the gate.

Online Check In

As always, when flying with a lap infant you should be prepared for online check-in to not work. This is because some airlines have a policy of confirming lap infant ages at the ticket desk before issuing boarding passes. We never had any issues with online check-in on United when flying with Zoe as a lap infant.

United Lounge Access With a Baby

United has two levels of lounges—United Clubs and United Polaris Lounges, neither of which is particularly easy to get access to. In all cases, to access a United lounge you’ll need to be flying United or a Star Alliance partner. Specific access requirements can be found here , but I’ll give a brief overview of how to get in.

united travel with infant

The usual way to access the lounge is by flying a premium cabin (business or first) on a transcontinental premium route or an international route. In this case, any properly ticketed passenger (including kids) can access the lounge. If you’re ticketed in the flagship “Polaris” cabin, then you’ll have access to Polaris lounges where available.

Importantly, business and first class passengers on most domestic routes will not have access to the United Club or Polaris lounges .

Alternatively, you can directly purchase access to United Clubs, via an annual membership (also available as a perk of the Chase United Club Visa Infinite Card or via one-time passes (you can get two free per year with the Chase United Explorer Card ). 

The membership includes access for 2 guests, which means it’s a feasible option for a small family.

The one-time passes do not include guests, except children under 2. This means that even our small family (two adults, one toddler over 2) can’t efficiently make use of our annual pair of guest passes.

united travel with infant

Whatever airline you’re flying, you’ll often find Priority Pass is the easiest way to get lounge access. It won’t get you access to the United lounges, but Priority Pass has a network of lounges available at many airports.

Priority Pass is included as a benefit of several premium cards these days, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Amex Platinum . Guest policies for Priority Pass vary but typically include two guests, with additional guests allowed for a fee. A large family may want to find a way to have two Priority Pass accounts to maximize their guest count.

Finally, please keep basic etiquette in mind when visiting a lounge with a child. We fully support bringing kids into lounges, but finding a relatively isolated spot, not allowing your kid to run around, and leaving if they can’t control themself are the minimum steps you should take as a courtesy to other people in the lounge.

United Boarding With a Baby

United’s pre-boarding process technically includes families with children 2 and under. Practically, you’ll hear the announcement made in various erroneous ways (“families with children under 2” or “families with lap infants” being common ones).

united travel with infant

If you technically qualify for pre-boarding, we recommend you attempt it even if the announcement is erroneously made. Just don’t argue if the gate agent gives you some wayward explanation for why it’s different today.

Onboard United With a Baby

Because of how diverse their fleet is, the specifics vary a bit plane by plane. Even United isn’t fully thorough in their explanations of offerings…

Changing Tables. For example, United lists the following planes as having changing tables:

  • Boeing 757-300
  • Select Boeing 757-200

We know from experience that this list is incomplete. For example, this is a lavatory on an A320 we flew a few months ago:

united travel with infant

You can see directly above the toilet is a changing table. Generally, I believe almost all of United’s fleet would have at least one changing table onboard. You might not find them on smaller planes operated by United Express.

Nursing. United spells out their onboard nursing policy on their website, explicitly stating that nursing and pumping are allowed both in your seat and in the lavatory.

united travel with infant

Entertainment. United planes offer either seat back entertainment or entertainment accessible on your device via the United app. We never like to rely on airlines to provide entertainment, so we travel with a tablet—an Amazon Fire HD 10 (affiliate link)—loaded with downloaded content.

I’ve opined before that I don’t think seat back televisions are a necessity on plane. But if a plane offers entertainment only on personal devices, then your child won’t have any entertainment unless they have their own device or use someone else’s.

united travel with infant

Outlets. Charge up your tablet beforehand, because not every United seat has outlets . Most do, but on select planes the only Economy seats with outlets are the Economy Plus seats.

Wifi. Never count on wifi on planes. You should have wifi, including free messaging, on most United flights. More extensive options (i.e. for streaming) come at a cost. You might opt to pay for this, but we still recommend downloading some content onto a tablet if you’re hoping for tablet time.

united travel with infant

Food and Drink. United provides complimentary beverages on all flights. They provide small snacks, usually a small pack of cookies, on flights at least 800 miles. Flights over 500 miles have snacks available for purchase , too. Additionally, premium cabins may have more food offerings.

Importantly, to buy anything on United you need to store a credit card in the United app on your phone. While you could theoretically do this with onboard wifi after departure, we highly recommend doing it before departure.

Baby wearing. United specifies that “harnesses that hold an infant to your chest, such as a papoose, cannot be used onboard your flight.” This is apparently an across-the-board ban on baby wearing onboard.

I’m entirely familiar with a prohibition on baby wearing anytime the seatbelt sign is on, but I can’t recall seeing a total ban like this. (Moreover, I suspect this is could be an FAA rule, which is strange because it’s relatively common to see people baby wearing in the aisle of long flights.)

We have a full post on all things baby wearing for travel if you’re looking for more details on that topic.

Special things for kids. Per United: “We’ve created a Children’s Travel Kit in partnership with Ranger Rick so they stay engaged and inspired while they fly. It includes an activity book with crayons and a toy. Ask your flight attendant to see if they’re available on your next flight.”

We’ve never asked for this, and no one has offered it to us.

United Airlines With a Baby — Conclusions

Overall I’d say United with a baby is an average experience. Their website offers a good amount of information , and they are pretty generous with their policies overall.

Free snacks and beverages on most flights are a plus. The lack of seat back entertainment on some planes is going to be a minus if your little one is old enough for some screen time but doesn’t have their own device. The fleet diversity can make some things tricky (just give every seat outlets), which is a little frustrating.

We’ve found the service on Delta to be better than United , but that isn’t enough to make us pick Delta every time at any cost.

In the end, I’d book United with a baby in a heartbeat, specifically if the Economy fare (not Basic Economy) had a reasonable cost.

united travel with infant

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All About United Airlines: Airline Policies & More Important Information For Kids

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Two kids in brightly colored clothing stand together looking out of a airport window at a United Airlines plane.

If you’re planning a trip on United Airlines with your children , it’s important to do some research on the airline and its policies for kids. This will help ensure that your family has a comfortable and enjoyable experience while flying. Luckily, United Airlines also has several policies in place specifically for families traveling with young children, from bassinets to early boarding. This guide will cover everything you need to know about United Airlines with kids, from check-in procedures to baggage allowances. We’ll also cover some of the more unique aspects of flying United. By the end of this article, you’ll know everything you need to make your next flight on United Airlines a smooth and stress-free experience. Keep reading to learn more! 

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Why Fly United Airlines with Kids?

A hand reached out to navigate the United Airlines app on a smart phone.

Wondering why you should fly United Airlines with kids? While every family’s airline experience is subjective, many travelers consider United Airlines to be a kid-friendly option. The airline has a great reputation for safety and customer service, and they offer a variety of amenities and services that are perfect for families traveling with young children. For starters, United offers a pre-boarding program for families with young children. This allows you to board the plane early so that you can get your little ones settled in before the rest of the passengers come on board. Finally, all United aircraft are equipped with in-seat entertainment systems featuring a variety of kid-friendly movies, TV shows, and games to help keep your little ones entertained throughout the flight.

READ NEXT :  All About Delta Airlines: Airline Policies & More Important Information For Kids

Where Does United Airlines Fly Directly?

A family of four sits on a bed packing a suitcase.

Pack your bags, United offers service to destinations all over the globe, including many popular locations in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. They also fly to several destinations within the United States, so we likely have a non-stop flight to get you there no matter where you’re trying to go.

  • United offers non-stop service to major cities in the United States, like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, and New York.
  • Some popular international destinations include Beijing, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro.

For more information, check their website for a complete list of all the places they fly to in the US and abroad. 

Booking a flight for your family? Check out these  11 Best Airlines For Kids For International Family Travel – And What You Need To Know! !

United Airlines Policy for Kids

The silhouette of a woman holding her baby watching planes take off at an airport.

When it comes to flying with children, United Airlines has a few different airline policies depending on the age of your kids. Keep reading to learn all about the United Airlines policy for kids! 

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Early Boarding f or Families

If your kids are under the age of 2, you can take advantage of early boarding. This way, you can settle and store your luggage comfortably before takeoff.

Delta Airlines Policies Specific to Infants, Toddlers, and Young Kids

There are a few United Airlines policies specific to families traveling with babies, toddlers, and small children. Here is what you should know if you are flying with tiny travelers.

Wondering about the United Airlines infant policy for lap seat kids? Infants under the age of 2 can also fly as lap-held infants to any destination with United Airlines. On domestic flights, this is free, and no ticket is needed. If you’re wondering, “do babies fly free internationally on United Airlines”, the answer is no, but lap-seat infants are discounted. For international flights, some fees apply, and a separate ticket needs to be issued.

To warm bottles, families can request hot water from a flight attendant. Alternatively, flight attendants will also bring you ice to keep milk and formula cool. This is helpful to know in advance if you are trying to learn everything you can about the United Airlines infant policy.

You can request a bassinet pre-flight for some international flights in United Polaris® business class and in Economy. They’re subject to availability. Contact United  to request one in advance of your flight.

United Airlines Car Seat Policy

Infants and toddlers can fly in an FAA-approved car seat . Children in car seats should sit in a window seat. The car seat can be secured to the seat itself. To make sure your car seat qualifies, look for the sticker attached to the side for confirmation. We hope this helps you better understand the United car seat policy!

United Airlines Child Fare

If you choose to have your infant in their own seat, they will need to purchase a ticket at full fare. There is no United Airlines child fare. Kids over the age of 2 will need to pay the full fare for a ticket. 

Baggage/Carry-On Luggage

A mom and her two kids stand with their carry-on luggage at the airport, knowing the baggage allowance for children is important to understanding the United Airlines policies for kids.

In addition to carry-on bags and personal items, you can bring a diaper bag and a breast pump, milk, or formula . FAA-approved car seats and compact folding strollers are also allowed onboard. Then, you can check strollers and car seats free of charge, either at the ticketing desk or at the gate. If you plan to bring a Pack ‘n Play®, collapsible cribs, or other similar items, they must be checked at the ticket counter (and will be charged at the baggage rate for your ticket).

Lap children are not given their own baggage allowance (carry-ons or checked bags) in addition to anything listed above. Children with their own ticketed seats, however, are allowed the same baggage as an adult at the baggage rate for the purchased ticket. When flying with children on United Airlines, be sure to triple check what baggage is allowed before going to the airport.

Unaccompanied Minors

Additionally, if your child is between the ages of 5 and 14, they may be eligible to travel as an unaccompanied minor . This service must be arranged in advance and comes with certain rules and restrictions.

Food Policy

Kid-friendly snacks and meals are available when flying with children on United Airlines. TSA allows several baby items to go through security, you can  check that list   here . For in-flight snack and meal options, check here . Kids’ meals for long flights must be requested in advance .

Special Toys and Games/Entertainment Options

United Airlines also offers a special inflight entertainment system for kids, called “UNI”. This system includes age-appropriate movies, TV shows, games, and more.

What Documents Do I Need to Fly with Kids?

A young girl stands on the jet bridge with her suitcase and travel documents, knowing what documents to bring is also helpful when learning about United Airlines policies for kids..

Now that you know the United Airlines child policy for flying with kids, you may be wondering,  do you need identification for a child or a baby to fly ? There are a few different documents your children may need, as U.S. citizens, to travel (if your kids have different citizenship, please refer to the rules and regulations for their country of citizenship). Then, other types of documents may also be needed for United Airlines child identification, depending on the flight, destination country, transit country, etc.

What Documents Do I Need for US Domestic Travel with Kids

  • Generally, no ID is needed : Babies and kids (or, those under the age of 18) do  not  need to present any identification for domestic travel within the United States (or its territories, like Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands).
  • Birth Certificates : Some airlines, however, may require proof of age for lap-seat infants. In this case, we recommend packing a  birth certificate  for your children just in case.
  • Child Travel Consent : If you are traveling without your child’s other parent, a letter of consent providing proof of permission to travel alone with your child may be useful. While this is not strictly needed for domestic travel, it may provide peace of mind for traveling parents in the event you are questioned by government or airline staff.

What Documents Do I Need for International Travel with Kids

Basically, babies and children need the same documents for international travel adults do, including:

  • Valid US Passport : Regardless of age, children with U.S. citizenship need a valid passport for air travel to another country (even babies!). The application process for children under 16 needs to be completed in person. Both parents are required to be present. Children’s passports are valid for five years.
  • Proof of Relationship to Child : While you may not be asked for it, we highly recommend that you travel with some type of document proving your relationship to your child (e.g., birth certificate, adoption certificate, etc.). Please note, some countries or airlines will require this type of document. It is your responsibility to know the documents needed before you depart for your trip.
  • Child Travel Consent : If you are traveling without your child’s other parent, plan on bringing a letter of consent from the other parent to travel alone with your child. Some countries require letters to be notarized. This letter should contain the child’s basic information (e.g., name, gender, birthday, place of birth, passport number, etc.), both parents’ names and contact information, the traveling arrangements (flights, accommodations, other adults traveling in your party), and the destination.

Additional Documents You Might Need or Want for International Travel with Kids :

  • A  visa for the destination country , or a transit country (a country where a layover takes place).
  • Some countries require everyone to have  vaccination records  for specific vaccinations. Check the  U.S. State Department International Travel website  for information about your destination country.
  • Each country has its own requirements (or recommendations) for documents needed to enter the country. Check the  U.S. State Department International Travel website  for information about requirements for your destination country.
  • If you travel frequently, consider joining one of the  Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP ).

RELATED ARTICLE : The Best Travel Accessories Families Can’t Live Without

Tips for Taking a Long Flight with Kids on United Airlines

A mom holds her infant son on an airplane, knowing tips for long-haul flights with also helpful when learning the United Airlines policies for kids.

If you’re flying United Airlines with children, you should keep a few things in mind to make the experience as smooth as possible.

  • First, arrive at the airport early to allow plenty of time for check-in and security.
  • Have your carry-on bags packed and ready to go so you don’t have to hold up the line searching for items.
  • Once you’re on the plane, take advantage of the in-flight entertainment options to keep your kids occupied.
  • If your child gets restless, take a walk up and down the aisle or visit the lavatory together.
  • Also, try to schedule your flight around their natural sleep schedule.
  • Finally, remember to hydrate during the flight by drinking plenty of water or juice.
  • And bring along a travel pillow and blanket for each child to keep them comfortable! 

If you’re traveling with a baby for the first time, check out our ten tips to prepare for your baby’s first flight .

Best Snacks to Carry on a United Airlines Flight with Kids

No one wants to be hangry, especially when stuck on a long flight. Keep your energy up and stave off any meltdowns by packing some snacks for you and your kiddos. United Airlines understands that sometimes flying with little ones can be challenging, so they allow families to bring snacks.

Get creative and pack some new and exciting snacks your kids may like, as well as some reliable favorites. Healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables, trail mix, whole grain crackers, and yogurt are all great options. If you’re looking for something a little more indulgent, we recommend packing some mini cookies or pretzels. And don’t forget the drinks! Water is always a good choice, but you might also want to pack some juice boxes or milk for the littlest ones.

Best Products for Taking a Long Flight on United Airlines

Product shot of a Koala Kloud Travel Foot Rest, blown up and within its carrying case.

There are a few essential products to bring along if you want to survive a long flight on United Airlines with kids. Here are a few to consider as you prepare for your flight:

  • Firstly, you need a good travel pillow to bring along with you. We recommend The Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Pillow , The Sunany Inflatable Neck Pillow , or The Ultimate Travel Pillow ® .
  • Parents and kids may also benefit from noise-canceling headphones like those from Purosound and Bose .
  • A footrest like the Koala Kloud Travel Foot Rest may also be useful.
  • And for some products specifically for parents, don’t forget pillow spray for deep sleep .

Then, read more hacks and products for sleeping on long flights with kids in our article! 

Travel Resources For Families: Where To Book Hotels, Flights, & More

Happy travels.

A mom and her young son touch a large stone wall in Barcelona.

We hope you liked this Guide To United Airlines Airline Policies For Kids! Whether you’re planning a short weekend away or an extended trip, it doesn’t hurt to familiarize yourself with these airline policies for children. Hopefully, learning about the United Airlines child policy has helped you prepare for and get excited about your trip! Enjoy your next flight with the kids! 

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Kids On A Plane

United Airlines Pregnancy, Infant and Children Travel Policy

United Airlines is an American airline based out of Chicago and is a founding member of the Star Alliance network of airlines. Here’s a recap of United’s pregnancy, infant and children travel policies.

*Please note, this page is for informational purposes only and may not reflect current airline policies. To find up-to-date travel policies, please click here or contact the airline directly.

Expectant Mothers Flying with United

Passengers traveling in their ninth month of pregnancy must have an obstetrician’s certificate dated within 24 to 72 hours prior to their flight departure.

The certificate must state:

  • The passenger has been examined by an OB and is physically fit to travel by air
  • Departure and arrival destinations and dates
  • The estimated birth date of the baby

Infants (under 2 years old) Flying with United

United does not accept infants in incubation or infants less than seven days old.

Children under the age of two traveling within the United States with a parent or with an adult 18 years or older can travel on the adult’s lap free of charge.

If there are two or more children under the age of two traveling with the same adult, only one of the children may travel as a lap child. Any additional children are required to purchase a seat.

When making your reservation you should indicate you are traveling with an infant, regardless of your destination.

A ticket will have to be purchased for any flight on which the infant will be over 2 years old and the child must occupy their own seat.

Infants under the age of two, traveling without a seat within the United States, do not require a ticket.

All infants traveling internationally must have a ticket which is subject to infant fares and taxes, even if no seat is purchased and they are traveling as a lap child.

Infants traveling between the U.S. and Canada only pay taxes on the ticket.

Infants traveling without a seat to other international destinations are charged 10% of the adult fare at the time of infant ticketing (it is usually less expensive to purchase the infant ticket in advance).

Infants traveling on an adult’s lap on front cabin rewards or upgrades must pay 10% of the front cabin fare in applicable markets.

United Baggage Allowance for Infants

One of the following infant articles may be carried on board, in addition to the maximum carry-on baggage allowance:

  • Small collapsible stroller (space permitting)
  • Government-approved child seat (infant carrying seat or car seat)

United accepts one stroller or one carseat in addition to a customer’s baggage allowance. When checked as baggage, all oversize and overweight charges will apply. First and second bag fees do not apply to either a stroller or a car seat. If you are traveling with a stroller and a carseat in addition to the baggage allowance, only one of these items is carried free of charge.

Infants traveling internationally on 10 percent of an adult fare will be granted a free baggage allowance of one stroller or one carseat and one other item (linear dimensions must not exceed 62 inches (157 cm) and weight must not exceed 50 pounds (23 kg). If the infant’s free baggage allowance is exceeded, the excess will become part of the fare paying adult’s baggage allowance and all restrictions and excess charges will apply.

Strollers, Bassinets and Child Restraint Devices

Strollers may be checked to your final destination without a fee, in addition to your normal baggage allowance.

Children can be transported in their strollers throughout the airport. However, strollers must be checked at the gate. No strollers of any size are permitted as carry-on baggage. Your child’s stroller will be delivered to you at the aircraft door upon request at your connecting city or destination. Large, non-collapsible strollers cannot be checked at the gate. Please see a United representative at the airport check-in counter to check your large, non-collapsible stroller.

A limited number of bassinets can be reserved for use, free of charge, on international aircraft (Boeing 747, 767, 777 and 757-200). These bassinets are large enough to hold an infant weighing 22 pounds (10 kg) or less.

To request a bassinet and an accompanying seat assignment, contact United Reservations at 1-800-UNITED-1. There will be no fee for these seat assignments when arranged by United Reservations or with a United representative at the airport.

We recommend making your request early, as bassinets may no longer be available for your flight once you are at the airport. There are no bassinets available in United First®, United Global First and United Business® on international flights.

Child Restraint Devices:

Child restraint devices must have the labels noted below, or you will not be allowed to use it during take-off, landing, and surface movements. This includes booster seats and other types of harnesses.

Special Services for Families Flying with United

Changing tables are available on certain types of aircraft. Flight attendants will be able to direct you to the proper lavatory. Please bring an adequate supply of diapers for your trip.

If you are traveling with an infant please be sure to bring enough food and supplies with you. United flights are not equipped to heat baby bottles. You may request hot water or ice from a flight attendant to keep items hot or cold.

United Airlines - Flying with Babies, Toddlers and Children and During Pregnancy

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How to Fly With Your Baby

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flying with an infant can be less daunting with these tips

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Babies have such a bad reputation when it comes to staying quiet on plane rides that some parents go so far as to hand out treats to fellow passengers before the plane has even taken off. Indeed, George and Amal Clooney, world travelers and parents of twin babies, made headlines late last year for gifting headphones to some passengers, along with a note apologizing in advance for any crying.

While there’s no need to pack dozens of gifts in your diaper bag, travel and parenting experts recommend other strategies to increase your chances of a smooth flight when flying with an infant.

If you're flying with an older child — especially one who's mobile — guidelines and effective practices may be slightly different. See our tips for flying with toddlers and up.

Make sure your baby is old enough to fly

Airline policies vary widely. For example, United says infants must be at least seven days old to fly, while American Airlines says infants as young as two days old may fly, but will need a doctor’s approval if they are less than seven days old (upon request, airlines provide a form directly to the doctor).

Check with your airline about the rules in advance. You may also wish to consult your child's pediatrician.

Consider buying your baby a ticket

Children younger than 2 generally fly for free domestically because they can sit on caregivers’ laps (although you may need documentation, such as a birth certificate, to prove the child’s age). Still, the Federal Aviation Administration says that the safest way for children to fly is strapped into their own harness, which can be an approved car seat or other type of approved restraint. That way, during unexpected turbulence, the baby will be securely strapped in.

Plus, some parents may find that long flights can be easier when babies have their own space, especially if they can sleep in their car seat.

Regardless of whether you buy a ticket for your baby, children under 2 still need to be added to the airline reservation. And in some cases, especially on international flights, you may still need to pay infant fares and taxes. If you do buy a seat for your baby, some airlines, like Southwest, offer a reduced “infant fare.”

Plan around nap schedules

If you can get your baby to fall asleep on the plane, the flight may seem to go by more quickly — but many parents find that with the excitement of traveling, babies don't sleep at their usual times.

“We took a red-eye to Germany when our oldest daughter was around 2, and she didn’t sleep a wink. It was miserable,” says Kate Rope, author of “ Strong As a Mother: How to Stay Healthy, Happy, and (Most Importantly) Sane From Pregnancy to Parenthood. ”

After they arrived, they checked into their hotel early and took a family nap before heading out for sightseeing . That worked well for everyone, Rope says.

When booking your trip, try to find a flight itinerary that dovetails with your baby's preferred nap time. Also consider the potential benefits of a layover. Direct flights may get you and an upset baby to your destination faster, but a layover offers a chance to stretch, change and dispose of diapers, and feed your child more easily.

Check some of your gear

Babies tend to travel with a lot of stuff, including strollers, car seats, diaper bags and toys. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to carry it all along with your baby.

Check with your airline in advance about what you can check; in general, strollers and car seats can be checked for free. Bringing your car seat also eliminates the need to rent and install one if you are renting a car at your destination.

Some airlines allow families with young children to board before other passengers, which may offer you extra time to check and store all that gear. However, some may find it easier to skip the early-boarding option entirely to minimize the total time on the plane with a young child.

Pack extra clothes (for you, too)

Babies are known for eliminating bodily fluids at inconvenient times, and plane travel is no exception. Turbulence can also create a mess of knocked-over drinks and spilled food, and motion sickness can contribute to the chaos, too.

Packing extra clothes for both the baby and yourself can help reduce the chances of having to continue your trip in a soiled outfit.

Feed your baby during takeoff and landing

Just like adults, babies may experience discomfort in their ears as a result of air pressure changes during takeoff and landing; sucking and swallowing can ease the pain.

“When my daughters were breastfeeding, I would always breastfeed during takeoff and landing. Later, I brought sippy cups filled with milk,” Rope says. (In general, airport security allows parents to bring small amounts of liquids for babies, but they may need to examine or test it.)

She says that minimizing ear pain is one of the best ways to keep crying at bay.

Walk the aisles

“When they were babies, my husband and I would take turns walking up and down the aisle with them in a baby carrier when they got fussy,” Rope says.

Since babies are often soothed by movement as well as the roar of the plane engine, those strides can help stop the tears or even lull your baby to sleep. For your own comfort, be sure to wear supportive walking shoes.

Explore your surroundings

If your baby is old enough to enjoy grasping new things, the plane can serve as a new toy to explore, says Katherine Reynolds Lewis, author of the upcoming book “ The Good News About Bad Behavior: Why Kids Are Less Disciplined Than Ever — and What to Do About It .”

“Point out all of the interesting trays and knobs, and maybe look out the window, too,” she says. Even in-flight magazines and barf bags can serve as intriguing new objects to supplement any toys and books you packed in the diaper bag. If you’re worried about germs, give everything a swipe first with antibacterial wipes from your bag.

Know that crying is normal

Kate Orson, author of “ Tears Heal: How to Listen to Our Children ,” urges parents to accept that crying, even on a crowded flight, is a normal part of being a baby and to some extent should be expected.

Other passengers probably don’t notice as much as you might think, given the engine noise, and they also might empathize with your plight, she says. “Many of your fellow passengers may be parents even if they don’t have their kids with them — we’ve all been there.”

Keep yourself calm and relaxed, too

“Try to pretend it’s just you and your baby on the plane. I’m sorry, but I can’t be worried about how upset Larry in 15D is,” says Farnoosh Torabi , a personal finance expert and mother of two kids.

Torabi and her husband recently traveled from New York City to Turks and Caicos with their 3-year-old and 10-month-old. “Babies can pick up on a parent’s stress, and that can only exacerbate the crying,” she says.

Accept help from strangers

Sometimes, when a flight attendant or fellow passenger notices an upset baby, they will offer to help by holding the child — and Torabi says it’s OK to accept this help.

“If someone offers to take over and try to soothe your baby, let them be your guest,” she says.

As with most things involving babies, traveling by plane requires patience and preparation. First, decide whether you want to purchase a seat or carry your infant as a lap child. Pack plenty of age-appropriate items for entertainment, and try to plan your flight at an ideal time for your baby’s sleep schedule.

Yes, if you’re carrying your infant in a wrap, they can stay there as you pass through the TSA metal detector. Note that TSA states you “may be subject to additional screening.” If your child is in a stroller, they’ll need to be taken out so the stroller can go through the x-ray machine.

Airlines have various restrictions on how old an infant must be to fly, so check with your travel provider first. For example, United and Delta say infants should be at least seven days old to fly (Delta requires a physician’s permission), while American accepts infants as young as two days old with proper medical forms. However, use your own judgement and seek your doctor’s advice when deciding when to fly with your baby for a safer and more enjoyable experience.

If you’re traveling internationally, your baby will need a passport regardless of their age. For domestic travel, it’s a good idea to bring a copy of your child’s birth certificate in case you need to verify their age and/or your parental status.

Children under two years old can fly for free domestically on most airlines when carried onboard as a lap child. If you want to buy your baby their own seat, you’ll need to book them a ticket. It’s worth calling your airline to see if they have an infant fare; some may offer you a discounted price, but others will direct you to buy a regular ticket.

Flying with an infant, recapped

Flying with an infant requires an extra level of preparedness. Not only do you need to pack all-the-things, you will need to be strategic about selecting flights that best support baby's cycles (if you're lucky).

In the end, remember that you'll get through the flight (you've got this) and that accepting help from strangers can help soften the sting of a fussy kid.

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united travel with infant

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6 Best U.S. Airlines for Families 2021

Family-Friendly Airlines; Courtesy of Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock.com

Mar 10, 2021

See recent posts by Family Vacation Critic

Not all airlines are equal when it comes to caring for families.

While one might allow families with young children to board before other passengers, others charge for that helpful honor. Some airlines offer in-flight entertainment to keep the kids busy, while you’ll need to bring your own tablets and toys for others.

Based on the factors that matter most to those flying with kids, these are the best U.S. airlines for families.

Editor’s note: Note that some of these amenities and services may be limited due to the pandemic. Always follow all COVID-19 restrictions, rules, and safety regulations from your airline, at your destination, and upon returning home.

1. Southwest Airlines

Pre-boarding: Yes, families with children under age 6 may board during Family Boarding, after group A has boarded. Southwest is also one of few airlines that ensures families can sit together . Lap Seat Ages: Infants 14 days to under 2 years old may be carried free of charge. A Boarding Verification Document is needed to board. Diaper Changers: Aircraft dependent. Discounted Child Fares: Yes, child fares are available for ages 2 to 11 . Nursing Accommodations: Breast pumps and breastfeeding are welcome. Kids’ Meals: No, but free peanuts and pretzels are served. Kid-Friendly Entertainment: Yes, it offers a free, in-flight entertainment portal. Wi-Fi: Yes, Wi-Fi is available on most flights. Stroller and Car Seat Gate Check: Yes. A car seat and stroller may be checked at no additional fee. Bassinets: No. Car Seats: Yes, FAA-approved child restraining seats are allowed to fit in certain seats. Car seats are not allowed in aisle seats, exit row seats, or the rows directly in front of and behind an exit row.

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2. American Airlines

Pre-boarding: No Lap Seat Ages: Infants at least 2 days old or under age 2 may be carried free of charge when traveling within the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands ) and Canada . For all other travels, 10 percent of adult fare (plus tax) will apply. Diaper Changers: Changing tables are available on all wide-body aircraft. Discounted Child Fares: No. Children over the age of 2 are required to have their own seat at full fare. Nursing Accommodations: Breast pumps and breastfeeding are welcome. Kids’ Meals: None, but snacks and sandwiches are available for purchase. Kid-Friendly Entertainment: American Airlines offers access to its streaming library of TV shows , music , and movies to view on your personal device through the American Airlines app – no wi-fi purchase necessary. Wi-Fi : Yes, Wi-Fi is available on nearly all flights within the U.S.; it is available on select international flights. Stroller and Car Seat Gate Check: Yes, fully collapsible strollers under 20 pounds can be checked at the gate, along with car seats. Umbrella strollers may be carried on as long as they fit in an overhead bin. Bassinets: Yes, bassinets may be available on a first-come, first-served basis, though they cannot be reserved in advance. They are found on 777-200, 767-300, 777-300 and 787 planes. Car Seats: Yes, FAA-approved child restraining seats are permitted, but not allowed in exit rows or the rows directly in front or behind an exit row.

Related: Traveling While Breastfeeding: What to Know, What to Pack & More

3. Delta Air Lines

Pre-boarding: Delta offers boarding just after First Class for fliers traveling with strollers and carseats. Lap Seat Ages: Children must be more than 7 days old and under age 2 to fly free, and only in the U.S. International flights require a seat for a child of any age. Diaper Changers: Aircraft dependent. Discounted Child Fares: No. Nursing Accommodations: Breast pumps and breastfeeding are welcome. Kids’ Meals: Yes. Jarred food (strained fruit, vegetables, meats and desserts) is available for babies, and special meals are available for children ages 2 to 12. These options qualify as ‘special meals’ and must be requested at least 24 hours before flight departure. Kid-Friendly Entertainment: Free entertainment is offered on all domestic and international flights via Delta Studio . TV shows, movies, music and games can be streamed on seat-back screens or personal electronic devices with Wi-Fi capabilities, free of charge. Delta also offers Speakaboos , an app designed for kids ages 2 to 6, with audio books and popular kids’ TV shows. Kids can also access the app post-flight with a special code given in-flight. Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is available on all flights within the U.S. Stroller and Car Seat Gate Check: Yes, strollers can be checked free of charge. In addition to one carry-on bag allowance, you may also bring a booster seat , other infant seat or bassinet for free. If children are flying for free, however, they do not have a baggage allowance and their items will count toward the adult’s baggage allowance. Bassinets: Yes. Called SkyCots, they are available on some international flights, on a first-come, first-served basis in bulkhead seats. Car Seats: Yes, FAA-approved child restraining seats are permitted, but not allowed in exit rows, rows directly in front or behind an exit row, bulkhead seats, aisle seats, or flatbed seats.

Pre-boarding: Yes, it’s available for families with children ages 2 and younger. Lap Seat Ages: Yes, a child must be at least 3 days old and under age 2 to sit on an adult’s lap. Diaper Changers: Yes. Discounted Child Fares: No. Nursing Accommodations: Breast pumps and breastfeeding are welcome. Kids’ Meals: Free snacks, such as animal crackers and cookies , are available. Kid-Friendly Entertainment: DirectTV programming is offered on seat-back TVs, and includes newly released films (free of charge). SiriusXM is also available. Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is available on all planes. While coverage can vary by route, it is guaranteed on flights over the contiguous 48 states. Stroller and Car Seat Gate Check: Yes, strollers and car seats can be checked free of charge. Bassinets: No. Car Seats: Yes, FAA-approved child restraining seats are allowed.

Related: The Best Baby Travel Gear 2021

5. United Airlines

Pre-boarding: Yes, families with any children under age 2 can board before others. Lap Seat Ages: Children at least 7 days old and under 2 years old traveling within the U.S., Puerto Rico, and USVI can fly free of charge. Outside of these regions, a ticket must be purchased for a lap seat child. Diaper Changers: Changing tables are available on Boeing 757-300, 767, 777, 787 and select 757-200 flights. Discounted Child Fares: No. Nursing Accommodations: Breast pumps and breastfeeding are welcome. To warm bottles, you may request hot water from a flight attendant. Kids’ Meals: No, but snacks and sandwiches are available. Kid-Friendly Entertainment: DirectTV is now being offered for free on select Boeing 737 flights, featuring a wide-range of programming including TV, movies, and games. Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is available on all mainline aircraft. Stroller and Car Seat Gate Check: Yes; collapsible strollers only. Others must be checked with baggage and are free of charge. Bassinets: Yes, they are available on a first-come, first-served basis; they are only available on international flights. Car Seats: Yes, FAA-approved child restraining seats are allowed. No booster seats, belly belts, vests or harnesses are permitted.

6. Alaska Airlines

Pre-boarding: Yes, families with children under age 2 can board before others. Lap Seat Ages: Yes, kids under 2 are permitted as lap seat children. Diaper Changers: Aircraft dependent. Discounted Child Fares: No. Nursing Accommodations: Breastfeeding welcome. Kids’ Meals: No, but Alaska Airlines does offer beverages and small snacks as well as a Signature Fruit & Cheese Platter available for pre-order on flights longer than 1,100 miles. Kid-Friendly Entertainment: Yes, in-flight movies and TV shows are available and include kid-friendly options.

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi is available on most aircraft and on most North American routes, with the exception of flights to Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Stroller and Car Seat Gate Check: Yes, free of charge. Bassinets: No. Car Seats: Yes; restrictions apply on certain airplane seats, but car seats are generally permitted in window and middle seats as long as they don’t block access to the aisle.

Related: Traveling With Infants and Toddlers: Everything You Need to Know

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Flying With a Baby? Here’s What to Know Before You Go

How old should a baby be to fly, read this next, what do children need to fly, tips for flying with an infant.

What to Expect the First Year , 3rd edition, Heidi Murkoff.  WhatToExpect.com, Do Babies Need Passports? , May 2019.  WhatToExpect.com, Should You Bring Your Child’s Car Seat on an Airplane? , August 2021. WhatToExpect.com, Your Ultimate Guide to Traveling While Breastfeeding , August 2020. American Academy of Pediatrics, Family Friendly Flying , November 2015.  American Academy of Pediatrics, Flying With Baby: Parent FAQs , November 2019.   American Airlines, Traveling With Children .  Delta Air Lines, Infant Air Travel , 2021.  Federal Aviation Administration, Flying With Children , March 2021.  Transportation Security Administration, Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ .  Transportation Security Administration, Identification .  Transportation Security Administration, Will Minors Need to Have a State ID to Fly Domestically? United Airlines, Traveling With Children , 2021.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Children – Child Traveling With One Parent or Someone Who Is Not a Parent or Legal Guardian or a Group , December 2019.

Trips With Tykes

7 Things to Know about Flying United with Kids

By: Author Leslie Harvey

Posted on Published: August 15, 2016

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United with Kids - EMB145

We’ve flown United a few times within the past 12 months and I’m personally seeing some improvement for family travelers. Some. United was the source of our really bad seat separation saga last fall, but they’re still better than they once were overall.

Since the air travel experience is different from airline to airline, particularly for travelers with kids, it’s important to know what to expect before you book and before you fly. If you are considering booking a flight on United with kids, or have already booked one and need to know how to plan for it, here are the things to know.

United with Kids - Bag Checkin SFO

United’s new self-service bag drop checkin counters at SFO.

1. United Offers Pre-Boarding with Kids 2 and Under

Like most domestic US airlines, United did away with family pre-boarding a few years ago. Luckily, they brought it back in the spring of 2016. If you are traveling with a child who is 2 and under, you can board early to have time to install a car seat or just to get settled without other passengers breathing down your neck. Just use this amenity wisely, especially if you have an active toddler whose time might be better spent running around in the airport and blowing off excess energy! Frankly, I’m very relieved to have this choice back.

2. Wi-Fi and Streaming In-Flight Entertainment is Finally on Most of the United Fleet

United with Kids - WiFi

WiFi pricing on a regional jet.

Having (extra) ways to entertain your kids in-flight is always a bonus for family travelers. United was one of the last major US airlines to roll out WiFi and next generation streaming in-flight entertainment, but it’s finally mostly there. Using the WiFi costs a fee. The entertainment system, on the other hand, is free! The system offers free streaming of various movie and TV show options to smartphones and tablets. There are plenty of kid-friendly choices, so it’s an opportunity to stream something new.

One important tip: remember to download the United app to all your devices before your travel day. Many of the kid-friendly movies and TV shows won’t play direct from your browser unless you have that app installed.

United with Kids - Movie Choices

Some of the many kid-friendly movie and TV shows that can be streamed for free to your own devices.

3. Complimentary Snacks are Back

United with Kids - Snacks and Drinks

Snacks are back!

Earlier this year, United made another change that families with hungry kiddos will like – it brought back snacks on flights longer than two hours. Morning flights offer a breakfast treat called a stroopwafel and all other flights offer a zesty snack mix (mostly pretzels). Granted, this is a very small benefit – and smart family travelers should always pack plenty of snacks for airplanes anyway – but we appreciated it on our most recent United trip.

4. You Can Buy Meals on Board, but Demand Often Far Exceeds Supply

United with Kids - Snack Menu

United’s buy-on-board snack menu.

For longer flights, United has a buy-on-board meal service that has been around for a long time. This includes several hot meal choices, three snack boxes, a kids meal/snack box, and a variety of a la carte snacks. The food is pretty decent and even kids who are picky eaters will find something they like.

The problem is, you can’t really rely on United’s buy-on-board as a food option for your family. On my last several United flights, these catering choices have been woefully understocked every time. On my last flight, the hot meals were long gone before the flight attendants had served half the economy cabin. Even all but one of the snack boxes were gone by the time they got to our row (about 3/4 back). Family travelers often find themselves seated near the back of the plane, so don’t plan to rely on United to feed you a meal if you are there. Pre-pack what you need or buy in the airport.

5. Getting Seat Assignments with Your Kids Can be a Challenge

United with Kids - Late Night Flight

The realities of a late night flight with young kids… on United or any other airline!

Many frequently traveling families have had a seating horror story at one point or another. With so many more seats being saved for elites or designated as premium, that leaves fewer options for families to secure a row of seats together. I had my own trouble with United nearly separating me from my toddler last year .

Every time I have a friend tell me “the airline tried to separate me from my kids on our last flight,” I ask the friend which airline. Nine times out of ten the answer is United. While I know my information is anecdotal (and I’m sure my stats are a little skewed since I live in a United hub), I do think United has a bigger problem with family seating than with most other airlines. I’ve had far more luck addressing this potential problem earlier (before I get to the airport and certainly before I board the plane) with Delta, Alaska, and American than with United. And Southwest offers family boarding early in their open-seating boarding process which minimizes family separations there.

Luckily, Congress recently passed a new law that will require airlines to seat each child under 13 adjacent to a family member, but no word yet when that goes into effect. When it does, I expect United will have to get its act together. In the meantime, monitor your seat reservations aboard United in order to sit next to your kids. Be prepared for the seat separation curveball.

6. There’s a Fee for Checked Bags (But…)

Family travelers – especially those with babies and toddlers who require lots of gear – often need to check a bag. Most airlines except Southwest  charge for checked bags these days on domestic flights, and United is no different. First bags up to 50 pounds cost $25. Plan ahead for these charges when comparing airfares. Also be aware that while many airlines don’t usually charge for bags on international travel, United often does on flights to Mexico and Canada.

The silver lining for family travelers is that United doesn’t charge for checking car seats or strollers. Bring those as you need them without fear of racking up costs. And at least United doesn’t charge for carry ons like some of the ultra-low cost carriers do!

7. A Large Route Network Gives Families More Options in Cases of Cancellations and Delays

United with Kids - United Club SFO

When you’re flying in style, take your kids to the United Club (pictured: SFO).

Even though I have my gripes with United, I think they are still a far better option for family travelers than some other airline choices – particularly the ultra-low cost carriers like Allegiant, Spirit, or Frontier. Why? Because United is just a much larger airline. When weather causes trouble or a mechanical problem delays or cancels your flight, a bigger carrier is going to give you more options to get home in time. Face it – it’s hard to accommodate families who travel in groups of 3, 4, 5, or more. An airline with a larger route network provides more flexibility, and United has that.

Have you flown United with kids? What have been your experiences and what tips would you offer other family travelers?

Planning a flight on United Airlines with kids? Get tips and learn the rules and policies relevant to family travelers before your travel day. Pre-boarding, food, entertainment, seat assignments, and more.

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Monday 26th of June 2017

Get The Kids United

[...] o effect. When it does, I expect United will have to get its act together. In th [...]

Airline Ticketing Policies for Traveling With a Baby

united travel with infant

Emmanuel Aguirre/Getty Images

Flying with a baby often means hauling along a car seat and a stroller and tons of other baggage for baby. But if you're undaunted and planning to fly with a baby, it's important to check with the carrier to understand all the rules that traveling with a small child entails. It's a lot faster than taking a long road trip with a baby, but traveling by air is fraught with issues, and you don't want this particular situation to be one of them.

General Rules

The rules among airlines for traveling with a baby can vary by airline, and the rules can change frequently, but there are overall general guidelines regarding tickets for babies.

  • Babies age two and under can fly free on domestic U.S. flights with one paying passenger as long as they sit in the passenger's lap.
  • It is safer for a child to ride in a car seat in the plane , and if you prefer that option, you'll need to pay full fare for a seat for the baby regardless of age. The car seat must be government-approved, with labeling that says it is approved for vehicles and aircraft. You might get lucky and get a discount on this seat, but don't assume that.
  • You'll have to supply proof of age of the baby; a birth certificate is a good way to do this.
  • Infants under the age of two can travel with an accompanying passenger who is at least 16 years old, depending on the airline, regardless of whether the infant is a lap child or has a paid seat.
  • All children two and older must have their own seat.
  • The maximum number of infants per adult passenger is two, with a maximum of one lap baby (infant without a paid seat) per adult. In some countries, such as Canada, regulations permit only one infant per paying passenger 16 years old or older, regardless of whether the infant is a lap baby or in a paid seat. So if you are flying outside the United States, check the rules of your destination country.
  • If an infant not occupying a paid seat turns two after travel has begun, there is a wide range of policies. Some airlines will provide a seat without charging airfare, while others require you to pay for a seat for the child after he has turned two. Some airlines might require you to pay for an entire trip if the child turns two during your travels, and it may work out to buy tickets per direction so that you only have to pay for a ticket one way; this tends to only work for domestic flights.
  • Infants are usually allowed to travel without medical approval as long as they are at least seven days old.
  • Most airlines allow you to check a collapsible stroller at the gate and pick it up as you exit the plane. It is a good idea to check on this before you arrive at the airport, however.

Infant Fares

Delta, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Alaska Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Allegiant Airlines, and Virgin America do not offer infant fares, so if you are flying on one of these carriers, you will have to pay a full fare for your baby if you decide to use a car seat during flight.

Southwest Airlines offers what it calls affordable infant fares for children under two years when they sit in an approved car seat. The fares are not available on the carrier's website; parents must call 800-435-9792 to book infant fares.

American Airlines offers domestic and international infant fares. International infant fares are discounted 90 percent. Parents must call 800-433-7300 to book the fares; it cannot be done on the website. 

Hawaiian Airlines charges full adult fares for infants flying on domestic flights and offers a special child fare for international flights; call 800-367-5320 for these tickets.

International Flights

For those taking an infant on an international flight as a lap child, airlines have different requirements. Infants traveling without a seat on international destinations are charged 10 percent of the adult fare. Lap infants on international JetBlue flights are required to pay applicable fees and taxes and must be issued a ticket displaying the collection of those fees and taxes. On Alaska Airlines, lap infants are charged fees when traveling from an international location into the United States.

Questions to Ask

Beyond the main issue of airfare and car seats, there are several questions that you might want to ask when you are booking your flight. You might like to know if the car seat you are bringing on for the baby counts as a carry-on for you and about pre-boarding and diaper-changing facilities. 

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International travel documents for children

See what documents a child needs to travel to or from the U.S. alone or with a parent or relative.

Non-U.S. citizen children traveling to the U.S.

All children, including infants, must have their own travel documents, such as a passport or visa to enter the U.S.

Additionally, if the child is traveling alone, with only one of their custodial parents, or with a guardian to the U.S., they should have:

  • Each country has its own rules for the specific documents it requires for a child to be allowed to leave their home country without both of their custodial parents or with a guardian. Contact the embassy or consulate of the country the child is a citizen of to find out what specific documents the country requires to allow the child to leave their country.
  • The letter should say: "I acknowledge that my child is traveling outside the country with [the name of the adult] with my permission."
  • A parent who frequently crosses the border by land with a minor should always carry a letter of permission from the other parent.
  • A parent with sole custody of the child they are traveling with should carry a copy of the custody document.

If your child is traveling alone by air, the airline may require you to submit an unaccompanied minor form and pay a fee for unaccompanied minor service. This service provides an airline employee escort for your child at the airport and on board the plane. In addition, you and the person picking your child up at their destination may also need to provide the airline with identification and contact information.

Contact your airline before your child’s trip to find out:

  • What age requirements the airline has for their unaccompanied minor service
  • If you can book a ticket with a connecting flight
  • What documents and fees are required

U.S. citizen children traveling outside the U.S.

Children traveling to most other countries are required to have a U.S. passport. 

Learn how to get a passport for a minor under 18.

Depending on the country, the child may also need a visa and other travel documents. Search for the country the child will be visiting to find out what documentation that country requires.

Providing parental consent when a child travels without both custodial parents

Ports of entry in many countries have security measures to prevent international child abduction . If your child is traveling alone or with only one parent or legal guardian, they may need a letter of consent from the other custodial parent. 

  • The letter of consent, preferably in English and notarized, from the other parent (if the child is traveling with one custodial parent) or signed by both parents (if the child is traveling with a guardian or alone) should say: "I acknowledge that my child is traveling outside the country with [the name of the adult] with my permission."

Additionally, if a minor is traveling abroad alone:

  • Contact the embassy or consulate of the country your child will be visiting and ask about entry and exit requirements for that country.

U.S. citizen children traveling to Canada or Mexico

Traveling by air.

All U.S. citizen children who are traveling by air to Canada or Mexico must have a U.S. passport or Trusted Traveler Program card. 

Traveling by land or sea

  • U.S. passport, or
  • An original or a copy of their birth certificate, or
  • A Certificate of Naturalization, or 
  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad 
  • Age 16 or over: show a U.S. passport or Trusted Traveler Program card

Parental consent documentation for travel to Canada and Mexico

A child traveling with only one custodial parent or a guardian or who is traveling alone may need to present a written letter of consent at the border. 

LAST UPDATED: June 28, 2024

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Traveling with Children

All passengers are required to undergo screening. However, TSA has developed modified screening procedures for children who appear to be 12 years old and younger. TSA officers will consult parents or the traveling guardian about the child’s screening.

TSA standard screening procedures apply for children 13 years and older. Carry-on property of all passengers, regardless of age, must be screened. All passengers who alarm will undergo additional screening.

Children with Medical Conditions, Disabilities, or Mobility Aids

Inform the TSA officer if the child has a disability, medical condition or medical device.

Let the TSA officer know if your child is able to walk through the metal detector or needs to be carried through the metal detector by a parent/guardian. You may carry your child through the WTMD. The TSA officer will not remove your child from their mobility aid, wheelchair or scooter.

Request Assistance

TSA Cares provides information to passengers with disabilities, medical conditions and those that need additional assistance to better prepare for the security screening process. Call  TSA Cares 72 hours prior  to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. You may also call to request assistance at the checkpoint.

Liquid Formula, Breast Milk, Toddler Drinks, and Baby/Toddler food (to include puree pouches)

Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag. Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) are considered medically necessary liquids. This also applies to breast milk and formula cooling accessories, such as ice packs, freezer packs and gel packs (regardless of presence of breast milk). Your child or infant does not need to be present or traveling with you to bring breast milk, formula and/or related supplies.

Inform the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process that you are carrying formula, breast milk, toddler drinks and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in excess of 3.4 ounces. Remove these items from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from your other belongings. TSA officers may need to test the liquids for explosives or concealed prohibited items.

It’s helpful to the officers when formula and breast milk are in clear, translucent bottles and not plastic bags or pouches. Liquids in plastic bags or pouches may not be able to be screened by Bottle Liquid Scanners, and you may be asked to open them (if feasible) for alternate screening such as Explosive Trace Detection and Vapor Analysis for the presence of liquid explosives. Screening will never include placing anything into the medically necessary liquid.

TSA X-ray machines are not harmful to food or medicines. However, if you do not want the formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) to be X-rayed or opened, please inform the TSA officer. Additional steps will be taken to resolve alarms. You or the traveling guardian will undergo additional screening procedures, to include Advanced Imaging Technology screening and additional/enhanced screening of other carry-on property.

Ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other accessories required to cool formula, breast milk, toddler drinks and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) – regardless of the presence of breast milk – are also allowed in carry-ons, along with liquid-filled teethers. If these items are partially frozen or slushy, they are subject to the same screening as described above.

Passengers requiring special accommodations or concerned about the security screening process at the airport may request assistance by contacting  TSA Cares  or by phone at (855) 787-2227.

Screening of Children’s Items

  • Place all carry-on baggage such as children's toys, bags and blankets on the X-ray belt for screening.
  • Strollers, umbrella-strollers, baby carriers, car and booster seats and backpacks must be screened by X-ray.
  • Place items in the stroller pockets or baskets, in a carry-on bag or on the X-ray belt for screening.
  • Equipment that does not fit through the X-ray machine will undergo a visual/physical inspection by TSA officers.

Screening Technology

Walk-Through Metal Detector

Children able to walk through the metal detector without assistance may do so separately from their parent or guardian. If they alarm, children are allowed multiple passes through screening technologies and may undergo other procedures to resolve the alarm to reduce the need for a pat-down. Infants and small children may be carried through the metal detector. Should the alarm sound, additional screening is required.

Advanced Imaging Technology

If your child is able to remain standing in the required position for 5 seconds, he or she may be screened through the advanced imaging technology. If a child 12 and under goes through the machine and alarms, they have an opportunity to go through again or the TSA officer may use other procedures to resolve the alarm to reduce the need for a pat-down.

You may not be screened by this technology when carrying an infant or child.

Screening your Child

  • Children 12 and under can leave their shoes, light jackets and headwear on during screening. For AIT screening, light jackets must be removed and placed on the X-ray belt.
  • Children will not be separated from their parent/guardian.
  • Remove infants and children from strollers and car seats and carry them in arms through the walk-through metal detector.
  • Infants may be carried in a sling/carrier (to include lap baby) through the walk-through metal detector or when being screened in a wheelchair, but may be subject to additional screening
  • Modified screening procedures are in place to reduce the likelihood of a pat-down.
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What to know about traveling internationally with a baby

Caroline Picard

There's no doubt that babies can complicate travel plans. (There's a reason parents call it a trip, not a vacation!) Still, plenty of people travel outside of the U.S. with their infants. Some have family and friends they want to visit, while others figure it's easier to travel to far-flung destinations with a baby (who still sleeps 16 hours a day) than with a toddler (who wants to spend the flight walking up and down the aisle).

Whatever your reason, your trip will go more smoothly if you make a few preparations before booking your tickets and boarding your flight. Here's what you need to know about traveling internationally with an infant.

Requirements for traveling internationally with an infant

As you're planning your trip, take care of these must-dos:

Check travel advisories

Before booking, check the  U.S. Department of State's website Opens a new window for international travel advisories. You can also look at travel health advisories for your destination at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website Opens a new window as well as information on required vaccinations by country. Although most countries have lifted COVID-related restrictions, you can quickly check requirements for international travelers on the United Nations' Destination Tracker Opens a new window .

Talk to your baby's doctor

The American Academy of Pediatrics Opens a new window advises talking to your pediatrician before flying with a baby . Some doctors recommend delaying unessential travel for the first few weeks after birth (sometimes until babies are at least until 2 to 3 months old ). Babies are prone to catching infections – especially those who were born prematurely or have certain health conditions.

Once they clear your baby for travel , your pediatrician can verify that your baby is up to date on vaccinations, recommend preventative medications to pack, and determine whether your baby requires any additional immunizations. If your destination is experiencing measles outbreaks, for example, your doctor may adjust your baby's MMR vaccine schedule.

Depending on where you're traveling, your doctor may recommend – and some countries require – vaccinations for other infectious diseases (such as yellow fever or rabies) that aren't part of the standard childhood vaccine schedule. Book your appointment at least four to six weeks in advance of your trip, because it can take time to build up immunity after a vaccination.

Make sure your baby has a passport

For international travel, your baby needs a passport . Make two copies of each family member's passport, and leave one copy with a trusted friend or relative. 

If you're traveling as a solo parent, consider bringing documentation proving you're a legal guardian – as well as letter of consent (preferably notarized) from the other custodial parent saying "I acknowledge that my son/daughter is traveling outside the country with [the name of the adult] with my permission." If you have sole custody of your child, you might want to bring a copy of the custody agreement. 

12 tips for international travel with an infant

Consider travel insurance. Travel insurance ensures that you're not out of luck if, say, your baby gets an ear infection the day before you're scheduled to fly. (Keep in mind that your credit card may already offer travel insurance.)

Bring your baby's car seat. Though babies and toddlers under age 2 are allowed to fly free (or at a discount) sitting on your lap , it's safest if you buy an airplane seat for your baby. That way you'll be able to use your car seat on the plane , as long as it's approved for aircraft as well as motor vehicles. (It likely is – just check for a sticker on the car seat confirming this.) What's more, your car seat will come in handy at your destination – or at least on the car trips to and from the airport.

Request a bassinet. If you're on a long-haul flight, and especially if you forgo buying a seat for your baby, consider reserving a baby bassinet. Most family-friendly airlines offer free portable baby bassinets that attach to the bulkhead for longer international flights. These beds, which generally accommodate babies up to 20 pounds and 26 inches long, allow your baby to snooze during the flight. There are usually only a couple of bassinets available per flight – so be sure to call early, ideally when you book your tickets, to request one. 

Bring the basics. Depending on where you're traveling with your baby or toddler , you may not find your usual brand of formula, diapers, or baby food – although you'll usually identify a decent equivalent. At the very least, be sure to bring a two- to three-day supply of these products in your checked baggage, so you aren't pressed to find a pharmacy as soon as you arrive. If you're really attached to specific products, pack enough for your full trip, plus a couple days' worth of spares. (Here's what else to put on your baby packing list .)

Don't forget adaptors. You don't want to scramble to find a store that sells adaptors for your breast pump or sound machine when you're scheduled to be at the beach. Throughout Europe and in many countries worldwide, power outlets and voltage are different from the U.S. Be sure to check the requirements at your destination, and buy a few appropriate adaptors before you leave.

  • Pack a change of clothes. Having a couple of full-body changes of clothes in your carry-on bag, including socks, is essential. There's a good chance you'll have to deal with at least one leaky diaper or major spit-up on a long-haul flight .

Stock your carry-on. Besides a change of clothes, pack all of the essentials you'll need for the duration of your flight – bottles, formula, pacifiers, diapers, wipes, baby food – plus a few spares for potential delays. Think of it like your usual  diaper bag on steroids. Airports in the U.S. allow you to carry on liquids (such as water, pumped breast milk, and baby food) that surpass the usual 3.4-ounce limit, but be prepared to remove them from your bag when you go through the security checkpoint. For your return trip, you'll need to verify whether there are liquid limits in the country you're visiting.

Bring a carrier. A baby carrier is extra convenient for infant travel, especially when you're boarding your flight and when you're trying to help your baby fall asleep.

Pack sleep essentials. Sleep can be tricky when you're traveling with a baby. As much as possible, try to stick to the bedtime routine you follow at home. Pack anything your baby relies on to sleep, such as a sleep slack , night light, or sound machine. And while many hotels and rental apartments have play yards available, check beforehand to make sure your baby will have someplace safe to sleep.

Prep for jet lag. It may be worth gently adjusting your baby's sleep schedule before your trip, especially if you're traveling to a different time zone. Starting a few days before you leave, begin moving your baby's bedtime 15 minutes earlier or later every night to closer match your destination. (This trick can help you with jet lag, too!) Moving your baby's bedtime by even one hour before you travel can make a difference. When you arrive, try to stick to your baby's usual nap, meal, and bedtime schedule, adjusted for the local time zone, right away. Here are more tips for handling time changes with a baby .

Dress your baby in layers. Airplanes are usually chilly, but it's hard to predict just how cold. Dress your baby warmly in layers that you can remove or add if it's warmer or cooler than expected.

Leave yourself lots of time. Like most tasks, traveling with children takes a lot longer than traveling solo. The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) recommends arriving three hours early for international flights, but you may want to get to the airport even earlier. That way you won't panic if, say, your baby has a massive diaper explosion on the car ride to the airport. Arriving extra early also helps ensure you can secure that baby bassinet you reserved when you booked your flight.

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BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies .

American Academy of Pediatrics. 2023. Flying with baby: Parent FAQs. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Flying-with-Baby.aspx Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

American Academy of Pediatrics. 2017. Precautions for international travel: Information for parents. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/prevention/Pages/Precautions-for-International-Travel.aspx Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

American Academy of Pediatrics. 2023. Tips for safe and stress-free family travel. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Travel-Safety-Tips.aspx Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2023. Travelers health: Vaccine recommendations for infants and children. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2020/family-travel/vaccine-recommendations-for-infants-and-children Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Mayo Clinic. 2018. Prepare for jet lag before boarding the plane. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-prepare-for-jet-lag-before-boarding-the-plane/ Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Transportation Security Administration. Undated. Traveling with children. https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures/traveling-children Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Federal Aviation Administration. 2023. Flying with children. https://www.faa.gov/travelers/fly_children Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

USA.gov Opens a new window . 2023. International travel documents for children. https://www.usa.gov/travel-documents-children Opens a new window [Accessed January 2024]

Colleen de Bellefonds

Where to go next

happy baby in airplane terminal

Traveling Abroad With An Infant: Tips For Success

  • Last updated Jun 29, 2024
  • Difficulty Beginner

Melissa Carey

  • Category Travel

how to travel abroad with a infant

Travelling abroad with an infant can be challenging, but it's not impossible. With some careful planning and preparation, you can enjoy the adventure of a lifetime as a family. Here are some essential tips to help you get started:

- Get your baby's passport: Before planning an international trip, ensure you have a valid passport for your baby. The process may vary depending on your country of residence, but it typically involves obtaining a birth certificate and completing the necessary forms and applications.

- Consult your paediatrician: Discuss your travel plans with your child's doctor to ensure your baby is old enough and healthy enough to travel. They can also advise on any additional vaccinations or medications that may be required.

- Choose the right destination: Select a baby-friendly location that offers family-oriented amenities, such as baby pools, kitchenettes, and on-site baby gear. Consider the activities you want to do and whether the destination is welcoming to families.

- Book in advance: Plan your trip well ahead of time to secure bulkhead seats and bassinet options on the plane. These features provide extra space and comfort for you and your baby during the flight.

- Pack wisely: Bring enough diapers, formula, clothes, and other essentials for your baby, including a favourite blanket or toy for comfort. Don't forget to pack for yourself, too!

- Be prepared for airport security: Familiarise yourself with the security process for travelling with an infant. This may include allowing extra time for checking baby gear, wearing your baby in a carrier, and planning for diaper changes.

- Consider travel insurance: Opting for travel insurance can provide peace of mind in case of unexpected illnesses or emergencies during your trip. Look for plans that specifically cover children at no extra cost.

What You'll Learn

Travel documents, health and safety, in-flight experience, accommodation.

quartzmountain

When travelling abroad with an infant, you will need to ensure that you have all the necessary documents in order. Here is a list of the essential travel documents you will need:

  • Passport: Make sure your infant has a valid passport for international travel. The passport will be valid for five years. To obtain a passport for your baby, you will need to provide their birth certificate, fill out Form DS-11, and take passport photos that meet the specified requirements. Both parents and the infant must be present at the appointment, or the non-accompanying parent must provide a signed parental consent form DS-3053.
  • Birth Certificate: The birth certificate is important as it proves the baby's age and parentage. It should include the names of both parents, including the mother's maiden name.
  • Parent's Letter of Consent: If travelling without the other parent or legal guardian, a letter of consent from the non-accompanying parent is recommended. This letter should state that the accompanying parent has permission to travel with the infant.
  • Vaccination Records: Check with your doctor and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for recommended vaccinations for your destination. Some countries may require additional vaccinations beyond the standard childhood vaccine schedule.
  • Global Entry: If you have Global Entry, ensure that your infant also has it. This will allow you to use the service as a family when returning to the U.S.
  • Visa: Check the requirements of your destination country and apply for any necessary visas.
  • COVID-19 Forms: Depending on your destination, you may need to complete specific COVID-19 forms or meet testing requirements.
  • Other Health Forms: Ensure you have proof of any required vaccinations and complete any necessary health entry forms for your destination.
  • Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover any unexpected medical expenses during your trip.
  • Driver's License or Photo ID: As the travelling adult, you will need a valid form of identification, such as a driver's license or photo ID, in addition to your passport.

It is important to note that the requirements for travel documents may vary depending on your country of residence and your destination. Always check with the relevant government websites and consult with your airline for specific requirements and recommendations.

What to Know About the Implications of Traveling on the Day Your Visa Expires

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Travelling with an infant can be challenging, but with some preparation, you can ensure a safe and healthy trip for you and your baby. Here are some health and safety tips to consider when travelling abroad with an infant:

  • Talk to your doctor: Consult your paediatrician before booking your trip. They can advise you on whether your baby is ready to fly and recommend any necessary vaccinations or preventative medications. Some doctors suggest delaying non-essential travel until babies are at least 2–3 months old, especially if they were born prematurely or have health conditions.
  • Get travel insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover any unexpected medical expenses during your trip. It will give you peace of mind in case your baby gets sick or injured while abroad.
  • Prepare for jet lag: Jet lag can be challenging for babies and disrupt their sleep schedules. To minimise its effects, gradually adjust your baby's sleep schedule before your trip to match the destination time zone. During the trip, stick to your baby's regular nap, meal, and bedtime routines as much as possible.
  • Pack essential items: Bring enough supplies for your baby, including formula, diapers, baby food, and a change of clothes. Don't forget to pack any sleep essentials your baby relies on, such as a sleep sack, night light, or sound machine.
  • Be aware of food and water safety: When travelling to certain countries, be cautious about the safety of local food and water. Consider breastfeeding your infant or using formula prepared with disinfected water. Wash your hands frequently and ensure that bottles, pacifiers, and toys are cleaned properly to prevent foodborne and waterborne illnesses.
  • Protect against insect bites: Use insect repellents containing DEET or picaridin on exposed skin to prevent mosquito bites, especially in areas with dengue or malaria. Avoid applying repellents on your baby's hands, and consider using insecticide-treated clothing for added protection.
  • Prevent water-related injuries: Drowning is a serious risk for young children. Always supervise your baby around water, and ensure they wear age-appropriate life jackets when swimming or playing near water.
  • Sun protection: Protect your baby's sensitive skin from the sun by keeping them in the shade, dressing them in lightweight clothing that covers their body, and using physical UV filters (titanium oxide or zinc oxide) or sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Travel with a car seat: Bring your baby's car seat when travelling by car. It is the safest option and can also be used on the plane if it is approved for aircraft.
  • Consent letter: If you are travelling alone with your baby, carry relevant custody papers or a notarised letter of consent from the other parent.
  • Stay informed: Check for travel advisories and health updates before and during your trip. Be aware of any specific risks or recommendations for your destination, such as vaccine requirements or disease outbreaks.

Traveling to the US with a Schengen Visa: Here's What You Need to Know

Carry-On Bag:

  • Nappies/Diapers: Pack enough for the flight duration, plus extras in case of delays.
  • Wipes: Plenty of wipes for diaper changes and cleanups.
  • Changing pad: A portable changing pad for easy diaper changes in airplane restrooms.
  • Diaper/Nappy cream: Travel-sized container.
  • Pacifiers: Pack a few extras in case one gets lost.
  • Bottles: Pre-filled with formula or water for the flight and security checks.
  • Bibs: A couple of bibs for feeding and potential spit-up.
  • Blankets: One for warmth and another for cuddling or as a burp cloth.
  • Outfits: Pack 2-3 changes of clothes for your baby (including socks and hats) in case of spills or accidents.
  • Entertainment: Favourite toys, teethers, rattles, or new age-appropriate toys.
  • Newborn essentials: Breastfeeding cover, nasal aspirator, and gas drops (consult a paediatrician first).
  • Snacks and drinks: Bring your own, as well as snacks for the infant if they are eating solids.
  • Medications: Pack any medications you need, including infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Sanitising items: Hand sanitiser, sanitising wipes, and antibacterial wipes.
  • Electronics: Phone, headphones, portable charger, and charging cables.
  • Important documents: Wallet, passport, boarding passes, travel insurance documents, and birth certificate or passport for the infant.
  • Change of clothes: An extra outfit for yourself in case of spills or accidents.
  • Nursing essentials: Nursing pads and breast pump, if needed.

Checked Luggage:

  • Clothing: Pack enough outfits for the entire trip, considering the weather conditions.
  • Sleepwear: Pajamas or a sleep sack.
  • Feeding supplies: Formula, powdered milk, baby food containers, and a bottle steriliser (optional).
  • Bath supplies: Baby wash, shampoo (travel-sized), and washcloths.
  • Swimwear and floats.
  • First aid kit: Travel-sized diaper rash cream, infant pain reliever, bandages, thermometer, nail clippers, skin cream, etc.
  • Portable baby monitor.
  • Portable blackout blinds.
  • Car seat: Bring your own if you plan to travel by car.
  • Travel crib: Bring your own if your accommodation doesn't provide a cot.

For Parents:

  • Pack an empty bag or container for soiled clothes.
  • Dress in layers for easy temperature adjustments.
  • Check the airline's baggage allowance for infants.
  • Consider bringing a lightweight stroller or baby carrier for easy manoeuvring.

Additional Tips:

  • Have a copy of your baby's passport and other important documents, and leave another copy with a trusted friend or relative.
  • If travelling solo, bring documentation proving you are the legal guardian and a letter of consent from the other custodial parent.
  • Bring adapters for any electronic devices.
  • Pack favourite toys, books, or a tablet with downloaded apps, videos, or cartoons for entertainment.
  • Don't forget sunscreen, insect repellent, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Pack travel-sized bottles of baby body wash, bubble bath, and moisturiser.
  • Break up the journey with connections or an overnight layover to make it more comfortable.
  • Try to book a hotel room with a separate living area or two bedrooms to create a separate sleeping space for the baby.

Traveling Abroad: Minors' Legal Requirements

Flying with an infant can be a challenging experience, but with careful planning and preparation, it is certainly doable. Here are some tips to make your in-flight experience as smooth as possible:

  • Boarding: Families with young children are usually allowed to board early. Take advantage of this to get settled in your seats and familiarise yourself with the surroundings.
  • Seating: If your infant is under 2 years old, they can sit on your lap, but it is recommended to purchase their own seat if possible. This will provide more space and comfort for both you and your child.
  • Bassinet: If you are travelling on a long-haul flight, consider requesting a bassinet for your infant. These are usually free but limited, so be sure to call and reserve one early.
  • Carry-on luggage: Pack all the essentials for your infant in your carry-on luggage, including diapers, wipes, formula, pacifiers, bottles, and a change of clothes. Don't forget to bring their favourite toy or book to keep them entertained!
  • Feeding: Time your baby's feeding to coincide with take-off and landing to help with fragile ears. Breastfeeding may be a bit tricky with the infant seatbelt, but it is doable. Alternatively, you can bring formula or expressed milk.
  • Sleep: Stick to your baby's regular sleep schedule as much as possible. Bring their sleep sack, night light, or sound machine to help them sleep better on the flight. A portable blackout blind can also be useful to block out light and create a cosy sleeping environment.
  • Changing diapers: Most airlines provide changing tables in the lavatories, but it is a good idea to check in advance. Be prepared for unexpected diaper changes by packing a portable changing mat and a few extra diapers in your carry-on.
  • Jet lag: If you are travelling to a different time zone, gradually adjust your baby's sleep schedule before the trip. On the flight, try to stick to their regular nap and bedtime schedule, adjusted for the new time zone.
  • Clothing: Dress your baby in layers to account for varying temperatures on the plane. It is better to have the option to remove or add layers as needed.
  • Carrier: A baby carrier can be a lifesaver during the flight, especially when trying to soothe your baby to sleep.
  • Documents: Have all the necessary documents for your infant, including their passport, birth certificate, and any required visas or consent forms if travelling solo.
  • Stroller and car seat: Check with your airline about their policies on checking or gate-checking strollers and car seats. Some airlines may provide bassinets or allow you to bring your car seat on board if there are empty seats.

The Ultimate Guide on Traveling from Birmingham to Heathrow Airport

When travelling with an infant, your choice of accommodation can make a big difference. Instead of the usual hotel room, consider booking a vacation rental that offers more space and home-like amenities. Having separate sleeping and living areas can be a lifesaver when travelling with a baby. You can put your baby down for a nap or bedtime in a quiet room, while you relax, squeeze in a workout, or plan your next day.

Look for accommodations with a kitchen or kitchenette. Having the ability to store and prepare baby food, formula, or breast milk can make meal times easier and more flexible. Plus, you can save money by eating meals in.

Also, consider the location of your accommodation. Staying in a central location can reduce travel time and make it easier to return for nap time or if you forget something.

Pro tip: check if your accommodation offers baby gear like a crib or high chair. Many family-friendly accommodations do, and it can save you the hassle and space of bringing your own.

If you are bottle-feeding, pre-order ready-made cartons of formula to the pharmacy at your airport (the one after security), otherwise, you will be stopped and asked to try the milk at security. It’s a lot easier to pre-order them and pick them up on the other side.

If you are breastfeeding, consider your comfort and privacy while on the move. Many airports offer nursing rooms, but on the plane, you might want a window seat for a bit more privacy. A nursing cover can also be a lifesaver.

If you are travelling to a hot country, bring a sun tent for the beach to provide good protection and shade. Sun suits are also a must – don’t bother with those cute little swimsuits or trunks. You need a neck-to-ankle swim suit, with built-in SPF and a good protective sun hat.

Bring your own first aid kit with medicines, plasters, antiseptic wipes, a thermometer, etc. You probably won’t need it, but you’ll be glad you brought it if you do!

Bring a universal bath plug – many accommodations only have a shower. Pop the plug in and run the shower and you have made a little bath for your baby.

Are Travelers Checks Voidable? Exploring the Legality of These Popular Travel Payment Methods

Frequently asked questions.

Yes, your baby needs a passport for international travel. In the US, you can get a passport for your baby by obtaining their birth certificate and social security number, completing Form DS-11, and attending an appointment at your nearest passport acceptance centre. Both parents and the baby must be present at the appointment.

Consult your baby's paediatrician to ensure they are old enough and healthy enough to travel. They can also advise on any extra vaccinations your baby may need, as well as medications to pack. It's also a good idea to get travel insurance that covers infants.

Pack more than you need. Bring extra clothes for yourself and your baby, as well as plenty of diapers, wipes, formula or breast milk, and any medications. You may also want to bring a portable crib, stroller, or baby carrier.

At the airport, you can use a family lane if there is one. Baby gear like strollers and car seats will need to go through the X-ray machine and may require extra time. Wear your baby in a carrier if possible, as this frees up your hands. On the flight, your baby can sit on your lap, or you can book them their own seat. Some airlines offer bassinets for infants, but these are often first-come, first-served, so reserve one in advance if possible.

If you are staying in a hotel, consider requesting a crib and any other baby gear you may need. If you are formula feeding, ask for a kettle to prepare bottles, or a microwave and steriliser bags if you need to sterilise bottles.

Melissa Carey

  • Melissa Carey Author Reviewer Traveller

Jose Ramos

  • Jose Ramos Author Editor Reviewer Traveller

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42 real-world family travel tips that actually work

Summer Hull

Editor's Note

Family travel is a whole other ballgame.

The strategy, gear, planning, expectations and number of times you may answer "Are we there yet?" make it an entirely different sport than solo or adults-only trips.

While traveling with kids is quite different from traveling without a child, it doesn't have to be intimidating. In fact, there are countless ways to experience memorable moments and make lifelong memories with your kids, whether you hike the mountains of Machu Picchu or ride the newest coaster at Disney World .

Related: TPG's top family vacation destinations

We've compiled our 42 favorite family travel tips to make the journey a little easier. These tried-and-true tips are bound to ease travel headaches and ensure your family travels are as fun and carefree as possible.

Travel tips for infants and toddlers

united travel with infant

Having a baby may cause you to temporarily pause your adventures, and it will certainly change how you travel. But traveling with a baby is still worth the effort.

While it's true that your baby may not remember vacations that happened during their first few years, quality time together is invaluable, and you will always remember their first big vacation.

Some kinds of travel are often easier with a small, snuggly baby than a growing, active toddler, so don't be afraid to plan something while your little one is still young.

Use the right travel stroller

If you plan on traveling with a stroller, you want one that is lightweight, easily foldable and can smoothly maneuver through the airport or on rough terrain once you reach your destination.

Several strollers fold up small enough to fit in the overhead bin on most major airlines, but foldability isn't as important if you choose to gate-check your stroller.

Related: These are the best travel strollers for your next trip

united travel with infant

Instead, prioritize protecting it from dirt and damage by investing in a stroller bag. For long layovers, you can request to have your gate-checked stroller delivered to you between flights so that your baby has a safe and comfortable place to rest while you navigate the airport. Just ask the gate agent when you check your stroller.

Practice babywearing

To keep your hands free and your baby snuggled, you may choose to practice babywearing through the airport or on a flight (though most airlines don't allow it during takeoff and landing).

Transportation Security Administration rules state that infants may be carried in a sling or carrier while going through the walk-through metal detector, so you shouldn't have to remove them for security.

If it's not too hot, baby carriers and slings also come in handy at theme parks, which allow babywearing on many family-friendly attractions. Just be sure you ask about safety restrictions before you ride.

united travel with infant

Breastfeeding mamas should consider carriers that allow easy access for on-the-go nursing, such as those in sling or wrap styles.

Consider a Doona

If you don't want to lug both a car seat and a stroller and your baby weighs between 4 and 35 pounds, you're in luck: The Doona can serve the function of both. It easily transforms from a stroller to a car seat and back again, all while your baby is strapped in.

Because of their convenience, Doonas are great for flights, cab rides, Uber rides and, frankly, any part of your busy life with a baby.

Think twice about flying with a lap infant

Most airlines allow children younger than 2 years of age to fly as lap infants .

The cost savings can be hard to pass up, and during those early months when the little one is nursing or sleeping a lot, it can be the easiest way to go. If they can sleep through anything or you have someone you can split baby-care duties with, you may have success flying with a lap infant. However, if your baby is fussy or you are flying solo, you may feel more comfortable keeping them in their car seat.

Related: Childproof your next trip with these must-have baby travel gear items

If you do purchase a seat for your baby, there are dozens of portable car seats out there that are much easier to travel with than the bulky car seat you may have at home.

Get a car seat just for travel

Every kid is different, but if your child sleeps well in a car seat in the car, they may do the same on a plane. If your kids are generally comfortable in car seats and have their own seat assignments on the plane, consider bringing the car seat on board for a secure flight experience. You may also want to bring your own car seat if you plan to rent a car or use a ride-hailing service once you reach your destination.

united travel with infant

Related: Car seats that are airline approved

The Cosco Onlook is a perennial favorite for travel car seats. Weighing around 10 pounds, this car seat is a winner for situations where you need something easy and affordable. It's rated for rear-facing little ones weighing between 5 and 40 pounds or forward-facing kiddos weighing 22 to 40 pounds.

Another model to consider is the WAYB Pico portable car seat, which was recommended by several TPG readers.

Bring a Boppy pillow if you're holding an infant

A Boppy nursing pillow can be a lifesaver on long flights with an infant. In addition to being handy for nursing, it gives your baby a comfortable place to rest while giving your arms a break. To save space, you can stash your Boppy in a vacuum-seal bag when you're not using it.

united travel with infant

Sign your kids up for frequent flyer programs

Once you transition to buying your child a seat — either because they turn 2 or because you think having a separate seat will work best for your family — sign them up for a frequent flyer account and let the miles start rolling in.

No minimum age requirements exist for kids, so enroll them while they're young to maximize their earnings. Several airlines allow families to pool their miles if you want to manage your family's points in one account.

Most airlines let families with young children board early, but as long as your family has assigned seats, you don't need to worry about rushing to board before others.

Instead, have one parent get all the gear ready and board first while the other waits as long as possible before bringing the baby on board. This will help minimize the time you have your little one in tight quarters, reducing the likelihood of a meltdown or further disrupting their schedule.

Pack your carry-on strategically

Think about everything you need easy access to for yourself and your baby before organizing your carry-on. That way, you won't forget your must-have items or struggle to find them on board.

Pack food, diapers and extra outfits for at least twice as long as you think you'll need them for your little one while in transit. Don't forget to also bring clothes, snacks and drinks for yourself so you have everything you need.

As a general rule of thumb, it's a good idea to have enough essentials on board to survive for at least 24 hours, as you never know what will happen.

Bring large Ziploc bags and black trash sacks

When you're packing for a trip, never travel without a few Ziploc bags, grocery bags or trash bags. They can be used to store wet or dirty clothing. In a pinch, black garbage bags can also work as blackout shades for your hotel room.

Related: The best family beach vacation destinations to kick off summer

Find a space in your hotel for the baby to sleep

united travel with infant

In the best-case scenario, you'll have accommodations with at least two bedrooms so your baby has a dark, quiet place to sleep while you relax without disturbing them. However, there are times when having multiple rooms isn't possible.

If you only have one bedroom, try putting a crib in a hotel closet or bathroom to achieve the same result.

Travel with gear that will help your baby sleep in the hotel

When it's time for the baby to sleep, there are numerous sleep tents, shades and white-noise machines to choose from. Here are a few of our most trusted options:

  • SnoozeShade for portable cribs
  • BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light
  • White Noise Lite app for iOS and Android
  • Hatch Rest night-light and sound machine
  • Portable Travel Window Blackout Curtain

You don't always need to buy new gear for a successful trip, though. One reader suggested using painters tape to cover outlets as a quick, cost-effective way to baby-proof your hotel room.

Related: These are the best New York City hotels for families to check out

Have diapers and essentials shipped to your final destination

While you need plenty on hand for that first day or two, you can purchase what you need from Amazon or use a service like Shipt, Target Circle 360 or Instacart to deliver essentials to your hotel or home rental after you arrive.

Pack the snacks

This is true for all ages but especially applies when traveling with infants.

Never assume anything baby-appropriate will be available while you are in transit. The last thing you want is the stress of scrambling to find what you need at the last minute.

Related: How to pack — and prepare — for travel with a baby

To avoid any potential headaches, pack enough formula, snacks and more so you have whatever your child may need to stay happy and content.

Travel tips for preschoolers

united travel with infant

The good news is that when kids are old enough for preschool, they don't need quite as much sleep and transportation gear.

With preschoolers, you'll want to pay particular attention to toys and activities that will keep them entertained, night-lights that will help keep the "scaries" away and a few other important travel essentials.

Bring mess-free toys

When choosing toys to pack for a flight or road trip, keep in mind that you don't want anything that will create a mess or get lost easily, such as slime or Legos.

For mess-free coloring, we love Crayola Color Wonder Markers and coloring pages. If you're taking a long flight or road trip, consider suction toys that can stick to a car or airplane window.

Related: Mistakes parents make when traveling with kids

Pack hidden toys to reveal during your trip

A surefire way to keep your child content for extended periods of time is to wait to give them some new toys until your travel day arrives, so they feel fresh and exciting. You can even wrap them up or dole them out periodically throughout your trip.

Related: Your guide to flying with kids of every age

If you don't want to splash out too much cash, visit a dollar store or the bargain aisle in a grocery store — you may be surprised at what you find. Trust us, the $5 investment will pay off in spades.

Consider an inflatable booster seat

If your child has graduated to a booster seat (congrats!), inflatable and fold-flat booster seats are much easier to haul around when traveling by car. While several options are currently on the market, the BubbleBum inflatable booster seat is a TPG reader favorite.

Use a stroller

If you plan to cover many miles with your kid during your vacation, having a stroller can be handy, even if you don't always use one at home.

For example, at a large theme park like Disney World , you may find yourself needing a stroller until your kid is 6, 7 or even 8 years old — it helps you move quickly, allows them to keep up easily and gives them a place to sleep if they get drowsy before you are ready to call it a night. You could rent one once you reach your destination, or you may prefer to have your own.

united travel with infant

Get stroller straps

Because it isn't socially acceptable to AirTag children (though they do come in handy for finding lost luggage ), we suggest getting stroller straps that bigger kids can hold on to while you push younger children in the stroller. We're particularly fond of the Tagalong Stroller Accessory .

Preschedule car service from the airport

If you need car seats or want to be sure you have a ride waiting for you when you land, Uber and Lyft now both have options for prescheduling a ride if you need one. Blacklane is another high-end option. If you're traveling with a lot of gear, consider having your driver meet you inside baggage claim.

Pack a night-light

Night-lights are useful for kids who are afraid of the dark. This affordable night-light is small, sleek and easy to pack.

If you are going on a cruise and don't have access to traditional power outlets, TPG Managing Editor Erica Silverstein suggests bringing battery-operated tea lights instead.

Travel somewhere with a kids club

A magical milestone in travel is when your child turns 3 and is potty trained, as this unlocks access to various kids clubs at resorts and on cruise ships (some of which are free to use).

united travel with infant

Whether you're on a Disney cruise or at a resort with a kids club , these areas are great for preschoolers. By going somewhere that caters to younger children, you can get a well-deserved break while the kids are taken care of.

Plan down days and afternoon rest

Even if your preschooler has dropped daily naps at home, building some downtime into your vacation schedule is still smart. Their sleep schedule will likely be a little off while traveling and the vacation will be more action-packed than what they're used to at home, so it's important to set aside time for rest.

To help your overtired kid adjust, plan a relaxing pool day or take an afternoon break in your hotel room to keep crankiness at bay.

Travel tips for elementary-age kids

united travel with infant

As kids get older, they can do more while on vacation with less help, but the tried-and-true tricks for keeping them entertained may no longer work.

Because their brains are developing and becoming more complex, elementary-age kids will need access to more activities while away from home. As a result, you'll need to adjust your trip strategy so they continue to have a good time.

Use packing cubes for the family

This tip applies to all age groups but can be especially helpful when your child starts taking more interest in choosing their own clothes. By relying on packing cubes , you can keep clothing for every member of your family organized while saving space.

If you decide to use packing cubes, there are a couple of good methods to choose from. You can have a packing cube for each day of your trip and put your family's clothing in one cube. This works well if you will be making multiple stops and don't want to pack and unpack everything.

united travel with infant

You could also pack each family member's clothing in a separate packing cube, which is helpful when encouraging kids to choose their own outfits and get dressed independently.

Leave 1 day free in the schedule

We've already covered the importance of leaving some flex time in the afternoons, but if you are traveling for more than a long weekend, we highly recommend leaving an entire day unscheduled. That way, the kids can rest, and you will have the ability to say yes to a spontaneous activity that they'd like to do.

united travel with infant

Depending on your child's interests, you may want to use your free day for activities like splashing around at a water park, exploring the great outdoors, enjoying an epic ice cream-tasting adventure or spending more time at the kids club.

The key is to leave this day flexible so you can cater some activities to what your kid enjoys most.

Take advantage of your hotel's club lounge

Club access can be invaluable when traveling with kids.

If you stay in a club-level room at a hotel , you'll often have daily access to breakfast, snacks and drinks. An added bonus is that the club can serve as a gathering spot for enjoying more time (and often gorgeous views) with them.

Related: Guide to World of Hyatt club lounge access awards, including how to use them for someone else

Plan trips with another family

united travel with infant

At a certain age, having other kids around really starts to matter.

If possible, try planning the trip to at least overlap with time spent with cousins or friends. Doing so will virtually guarantee the kids will have a better time, which means you will, too.

For these types of trips, you may want to look into finding a good vacation home rental .

Travel tips for tweens and teens

united travel with infant

Traveling with tweens and teens is completely different from traveling with younger kids — something you probably know all too well if you are currently living with them.

At this age, kids are well on their way toward becoming full-fledged adults. As a result, they deserve a taste of the space, privacy and independence that comes with adulthood.

Build an activity bag

It's easy to assume a phone will do the trick, but activity bags can keep kids (including older ones) occupied on long trips.

For your activity bag, consider anything from snacks and quiet toys to new games for their gaming console and art supplies — whatever will keep them entertained while you reach your final destination.

Double-check downloaded content

Wi-Fi on airplanes can be quite finicky. Even if you pay for it, there's never a guarantee it'll work for the entirety of your flight. Because of this, it's a good idea to download movies, music, games and more to your device (or your child's) before your trip.

When downloading movies or TV shows, use multiple sources like Netflix, Disney+ and Apple. That way, if you run into issues with one provider, you still have content from the others. Also, remember that messaging others is free on many flights, so be sure your teen has the airline app downloaded if you want them to be able to keep using services such as iMessage while in the air.

Enroll your child in TSA PreCheck

united travel with infant

Until they turn 13, kids traveling with a parent or guardian enrolled in TSA PreCheck will be allowed to go through the expedited security line even if they themselves don't have TSA PreCheck.

Even after they turn 13, kids 17 and younger can typically use the TSA PreCheck lines with their parent or guardian as long as the teen has the indicator on their boarding pass.

If you have a credit card that reimburses fees for TSA PreCheck , you can recoup the cost of your child's application. Note that Clear continues to work to bring kids through until they turn 18.

Related: Why you should get TSA PreCheck and Clear — and how you can save on both

Consider connecting rooms

Once they reach their teenage years, the days of squeezing two or three kids into one queen-size bed are long gone. Trying to have the whole family use one bathroom is an ordeal you won't want to go through, either.

To keep the peace, consider reserving connecting hotel rooms .

With connecting rooms, you'll have double the beds, bathrooms and storage space. Plus, teens and tweens will have the space and privacy they need without you being too far away to keep an eye on them.

united travel with infant

Let kids choose a few activities (or plan the whole day)

At this age, kids are not just along for the ride. Give them some input (and independence) by allowing them to help plan your trip. Odds are they'll be more engaged by being involved in the planning.

Bring a friend

While planning trips with other families is a good strategy with elementary-age kids, by the time kids are teens, just bringing one of their friends could be sufficient.

To keep the costs down, consider using an airline companion certificate to bring along a friend without spending extra.

united travel with infant

Go somewhere with a teen club

If you are visiting a resort or destination where you may be going light on activities, lean into places that have a space just for teens.

united travel with infant

Cruise ships are fantastic at this, as they often have kid-focused spaces divided into pretty distinct age ranges. For example, Disney Cruise Line has a club for kids ages 3 to 12, another for those between 11 and 14, and another for teens ages 14 to 17.

By taking advantage of clubs broken up into designated age groups, your teen can have plenty of fun without the annoyance of hanging out with younger kids.

Related: Child turning 18? Here's everything you need to know before the next time they travel

General family travel tips

united travel with infant

Some family travel tips transcend age groups.

Regardless of how old your kids are, where you're traveling or how you're getting to your vacation destination, there are a few tips you'll always want to keep top of mind.

Utilize airport lounges

Airport lounges are becoming increasingly kid-friendly, as they offer dedicated family rooms with toys and kids shows on TV, plus food that will please picky eaters. Additionally, if you have a long layover or are dealing with flight delays or cancellations , you'll be much more comfortable waiting in a lounge instead of at your gate.

You can purchase a day pass to many lounges, but you may be able to get yourself and your family in for free with certain credit cards or airline status. For example, The Platinum Card® from American Express grants the cardmember and one guest complimentary access to Priority Pass lounges and access to Centurion and Escape lounges, though complimentary guest access depends on how much you spend annually.

united travel with infant

Related: Best credit cards for airport lounge access

Upgrade to a suite

Like springing for connecting rooms, upgrading to a suite will buy you additional space and, sometimes, a pullout sofa bed that adds another sleeping option.

united travel with infant

You'll also have more room for your family's belongings and areas for relaxing and dining so your kids don't spend all their time jumping, eating and lounging on the beds.

Check for reciprocal zoo and museum memberships

If you have a membership to your local zoo or museum, you may be able to use reciprocal benefits for free or discounted entry to other zoos and museums that you can visit on vacation.

This information is usually available on your zoo's or museum's website, but you can also check the lists on the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' page about reciprocal admissions or on the North American Reciprocal Museum Association website .

Get a travel tracker that doubles as a memento

You can get many unique travel souvenirs that also serve as keepsakes for remembering your child's travel "firsts."

These Junior Frequent Flyer flight logbooks allow you to record your child's flights while teaching them about aviation.

If a national park visit is in your future, order a standard or junior National Parks Passport and collect stamps every time you visit a new park.

Don't forget important medicines

You must be prepared for anything when you are away from home. That includes unexpected sicknesses and accidents.

Pack kid-safe and grown-up medicines, Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment and other first-aid necessities in your carry-on bag so you won't be without them if your checked luggage is delayed or lost.

Bring an extra bag

If you are traveling between a cold and a hot climate, pack a lightweight tote bag that folds into your carry-on so you can easily gather everyone's coats once on the plane. By keeping this tote tucked away until you're boarding the aircraft, you'll enjoy an extra allowed bag, saving you the headache of determining where to put bulky coats.

united travel with infant

Get Global Entry for each family member

Unlike TSA PreCheck, which allows kids to travel with an eligible adult until they turn 18 (in most cases), anyone wishing to use Global Entry to expedite reentry into the U.S. needs to apply for the program.

Global Entry can save valuable time spent waiting in line. However, you'll need to apply well before your trip so you have time to submit your application, complete an in-person interview and await approval.

As with TSA PreCheck, you can use a credit card and be reimbursed for your child's Global Entry application fee. Or, if you wait to apply until Oct. 1, kids under 18 will be exempt from the application fee .

Try out the games built into many spaces

It's easy to miss, but many resorts, theme parks and cruise ships have a hidden layer of fun that ranges from traditional scavenger hunts to interactive activities you can unlock with an iPhone or similar device.

While the youngest travelers won't benefit from these types of experiences, they can be fun for other age ranges, especially elementary-age kids and tweens.

united travel with infant

Related: Disney World rolls out all-new MagicBand+: Here's what this wristband can do for your trip

Bottom line

Family travel has its unique challenges, but it also comes with immense rewards.

By being armed with a few tips and tricks, having the right gear with you, mapping out a game plan, and having the right attitude and realistic expectations, you can have a memorable vacation that every member of the family will enjoy.

You may not get to do everything you want, and sometimes, it will feel like more of a hassle than your prekid vacations. However, if you're willing to be flexible — even if the end result isn't quite what you had hoped for — you'll find yourself eager to book your next family trip before you have the bags unpacked and put away.

Related reading:

  • Best all-inclusive resorts for families
  • The best travel credit cards
  • Must-have items the TPG team can't travel without
  • Quirky US theme parks you have to see to believe
  • The best Disney World hotels for your 2024 stay

united travel with infant

United Airline's explanation for booting mom and baby off flight

  • READ MORE: Mom claims she was kicked off flight for misgendering staff 

United Airlines has issued a bizarre explanation for why a mom and her 16-month-old son were booted off one of their planes after she claimed she was barred for misgendering a flight attendant. 

Jenna Longoria was prevented from boarding the flight from Austin from San Francisco on Wednesday following an altercation with staff.

She claimed the incident began after she 'accidentally' used the wrong pronouns for a flight attendant and ended with her, her mom and baby son all ejected from the flight.

However, United Airlines have since cast aspersions on her version of events by issuing a statement on what happened. 

'A party of three traveling out of San Francisco today was not allowed to board following a discussion about having too many carry-on items,' a spokesperson said.

'The matter was resolved and the customers took a later United flight to finish their trip.'

However, before she was apparently rebooked Longoria took to Instagram to vent about the situation.

'They're saying it's a hate crime that I did and that I might not even be able to ever fly United again,' she fumed in one clip.

'I will tell you what happened now, I got one of the flight attendant's pronouns wrong and the other flight attendant didn't like it,' Longoria explained.

'I said, "I'm really sorry, I'm not very versed in pronouns," I was holding my son, he was having a temper tantrum, I had the car seat on my back. 

'I wasn't really focusing on anything except getting my son's car seat on the plane and getting him comfortable.' 

Even in her videos it appeared there was more to the story, with another showing a United Airlines staffer suggesting that Longoria had done more than  just confuse pronouns.

In the clip, she can be seen talking to a United staff member who informs her it was the captain's decision to deny her from the flight for 'what came out of your mouth'.

The employee also tells her 'there was some more that I heard', beyond the pronoun error. 

'They basically said tough luck and they won't tell me exactly what I said,' Longoria said.

In another clip, the desperate mom is seen pleading with her 20,000 Instagram followers for advice on what her rights are.

'We don't know how we're going to get back today,' she said. 'I don't know what to do, I really don't know what to do.'

DailyMail.com has contacted Longoria for comment. 

United Airline's explanation for booting mom and baby off flight

Flying with breast milk or formula? Don't worry about liquid limits. Here's what to know.

united travel with infant

Actress Keke Palmer called out airport security officers in Houston this month on Twitter , saying they threatened to throw out more than 16 ounces of breast milk as she was going through security.

The officers were unambiguously in the wrong if they did ask her to get rid of her breast milk.

A Transportation Security Administration spokesperson told USA TODAY the agency was not aware of the incident but said travelers are encouraged to submit comments and concerns to the agency directly if they encounter issues during their screening. 

TSA regulations make generous allowances for milk and formula:

Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to fit within a quart-sized bag. Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) are considered medically necessary liquids. This also applies to breast milk and formula cooling accessories, such as ice packs, freezer packs, and gel packs (regardless of presence of breast milk). Your child or infant does not need to be present or traveling with you to bring breast milk, formula and/or related supplies.

Travelers can also notify the TSA if they plan to travel with medically necessary liquids. 

Nikeytha Ramsey, founder and CEO of Junobie, a company that produces sustainable, plastic-free storage containers for breast milk and baby formula, said it’s important for parents to know their rights when they fly with such liquids and to stick up for them if they run into any problems.

“It says it right here on your website that I am allowed to fly. Breast milk does not count against the 3.4-ounce rule. Neither does baby formula,” she said. “So just like what your website says ... I would appreciate if you can honor this right now for us.”

Ramsey added that it’s usually a good idea to notify TSA agents about any breast milk or formula you may be traveling with before your screening starts.

“You never know what TSA agent you are going to get. You can get a really, really pleasant TSA agent and they're not going to really give you any issues,” she said. “I will inform TSA, ‘Hey, I do have breast milk,’ or if you are a parent that has baby formula or baby food, inform them that you do have these things. That's what I always do. And they will take it over to either the bottle X-ray to screen it, or they will do what we call a vapor test.”

Tell us your story: Mobility device lost or damaged by an airline? USA TODAY wants to hear about it.

Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Steve Danes, R-Mont., reintroduced legislation in May that would require the TSA to better educate its officers about its policies, citing reports from constituents of complaints similar to Palmer’s.

“Too often, I hear stories of traveling moms being mistreated and denied access to their breast milk and the breastfeeding equipment that they need to pump and feed their babies,” Duckworth said in a statement . “Many of these incidents are inconsistent with TSA’s screening policies, which is why I’m proud to reintroduce this bipartisan legislation to ensure TSA keeps its employees up to speed on their own policies and updates those policies as necessary. It’s the least we can do to help make sure parents traveling through our airports are given the respect and dignity they deserve.”

The Bottles and Breastfeeding Equipment Screening Enhancement (BABES) Act would require the TSA to:

  • Issue guidance promoting the hygienic handling of any breast milk, baby formula or other infant nutrition products, as well as accessories traveling through checkpoints.
  • Consult with nationally recognized maternal health organizations in establishing and communicating the guidance to officers and travelers.
  • Update its guidance every five years to respond to the emerging needs of parents and to account for developments in technology.

For now, the TSA recommends traveling with breast milk or formula in clear, translucent bottles rather than in bags, which can be harder to screen.

Travelers should know their rights when flying with breast milk, formula or related devices, and they can check out the TSA’s full guidelines linked again here .

Contributing: Ariana Triggs, USA TODAY

Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at [email protected]

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Woman claims she, her toddler son and mother were kicked off United plane for misgendering flight attendant

United airlines told fox business that the group was not allowed to board 'following a discussion about having too many carry-on items'.

United Airlines said the woman and her family were not allowed to board due to an issue related to carry-on items. (Credit: Jenna Longoria)

Woman claims she, her toddler and mother were kicked off a United plane for misgendering a flight attendant

United Airlines said the woman and her family were not allowed to board due to an issue related to carry-on items. (Credit: Jenna Longoria)

A woman claims that she, her 16-month-old son and her mother were prevented from flying with United Airlines because she misgendered a flight attendant before boarding. 

The woman, identified as Jenna Longoria of Texas, relayed the ordeal in a series of videos recorded at the airport and posted on Instagram and X. 

In the videos, Longoria explains that she was trying to board a flight from San Francisco to Austin with her family. 

"I was speaking to one of the flight attendants, got their pronouns wrong, the other flight attendant didn’t like it," Longoria claimed.

AIRLINE SUDDENLY DROPS 25,000 FEET MIDFLIGHT, INJURING 17 PASSENGERS

United airlines jenna longoria

L-R: A United Airlines flight, and Jenna Longoria at the San Francisco International Airport. (Getty Images; Jenna Longoria / Getty Images)

Longoria said she apologized, explaining that she’s "not very well versed with pronouns." 

"I was holding my son, he was having a temper tantrum, I had the car seat on my back. I wasn’t really focusing on anything except getting my son’s car seat on the flight and getting him comfortable," Longoria said.

She alleged that United staff accused her of a "hate crime" and told her that she might be banned from flying with United.

Longoria told FOX Business that a United Airport Operations supervisor escorted her and her family away from the area and told them it was the captain who made the final call for her family not to board. 

FOX Business reached out to United for its side of the story. 

United neither confirmed nor denied that Longoria and her family were kicked off because she had supposedly misgendered one of the flight attendants. 

"A party of three traveling out of San Francisco today was not allowed to board following a discussion about having too many carry-on items," United said. "The matter was resolved and the customers took a later United flight to finish their trip." 

Longoria said the explanation was "bewildering" because she had the same amount of carry-on items on the way to San Francisco as she did on the return flight. When recounting the incident to FOX Business, Longoria called it "uneventful." 

Longoria said a United staffer at first wouldn't let her pre-board with her 16-month-old son, but eventually relented. Longoria said the staffer became upset and was "shaking," after Longoria remarked, "Thank you, sir." 

File image of a United plane

A woman and her party, including her toddler son, were allegedly booted from a United Airlines after she misgendered a flight attendant. (Robert Alexander/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Longoria told FOX Business that the staffer would not let her mother board with her, leaving her to carry her son and the heavy carseat and stroller alone. When Longoria asked for help from another flight attendant, she alleged that he scolded her for referring to the earlier staffer as a "she." 

"I said, ‘look, I don’t know. He, she, they, I'm not versed in my pronouns, can you help me with my son?' And he said, ‘ma'am, you’re going to have to step off the plane," Longoria said. "He made me stand at the front of the plane, and said assistance would be coming for me." 

Longoria told FOX Business she was particularly irked that United wouldn't retrieve their luggage because it was holding their medications.

CLICK HERE TO GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO

Longoria said she was eventually able to secure another flight and make it home after several more hours at the airport. 

"We were in San Francisco. Everybody looks the same. Sometimes it's hard in San Francisco to know if someone is a man or a woman or feminine or which way they're going. If they're trans or transitioning. But you know, that's their business. I don't care," Longoria said. "All I was focused on was my son, getting him in the seat. I made a slip."  

united travel with infant

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  1. Some more ✨game-changing✨ United travel tips for ALL 😅 #flight #unitedpartner #plane #traveltips

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COMMENTS

  1. Flying with Kids & Family Boarding

    Family boarding. We allow families with children less than two years old to board with our pre-boarding group. A gate agent will announce when it's time for you to get on the plane. Families with children under 12 can book Economy and Basic Economy seats next to each other for free. Sometimes, seat assignments change because of last minute ...

  2. The United Airlines Infant Policy: What to Know

    United Airlines infant policy. If your child is under the age of 2 (but older than 7 days old), he or she can sit on a parent's lap on flights to any destination. However, the cost varies by ...

  3. United: Infant Policy

    Only one lap child is allowed per adult. If one adult is traveling with more than one infant under 2 years of age, a seat will have to be purchased for each additional infant. You can also choose to purchase a seat for your infant as long as you have the proper child restraint device. A passenger must be at least 18 years old in order to travel ...

  4. The Ultimate Guide To Flying United Airlines With Kids

    United's unaccompanied minors service is available for children starting at 5 years old. Image Credit: United. Children aged 5 to 14 who travel without an adult must participate in United's unaccompanied minor service. This service is optional for travelers between the ages of 15 and 17 traveling alone.

  5. Flying on United with a Baby

    The Experience of Flying United with a Baby. I've flown everything from the tiny 4-seat per aisle planes to the United Polaris Business Class with my baby. Overall, it's a good experience that has been mostly headache-free. United allows early boarding for any families with children under 2. What I appreciate is that you truly board early ...

  6. United Airlines flying with babies

    United Airlines will provide accompanying seat assignments for an adult traveling with an infant and up to one travel companion, at no additional fee. Infants with a Reserved Seat Children traveling on their own tickets and unable to sit upright with the seat belt fastened must be carried in an approved child restraint device (infant seat).

  7. United Airlines Infant Policy: Guidelines for Traveling with Infants!

    United Airlines welcomes infants under the age of 2 on board. You have two options for your little traveler: a lap child or a seated infant. Lap Child (Free Travel for Domestic Flights): For flights within the US, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, your infant under 2 can travel for free on your lap. This is a great option for short trips ...

  8. Flying United Airlines With a Baby

    Babies under 2 years old who fly on an adult's lap (i.e. without their own seat) fly for free within the United States on United. On flights between the US, Canada, and Mexico, you have to pay taxes only. On other international flights, there is a partial fare that varies by destination.

  9. United Airlines Policies for Kids: Everything You Need to Know

    Generally, no ID is needed: Babies and kids (or, those under the age of 18) do not need to present any identification for domestic travel within the United States (or its territories, like Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands). Birth Certificates: Some airlines, however, may require proof of age for lap-seat infants.

  10. Unaccompanied minors

    If your kids are under five, they don't qualify for this service and must fly with you or another adult who is at least 18. If your kids are 15-17, they can travel alone without using this service, but you can use it if you want to. There is a fee for our unaccompanied minor service. The fee is different depending on how many kids are flying ...

  11. United Airlines Pregnancy, Infant and Children Travel Policy

    Infants (under 2 years old) Flying with United. United does not accept infants in incubation or infants less than seven days old. Children under the age of two traveling within the United States with a parent or with an adult 18 years or older can travel on the adult's lap free of charge. If there are two or more children under the age of two ...

  12. Flying With an Infant: What You Need to Know

    Airlines have various restrictions on how old an infant must be to fly, so check with your travel provider first. For example, United and Delta say infants should be at least seven days old to fly ...

  13. 6 Best U.S. Airlines for Kids

    Related: The Best Baby Travel Gear 2021. 5. United Airlines. Pre-boarding: Yes, families with any children under age 2 can board before others. Lap Seat Ages: Children at least 7 days old and under 2 years old traveling within the U.S., Puerto Rico, and USVI can fly free of charge. Outside of these regions, a ticket must be purchased for a lap ...

  14. Flying With a Baby

    A passport for international flights. All U.S. citizens, including newborns, need their own passports to fly internationally. To obtain one for your baby, you'll need to use the DS-11 form and apply together in person, so plan ahead. For domestic flights, babies and children under 18 don't need a passport or an ID. Her birth certificate.

  15. Flying With a Baby Checklist

    JetBlue: Infants between 3 and 14 days old must have, in the form of a letter, their doctor's approval to travel. Southwest Airlines: A medical release for travel is required for any infant under 14 days old. Spirit: Infants must be at least 7 days old. United: Infants younger than 7 days old are not accepted for travel.

  16. 7 Things to Know about Flying United with Kids

    In the meantime, monitor your seat reservations aboard United in order to sit next to your kids. Be prepared for the seat separation curveball. 6. There's a Fee for Checked Bags (But…) Family travelers - especially those with babies and toddlers who require lots of gear - often need to check a bag.

  17. Airline Ticketing Policies for Traveling With a Baby

    Infants under the age of two can travel with an accompanying passenger who is at least 16 years old, depending on the airline, regardless of whether the infant is a lap child or has a paid seat. All children two and older must have their own seat. The maximum number of infants per adult passenger is two, with a maximum of one lap baby (infant ...

  18. International travel documents for children

    Children traveling to the U.S. All children, including infants, must have their own travel documents such as a passport or document from a Trusted Traveler Program to enter the U.S. If you travel or are going to travel with a child, consider taking the following documents: If the child is traveling with only one of their custodial parents, they ...

  19. Traveling with Children

    Traveling with Children. All passengers are required to undergo screening. However, TSA has developed modified screening procedures for children who appear to be 12 years old and younger. TSA officers will consult parents or the traveling guardian about the child's screening. TSA standard screening procedures apply for children 13 years and ...

  20. What to know about traveling internationally with a baby

    12 tips for international travel with an infant. Pack a change of clothes. Having a couple of full-body changes of clothes in your carry-on bag, including socks, is essential. There's a good chance you'll have to deal with at least one leaky diaper or major spit-up on a long-haul flight.

  21. First UA Flight- Traveling with Infant : r/unitedairlines

    Hello, we booked our first flight on United for next month. This will be our first time traveling with our 14 month old. ... This is incredibly helpful info to have, especially with the added stress of traveling with an infant. I selected these flights because they had the best times that we thought would be best for him and napping, and for a ...

  22. Flying with infant : r/unitedairlines

    It's either a regular ticket or an "infant lap ticket". So just purchase the 3 tickets. You can do what you wish with your baby. You can hold the child or put the child in a car seat (window seat only). If it's a long flight, I'd recommend the car seat so if you want a break from holding him/her, or if the baby falls asleep, you can put him/her ...

  23. United Airlines Basic Economy with lap infant?

    Government-approved child seat (infant carrying seat or car seat) Compact folding stroller that meets the carry-on baggage size guidelines (9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches or 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches) 2. Strollers, wagons and car seats. United accepts one stroller or folding wagon, and one car seat free of charge for each child.

  24. International Travel Requirements

    For all travel within the United States, you'll need U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID that contains your name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature. ... You may bring in powdered infant milk, infant food and special food required for medical reasons if it does not require refrigeration, it is a packaged ...

  25. Traveling Abroad With An Infant: Tips For Success

    Bath supplies: Baby wash, shampoo (travel-sized), and washcloths. Swimwear and floats. First aid kit: Travel-sized diaper rash cream, infant pain reliever, bandages, thermometer, nail clippers, skin cream, etc. Portable baby monitor. Portable blackout blinds. Car seat: Bring your own if you plan to travel by car.

  26. 42 family travel tips to know before going on a vacation

    MARC ROMANELLI/GETTY IMAGES. Having a baby may cause you to temporarily pause your adventures, and it will certainly change how you travel. But traveling with a baby is still worth the effort.. While it's true that your baby may not remember vacations that happened during their first few years, quality time together is invaluable, and you will always remember their first big vacation.

  27. United Airline's explanation for booting mom and baby off flight

    United Airlines has issued a bizarre explanation for why a mom and her 16-month-old son were booted off one of their planes after she claimed she was barred for misgendering a flight attendant.

  28. TSA rules for flying with breast milk or baby formula, explained

    Formula, breast milk, toddler drinks, and baby/toddler food (to include puree pouches) in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters are allowed in carry-on baggage and do not need to ...

  29. Woman claims she was booted from United plane after misgendering flight

    Longoria said a United staffer at first wouldn't let her pre-board with her 16-month-old son, but eventually relented. Longoria said the staffer became upset and was "shaking," after Longoria ...

  30. Baby on board! Your 10 questions about travelling with a baby ...

    Infants (meaning children under two years old) travel sitting on your lap. An infant ticket costs 10% of the adult's ticket fare. When making your own reservation, you add the baby's details to your reservation. During the flight, your child under two years old travels sitting on your lap.