Flying with Small Children
Traveling with children can be a stressful experience for parents – no matter how obedient the child is. The younger the kids are the more difficult the travel may be, but there are tips that can always be followed to ease the burden of keeping your small children safe and happy in the air. For some, saving money on cheap international flights might be a goal, while others worry more about the time in the air with their babies or toddlers.
While a child does have to be screened before entering a plane, you will never be asked to be separated from your child by security. Security officers at airports are specially trained to handle the sensitivities of young children and their parents, and are taught to treat these relationships with the utmost respect and care. If your child is presenting an issue that must be addressed by a security officer, they will consult you about the best way to handle the situation.
If you have already purchased airline tickets for you and your children, you still want the flight to go smoothly and safely. You can help to promote the safety of your children on the flight. If you need to bring any liquids, keep all your child necessities, food and toys in one bag. While security officers are usually lenient about items you bring onboard for a child, still keep in mind that formulas in bottles that are usually required to be 3.4 ounces or less. These liquids should be placed in clear, plastic bags, and they should be packed just as you will have done any of your other luggage.
Your next step is to be equipped with an approved child restraint system. While this is not very popular, you can still bring an infant’s car seat onboard. If you decide to do so, make sure it is appropriately marked as safe for air travel, and can easily be place on a seat in an airplane. Just like a normal car seat, the child restraint system on the plane is fastened to the seat underneath it. The baby is then strapped into the restraint system and secured just as adults are secured during the flight. Another way is to request a bulkhead row on a plane where a baby bassinet can be provided by a carrier. These seats can only be requested if an infant (a child under 2 years with no seat) is traveling.
On some occasions, when you purchase airline tickets, it is a good idea to get separate seats for children. While tickets may cost more, this would give you more space and comfort especially during long haul flights to Europe or other continents. Often airlines would offer discounts (10-50% off the adult airfare before tax) for children under 12 year of age for flights even if you get cheap international flights. It is also essential that you reserve adjoining seats for you and your child, so that you are the one sitting next to and caring for them.
Whether you are traveling first class or with the most inexpensive airline tickets, your child’s safety and happiness will always come first. Now that your child is secured with a child restraint system, make sure that you have a bag of toys, snacks and formula packed to keep your child happy and occupied during the flight. An occupied child will ease the burden on you while flying and it will make the flight more enjoyable to other passengers on the plane.