Ten Tips On Flying With Kids – from a Flight Attendant

Flying with kids adds some interesting aspects to something that can already be stressful. I interviewed a few flight attendants to get an expert’s option on what to do and what not to do. Plan ahead and follow these 10 tips to stay in control and stress-free.

Ten Tips On Flying With Kids - from a Flight Attendant

#1 – Use a car seat

Check the airline website and bring a car seat that is FAA-approved. You can check if your car seat is FAA-approved by checking the label on the side of the seat. Infants and toddlers under 40 lbs can use a car seat forward facing or rear facing. Just think – you use your car seat in the car, why not on a plane? In the event of an emergency the brace position will not protect you or your child.

Or you can try on of these Airline Seat Belt Harnesses. I haven’t personally tried it, but my flight attenant contact says they really work! Plus it is FAA approved.

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#2 – No airline has milk

If your child needs milk, be sure to buy some in the terminal before your flight takes off. Even better, bring an empty sippy cup (We use these because they don’t leak or spill – for real!) or bottle that you can fill up after security. Even though TSA makes allowances for baby formula and baby food, you’ll get through security a lot faster without them.

#3 – Don’t ask the flight attendants to hold your baby

Flight attendants are legally not allowed to hold your child, it’s their company policy. If there was turbulence in that moment and something happened to your baby, they could be liable.

#4 – Don’t make a mess

This one should be obvious. Most planes fly to multiple places in a day and they only have trash picked up in between. Keep your area clean by keeping crumbly snacks to a minimum.

#5 – Squeezies are ok!

Unlike commonly believed, the liquid carry on limit isn’t 3 oz, it’s 3.4 oz. That is a small but important difference. My kids love squeezies and they are super easy to travel with. Most squeezies are larger than 3.4 however. Look closely and there are a few that are smaller, like the Plum Organics Tots fruit & grain mish mash which is only 3.17 oz.

Also interesting:
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#6 – Keep your kids on their best behavior

Don’t allow them to kick the seat in front of you, touch other passengers, or put their mouths on anything. Gross!


#7 – Your flight attendant is not a butler

Don’t assume your flight attendant will carry your bags or lift them into carry-on storage for you. That also means that if you are gate checking a stroller, collapse it yourself before you leave it.

#8 – Your tray table is not a seat

And it most definitely is not a changing table. Nuff said.

#9 – Get everywhere early

Parents know that everything takes longer with kids. And the younger the are, the more extra time you need. Think ahead to all the things you will need to do and allow lots of extra time for each part. Don’t forget things like parking, shuttles, security (who could forget security), and getting around inside the airport.

Also interesting:
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#10 – Bring all your documentation

Bring your Driver’s Licenses, ID, credit or debit cards, birth certificates, printout itineraries and rental car agreements. Put it all in one easily reachable spot.

Remember fanny packs from back in the day? They went completely out of style, but you know what? They’re pretty useful when you travel. This one keeps all your important stuff close to your body and it comes in a lot of different colors.

Bonus Tip – Try not to stress

[Tweet “Bonus Tip for flying with kids – try not to stress and enjoy the trip.”]

The less you worry about what could go wrong, the more you can enjoy the trip and relax.

What are your tips to stay stress free while you’re flying with kids? Leave a comment and let us know!

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10 thoughts on “Ten Tips On Flying With Kids – from a Flight Attendant”

  1. Introduce your children to the stew’s (flight attendants) short for stewardess as they were called back in the days when flying was easy, stew’s were pretty (no guys allowed – please) and reassure them that they are there to help if and when needed. The child and the stew will both benefit.

  2. On my seven month old’s first flight, we actually did buy the extra ticket and brought our car seat. On the first leg, there was no preboarding for small kids, so we ended up being last on. As we were going to our seat, my husband asked for assistance to safely strap in the car seat. The flight attendant said, “Oh, I don’t know, I’m not a mother!” As we struggled with that, they did not fail to stop by every thirty seconds to hassle us to hurry up, but never offered any help. This was only one airline on one leg of a long haul, and we’ve had a number of other flights with attendants who were great. But the car seat thing was not fantastic for us.

  3. Fabulous ideas, Kristen! I have yet to fly with my kids, but these are valid points I think a lot of moms will forget or gloss over. I’m sharing this in my travel tips post tomorrow! Thank you!

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