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American Airlines Flying With Kids Information

All the American Airlines flying with kids information in one place. Including:

  • Flying when pregnant
  • Flying with a newborn baby, and baby or toddler under two
  • Flying with older children
  • Kids’ baggage allowance
  • Car seat policy
  • Other child restraint device policies
  • Pushchair/stroller policy
  • Bassinet policy
  • Baby and child meals
  • Inflight entertainment for children
  • Other family services provided
Flying with kids information on American Airlines

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If your due date is within 4 weeks of your flight, you must provide a doctor’s certificate stating that you’ve been recently examined and you’re fit to fly.

Domestic travel

For domestic flights under 5 hours, you won’t be permitted to travel within 7 days (before and after) your delivery date. If you need to travel within this time frame:

  • Approval from your physician and a special assistance coordinator is required.
  • Your physician will be required to fill out a passenger medical form before your flight. A special assistance coordinator will send the form directly to your physician.

International or travel over water

Clearance from a special assistance coordinator is required for international travel or travel over water:

  • Within 4 weeks of your due date (travel also requires a physician’s note stating that you’ve been examined within the past 48 hours and you’re fit to fly)
  • 7 days before or after your delivery (travel also requires a passenger medical form to be completed by your physician) See what other travel documents are required here.


American Airline accept newborn infants as young as 2 days old. However, if you’re traveling with an infant less than 7 days old, your physician will be required to fill out a passenger medical form before your flight. A special assistance coordinator will send the form directly to your physician. Infants must be accompanied by a person 16 years or older or by the infant’s parent (any age) in the same cabin.


You may be required to present proof of age (such as a birth certificate) for any children under the age of 18.

  • Families with children under 2 years old can ask to board early at the gate.
  • Only 1 carry-on diaper bag per child is allowed.

Lap infants and infants with their own seat.

Seating options for infants:

  1. Held by an adult (baby is known as a lap infant): A parent or any person 16 years or older may hold the infant in their lap. The infant must be included in the reservation by calling American Airlines reservations. International taxes and percentage of adult fare may apply.
  2. In a reserved seat: If your infant will travel in their own seat, you must buy a ticket. The infant must either travel in a safety seat approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or be able to sit upright in their seat without assistance and have their seatbelt securely fastened during taxi, takeoff, landing and whenever the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign is on.
American airlines economy seats
AA economy seats on an international flight


Children 2 or older are required to have their own seat, a ticketed adult fare. Children under 5 can’t travel alone under any circumstances.

If you don’t choose seats in Main Cabin or Basic Economy, AA will assign seats a few days after you buy your tickets so children under 15 are next to at least 1 adult they’re traveling with.


Children and adults traveling in separate reservations

If you and your children are traveling together but have separate reservations, call Reservations so American Airlines can note it in each reservation.


If you’re flying internationally with an infant on your lap, AA will issue the infant a ticket. You may check 1 bag for the infant at the same rate as the adult’s first checked bag.

Additional accessories

  • Play pens, wagons, cribs and ‘pack and play’ count as regular bags
  • If any of these exceed carry-on limits they’ll be checked and incur regular fees
FAA approved car seats, stickers showing airline approved car seats
Airline approved car-seat label examples


Most safety seats that are approved for use in motor vehicles are acceptable for use in aircraft. The seat must have a solid back and seat, restraint straps installed to securely hold the child and a label indicating approval for use on an aircraft.

The label may include:

  • These notes: ‘This child restraint system conforms to all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards’ and ‘this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircrafts’ or ‘this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.’ See image above.
  • Approval of a foreign government or a label showing that the seat was manufactured under the standards of the United Nations. FAA-approved device like the CARES FlySafe Harness. (affiliate link) are approved.

Safety seat requirements

  • The safety seat can’t be used in an exit row or in the rows on either side of an exit row; window seats are preferred.
  • Install the seat in the direction appropriate for the size of the child and according to the instructions on the label.
  • The child must remain in the safety seat with the harness fastened during taxi, takeoff, landing and whenever the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign is on.
  • To carry on a safety seat, you must have bought a seat for the child, or a seat must be available next to you. If an unoccupied, adjoining seat is not available, the gate agent will check the safety seat to your final destination.

You can see the seat dimensions and measurement of the AA Planes.

Safety seats are not allowed in First or Business on select planes due to the seat angles.

Car seats airplane, child restraint devices CARES harness back
FAA-approved device like the CARES FlySafe Harness. (affiliate link) are allowed CARES harness (front) Photo courtesy of Tim Kelley AmSafe CARES harness

Other Child Restraint Device Policies When Flying With Kids on American Airlines

Seats and restraint devices not approved for use:

  • Any device without an approval label
  • Booster seats with no approval label or shoulder harness
  • Belt extensions that attach to the parent or the parent’s restraint
  • Any device that positions a child on the lap or chest of an adult

American Airlines Policy on sleep devices.

American Airlines do allow sleep extenders like Plane Pal, bed box, Flyaway etc as long as they don’t attach to aircraft seat or window, block an exit and meets carry on requirements. Further requirements can be seen on the screenshot below when I asked this question.



  • Each ticketed customer is allowed 1 stroller and 1 car seat to be checked free of charge
  • Strollers over 20 lbs / 9 kgs must be checked at the ticket counter
  • All other strollers should be checked at the gate before boarding
  • If you have a stroller and a car seat only 1 can be checked at the gate

AA bassinet from Philly to Zurich with a 6 month baby inside who weighed 16lbs,9 oz at the time


Does American Airlines supply a bassinet/carrycot?

Yes, but not in First / Business cabins.

How do I reserve a bassinet/carrycot on American Airlines?

Bassinets are available on a first come, first serve basis at the gate for travel only on 777-200, 777-300 and 787 aircraft.

When can I choose my seat on American Airlines when flying with kids?

When you book a flight, you’ll see the seat map after you choose your flights.

Also, you can go to “My trips/check-in” from the homepage and enter your name and record. From there, you can choose seats. If seats are unavailable, check back later or you can change seats when you check in.

What happens if I don’t reserve a bassinet/carrycot seat?

You might not be able to get one as bassinets are available on a first come, first serve basis.

What is the size/weight limit for American Airlines bassinets/carrycots?

Infants using bassinets must be younger than 2 years old and weigh no more than 20lbs (9kg) For more details and to compare other airlines bassinet policies see here

Can I use a car seat and a bassinet?

No, you will not be able to use a car seat and a bassinet. The bassinet is only an option for lap babies and not babies that have their own seat.

Is there anything else I need to know about the bassinet seat on American?

As with all airlines, you will be unable to stow any luggage in front of your seat during taxi, take off and landing. A good idea is to have a bum bag/fanny pack attached to you if you need to quickly gain access to anything during this time.

American Airlines child meal


Food and drink service on board is limited and based on flight length and destination. You’re welcome to bring snacks and soft drinks to enjoy during your flight.

Does American Airlines provide baby food?

They provide Baby Meals which must be pre-requested- a selection of commercial baby food for children 2 and younger.

Do American Airlines provide child meals?

They provide Child’s Meals – foods that appeal to kids age 2-5.

american airlines inflight entertainment for kids


Free entertainment

On most flights, you can stream a library of movies, music, TV shows and more to your phone, tablet or laptop.

There is no need to buy Wi-Fi – all you need is the American Airlines app on your phone or tablet, so make sure you download this before your flight.

All entertainment is free to watch everywhere on Wi-Fi-equipped American Airlines flights.


Changing tables are available in the lavatories of all wide-body aircraft.

Families traveling

If you’re unable to choose seats, don’t want to pay for seats, or chose a Basic Economy fare, American Airlines booking system will detect that you’re a family traveling.

The system will search for seats together automatically before the day of departure. They will try their best to keep you together, but if seats are limited, you will be assigned seats so children under 15 are next to at least 1 adult.

If you and your children are traveling together but have separate reservations, call Reservations so they can sync the bookings.


Find out all the information about flying with kids on your airline. From car seats to strollers allowed in the airplane cabin, to lap infants to bassinets, luggage allowance, facilities on board and much much more.

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