Travelling with children

Our way to have a safe and nice trip with kids

1. When can a child fly?

Airlines are more willing to transport very young passengers. It is sufficient that the child is one week old and it may already fly. This principle is not absolute — some carriers accept only two-week old infants. If birth occurred without complications, and both the mother and the child feel well, there’s no obstacle to them travelling by plane. Remember that infants are susceptible to infections until their second month. Places like the airports are not particularly good for them. Good organisation and quick check-in is key, and this becomes easier and easier.

Airlines divide passengers by age categories. Infants are children below the age of 2. These youngest passengers have to travel on their parent’s knees, always during takeoff and landing. They are connected to the parent with special belts provided by the air crew. If we book an additional seat, the child will be able to rest in a special infant carrier or certified infant seat during the flight. Carriers differ on the fees. Low cost airline carriers usually have a constant fee (20-25 EUR) and the regular airlines a percentage fee — one tenth of the normal ticket price, or they don’t require payment for the ticket (e.g. in some classes).

Children 2 years old or older are required to have a purchased seat. Low-cost airlines do not provide discounts — children are provided with a normal seat and luggage allowance like an adult. A child booking only allows taking appropriate food on board, and possibly a stroller or a carrier. The regular airline carriers provide various discounts, from 75 to 25 percent. The discounts apply mainly to ticket prices – additional fees remain the same.

We present the child ticket prices:

Wizz Air Ryanair LOT Lufthansa Air France
Infants 25 euro 20 euro 10% regular price For free within Germany or 10% of the regular price 10% of the regular price
Children 100% of the regular price 100% of the regular price 75% ceny regularnej 25% of the regular price 85% of the regular price on short-haul flights and 67% on medium- and long-haul trips

2. Young traveller’s luggage

It may seem that it’s not possible to pack within all the allowable luggage limits when travelling with a child. This isn’t true, of course. A few trinkets can be used to make the journey more pleasant — a few crayons and paper, educational games and children’s programmes on the tablet, one favourite toy and something new which will occupy the child’s attention for a longer time. In regular airlines young travellers may frequently receive small gifts from the air crew.

Carry-on luggage for infants up to 2 years old:

Even low-cost carriers allow bringing additional food for small children. However, you can’t always ask for it to be reheated. In addition you can always purchase paid meals. For other airlines a child’s meal is ordered during the booking. Toiletries and spare clothes should be kept to a minimum. If it turns out something is absolutely necessary, you can buy it during a transfer, get it from the air crew, or look for if after arrival.

Infants up to 2 years old:

Carrier Ryanair Wizz Air LOT Lufthansa Air France
Food for children Own food Own food Own food, on-board meals Own food, on-board meals Own food, on-board meals
Carry-on luggage Folding stroller + baby carrier or seat + 5 kg to the guardian’s luggage, Amsafe* Restraints Folding stroller, seats are prohibited Folding stroller, baby carrier Folding stroller, baby carrier Folding stroller + 1x12 kg
Checked luggage As adult* none 1x23 kg 1x23 kg none

*when a child’s seat is purchased

Children older than 2 years:

Carrier Ryanair Wizz Air LOT Lufthansa Air France
Food for children Own food Own food Own food, on-board meals Own food, on-board meals Own food, on-board meals
Carry-on luggage Folding stroller, baby carrier/seat Folding stroller, seats are prohibited Folding stroller, baby carrier,seat Folding stroller, baby carrier,seat Folding stroller, baby carrier,seat
Checked luggage As adult As adult As adult As adult As adult

3. Entire family’s check-in

We’re starting to check-in through the Internet frequently not only with low-costs, but also with regular airlines. This lets us save time and worry. At many airports there are self-service kiosks or separate check-in stations for families. This last option appears when the carrier provides persons travelling with children priority boarding.

Experience shows that it’s best when the parent has the children’s toys and equipment in carry-on luggage. The security check is more efficient than when the child refuses to give its favourite backpack to an airport employee. If only one guardian is flying, it makes sense for someone to accompany them as long as possible, and to take care of the child, who will probably be curious of everything.

4. Travelling without a guardian

Not all airlines have the in-flight child care service in their offer. Usually only regular carriers can afford to have someone watching over the young passenger. The age limits are also different. E.g. LOT allows even infants to travel without a guardian. An assigned air hostess takes care of the child from boarding to the end of the trip. Older kids (of 5 or more years of age) are provided with help first from the ground staff, then from the air crew. Appropriate forms always have to be filled, which appoint a guardian authorised to receive the child from the airport. All the young passenger’s documents will be placed in a special bag. Usually teenagers 14 years and up may travel unattended, but it’s not an absolute rule. With some airlines the limiting age may be 12 or 16 years. Sometimes it’s countries which establish the rules for travel by teenagers.