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British Airways Flying With Kids Information

All the British Airways 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
  • BA car seat policy
  • Other child restraint device policies
  • BA pushchair/stroller policy
  • BA bassinet policy
  • Sleep devices and child ride-ons/ leg rests permitted
  • Baby and child meals on British Airways
  • British Airways inflight entertainment for children.
  • Other family services provided
  • Current mask rules for children on BA.
  • Click on the contents to go directly to the area you are interested in.
Flying with kids information for BA
Flying with kids information for BA

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BRITSH AIRWAYS FLYING WHEN PREGNANT

British Airways recommend that you carry a Doctor’s or Midwife’s letter confirming:

  • Whether your pregnancy is single or multiple
  • Your expected due date
  • There are no complications with your pregnancy

The medical statement or letter should also be dated as close to your travel date as possible and cover both outbound and return journey. You do not need to complete a separate British Airways medical form for flying when pregnant on British Airways.

British Airways will not permit you to fly after the the end of the 36th week if you are pregnant with one baby, or the the end of the 32nd week if you are pregnant with more than one baby. For more information see their Medical Conditions and Pregnancy section here.

Making a booking for an infant who isn’t yet born:

British Airways advise to make you own booking as normal and then contact them to add baby to your booking once they are born. Babies must always have ticket for their journey.

BRITSH AIRWAYS NEWBORN POLICY

  • Newborn babies must be at least 48 hours old and have been born without any complications before they can travel with British Airways in exceptional circumstances. If you plan to fly soon after your baby’s birth, please check with your treating doctor that they agree to both you and your baby travelling. Normally, British Airways is able to carry new born children born at normal term (40 weeks) with no medical complications once they are more than 1 week old. These children need no prior medical clearance.
  • Premature Infants. British Airways is able to carry premature infants born at more than 37 weeks gestation, with no medical complications, once they have reached the normal delivery date (40 weeks) plus one week. These infants need no prior medical clearance.
  • If you have had a Caesarean section or if other surgery was needed during or after the birth, then you can travel after 10 days, with medical clearance from British Airways Health Services. British Airways advise that your treating doctor approve your travel first. The Passenger Medical Clearance Unit (PMCU) email is pmcu.pmcu@ba.com
  • For more flying with a newborn tips see here and flying with a baby tips see here.

FLYING WITH BABY POLICY (INFANTS UNDER 2 YEARS OLD)

Lap infants and infants with their own seat.

Infants or children under two are not required to have their own seat and therefore pay an infant fare (0 – 23 months) if they travel on an adult’s lap as a ‘lap infant’. Crew will issue a lap belt to secure around you and the baby.

Alternatively, you can book a separate seat for your infant and pay a child’s fare. If you would like your infant to have his/her own seat they will require an airplane approved car seat which fits your child according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or an alternative approved child restraint device (CRD) such as the AmSafe CARES harness which is suitable for babies over one year old. This is not suitable for first class, business class Club Suite or premium economy. This type of ticket cannot be booked online.

Travelling with more than one infant

Traveling with more than one infant policies can vary on whether you are traveling without another adult. There are two options depending on the circumstances.

  • There must be one infant per adult (one infant on each adult lap). Due to the number of oxygen masks available on that particular aircraft, it may mean you are not seated on the same row of seats as the other adult in your booking OR if you are traveling alone with two infants one infant can travel on your lap (at the infant fare), and the other in their own seat (at the child fare), as long as they’re secured in an approved car seat. This type of booking can’t be made online. Adults are considered those over 16 years old.

FLYING WITH CHILDREN AGED TWO AND OVER

Once your infant turns 2 years old, they will be considered a child and will need to travel in their own seat. You will then need to book them as a ‘Child’ and pay the child fare.

Infants who become children while travelling

If you’re travelling with an infant who reaches the age of 2 during their journey, your child will need their own seat for any flights on and after their 2nd birthday. British Airways do not charge you extra for this; you’ll only pay the infant fare for the entire journey. This booking can’t be made online. For more information see the British Airways Travel Documents page here.

FLYING WITH OLDER CHILDREN ON BRITISH AIRWAYS

A child fare is applicable for children aged 2-11 and a young adult fare for those aged 12 – 15. An adult fare is applied to those 16 and over. All children under 14 years must travel accompanied by an adult aged 16 years or over. British Airways no longer have an unaccompanied minor (UM) policy for young children to fly alone without a parent or guardian.

KIDS’ BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ON BRITISH AIRWAYS

Your child will have the same free checked baggage allowance as you, which will vary depending on which cabin you are travelling in.

In addition, you can also take up to TWO of the following items free of charge (as checked baggage):

  • fully-collapsible pushchair (stroller)
  • car or booster seat
  • travel cot
  • baby back carrier

When you travel with British Airways, your child (aged 2-11) has the same hand baggage allowance as an adult. Further details of each age group below.

The maximum hand baggage allowance measurements for adults and children in economy are:

Hand Baggage Checked/Hold BaggageFree Extras
CHILDSame as adult. Guideline for economy is ONE cabin bag weight is:
• Max. 23kg / 51lbs
• Up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in

PLUS
1 handbag
• Max. weight 23kg / 51lbs
• Up to 40 x 30 x 15cm / 16 x 12 x 6in
Same as adult allowance, but does depend on sector and class of cabin.

(Guideline for economy is ONE BAG Max weight 23kg / 51lbs – Up to 90 x 75 x 43cm (Up to 90 x 75 x 43cm)
Up to TWO of the following:
• Fully-collapsible pushchair (stroller)
• Car or booster seat
• Travel cot
• Baby back carrier
INFANTONE CABIN BAG
For economy Max weight . 23kg / 51lbs
Up to 56 x 45 x 25cm / 22 x 18 x 10in
ONE free bag same size & weight as adults allowance.
(Guideline for economy is Max weight. 23kg / 51lbs – Up to 90 x 75 x 43cm (Up to 90 x 75 x 43cm)
Up to TWO of the following:
• Fully-collapsible pushchair (stroller)
• Car or booster seat
• Travel cot
• Baby back carrier

BRITISH AIRWAYS INFANTS BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE

Checked baggage:

The baggage allowance for infants on British Airways is generous. All Infants (under two) are given one free checked bag, as per the adult weight and size limit for that travel class. This does not apply if you are travelling with your infant on a hand baggage only (Basic) fare. As above, you can take up to TWO of the following items free of charge as checked baggage.

Hand Baggage:

If you are travelling with an infant (under 2), you’ll be able to bring an extra bag for them, included in your allowance, with the items that they may need during the flight. The liquid rules (100ml/3-1-1) do not apply to food and drink for your baby. You may take as much as you require for the journey.

CHILDREN AGED 2 and ABOVE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE

Checked Baggage

Your child will have the same free checked baggage allowance as you, which will vary depending on which cabin you are travelling in. You can take up to TWO of the following items free of charge as checked baggage.

  • fully-collapsible pushchair (stroller)
  • car or booster seat
  • travel cot
  • baby back carrier

Hand Baggage

When you travel with British Airways, your child (aged 2-11) has the same hand baggage allowance as an adult.

FAA approved car seats, stickers showing airline approved car seats
Airline approved car-seat label examples

BA CAR SEAT POLICY

You may take the car seat on board the aircraft, if you have booked a seat for your infant or child and intend to secure the aircraft approved car seat into it.

Please check car seat dimensions and safety requirements so that you know your car seat will fit safely into the aircraft seat.

Car seat dimensions and safety requirements:

  • The age/weight range of the child is in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • The maximum width across the car seat should be no more than 45cm (18 inches) to ensure it fits in the aircraft seat.
  • The child in the car seat must face the same direction as the aircraft seat to which it is secured. This means that currently rear facing car seats cannot be used on BA for taxi, take off and landing or when the seat belt sign is on. (Be aware that rules on rear seat car seats use on airplanes vary from country to country, so if you are on a codeshare flight with American Airlines, rear facing car sears are allowed by federal law and under the FAA.
  • The car seat harness must secure the lap, torso and crotch, but does not need to have five individual straps.
  • Non-approved car seats may only be used during the cruise when the seatbelt sign is off. At other times, these car seats must be stowed in an overhead locker.
  • For more information including what seats the car seat can be used in and more see the Car Seat section on British Airways.

Please note: Two part car seats, (a seat and separate base) are not suitable for use on aircraft seats. Only child seats supplied by British Airways can be used on Club Suite (Business Class.)

Car seats airplane, child restraint devices CARES harness back
CARES harness (front) Photo courtesy of Tim Kelley

Other Child Restraint Device Policies

British Airways permit the use of your own AmSafe CARES Restraint System harness which is suitable for babies over one year old. This is not suitable for the BA Club seats (business class) Safe Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES)

If you have your own AmSafe Child Aviation Restraint System, you can use this on board in economy seats for infants and children who weigh between 10-20kg.

The AmSafe System is not suitable for use in first class, business class, Club Suite or premium economy and cannot be used in the rows before, after or on an emergency exit.

Please note: If you have paid for a separate seat for your infant and you don’t bring a child seat or AmSafe System, your infant must sit on your lap using an extension seatbelt during taxi, take-off, landing and turbulence (when the seatbelt sign is on). The cabin crew will provide the extension seat belt and show you how to use it.

BRITISH AIRWAYS PUSHCHAIR/ STROLLER POLICY

If you have a small, fully collapsible and lightweight pushchair/stroller (with maximum dimensions of 117cm x 38cm x 38cm/46in x 15in x 15in when the pushchair is collapsed), you will qualify to take this right to the aircraft door and collect at the aircraft door at most airports.

Cabin size strollers that fold down into a carry bag, such as the Yo-Yo Zen and are within the maximum hand baggage dimensions, can be taken on board in place of, but not in addition to, your larger cabin bag. As with all larger cabin bags, this is not guaranteed to travel in the cabin, but staff will make every effort to accommodate it so long as space is available.

All other, larger pushchairs, including double and multi-piece pushchairs can be taken to the departure gate, however, on arrival you must pick up these larger pushchairs at the baggage carousel in the baggage hall.

BRITISH AIRWAYS BASSINET POLICY

Does British Airways supply a bassinet/carrycot?

Yes, they provide both bassinets and reclinable child seats free of charge. You can reserve a bassinet/child seat position for infants (under 2 years) on long haul flights only (excluding flights from London City Airport to JFK).

Child seats and carrycots are supplied free of charge, but are subject to availability on-board the aircraft on the day. They will be given to the people sitting in the carrycot/child seat positions on a first-come, first-served basis.

Even if you’ve chosen this type of seat, you may have to move on the day if there is a person with a greater need who requires it, such as a wheelchair user.

How do I reserve a bassinet/carrycot on British Airways?

Reservations must be made in advance via ‘Manage My Booking’ on the British Airways website. The seats are marked on the seat maps with a baby icon. These seats are allocated subject to availability, and on a first come, first served basis.

When can I choose my seat on British Airways?

When you travel with an infant (under 2) who won’t be travelling in a seat of their own, you can reserve a seat for yourself and everyone in your booking, free of charge, as soon as you’ve made your booking (except for bookings of over 9 people).

Subject to availability, one person in your booking and the infant will be able to reserve a carrycot/seat position. The remainder of your party will be able to select other seats for free. However, bear in mind you may not all be sitting together as the bassinet position and others in your booking will not be able to choose another bassinet/carrycot position as it may be needed for another family or wheelchair user.  Therefore, you will either be adjacent or the row behind.

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

If you don’t make a reservation, or there are no available bassinet seats, infants (under 2 years) can sit on an adults lap using an extension seat belt provided by Cabin Crew. Seats will be allocated together a few days before the flight wherever possible. For more information on the best seats see here.

What is the size/weight limit for British Airways’ bassinets/carrycots?

Infants using bassinets must be younger than 2 years old, and weigh no more than 12.5kg (27.5lbs). They must also be laying down flat.

Alternatively, the child seat is more suitable for older babies as this can be adjusted to a variety of reclined positions. The weight limit for the child seat is 12.5kg (27.5lbs).

What does the British Airways bassinet/carrycot look like?

BA bassinet cot style, british airways bassinet
British Airways Bassinet for small babies
BA bassinet reclining, british airways bassinet carrycot
British Airways bassinet or child seat – a reclining chair type for older babies
Fly Babee, CoziGo bassinet cover review airline stroller cover, buggy cover UV50+
CoziGo bassinet cover works a treat to help babies sleep and is permitted for use on British Airways.

SLEEP DEVICES AND CHILD RIDE ON/ LEG RESTS PERMITTED

THE CoziGo (affiliate link) retails at AUS $99.95 and can be shipped worldwide and shipping is FREE to Australia USA, Canada from their site, or it can be bought from Amazon.co.uk if you are based in the UK (affiliate link) All other seat comfort devices are not permitted for use in the cabin. Devices not allowed include, but are not restricted to, seat extenders for children, hammocks for lap held infants, inflatable footrests and devices that attach to the seat to restrict movement or for leg support.

BA Child meal pasta and tomato sauce
BA child meal example

BABY AND CHILD MEALS ON BRITISH AIRWAYS

Do British Airways provide baby food?

They do carry some tinned baby food or food pouches on long haul flights, but recommend passengers bring their own unopened baby food, sterilised bottles, and any other equipment in their hand baggage.

Can I sterilise my bottles on British Airways?

British Airways staff are NOT able to sterilise bottles, or provide sterilised water on board for you, however you can do this yourself if you bring the necessary equipment. Here is my post on sterilising when travelling.

Do British Airways provide child meals?

British Airways provides a range of children’s meals that are suitable for kids between 2-12 years. These meals must be pre-ordered at least 24 hours in advance via ‘Manage My Booking’ on the British Airways website.

As an added bonus, for pre-ordered children’s meals, British Airways operates a ‘Feed Kids First’ policy to allow you some peace and quiet whilst eating your own meal.

BRITISH AIRWAYS INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT FOR CHILDREN.

Are toys provided by British Airways for children?

They do provide ‘Skyflyer Activity Packs’ on long haul flights from London Heathrow, and London Gatwick. This includes crayons and a colouring book, provided in a reusable swimming bag, and is suitable for children aged 3-5 years. These have been temporarily withdrawn due to Covid-19.

Alternatively, British Airways offers CBeebies, Cartoon Network, and Disney channels along with a variety of cartoons and popular children’s shows. You’ll also find a selection of movies the whole family will enjoy, including all-time favourites from their Disney Library. On some of the newest family titles, we are pleased to provide Closed Captions and Audio Description for those who may require accessible options. 

In audio, families will discover a range of innovative options from our educational series iMinds Jr, to soothing bedtime stories and exclusive music mixes that help children fall asleep on long haul flights.

You will also find a dedicated Skyflyers Kids’ Zone on board, making it easier to find all the suitable content for your children in one place, along with a parental lock which allows you to control the programmes they are able to access.

You can bring your own headphones or use the complimentary headsets offered.

The British Airways Family Area in Terminal 5, Heathrow located in Zone A.
The British Airways Family Area in Terminal 5, Heathrow located in Zone A.

OTHER FAMILY SERVICES PROVIDED

  • If you’re travelling from London Heathrow Terminal 5, check in at the British Airways family area located in Zone A. With direct access to oversize baggage belts for car seats and pushchairs, and games to keep the little ones entertained, it will make check in easier for all the family.
  • If you have access you to the Club lounges (business class), the LHR North (A gates) and South (B gates) have a small play area within the lounges, equipped with a play station, TV, and some lovely wooden toys by My 1st Years.
  • Some airports have dedicated ‘Family Lanes’ to help you and your children get through security stress-free. Ask at your departure airport if there is a ‘Family Lane’.
  • Share Avios with your children. The British Airways Executive Club Household Account lets you and your children pool your Avios, giving you more to spend on rewards when you want them. It’s free to set up, and children can join at any age, even babies.

Families can board first.

Families with infants under two and young children in pushchairs can board first, so that you and your family can get settled on board. Please get to the gate at least 45 minutes before departure so that you are ready to board and they have enough time to load your pushchair in the hold.

BA FACEMASK POLICIES FOR CHILDREN

Children under the age of 11 are exempt from wearing a mask, except on flights to and from the United States where only children under the age of 2 are exempt, according to US federal law. Please see local Government websites for additional exemptions.

INDIVIDUAL AIRLINE INFORMATION FOR FLYING WITH KIDS

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

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