Tips for flying with children - Flightright UK

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Tips for flying with children

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The most important facts about “Flying with children”

  • Early planning is important when preparing for travelling with children.
  • Child-friendly entertainment and activities on the aircraft.
  • Take snacks and drinks with you when travelling.
  • Pushchairs and child car seats should be reserved in advance.
  • Be aware of baggage restrictions and fees for children’s equipment.
  • Obtain a paediatrician’s certificate for required medication and fitness to fly.
  • Enquire about family seats and special services when booking.
  • Pay attention to passenger rights in the event of delays or cancellations.
  • Inform children about the flight in advance and allay their fears.
  • Allow sufficient buffer time and remain calm in the event of delays.


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Many travellers have an awkward feeling when it comes to flying with children. With one child, air travel is still comparatively easy to organize, but the more children there are, the more complicated it becomes. Especially with small children, a lot of nerves, patience and organizational skills are required.

So if you want to be optimally prepared for travelling with children, you can find everything you need to know in the following article.

When can you start flying with children?

Is there a minimum age for air travel? Is flying with a one-year-old child possible? And what needs to be considered when flying with children? These questions cause many parents a sleepless night before the holiday trip.

First of all, it should be said that babies can start their first air journey at a very early age.

With some airlines, babies are allowed on board when they are just 48 hours old, provided they have a doctor’s certificate. From the age of one to two weeks, they can travel with almost all airlines.

For children one-year-old or younger, however, there are a few things to consider before the first flight.

Tips for air travel with babies and toddlers:

  • Take enough snacks with you.
  • On longer flights, get up from time to time and show the child the plane.
  • Take toys with you.
  • Picture books, photos and audio games are great ways to keep little ones entertained.

How dangerous is a flight for small children?

Flying with small children is one thing above all: exhausting.

However, the journey can only be dangerous for the very youngest. Pediatricians generally advise against flying with a baby in the first weeks after birth. Newborn babies’ lungs are not yet fully developed four to six weeks after birth. Therefore, air travel can theoretically be dangerous due to the lower oxygen saturation in the cabin.

How do you keep children entertained on a plane?

A long-haul flight with a toddler takes at least twice as long. It feels that way, at least. So the flight is not relaxing for most parents. However, a long-haul flight becomes bearable with the right activity.

Activities for children on the plane:

Stickers:

Stickers are fun and best of all, they are quiet! Give your child a few colourful stickers and a sticker album, and the first 30 minutes of the flight are saved.

Colouring books:

Most children love to paint. A new colouring book or two should keep your little one occupied for some time.

Radio plays:

Headphones in the ears and listen to the story. If you are lucky, your child will even fall asleep while listening to it. Then another 60 minutes of a flight can easily go by. Find out more about travel gadgets for children, men and women here.

Where can you fly cheaply on holiday with children?

Children usually want an adventure on holiday, while parents often need to relax from stressful routines. So a compromise has to be found. Preferably one that is also easy on the wallet.

Tip 1: If the children don’t go to school yet, use the low season!

Families with children mostly have to travel during the school holidays, when flights and hotels are particularly expensive. Take advantage of the time before your children are of school age and travel in the low season.

Tip 2: Book your flight early!

You should book flights to long-distance destinations three to six months before you travel. Start comparing flights early. But even for trips within Europe, it is worth booking a little in advance.

Tip 3: Holiday flat instead of hotel holiday

Food is often not taken into account when calculating holiday costs. And that can be quite expensive, especially in tourist hotspots. In a holiday flat, you have the opportunity to cook for yourself. That way, you save quite a bit on your holiday budget.

What do you have to bear in mind when flying with children?

The first time you fly with a child is very exciting. For the child and the parents. We answer all your questions and give you tips so that your holiday can begin in a relaxed way.

The 10 tips for the first flight with a child:

  • Ask for the family gate.
  • Take the buggy with you to the gate.
  • Don’t board first.
  • Make a packing list.
  • Reserve a window seat.
  • Choose a flight time that suits your child’s rhythm.
  • Take toys with you.
  • Prepare little surprises for your child.

On your lap or in your seat?

With most airlines, babies and toddlers under the age of two fly for free on their parent’s laps. Otherwise, the flight for the little ones usually costs only a small flat fee. If, on the other hand, the child is to have its seat, you have to pay the child’s fare. You can read more about the best seats on an airplane and flying with a baby on our blog page. You might also be interested in this: Can you fly pregnant?

Is it allowed to fly alone with 3 children?

Many airlines have a rule that one adult accompanying person must also be present for each small child under the age of two. It is best to check with the respective airline before you travel.

Is flying with other people’s children allowed?

If children and adolescents are not travelling abroad with their parents (or legal guardians), but with an alternative guardian, in some countries, it is advisable or even obligatory to carry a declaration of consent or power of attorney from the legal guardian.

How much of my child’s luggage is free of charge?

Children up to the age of twelve are allowed one free piece of luggage weighing up to 23 kilograms, just like adults. In addition, one piece of special luggage such as a pram or cot may be taken free of charge per child.

Where can I put the pram?

As a rule, a pushchair can be taken free of charge for each small child. However, some airlines only allow a so-called buggy. In most cases, the pushchair is stowed in the cargo hold of the aircraft for the flight.

Can I fly with my child if he or she has a cold?

If your child has a cold, parents should take him or her to the pediatrician before the flight to be on the safe side. If your child has a slight cold, it is best to give him or her nasal decongestants shortly before take-off and landing. A baby should not fly if he or she is suffering from an acute, possibly feverish respiratory illness such as otitis media.

Is there food for babies and children on the plane?

You won’t get powdered milk on the plane. You can get porridge on some airlines and routes. However, to be calm, you should take enough food for your child with you. You should therefore also find out what food you are allowed to take onto the aircraft.

How can Flightright help you?

Your trip is well planned and the children are sleeping peacefully, but now the airline is getting in the way of your holiday happiness? Your flight is overbooked, delayed or cancelled? Your luggage has been delayed or lost?

Tip: Flightright can help you enforce your air passenger rights! You can check your claims with us free of charge.

As experts in the field of air passenger rights, we enforce your right to compensation against the airline!

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