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Flying With A Baby on British Airways

British airways bassinet
(Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

We’ve flown with British Airways several times throughout the baby and toddler stage and used both of their different bassinet types.

In fact, it was this airline that my eldest flew her first four flights at 11 weeks and 13 weeks old!

If you are also flying with a baby on British Airways, then here is all the information you need to know about the airline – in one convenient place.

This FAQ guide covers airplane bassinets, baggage allowances, stroller & car seat rules, baby food, car seats, child restraint devices, strollers, toys, entertainment and more.

(For non airline specific flying with a baby tips see here.)


  • Infants must be at least 48 hours old to travel, and must have been born with no complications. British Airways advise that you check with the treating doctor that both mother and baby are safe to travel.
  • If the infant travels on an adults lap, you will pay an ‘infant fare’ which is a percentage of the adult fare. But, if a separate seat is booked for an infant, you will be charged for a ‘Child fare’. These seats cannot be booked online. 
  • Families with infants under 2 years, and young children in strollers are allowed to board first.

Infant Baggage Rules on British Airways

Infants (under 2 years) are allowed 1 Cabin bag, weighing no more than 23kg, and which does not exceed the dimensions of 56 x 45 x 25cm (22x18x10in).

However, if a separate seat has been booked for an infant, they are classed by British Airways as a Child, in which case, they have the same baggage allowances as an Adult. Though do be aware that this does vary depending upon your route. Please see details below.

Flights to/from Brazil:1 handbag/laptop bag with a maximum weight of 23kg (51lb), not exceeding 45x36x20cm (18x14x8in); Plus 1 cabin bag weighing no more than 23 kg (51lb) within the dimensions of 56x45x25cm (22x18x10in)

All other flights:1 handbag/laptop bag no more than 23kg (51lb) that is no bigger than 40x30x15cm (16x12x6in); Plus 1 cabin bag with a maximum weight of 23kg (51lb) and up to 56x45x25cm (22x18x10in)

What are the hold baggage allowances for infants on British Airways?

All hold luggage, across all flights, must not exceed the dimensions of 90 x75 x 43cm (35.5 x29.5 x16in). However, the weight limit does vary depending on destination, class, and what age the ticket is for. Details are below.

Infants who are under 2 years old, and are travelling on an infant fare are allowed 1 bag weighing a maximum of 23kg (51lb) per bag. This applies across all flights.

However, if an infant has their own seat, they are classed under a ‘Child fare’, and their allowance is the same as an adults. The adult allowance is detailed below.

British Airways economy seats (Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)
  • Economy flights from London to Doha allow 1 bag with a maximum weight of 32kg (70lb) per bag.
  • Economy flights To/From Ghana/Kenya/Nigeria; Between Europe and Japan; Connecting between India and USA/Bermuda/Canada; Originate in Saudi Arabia to USA/Bermuda/Canada, and the return to Saudi Arabia, are allowed 2 bags weighing no more than 23kg (51lb) per bag.
  • All other Economy flights have a 1 bag allowance with a maximum weight limit of 23kg (51lb) per bag.
  • Premium Economy allows 2 bags weighing no more than 23kg (51lb) per bagacross all flights.
  • Business Class travellers can take up to 2 bags that weigh a maximum of 32kg (70lb) per bag on all flights.
  • First Class has an allowance of 3 bags that weigh no more than 32kg (70lb) per bag.

Additional baby travel items allowed on board BA

In addition to the allocated baggage allowance (see above), infants (under 2 years) and children (2-11 years) can take any 2 of the following for FREE as checked baggage:

  • Stroller
  • Car/Booster Seat
  • Travel Cot
  • Baby Back Carrier
BA stroller label
(Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

Stroller policies on British Airways?

Providing the stroller is small, fully collapsible, lightweight, and does not exceed 117 x 38x 38cm (46 x 15 x 15in) when collapsed, it can be taken straight to the aircraft doors, and collected from them too.

Larger strollers, including double and multi-piece strollers, can be taken to the departure gate, but must be collected from the baggage carousel upon arrival. This is for free.

BA bassinet cot style, british airways bassinet
British Airways Bassinet for small babies (Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

British Airways Bassinet Information

They provide both bassinets and 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).

For smaller babies, the bassinet is rectangular with a blue and white checked lining. It is only suitable for small babies around 6 months. For older babies, they have the reclining chair style bassinet.

How to 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.

Seat choice 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).

This is a rare feature and so helpful when so many airlines now charge for seating together!

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.

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).

British Airways bassinet/carrycot photo

BA bassinet reclining, british airways bassinet carrycot
British Airways bassinet – a reclining chair type for older babies (Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

Using a Car Seat on British Airways

Can I use a car seat on British Airways?

You can bring your own car seat for use by infants/children if they are in their own seats, providing it meets the following conditions:

  • The age/weight of the child follows the manufacturer’s directions.
  • The child must face the same direction of the seat it is secured to. (For more car seat regulations of other airlines see here.)
  • The car seat must not be moved during the whole flight.
  • The seatbelt buckle must not lie over any part of the frame or under the structure of the car seat after tightening.
  • The frame of the car seat must be either metal or plastic/polycarbonate material.
  • Car seats should be placed in a window seat, where possible.
  • The car seat must not be placed before, after or on an emergency exit row.
  • The harness must secure the lap, torso and crotch, but does not have to be 5 individual straps.

Car seats that do not meet these requirements can only be used when the seatbelt sign if off. At all other times, they must be stored in the overhead lockers.

Two-part car seats are not suitable for use on aircraft seats.

AmSafe Child Restraint Device

Children aged 12 months to 4 years can use Amsafe in economy seats only. It is not suitable for First Class, Business, or Premium Economy; and cannot be used in rows before, after, or on an emergency exit row.

Other options for infant seating on British Airways

No, all other seat devices are not permitted. This includes seat extenders, hammocks for lap held infants, inflatable footrests, such as Planepal, Bedbox etc and any device that attaches to the seat that restricts movement.

BA child meal example, pasta with tomato sauce.
BA child meal example, pasta with tomato sauce. (Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

Baby and Child meals on British Airways

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Toys and Entertainment on British Airways

  • 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.
  • Alternatively, British Airways offers CBeebies, Cartoon Network, and Disney channels in their ‘Skyflyers Kids’ Zone’.

Play Areas at British Airways

British Airways improved the small play areas they have within some of their airport lounges at London Heathrow and London Gatwick. 

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.

flying with a baby British airways, play area in the club lounge, wooden toys
(Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

Toys in the Club lounges include: a couple of wooden ride-along airplanes, a play kitchen, some pull along toys, wooden bricks, musical instruments and fine motors skills activities. Child sized chairs and tables are available too.

flying with a baby British airways, play area in the club lounge, wooden toy airplane
(Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)
flying with a baby British airways, play area in the club lounge, wooden toy kitchen
(Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)
flying with a baby British airways, play area in the club lounge, PS4
Bigger kids are not forgotten either with the PS4 (Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)
flying with a baby British airways, play area in the club lounge, my first years
(Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

The South B gates one at London Heathrow is slightly bigger. 

Both business lounges are also equipped with high chairs and bottle warming facilities.

The kids lounges are small but useful if you need to while away some time before your flight.

flying with a baby British airways, play area , soft play area at London Heathrow Airport, terminal 5
Soft play area by gate A3 at LHR Terminal 5 (Credit: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

Airport Play Areas at British Airways Based Airports

At Gate A3 in Terminal 5, London Heathrow- there is a soft play area with a smaller area for younger ones. Remember to bring socks. There is a tiny bit of seating inside for parents. Giraffe restaurant and Wagamama’s are a short walk away.

If you do not have the appropriate access to the BA lounges, there is a quiet area with more comfortable seating near gates A11 and A12 if you want to try and get some rest.

London Heathrow Airport

BA has their own terminal here. If you departing from Heathrow, there is large family check in area by Terminal 5. but there is no family security line. Arrival into London Heathrow can be quite cumbersome with a long walk to passport control, but as BA bring your stroller to the aircraft door as you disembark, you don’t need to have a cabin sized stroller. Collecting baggage is straight forward and public transport and the Heathrow Express are easy to reach.

London Gatwick Airport

Although it’s not a BA only terminal, there is a family security line, which is helpful with young kids. On arrival, British Airways will also deliver your stroller to the aircraft door. Additionally, Gatwick Airport has strollers you can borrow. Transport links are efficient with the Gatwick Express to London and National lines too.

Reviews of British Airways

Here you will find detailed reviews on flying with a baby on British Airways, including short and long haul, so you know exactly what to expect.

For more information on family travel with British Airways see here.

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Thank you for your support as always. 

Tracy Wade

Monday 30th of May 2022

My daughter will be flying with anewborn to Jersey from London - what travel documents will be needed if any as it will be too soon to get a passport. Would a birth certificate suffice for the baby? Thank you Tracy


Friday 4th of March 2022

I don’t think BA offers reclining seat anymore. Anyone else have up to date info on this?

Carrie Bradley

Sunday 6th of March 2022

Hi yes, they still do. I saw it on my flight last week ( Feb 24th 2022)


Sunday 23rd of January 2022

Hi, this article has really helped me so thanks. I am travelling on the densified 777 LHR-MCO, do you think any of the bassinet seats are better than others? I can choose row 20 or 32. I was thinking of choosing 20E, 20K or 32E. Sorry for my very specific question :-)

Carrie Bradley

Monday 24th of January 2022

Hi Cass, Are you travelling just by yourself with baby or with anyone else? If so, how many others?

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