Even under the best of circumstances, air travel can be stressful these days. Packing, arriving at the airport on time, getting through security, and dealing with flight delays can wear on you. Add an infant to the scenario, and it can be even more taxing, but proper preparation can ease the process for everyone.
The best approach for parents flying with infants is to start preparing early. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has strict rules for air travelers, especially those with babies and children, and many airlines tack on a few additional ones of their own.
Check with your carrier for their specifics. It will make your trip much easier if you understand and follow the rules.
Choosing Your Flight
On average, it’s recommended that you arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before check-in. Depending on the airport, weather, time of day, and other variables, the time it takes you to go through security can be much shorter—or longer.
Since you will be traveling with extra “gear” give yourself extra time. It will be much easier on you and your little one to wait a while longer at the gate than get stuck in a long line at security and risk missing your flight.
Even if you printed your boarding passes at home, you will still need to check your bags. There are three ways to do this:
OK, you’re ready to pass through security, which is often one of the most frustrating aspects of air travel due to long lines and strict rules about what items are allowed through security and brought onboard the airplane.
The TSA’s website does a good job of explaining how to get through airport security with infants and children. The videos on their site are short and worth the time.
There are also plenty of other great websites that will help dissect the TSA information even further, including JetWithKids.com, which even the TSA recommends.
At The Gate
You’ve made it! Now, take a deep breath and get ready for baby’s first flight.
Have you taken a flight with an infant? How did it go? What other helpful hints can you share with new parents preparing for their first flight with their baby? Please share them here
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