Travelling with children

If you're travelling with children, you can plan ahead to ensure that you and your child have everything you need for your flight.

In Australia, an infant is a child who has not turned 2 years of age.

Plan ahead

It's important to plan when travelling with children. Pack any food or medicines your child will need in the airport or onboard your flight. If your child has a medical condition, let the airline know before you fly.

Plan for the worst, like if:

  • there are no empty seats
  • there are no changing tables
  • your child won't or can't eat the airline's food
  • the airline delays your flight
  • the airline loses your checked luggage.


Children should be restrained when seated during the whole flight. This helps to protect them during unexpected turbulence.

You can secure an infant on your lap with a supplementary loop belt. The cabin crew will give you one before take-off and let you know how to use it. Older children must be in a proper seat and can't sit on your lap.

Try to seat small children beside the window, or in between 2 responsible adults. This helps prevent them getting bumped by a passing person or serving cart.


You can use bassinets mounted on a bulkhead, except during take-off or landing. You should make sure to stow it away during these times, so as not to interfere with an evacuation.

Child restraint systems

We encourage the use of child restraint systems (for example, a car seat) as it provides a higher level of safety for your child. Your airline needs to approve any restraint system that you want to take with you and use. Check with your airline before travelling.

Once a child has outgrown their full harness child restraint, it’s safe for them to use the aircraft seat and lap belt.

You can't use child booster seats. You can only use boosters in seats with a shoulder harness. Once your child has outgrown their full harness restraint, it’s safe for them to use the aircraft seat and lap belt.

Your responsibilities

Supervise your child at all times. Be aware that when walking around the plane with your child, they might be able to reach hot drinks and food, and other hazards.

You can't put your child on the floor during the flight.

Don’t place your child on a seat or floor to change their nappy. Baby change tables are available in the toilets on some planes.

Overseas airline operators

The same Australian standards may not apply for children on airlines from other countries. For example, the age of ‘infant’ might differ.

Check the rules and regulations of your overseas airline operator.

Families, children and infants

Airline seat allocation procedures for family groups, children and infants aims to seat children close to their parents or guardians.

These procedures aim to seat young children and infants travelling with adults in the same seat row segment as their parent or guardian.

Where this is not possible, an airline might separate children by no more than one seat row or aisle away from their accompanying adults.

This allows adults to reach their children quickly during an emergency evacuation.

The airline should try to make sure accompanying adults are supervising groups of infants and children when they are travelling together.

Last updated:
4 Dec 2023
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