Traveling with infants.. here's important advice from our first hand experience of traveling with twins!
Flying with babies comes with a lot of questions and you need to be prepared. The airports are crowded and the security and airline rules change frequently. Use the list of questions below to help you choose the best airline for your travel. Some carriers give passengers traveling with infants more flexibility. Some charge for everything and those extra costs can add up!
Here are some tips I can share that will make flying with twins manageable and flying with one baby a breeze!
Call the Airline ahead of time
When traveling with infants, every airline has different rules and procedures so the best thing you can do in order to avoid any unexpected surprises when you get to the airport is to call the airline in advance. Here are some key questions to ask
Can I gate check my stroller? Some
airlines will only permit you to gateside check an umbrella stroller.
Double strollers for twins are even more challenging, so call and ask!
Can I gate check my car seat? If you have a stroller where the car seat hooks into the frame it is the easiest way to clear security and get to the gate. The agent will then check your stroller right at the bottom of the jetway. When you deboard it will be right there waiting for you and you can stroll them down to baggage. If you cannot do this you will want to consider having wearing the baby in a baby carrier so you have your hands free through security and as you move through the airport.
Is there are charge to check my stroller and car
seat at check in when I check my other luggage? Some airlines will check your car seat for free, others charge.
What form of identification for the baby will I need to show at check in?
Yes, identification for children is required. A birth certificate is best but the airlines will give you a list of accepted alternate forms
of identification. You must the list the baby(babies) on your ticket when you book your flight. The name MUST match the birth certificate or immunization records, which are considered an approved alternate form of ID.
Can my husband/ travel companion and I sit together?
Most important if you are traveling with twins or 2 lap children. Many airlines will make you sit across or behind each other because there are
only 4 oxygen masks per row on each side of the aisle, so not enough if there are 3 passengers and 2 lap children. You should plan on booking aisle seats across from each each other for passing the
diaper bag. Even if online seat assignments confirms your seats together in the same row, when you get to the airport, they will change them. If the flight is sold out, it is a hassle to ask other passengers to change their assigned seats or worse, you are aisles apart trying to share supplies.
Does the airline have family pre-boarding? What a convenience to get on the plane, get settled in your seat and stow your carry ons!
As a personal aside, we have had great flying experiences with Southwest Airlines
We have no affiliation with them, other than a great personal recommendation. They make it as easy as it gets for family travel and are very accomodating to helping when traveling with babies, especially during busy seasons like the holidays! We can vouch times 2! Just booked our Thanksgiving trip home wiith them!
Buy a seat or sit on your lap?
Another big decision when traveling with infants or toddlers.. Do you want to travel
with the babies on your lap or purchase a seat so they can sit in their car seat(s) on the plane. Children under 2 years old can travel on your lap for free.
If you decide to travel with your baby/twins as lap babies make sure you call the airline and tell them so the airlines has a record of them prior to the flight, as the babies need boarding
passes. If you purchase them a
seat you will be able to bring your car seat right onto the plane and leave
them inside for the duration of the flight. If you do decide to purchase seats make sure you ask about a
discounted children/infant rate.
So you have the airline reservations made, know the specifics.. now see what baby supplies you need to bring in the diaper bag. Here's our traveling with infants packing list developed with the input of a 20 year plus pro - a veteran flight attendant!