Tips to Keep in Mind
Parents traveling with children who want their child to have his or her own seat must purchase a full-price ticket. Additionally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that children in their own seats must be in an FAA approved Child Restraint System (CRS).
The FAA recommends all children fly seated in a CRS, but does not mandate that children under the age of two do so. So, as parents weigh the safety issues carefully. Visit www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_children/crs/ for a complete discussion of flight safety for toddlers.
Be sure to inform the airline as early as possible if a lap child will accompany you. Some Web sites have an option for this while booking online or you can call and inform the airline after online booking. You can do it at the airport the day of the flight, but you would be more likely to meet complications, especially if there are newly added requirements.
If you do decide to purchase a seat for your child, keep in mind that kid's airline tickets are often not discounted on many travel Web sites. You may need to call and ask if discounts are available when traveling with children.
If you are traveling with a lap child, you will most likely be checking a car seat. If so, check the car seat at the gate. It might be a hassle to carry it through the airport, but if empty seats are available the crew may allow you to use one. If so, you'll want your car seat available.