Flying with a baby can be daunting, but perhaps flying with twins or triplets more so. Here is some extra information and useful flying with a baby rules to help you if you are flying with twins under 2 or a baby and a toddler. If you are planning on flying with twins alone or two under two there are also some important factors to consider before booking your trip.
If you are expecting twins or are planning to travel with twins, this post will help you prepare for any unexpected surprises on your first trip with twin infants, babies or toddlers!
Just like flying with one, the easiest time is generally before they are mobile and it is cheaper as once they turn two, you will need to purchase a seat for both.
Flying With Twins Or A Baby And Toddler?
1) If you are flying with two infants or more than one child under 2, and one of them doesn’t have their own seat with a car seat or other appropriate Child Restraint Device, you cannot travel alone with them.
All airlines allow children under the age of two to sit on an adult’s lap, but only one child under 2 can sit on each adults lap. You will need another adult or see if the airline provides an escort, which will be at a cost. No airline will allow you to carry two babies on your lap.
2. Airline and country policies vary. From where you can sit, bassinet weight restrictions, whether you can travel alone with two under two and more.
For example, British Airways states on their website that,
If you are travelling with more than one infant, you have two options:
- either there must be one adult for each infant in the booking so that each is safely seated on an adult’s lap for the duration of the flight.
- if you’re travelling 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 booking can’t be made online, so contact us and we’ll be pleased to help you,
Whereas Canada will not allow you to travel alone with two under two on airlines which fall under their jurisdiction. (More information below on flying alone with twins.)
3) Some airlines may not allow you to sit together if you and your partner and twins aged under two are travelling.
This not because they are being difficult! This is because on most airplanes, there is only 1 extra oxygen mask per row. The bassinet seat positions have as many oxygen masks extra as there are bassinets. The middle rows of larger aircraft have capacity for a maximum of two bassinets, whereas the bulkheads by the windows side only have one bassinet position. If you don’t get your bassinet request (you will need two for twins under 2), be prepared to be seated separately for air travel with twin infants. Also be prepared with two diaper/changing bags. Find more about the best seats and bassinets here.
4) Some airlines like Emirates, have twin strollers available at transit stops etc. Although if you are traveling with your partner then single strollers make it easier for passing through X-ray.
Alternatively, purchase a cheap double travel stroller if you plan to fly regularly. However, make sure it is narrow, which will make it easier to fit through X -ray machines at the airport.
Do your research before you purchase your ticket, and see what facilities airlines have and what their policies are and factor that in when you purchase your tickets. Remember Gulf Air and Etihad Airlines have a fully trained Sky Nanny as part of their service and she’s free!
5) Bring extra food for YOU because you could be busy feeding the twins when the carts come around, meaning you have no space to put your meal tray and potentially unaccommodating crew who won’t save you a hot meal.
Flying Alone with Twins
- Research if your airline allows you fly alone with twins. Most do with certain criteria met, but Canada by law for example does not permit it.
“For the safety of both adults and children, the Canadian Aviation Regulations require that no passenger can be responsible for more than one infant (child under the age of 2). If you have 2 children under the age of 2, another passenger must accompany one of your children, even if you buy seats for them. Evacuating an aircraft must be done quickly. It is difficult and dangerous to try to evacuate an aircraft while holding 2 or more infants because the rows, aisles and emergency exits are narrow. “From Canadian Civil Aviation Site.
- If you plan on using an airline approved car seat check the requirements with the airline first! You will need one seat for the car seat and one seat for you if the other baby is a lap baby. Alternatively, you can purchase a CARES Kids Fly Safe harness if your child is over one. Remember, you may not be able to legally use your car seat in another country!
- Baby wear if possible – twin baby carriers are available and can help keep you hands free as you go through the airport with your luggage. People will help you too!
- Alternatively, use a lightweight double travel stroller and gate check.
Car seats for Twins On A Plane
If you are looking for an airplane car seat for travel with an infant or toddler there are a few things to consider. Things to consider when you are travelling with a car seat include:
- Should I bring a carseat on the plane?
- Which car seats are approved for air travel? (Not just with a FAA sticker or similar but does the airline approve it?
- Will it fit on the plane seat I’m travelling on? Airplane seats vary not just from economy to premium cabins but from economy to economy seat.
- Which is the best car seat for traveling – is it easy for you to carry around and transport?
- Is it approved for use in the country you are traveling to? Are you just using it for the flight or do you intend to use it in a car once you have arrived in a different country?
Do car seats count as a checked bag?
No. Most airlines allow you bring a car seat and a stroller as additional luggage. Those that don’t, usually offer you one piece of luggage up to 10kg plus a car seat or stroller, so if you pack your child’s clothes with your luggage, then you can take both. You do not have to pay extra to bring your car seat on the plane as a restraint device, but you do have to pay for the airplane seat to use it!
Flying with a UK, European, Australian, Middle Eastern Based Airline.
Some airlines e.g UK, European, Australian etc airlines will provide you with an extension belt or lap belt (belly belt) which secures baby to the parents seat belt. This must be used for taxi, take-off, landing and when turbulent. On USA or Canadian airlines, this is not permitted.
Additionally, you can purchase a seat for your car seat and use your own car seat or CRD , Child Restraint Device. (The majority of airlines will allow you to also purchase a seat for your infant (under two only) with no restraint device for that seat, if you hold them on your lap for the above key phases and use the lap belt. A picture of a lap belt is shown below.
Even if a car seat has an airline approved sticker on it, ALWAYS check if there are any other requirements on your airlines website BEFORE you book.
There is nothing worse than preparing and potentially buying (especially what in your eyes is the best car seat for airplane travel) to find out last minute that it doesn’t meet an airlines additional rules. The below sections explain this in more detail. Depending on the instructions, you may be able to use your travel car seat base.
Airline Rules Vary
Airline rules vary, so even if you have used your car seat with one airline you cannot assume you will automatically be allowed to use it on another airline. Aviation authorities rules vary from country to country.
Every airline follows the aviation authority to the country which the airline is registered to. E.g British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, EasyJet etc follow the CAA and EASA; American Airlines, JetBlue etc follow the FAA. Interestingly, the FAA insists that the airline must find an appropriate seat in the same class of service, if you have brought an FAA approved car seat onboard and purchased a seat, where the CAA say it is up to the airline if it is acceptable.
The USA has these clear guidelines with the FAA stating,
“No operator may prohibit a child (an individual who has not reached his or her 18th birthday) from using an approved CRS when a seat is purchased for the child, the child is accompanied by a parent or guardian and the child is within the weight limits for the CRS.
If an approved CRS, for which a ticket has been purchased, does not fit in a particular seat on the aircraft, it is the responsibility of the aircraft operator to accommodate the CRS in another seat in the same class of service. The following are examples of design variations where accommodation is required.” Read more official information from the FAA here.
However, do be aware of this additional policy below which highlights some conditions.
“An operator may have policies based on safe operating practices that establish certain seat locations for a passenger who uses a Child Restraint System (CRS) on a specific aircraft.
Even if a certain seat in another location in the same class of service can accommodate an approved CRS, an operator does not have to permit the CRS in that location if the operator’s policies disallow the CRS in that seat.
However, prohibiting the use of a CRS (if a ticket has been purchased) when there are seats on the aircraft, in the same class of service where the CRS could be used safely is not consistent with the requirements stated in parts 121, 125 and 135. Read more here
What does this all mean in plain English?
Essentially, this means if you are flying on a USA based airline governed by the FAA, on an airline approved car seat for which you have a seat booked for, you must be accommodated in the same class of travel as long as the seat is forward facing and not angled off the centre of the plane like a fishbone oblique shape.
However, if the airline has a policy about using certain seats ( ie seats which could block an exit like an aisle, or that have an airbag installed in the seatbelt, then the airline DOES NOT have to permit your car seat, CRD or CRS even if it would fit in that particular seat.
However, stopping the use of a car seat/CRD when there are other seats where it could be used safely, is not allowed.
What are the airline car seat policies? Will my car seat fit on the airplane seat I’m travelling on?
Most airlines stipulate which airline seats car seats can be used on. Usually, this is a window seat, so the path to the aisle is not blocked. Car seats will not be allowed on emergency exit rows either. Some airlines will not allow car seats in premium cabins due to the seat layout.
Clearly, there are many variations and rules with each airline. So ALWAYS check on your airlines website first.
How to Find the Best Car Seat for Travel
When you are choosing the best travel car seats for twins, there are several main points to consider.
1. Does it have an FAA Approved Car Seat Sticker – FAA approved infant car seats, and FAA approved toddler car seats MUST have a sticker affixed to them that reads “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft”. Ground staff and a flight attendant may check for this when you are boarding.
Other countries in the EU, Australia and Canada will have stickers similar to below. The EU sticker does not specifically say airline approved but will state ECE R44-04 which mean it is approved under United Nations regulations.
If you are unsure then check out the EASA airline authority link here which states,”the proposed examples for acceptable child restraint devices include car seats, and item 2 of AMC1 CAT.IDE.A.205 lists the standards with which the CRD should comply. This includes the UN standard ECE R 44, -03 or later series – this is commonly indicated on the car seat’s label”
2. Width – When it comes to finding the best carseat for airplane use, obviously, the narrower the better.. Many airline websites do provide the seat width for car seats in the Family Travel or Travelling With Children section. If not, do contact their service center.
3. Weight – The weight of a travel carseat is very important as you will need to carry it to and from the airplane, especially with your cabin baggage and child. traveling with a car seat can mean going up and and down steps, transitting on a bus or terminal train and more, if there is no direct airbridge available. The best carseat for airplane travel should be ideally under 10 lbs.
4. Age & weight range – Most capsule or bucket style infant car seats are suitable for use on an airplane (subject to the airline approved label located on the seat.) so it is highly likely you will be well within both the age and weight range when flying with an infant.
However, finding the best airline approved car seats for older toddlers can be a bit tricker, as it is very much airline dependant whether they are allowed to be used onboard.
When it comes to using a car seat, the weight and height of your child are the most important factors but the age – range does give you a good indicator for which will be the best car seats for airplanes
THE BEST CAR SEATS FOR AIRPLANES (FAA approved) Comparison Chart
|Car Seat||Image||Weight suitable from and to|| Width Of |
Forward & Rear Facing
|Baby Trend Flex Loc||5 to 30lbs||16.5"||18.7lbs||Rear Facing|
|Britax Emblem||Rear Facing from 5-40lbs and forward facing from 20lbs to 40lbs.||18.5lbs||19.5lbs||Rear & Forward facing|
|Britax Pinnacle||25lbs up to 90 lbs.||22.5"||26.5lbs||Forward Facing Only|
|Chicco KeyFit 30||4-30 lbs and up to 30” in height.||17" wide (with the base being 15" wide),||9.5 lbs||Rear Facing Only|
|Cosco Scenera Next||5-40 lbs Rear facing and 29-43) forward-facing.||17"||7.1 lbs||Rear-facing and forward-facing.|
|Cybex Aton 2||4 to 35lbs||17.5"||8.8lbs||Rear Facing Only|
|Doona||4 to 35 lbs||17.5"||16.5 lbs||Rear facing Only|
|Evenflo Sonus||Rear facing 5-40lbs|
Forward Facing 22-65 lbs
|19"||11.28 lbs||Rear and forward facing|
|Evenflo Tribute||Rear facing infants from 5-40 lbs and Forward facing toddlers from 22-40 lbs.||17"||9.29lbs||Rear and forward facing|
|Graco SnugRide 35||4-35 lbs||18.6"||7.5lbs||Rear Facing Only|
|Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35||4 to 35 lbs and up to 32” tall||17" wide at its widest point (where the handles connect to the sides of the seat||9.5 lbs||Rear Facing Only|
|Safety 1st Guide 65||Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and Forward-facing 22-65 pounds||18.5"||14lbs||Rear and Forward Facing|
|Uppa Mesa||4–35 lbs and up to 32” in height||17"||10lbs||Rear Facing Only|
What are the Best Lightweight Double Strollers for Travel in 2021?
IN A HURRY?
- Want to know what the narrowest double stroller is? Take a peek at the Joovy Caboose tandem double stroller with a width 53.98cm/21.25″, closely followed by the City Tour 2 Double at 26.1″
- Want to know what the lightest double stroller is? Try the Zoe XL2 double travel stroller, which weighs in at just over 19lbs.
What is the best double stroller for travel?
Below are 7 of the lightest and most reliable double strollers we have found.
|Image of stroller||Name of stroller||Weight of stroller||Weight limit||Width of stroller (unfolded)||Canopy Protection|
|Zoe XL2 Double Stroller||19lbs||45lbs per seat||29"||SPF 50. Canopies move independently|
|Mountain Buggy Nano Duo||20lbs/9kg||33lbs/15kg per seat||73cm/28.7"||SPF 50. Canopies move independently|
|Evenflo Aero Ultralight||23lbs||50lbs per seat||30"||SPF/UV 50. Canopies move independently|
|Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Double||23.2lbs/10.5kg||33lbs per seat||26.1"||UV 50+ Canopies move independently with extension panels and peek-a-boo windows|
|Joovy Caboose Ultralight||23.5kgs||45lbs per seat/20.4kg||21.25"/54cm||The large canopy provides ample coverage, and the new rear canopy extension covers the rear rider when seated|
|Joovy Twin Groove Ultra||26lbs||50lbs per seat||30"||Canopies move independently of each other|
|Baby Jogger City Mini Double||28lbs||50lbs per seat||30"76cm||UV 50+ Canopies move independently|
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