If you’re planning to travel with your baby, you’ll quickly notice that it is not very difficult to buy a ticket for your most precious treasure. Whenever you travel with your baby you’ll have TWO OPTIONS depending on the flight you take. Remember that airlines consider your child as being an INFANT if he or she has not yet reached his/her second birthday. You will have to buy a ticket if you’re traveling outside the US and if you decide to use a Child Restraint System (CRS).
On the other hand, you won’t be compelled to purchase a plane ticket if you decide to have your baby in your lap. Whatever option you choose, just remember that FAA recommends to buy a seat for your baby and use an approved CRS. Furthermore, you’ll also need to have a copy of your baby’s birth certificate both when you buy the ticket and at the airport as well. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) considers that by securing your child in a CSR during your flight, you’ll do the only right and smart thing so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination.
Provided you have already opted for one of the two solution presented above, you’ll need to phone or log onto the airline website in order to make the reservation. Of course, you can also use the services of a travel agent when you decide to finally but the ticket.
Nevertheless, if you’re flying within the US, you need to know that you may only hold one baby in your lap. Carriers allow only one baby per paying adult is to fly as a lap child. This means that in case there are two or more infants under the age of two flying with the same adult, only one of them is permitted to fly as a lap child. Thus, any additional babies will have to be bought a seat.
If, on the other hand, you need to book a PLANE TICKET for an international flight, the infant must have a ticket issued which, as a general rule, is 10 percent of an adult fare and is normally subject to infant fares and taxes. Therefore, you should inform the agency of the carrier that you’ll be traveling with a baby the moment you make the reservation.
Besides, just as the United Airlines point out, and this usually applies to the majority of the airlines, as a result of the “oxygen mask constraints, only one lap child is allowed per seat section and, on some aircraft, passengers with lap infants may not be seated in certain rows.” What is more, in case there are many adults traveling with a lap child on the very same flight, a part of them may be asked to move of a later flight and this is not at all enjoyable.
To our point of view the best solution is to buy a seat for your baby. The mere fact that you do not have to pay a fare may, indeed, be appealing or charm your socks off. But SAFETY is paramount in this case, or at least that’s our point of view. So, if you want your baby to fly in his/her own seat, you’ll have to purchase and bring a safety seat that is approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). FAA also warns that government approved CRS seat should have the following printed on it: “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft”. If it doesn’t, you may not be allowed to use it on the plane.
Nonetheless, FAA has not yet published a list of approved manufacturers of Child Restraint Systems. You’ll have to do your own research and make certain that you chose a device that bears the FAA certification label.
Money should not trample on safety. That is the concept to bear in mind when you buy a ticket for your baby. Besides, there are carriers that offer affordable infant fares which certainly allow you to make a reservation for you baby and arrive safely at the destination.
For instance, Southwest Airlines offers such fares. Besides Southwest Airlines Infant Fares have no restrictions, are fully refundable, and are offered on every Southwest Airlines flight (although seats are limited). The only catch is that these fares are not available for purchase online on www.southwest.com.
One of the most important steps when buying a ticket for an infant is to fill in the information which enables you to buy such a ticket. We are referring to the baby’s name, date of birth, address and itinerary. FAA regulations demand that any child who has reached his/her second birthday has to occupy his/her own seat. So, make sure to bring along a copy of your infant’s birth certificate for age verification.
It’s mandatory that airline personnel ensures compliance with this regulation. Therefore, you will certainly be asked to document the identity as well as the age of your baby. If traveling within the US you’ll need nothing more than you baby’s certificate of birth. Nevertheless, if you travel outside the US, you’ll undoubtedly need a passport for your baby.