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.

Seating

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.

Bassinets

You can use bassinets mounted on a bulkhead, except during take-off or landing. They need to be stowed at this time, 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, as they are only allowed 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're not allowed to 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.

Emergency evacuations

During the safety briefing, make sure you take note of emergency equipment or procedures that apply to children.

Make sure you know where infant’s lifejackets are and how to use them.

Cabin crew need to brief you either individually or generally if infant lifejackets are onboard. The safety information card in the seat pocket will have extra information. Ask if you’re not sure.

If you need to evacuate the plane, leave all baggage behind. Taking it with you will slow you down and could result in injury you or your child.

If travelling alone with children, ask fellow passengers to help you and your child off the plane.

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