Flying Families: Understanding Child and Infant Travel Policies of Top Airlines


December 26, 2023


Flying with a baby adds a layer of complications and planning but that doesn’t mean you can make it work. In order to help the trip go as smoothly as possible, book a seat for your baby too, plan for the security screening and pack wisely for you and your child. Meanwhile, even the most seasoned travelers need to know about Child and infant travel policies. So, read out this blog if you want to know full details about these policies.

How Old Must a Baby Be to Fly?

There’s not an official age requirement for air travel but that doesn’t matter if you can make it work because airlines have varying kids travel policies. In fact, some airlines, such as Alaskan Airlines, do not have an age restriction. In contrast, others like American and JetBlue say babies can fly as young as three days old, and yet others like Delta, United, Spirit and Frontier allow first week old babies to fly. So before booking a ticket for your little one, check with your airline once to confirm their policy.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) discourages parents from flying with a baby too soon after birth. Whereas, with their delicate immune systems, newborns have a higher risk of contracting an infectious disease on a flight. So always discuss your travel plans with your pediatrician and do what they have recommended. They might suggest an extra dose of certain vaccines, depending on your baby’s age and destination.

Do Babies Fly For Free?

Young children are not legally required to occupy an airplane seat and can alternatively travel as lap infants on their parents’ tickets. Furthermore, lap infants generally travel free of charge, although you may pay a full fare if you consider traveling internationally. Although you don’t officially need to purchase a ticket for a child less than 2 years old, leading experts agree that it’s much safer to buy an airplane seat for your baby. While it can be distressing to think about, human arms do not have much strength to hold a child in these events. Therefore, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) all strongly motivate parents to purchase an airplane seat for their young children.

What Do Babies Need To Fly?

This, however, depends frequently on your child’s age or whether you travel with the best airlines to fly from USA to India or internationally.

For domestic travel, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not require identification for a child under 18 years of age. Even so, it is a good idea to double-check your airline’s identification requirements. Additionally, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines ask for infants’ age proof, which could be a birth certificate, passport, or immunization record. Besides this, if you travel internationally, disregarding their age, your baby will need a passport. At the same time, if your baby flies with a single parent, they also need to show a letter of consent if you travel internationally.

Tips For Flying With a Baby

1. Confirm That Your Car Seat Is FAA Approved

If you have purchased an airplane seat for your child, select the best airlines for direct flights or bring an FAA-approved car seat with you. Not to mention, it’s the safest way for babies to travel, and in addition, it ensures you will have a car seat for your destination. Besides this, if you did not buy a ticket for your baby, you might get lucky and be able to use the car seat if there are vacant seats on board, but this approach has no guarantee.

2. Pack Smart

It’s an art form to pack stuff with a baby. While you need to have obtained all the essentials, you also don’t want to over pack and have to go through a big bag to find something you need. Thus, pack your bags according to your needs and consider what you will want to have access to during the flight. For instance, it’s helpful to have a bag with diapers, disposable changing mats, disposable diaper bags, and a change of clothes within easy reach.

3. Bring Plenty of Snacks

Pack baby foods for your baby if your little one has started solids. In addition, containers with pre-chopped fruit, steamed veggies, tofu and crackers are easy choices. Likewise, know that you’re also permitted to bring puree pouches, as the TSA considers them medically essential liquids. Besides this, make sure to bring some snacks for yourself too.


It’s undoubtedly a fun task to travel to plan a vacation with family, as you have created a moment that cherishes you for a lifetime. However, if you travel with infants, you must be aware of Child and Infant Travel Policies. In addition, you, as a parent, need a lot of patience for it. Above all, you will need to be ready to diffuse your children’s tantrums. Furthermore, with Vayubooking, you can get information about any airline and their travel policies. Therefore, if you decide to travel, please keep in touch with us.