British Airways flying with babies

Does British Airways impose age restrictions regarding children?

Infants are allowed to travel on all British Airways flights without any restrictions when at least 48 hours have passed since delivery, but mothers who have had a Caesarean section or another surgery needed during or after the birth can travel only after 10 days, with medical clearance from British Airways’ Health Services.

Depending on the child’s age, British Airways offers the following options:

  • Infants (children under 2 years of age) are allowed to travel on an adult’s lap (children booked as infants are not entitled to a seat) or in their own separate seats, sitting in an approved car seat (must be booked as a child).
  • Children aged 2 to 11 years must travel in their own separate seats.

When does British Airways require a ticket for my child?

Regardless of the baby’s age, or whether a seat is reserved or not for the baby, British Airways requires that you always have a ticket for your baby.

Does British Airways offer discounts for infants or children?

British Airways offer some discounts for infants and children. However, discounts do vary so you can check your price quote online for full details.

The infant fare is offered only for infants who do not have their own seat reserved (sitting on an adult’s lap).

The child fare is offered for children older than 2 years and less than 12 years old, but also for infants traveling in their own seats.

Do families have priority when traveling on British Airways flights?

Families traveling on British Airways flights may choose from all available check-in options: online, mobile, at an airport kiosk, or check-in desk. After taking the baggage to the Bag Drop desk, families can go through security. Some airports have dedicated Family Lanes at security. British Airways gives priority to families when the boarding process begins. So that everybody can get settled on board as soon as possible, families are invited to board before other passengers.

Infant on Lap

Infants between 0 and 23 months old may sit in an adult’s lap, and an infant fare will be charged at 10% of the adult fare. When infants do not have their own reserved seats, bookings for infants can be made online. When you make a booking for yourself before your baby is born, you must contact British Airways after your baby is born to create your baby’s booking and link it to your own.

If the infant reaches 2 years of age during the journey, they must have their own seats for any flights on or after their second birthday, but the infant fare will still apply for the entire journey. Because a seat is required only for part of the journey, this can’t be booked online and arrangements must be made by contacting British Airways.

One adult is allowed to hold in his/her lap only one infant. When traveling with more than one infant, each infant without a reserved seat must be accompanied by an adult. However, when an adult is traveling with 2 infants, one infant may travel in the adult’s lap (the infant fare will apply), and one infant may travel in an approved car seat (the child fare will apply).

When your infant won’t be traveling in a seat of his/her own, you can reserve seats for everyone in your booking, free of charge, when you make your booking. If no seat is reserved in advance, British Airways will allocate a seat for you 3 days before departure.

Carrycots (Bassinets) and Child Seats

On all long-haul flights, carrycots and child seats supplied by British Airways are free of charge but subject to availability (given to the people sitting in the carrycot/child seat positions on a first come first served basis).

To reserve a carrycot/child seat you just need to book a seat at a carrycot position on the aircraft. On the seat map, you will view a baby icon in front of the seat. When you don’t reserve your own seat, British Airways may allocate you a seat that is not at a carrycot position. If you haven’t reserved a carrycot position, the cabin crew will provide an extension seat belt for you and show you how to use the seat belt.

If you have reserved your seat at a carrycot position, you can ask the cabin crew for a carrycot or child seat that attaches to the carrycot position. Carrycots and child seats are suitable for babies who weigh no more than 12.5 kg (27.5 lbs). However, while carrycots can only be used for an infant who is lying down, child seats are adjustable to a variety of positions from horizontal to vertical.

Baggage Allowances

Infants sitting on an adult’s lap have a checked baggage allowance of one bag, except on hand-baggage only fares, with the weight limit for the travel class. You cannot pay to take extra bags for your infant. When traveling with an infant sitting on your lap, you are entitled to:

  • Carry on board one additional bag (maximum 23 kg  and 56 x 45 x 25 cm) for the items that your infant may need during the flight.
  • Check in without charge two items from the following (even on Basic fares): one fully collapsible pushchair (stroller), one car seat, one travel cot, or one baby back carrier. At most airports, a small, fully collapsible or lightweight pushchair (stroller), with maximum dimensions of 117 x 38 x 38 cm (46 x 15 x 15 in) when collapsed, may be taken up to and returned at the aircraft door. Pushchairs that fold down into a bag within the maximum hand baggage dimensions can be taken on board in place of, but not in addition to, your main cabin bag. Larger pushchairs can be taken up to the departure gate and will be returned at the baggage carousel on arrival.

Infants Traveling in Their Own Reserved Seat

Infants who have their own reserved seat must sit in an approved car seat. You will pay the child fare, and not the infant fare, when you reserve a seat for your infant. If you want to book a separate seat for your baby, you must contact British Airways.

The car seat must be designed to be secured by means of a normal aircraft single lap strap. Only forward-facing car seats that do not exceed the dimension of the aircraft seat (should fit into an area of 45 x 45 cm / 17.5 x 17.5 in) are accepted. Two parts car seats are not accepted.

British Airways accepts the use of the Amsafe Child Restraint System for infants at least 12 months old. The Amsafe Child Restraint System can’t be used in First Class, Business Class or Premium Economy Class seats, nor in an emergency exit row or the row in front or behind the emergency exit.

Baggage Allowances

Infants traveling in their own reserved seat will have the same hand and checked baggage allowances as an adult. In addition, two items from the following can be checked without charge, even on hand-baggage only fares: one fully collapsible pushchair (stroller), one car seat, one travel cot, or one baby back carrier.


When traveling with children aged 2 to 11 years, all check-in options are available. You may even choose your seats in advance, but you might have to pay to select your seats. British Airways will allocate seats a few days before departure, making sure that each child is seated with an accompanying adult. Free seat selection is still available during Online Check-in.

If your child is between 5 and 12 years of age and you need to travel in a different cabin to your child, you can make this booking by contacting British Airways. Once you are booked to travel on the same flight, your child can be booked into any cabin. British Airways’ staff will take your child into care at the boarding gate, but you should stay with your child until then.

Children aged 2 to 11 years paying the child fare have the same baggage allowance as an adult and, in addition, can also check in two items from the following can be checked without charge, even on hand-baggage only fares: one fully collapsible pushchair (stroller), one car seat, one travel cot, or one baby back carrier..

To keep children amused during the flight, the in-flight entertainment has a dedicated Skyflyers Kids’ Zone, and Skyflyer activity packs for children aged 3 to 5 years are available on long-haul flights departing from London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

Comfort devices (e.g., seat extenders for children, inflatable footrests that attach to the aircraft seat) are not permitted for use in the cabin.

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