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AirTkt Travel Tips of Getting Ready for the Flight

At provides most accurate and complete Tips and Tricks for your Health and Safety during your Trip.

  • If they are traveling free, are they allowed any baggage ?

  • Does a child’s ticket have the same checked baggage and carry-on allowance as a full fare adult ticket ?

  • Does a diaper bag count against your carry-on limit ?

  • Are strollers allowed as carry-on ?  If not, ask to "gate check" the stroller,  so that you can use before departure.  Folding strollers are the most likely to be allowed as carry-on.

  • It sure is !  The child deserves the same "perks" as you.  By enrolling your child in the frequent flier program, they will earn points every time they travel on a paid ticket.  Usually, there is no cost to join.  Get them started early and let them earn those free points along with Mom And Dad..
  • Each airport’s site is different, but most contain airport terminal layouts and features, parking information, flight delays and other items that could save you time and help make your visit a safe one.  It also lists many airport codes that can be helpful when making airline reservations and to make sure that you and your luggage are heading to the same airport.
  • If you have small children, you may want to reserve a bulkhead seat.  They have more legroom and more area for a child to move around.  The one negative about a bulkhead seat is that it does not have under seat storage in front of you.

  • If traveling with a baby, see if they will provide a bassinet for you. 

  • Be aware that only one child is permitted on an adult’s lap in any three-seat row.  This is due to the limited number of oxygen masks available.  If two adults are  traveling together and plan to hold a child on each lap, they'll be required to reserve seats in different rows.

  • If you plan to use a car seat for the child, it must be Federal Aviation Administration approved.  You will also be required to buy a confirmed seat to guarantee that you will be able to use the car seat.  If not, you can only use it if the flight has empty seats.  Many booster or car seats are not FAA approved and will not qualify.

  • Try to reserve a seat in the center of the plane, possibly near the wings.  This area will provide the smoothest ride.

  • It might be best to seat yourself between the child and the aisle. There are many activities going on in in the aisle, as well as the possibility of objects falling from the overhead bins.  

  • Airlines prohibit children from sitting in the plane’s exit row seats.  Passengers seated there may be required to provide assistance in the case of an emergency.

  • Even though the planes are pressurized the child's ears may still be sensitive to changes in altitude.

  • Try to clear it up before you travel if your child has a head cold.  Use anything that has had positive results before, If the child has an ear infection.  Discuss the trip with your doctor or pediatrician.  Ear infections can be extremely painful for adults traveling on an airplane.  Kids are even worse off, because they rarely know what is happening or how to alleviate the discomfort.

  • Children are especially good at "smuggling" hotel pool water or ocean water on to the plane from their vacation.  Find a reliable brand of ear drops and do your best to dry out those ear passages before you fly.

  • Many people get relief from sucking on hard candy or chewing gum.  Chewing and swallowing can relieve the pressure in the ear canal at take off and landing.  Take care when choosing a treat for small children, due to the possibility of them choking during turbulence.

  • Nursing a baby can help the baby’s ears.

  • Heavy yawning is usually helpful to relieve the pressure in the ears.

  • If a child is asleep, wake them up before the plane descends.  Landing is hard on the ears and you swallow less when you sleep.   The child may wake up on the ground to an earful of pain.

  • Whichever method you try, continue through take off and landing.  Adjust a little at a time.

  •   Check the Federal Aviation Administration site.  It contains tips for parents who need to use child restraints on airplanes.
  • Check each airline for special children's rates.  Usually, kids under two fly free, but that means on your lap.  If you want a confirmed seat, you’ll have to buya ticket to guarantee it.

  • Ask the airline if it has a child’s menu.  Many don't serve food at all, but some have kids snacks available.  Generally they don't provide baby food or formula, but most have the ability to heat formula, if you provide it.

  • Don’t look for help from flight attendents when it's time to change diapers.  Even if the wanted to, they handle food and are restricted in what else they handle.  This is for general on board safety.

  • Check the individual airline's web site for information.
  • Pack it just as carefully as you would pack your own.

  • Include any medications, the doctor or pediatrician’s name and phone number and any necessary items needed for the next 24-hours.  This is in case your checked luggage is lost or delayed.  You may want to put their medical information in your own carry-on, in case the child loses his or hers.

  • Bring a few of your child's favorite snack with you. Since most airlines don’t serve meals, the snacks on board may not be to their liking.  On some international flights, you may be limited on fresh fruit or some meat items, that won’t be allowed through customs.

  • Pack an extra shirt for the child and one for yourself.  Better safe than sorry in case of a spill or other accident.

  • Ask the airline if it carries any treats or gifts for your child.  The old favorite, airline wings are pretty standard and some provide packets with games, puzzles or coloring books.  On a long trip, you’ll need plenty of entertainment to keep your child from becoming restless.

  • Pack the child's swimsuit or other play clothes in the carry-on in case their checked luggage is lost or delayed

  • That first flight can be scary for anyone.  Spend extra time getting your child ready and comfortable for the trip.

  • Do a bit of role-playing by taking them through a "check-in" and a "security check" scenario.  Set up a row of seats and simulate a take off and landing.  Include engine noise and turbulence, so that they realize that they are a normal part of the experience.  That should help to make them more comfortable when the real thing happens.

  • Find some children's books with traveling themes.  Reading about flying will help to peak their interest and allow them to be more at ease with the whole experience.

  • If there is any chance that they may suffer from motion sickness, ask your doctor or pediatrician to provide preventative medication.

  • If you are a "white knuckler" yourself,  don't let it show.  Never pass that fear onto your child.  Naturally, if they see that you are afraid, they may be inclined to follow suit.   You don't want to have them develop a fear of flying that will stay with them as adults.  A child’s first flying experience will probably set a recurring pattern for future trips, whether good or bad. 

  • Children tend to be morning or evening people, like adults. Think about your child’s tendencies.  If you deviate too much from their daily schedule, you could both lose.

  • Look into flights that operate during non-peak hours.  Consider late midday and midweek.  That way you’ll have a much better shot at getting an empty,  free seat for your child.  It might also earn you more room to stretch out.

  • How about booking a flight during the child’s usual nap time ?  That way some of the flight will elapse while your child is asleep.  You’ll want to make sure the normal nap time occurs when you’re on the plane, not before or after.  Delaying a nap can create a major headache if you're trying to board a flight or make it through the airport with a cranky child.

  • If the flight is going to be especially long, consider an overnight departure.  You might get lucky and your child will sleep through the flight.

  • The same identification that is required of an adult.  If the travel requires a passport for an adult , then the child will also need a passport.

  • If the child is traveling outside of the country with only one parent, they'll need to provide written permission from the other parent.  A notarized statement from the other parent is usually sufficient, but check with the individual airline for regarding their policy.

  • Unless you provide proper paperwork, the airline can refuse to board the child.

  • Again, remember that all travel documents are the responsibility of the passenger.

  •   Try the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Foreign Entry Requirements web page.  It lists the entry requirements of foreign countries, including the addresses and telephone numbers of foreign embassies and consulates in the United States.  This site is a good starting point, but the information is subject to change, so check directly with the embassy or consulate of the country you a planning to visit.

  •   You can try the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Consular Offices web page.  It contains an updated listing of contact information for foreign countries’ consular offices in the United States.

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