What to know before purchasing a ticket when flying with children
Infants must be 7 days old for air travel (most airlines). Some airlines require a doctor’s written permission if the infant/baby is less than 14 days so be sure to check your airlines policies.
Lap children (under age 2) fly free on US domestic flights, one per paying adult. While this can save you money, babies are safest riding in government-approved car seats. You’ll see a red label which reads "This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft." Note: If the flight is not sold out, the airline may allow you to use an empty seat for your lap child in a car seat. However, there are no guarantees of availability unless the seat is purchased.
Reserve a nonstop flight whenever possible. Reserve a nonstop flight whenever possible. Moving children (especially infants and toddlers) and their belongings from plane-to-plane and thru terminals is enough to put anyone over the edge. It is best to limit the number of times this must be done when flying with young children and infants. If it is unavoidable, be prepared and organized! Inevitably, your child will fall asleep 10 minutes before landing!
Select connecting flights that have at least 1 hour separation (more if possible) so you have plenty of time to get from one gate to another as well as take care of urgent needs of your children.
Pre-select your seats. If you are traveling with an infant/child in a car seat, the seat must be positioned in the window. Bulkhead seating will allow for more foot space but keep in mind that there is no under-the-seat storage. Make your choice strategically based on number of adults in your party and the ages and compatibility of your children.
You can "gate check" stroller(s) and/or car seats. This means that you can bring strollers and/or car seats with you to the entry of the airplane and pick it up at the same location after landing. You must get a gate check tag prior to boarding. This will be issued by the flight crew in the boarding area. If the flight is not sold out, the airline may allow you to use an empty seat for your lap child. However, there are no guarantees of availability unless the seat is purchased.