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Flying With Twins Or A Baby And Toddler? Some Extra Information For Flying With More Than One.

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.

Flying With Twins Or A Baby And Toddler?
Flying with twin babies can mean some extra considerations.

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.

   or

  • 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, ( More information on flying with British Airways with kids here.)

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.)

Even some time for a selfie on a flight.
Even some time for a selfie on a flight.

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.

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Traveling with infant twins is very possible!
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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.
  • 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!

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.

child restraint devices airline lap belt
infant lap belt

Always Check

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 seatwhere 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”      

FAA approved car seats labels
Airline approved car-seat label examples

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

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THE BEST CAR SEATS FOR AIRPLANES (FAA approved) Comparison Chart

Car Seat ImageWeight suitable from and to Width Of
Car Seat
Weight of
Car Seat
Convertible|
Forward & Rear Facing
Baby Trend Flex Loc5 to 30lbs16.5"18.7lbsRear Facing
Britax Emblem Rear Facing from 5-40lbs and forward facing from 20lbs to 40lbs.18.5lbs19.5lbsRear & Forward facing
Britax Pinnacle25lbs up to 90 lbs.22.5"26.5lbsForward Facing Only
Chicco KeyFit 304-30 lbs and up to 30” in height.17" wide (with the base being 15" wide),9.5 lbs Rear Facing Only
Cosco Scenera Next5-40 lbs Rear facing and 29-43) forward-facing.17"7.1 lbsRear-facing and forward-facing.
Cybex Aton 24 to 35lbs17.5"8.8lbsRear Facing Only
Doona4 to 35 lbs17.5"16.5 lbsRear facing Only
Evenflo SonusRear facing 5-40lbs
Forward Facing 22-65 lbs
19"11.28 lbsRear and forward facing
Evenflo TributeRear facing infants from 5-40 lbs and Forward facing toddlers from 22-40 lbs. 17"9.29lbsRear and forward facing
Graco SnugRide 354-35 lbs18.6"7.5lbsRear Facing Only
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/354 to 35 lbs and up to 32” tall17" wide at its widest point (where the handles connect to the sides of the seat9.5 lbs Rear Facing Only
Safety 1st Guide 65Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and Forward-facing 22-65 pounds18.5"14lbsRear and Forward Facing
Uppa Mesa 4–35 lbs and up to 32” in height17"10lbsRear 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″

What is the best double stroller for travel?

Below are 7 of the lightest and most reliable double strollers we have found.

Image of strollerName of strollerWeight of strollerWeight limitWidth of stroller (unfolded)Canopy Protection
Zoe XL2 Double Stroller19lbs45lbs per seat29"SPF 50. Canopies move independently
Mountain Buggy Nano Duo20lbs/9kg33lbs/15kg per seat73cm/28.7"SPF 50. Canopies move independently
Evenflo Aero Ultralight23lbs50lbs per seat30"SPF/UV 50. Canopies move independently
Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Double23.2lbs/10.5kg33lbs per seat26.1"UV 50+ Canopies move independently with extension panels and peek-a-boo windows
Joovy Caboose Ultralight23.5kgs45lbs per seat/20.4kg21.25"/54cmThe large canopy provides ample coverage, and the new rear canopy extension covers the rear rider when seated
Joovy Twin Groove Ultra26lbs50lbs per seat30"Canopies move independently of each other
Baby Jogger City Mini Double28lbs50lbs per seat30"76cmUV 50+ Canopies move independently
Tips for flying with twins- extra information to prepare you for booking the flight, choosing your airline and knowing what to expect. Flying with twins needs a little more preparation as airlines policies on use of car seats and bassinets vary, so a bit of research before you travel can really help.

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Carrie Bradley

Tuesday 28th of January 2020

Hi Lass, Brussels Airlines cabin baggage allowance is 55 x 40 x 23 cm and the baby zen is 52 x 44 x18cm so ever so slightly too big - but could still be worth a try as its smaller on two sides. This post on flying solo may help you too https://www.flyingwithababy.com/single-parent-travel-tips/

Lass

Sunday 19th of January 2020

Hi Carrie,

Any advice and helpful tips travelling with my 21/2 son and 7month baby alone on a 13hr Brussels flight. Tips on best seat to book and do you think booking a bassinet is helpful. And also I have a BABYZEN yoyo Stroller. Will it be allowed on the Brussels airlines ? I have a 3hr stop over in Brussels.

Mariam Namutebi

Thursday 21st of November 2019

Hello,please I need your advise am traveling with twins 1year old and am expecting another set 5months pregnant will I be allowed to travel with them one will have a seat and I will have to carry one on my lap .i am traveling with Brussels airlines

Carrie Bradley

Sunday 24th of November 2019

Hello, yes you will need to purchase a seat for one child and use a car seat and the other can be a lap baby if you are flying by yourself.

Chrisoula Contoyannis

Saturday 4th of February 2017

Hi, I plan on flying to USA from London with my 17 month old twins. Do you recommend a day or night flight? We have flights that need using with BA and haven't paid for additional seats but have a bassinet seat. We are dreading the flight and tempted to not go but will be losing a lot of money. Thanks in advance for any advice

CarrieB

Sunday 5th of February 2017

Hi- I would opt for a night flight as they will sleep for some of it. When mine have been a bit older, I've settled in my arms and then put in the bassinet.

Carrie Bradley

Wednesday 11th of November 2015

Your 1 year old should fit the bassinet with Singapore or Lufthansa. We are currently in Australia and flew with both Emirates and Malaysian and their bassinet length is shorter than both Lufthansa and Singapore. My little girl was not quite one year old on the outbound sector and fitted in. Lufthansa is quite a few cm's longer at 83cm whereas the others are around 75/76cm.

I would choose the airline which offers the shortest route and also offers night flights so you can get them settled at the beginning of the flight, before any transit stops.. Singapore is a great transit airport though and Bangkok is pretty good too. You may not get the chance to properly sleep but your two little ones will, meaning you have less entertaining to do and an opportunity to close your eyes.Singapore are very family friendly and Lufthansa may need a bit of prompting! Definitely ask fairly early on if you can have your food a little after feeding yours, as balancing their trays and yours with little hands trying to reach out, can prove a bit tricky. Also ask if there are spare seats and if there is any chance they could keep one free for you. The extra space really helps, even if it's just somewhere to put a discarded meal tray. I don't think you need to pay for an extra seat when you can have bassinet etc.

Another option, which is probably my favourite, is to consider staying at Singapore or Bangkok airport transit hotel for the night on the way through? Means you can stretch, sleep and shower and feel a bit more relaxed as breaking the journey up. Also see my posts on the different airline facilities and compare as Singapore have great kid meal options and Lufthansa have good snacks etc..

Hope this helps a little.