The holiday season has already begun for many. If you are heading for more distant destinations, you usually have to use an airplane. Parents with smaller children are also increasingly considering taking further trips. In order to get from A to B in a relaxed manner, however, families should know a few things before departure.
Flying with a baby or child: a question of the seat
How old the baby can be at departure depends on the airline. At most, children can board the plane as soon as they are two weeks old. Until the offspring is two years old, he may sit on the lap of an adult. As a rule, the airlines only charge a small flat rate for this. If you want an extra place for the child, you have to pay a higher price. This can be between 75 percent and 100 percent of the regular ticket costs.
At Lufthansa, for example, if the child is sitting on their lap, the adults are given an extra safety belt before take-off. If an extra seat is required, the parents must bring their own restraint device, i.e. a baby seat or child seat. Anyone who has planned a long-haul flight will be provided with a cot by the airline. However, the number of seats where this can be installed is limited. Parents should therefore book early and obtain all the necessary information beforehand.
Baby food and strollers on air travel
Strollers or buggies can be used at most airports until just before boarding. It is best to find out what the regulations are when you pick up your luggage. The staff usually takes the car at the departure gate and gives it back to the parents after landing. The service is mostly free.
The airlines are also more forgiving when it comes to baby food – it does not fall under the strict hand luggage regulations. It can be more than 100 milliliters and does not have to fit in a 1 liter plastic bag. With many airlines it is possible to pre-order special children’s menus or even baby food. But even that is limited, so take some rations with you to be on the safe side. Changing tables are located in the aircraft lavatories.
Important tips for traveling with children
The temperatures drop on the plane, so think of warm clothing or a blanket. Due to the height, the feet can swell, so it is better to do without shoes and grab thicker socks for the baby. A change of clothes is also advisable in case of messing or spitting. Toys can help bridge the long time. In most cases, however, the airlines are well equipped here too.
Regarding the pressure equalization during landing and takeoff, there are tricks. Give babies a pacifier or bottle, older children can suck or chew something. If the offspring are asleep when landing or taking off, it is best to wake them up. Because the pressure equalization does not take place automatically and in the worst case there is a risk of pain.
Anyone traveling abroad must apply for a children’s passport. This is only valid for one year for children up to the age of twelve. It is applied for at the passport authority of the main residence. A biometric photo of the child is required.