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American Airlines Flying With Kids Information

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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
  • Current mask rules for children
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)


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.


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.

Review seat dimensions before your trip: 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
  • Vest and/or harness-type devices, except Aviation Child Safety Devices (ACSD) showing the FAA aircraft approval label
  • 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


  • 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


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


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.

Does American Airlines provide child meals?

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


Free entertainment

On most flights, you can stream our library of movies, music, TV shows and more to your phone, tablet or laptop. No need to buy Wi-Fi – all you need is the American Airlines app on your phone or tablet.

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.


U.S. federal law requires that you wear a face covering from the time you enter the airport where your trip begins, on board your flight, and until you leave the airport where your trip ends. If you refuse to wear one, you may be denied boarding and future travel on American. You may also face penalties under federal law.

These rules do not apply to children under 2, or if you have a disability that prevents you from wearing a face covering and meet the exemption requirements.


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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