American Airlines flying with babies

Are there any restrictions regarding age for infants traveling on American Airlines flights?

Infants under 2 days old are not allowed to travel on American Airlines flights.

For infants 2 through 6 days old, a medical statement may be required stating the infant is stable for travel.

Infants at least 7 days old may travel on American Airlines flights only accompanied by an adult at least 16 years of age.

The age of the infant is based on the age at the commencement of travel.

When does American Airlines require a ticket purchase for my baby?

American Airlines requires you to purchase a ticket for your baby when:

  • Your child reached his/her second birthday before the commencement of travel.
  • You will be traveling alone with two babies under the age of 2 years – for the baby who will not be sitting in your lap.
  • You will be traveling internationally (transatlantic, transpacific or to/from Latin America), regardless of your baby’s age, and whether or not the baby will be sitting on your lap.

You are not required to purchase a ticket for your baby traveling as an infant on lap within the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada. As an exception, a ticket and payment of applicable taxes may still apply for lap children when travel involves the United States Virgin Islands.

Does American Airlines offer discounts for infants or children traveling on domestic or international flights?

On domestic flights, an infant travels as a lap child for free. American Airlines does not offer discounted fares for children of any age traveling on domestic flights.

For international flights, availability of fares for infants and children varies depending on your travel plans. Accompanied infants under the age of 2 years not occupying a seat (lap child) will pay 10% of the applicable adult fare for the international portion. In addition, taxes may be assessed which can be significant.

American Airlines offers a 25% discount only for children and infants occupying a seat and traveling in the Main Cabin on transatlantic and transpacific flights.

Are there any infant/child items exempt from carry-on allowance and baggage charges?

If you are traveling with your child, regardless of whether the child has a reserved seat or not, you are allowed the following items over and above your baggage allowance: a diaper bag as carry-on baggage and a stroller and an approved safety seat to be checked.

Car seats and small, collapsible and light strollers weighing less than 20 lbs (9 kg) can be checked at the gate. However, only one can be checked at the gate, so, if you have both a stroller and a car seat, one must be checked at the ticket counter. Large, jogging or non-collapsible strollers and heavy strollers weighing over 20 lbs (9 kg) can be checked only at the ticket counter. All infant/child items should be labeled with a name and contact phone number.

Infant on Lap

You may travel with your infant sitting on your lap until your baby reaches his/her second birthday, at no charge, on domestic flights operated by American Airlines. The above mentioned infant fare apply for infants on lap if you are traveling on an international flight. American Airlines reserves the right to request documented proof of age (birth certificate, passport, etc.) for any traveler 2 years of age or younger. Currently, because you may not book a reservation for an infant on lap online, you must contact American Airlines Reservations.

Bassinets are available only on Boeing B777 200, Boeing B777 300, and Boeing B787 aircraft, but not in First and Business Class cabins. Bassinets can be used for infants that weigh no more than 20 lbs (9 kg) and are offered by request only, on a first come, first serve basis at the gate – so, check in early!

Baggage Allowance

An infant on lap does not have carry-on or checked baggage allowance on domestic flights. An approved child safety seat can be carried on board and used in a seat if there is an unoccupied seat available next to the adult traveling with the infant on lap. If there is no unoccupied, adjoining seat available, the gate agent will check the infant seat to your final destination.

Ticketed infants without a seat, traveling on international flights, have a baggage allowance dependent on fare. If the ticket price is 50% or more of the adult fare, the bag allowance is the same as the allowance of the accompanying adult. If the infant ticket price is 49% or less of the adult fare, the bag allowance is 1 checked bag subject to the accompanying adult’s 1st checked bag allowance including any checked bag charge / overweight/oversized charge. If the lap infant’s baggage allowance is exceeded, the excess will become part of the adult’s baggage allowance and all restrictions and excess charges will apply.

Infants Traveling in Their Own Seats

For the safety of your child, American Airlines strongly recommends that you reserve a seat for your infant. When a seat is reserved for an infant, an FAA-approved child safety device must be used during taxi, takeoff, landing, turbulence, or when the Fasten Seatbelt sign is on.

Child Restraint Devices

Most child restraint devices that are used in automobiles are acceptable for use in aircraft by an infant. In order to be acceptable for use in aircraft, the child restraint device manufactured in the U.S. must bear one or both of the following labels:

  • “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards”
  • “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.” (with red lettering).

Child restraint devices manufactured outside the U.S. may be accepted provided that they bear either a label showing that the seat was manufactured under the standards of the United Nations (U.N.) or a label showing approval of a non-U.S. government.


When using an approved child restraint device, there are certain rules regarding seat locations:

  • In accordance with instructions on the label, it may face toward the front or rear of the plane.
  • It may not occupy an exit seat or a seat in the row in front of or behind an exit seat.
  • It may not occupy the space between a customer and an aisle.

Safety seats are not allowed in First or Business Class cabins on the following aircraft: First – Airbus A321 Transcontinental, Business – Boeing B777 200, Boeing B777 300, Boeing B787 8, Boeing B787 9.


American Airlines may require you to present proof of age (such as a birth certificate) at the airport for any children under the age of 18 who are traveling with you. When traveling outside the U.S., passengers under the age of 18 are subject to the same travel document requirements as adults. Additional documentation may be required for minors under the age of 18 who are traveling with only one parent if leaving their country of residence.

Children or adults traveling with children under the age of 15 may not be seated in an exit seat.

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