For those who have never travelled with a baby or small child before, air travel presents a whole new set of challenges. We got a bit of insight from Flight Centre’s travel experts, who compiled some tips and advice you may need to consider before, during and after the flight to ensure your holiday gets off to a good start.
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 also the logistics involved with taking along a pram, nappy bag and car seat (should you be checking one in).
It’s advisable to get a friend or family member to accompany you to the airport should you be travelling on your own as they will be able to assist you into the terminal and during 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.
Make checking in a breeze
It is highly recommended to check-in online so that you only need to check in your baggage and can join the shorter pre-checked in queue.
Remember not to check-in your pram or stroller as you will need this to get your little one from the terminal to the plane and also on the other side. Most airlines will take the pram from you at the steps of the plane and load it in a separate cargo hold until you land at your destination. Make sure your pram or stroller has a secure luggage tag on it with your contact details.
Check with your travel agent in advance with regards baggage restrictions. Certain airlines allow a small infant to check-in additional baggage, others consider items such as car seats and prams or strollers as part of the parent’s baggage allowance.
Getting through security smoothly
Check to see whether there is a special family queue and use it if available. Have everything organised in advance, preferably in one bag, so that you just have to put the stroller and bag through the security scanner and don’t have lots of loose items to deal with.
Most airlines allow family’s travelling with infants to check-in first. Stay close to the boarding gate and wait for your flight to be called and ask the flight attendant whether you may check in before the crowds.
After boarding the plane make sure you have everything your little one may need during the flight close at hand.
Ensuring a trouble–free takeoff
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 with during the flight.
It’s best to 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 also ensures any toys or objects used to entertain or distract during the flight don’t get left behind.