If you have never boarded a plane with a baby or a small child, air travel presents a whole new set of challenges. Flight Centre’s travel experts have compiled some tips and advice to consider before, during and after the flight to get your holiday off to a good start.
1. Be prepared
It is always a good idea to get to the airport early when travelling with little ones. Not only will you have luggage to deal with, but you will also have to manage the logistics of taking along a pram, nappy bag and car seat (should you be checking one in).
Should you be travelling on your own, ask a friend or family member to accompany you to the airport. They will be able to help you into the terminal and through the check-in process.
However, should you be taking a taxi to the airport, you will need to factor in additional time to set up your little one’s car seat and remove it once you arrive at the terminal.
2. Make checking in a breeze
It is highly recommended to check in online ahead of time so that you only need to check in your baggage by joining the shorter pre-checked-in queue.
Remember not to check in your pram or stroller, as you will need it to transport your little one between the terminal and the plane. Most airlines will take the pram from you at the steps of the plane and load it in a separate cargo hold. Place a secure luggage tag on your pram or stroller with your contact details.
Ask your travel agent in advance about baggage restrictions. Certain airlines allow a small infant to check in additional baggage, while others count items such as car seats and prams as part of the parent’s baggage allowance.
3. Get through security smoothly
Check whether there is a special family queue and use it. Have everything organised in advance, preferably in one bag, so that you put only the stroller and your bag through the security scanner instead of struggling with many loose items.
4. The boarding basics
Most airlines allow families travelling with infants to board first. Stay close to the boarding gate and wait for your flight to be called. Ask the flight attendant whether you may board first.
After boarding the plane, make sure you have at hand everything your little one may need during the flight.
5. Ensure a trouble–free take-off
Small babies and children do not know how to clear their ears to reduce the pressure during take-off and landing. Giving your baby or toddler a bottle or dummy usually helps during the flight.
6. After landing
Wait for the other passengers to disembark before doing so with your little one. This allows you to do it at your own pace and ensures any toys or other items you used to entertain or distract your child during the flight don’t get left behind.
Ask your Flight Centre travel expert to help you with flight arrangements and information to ensure a stress-free flight for you and your precious cargo.