Traveling with children
Traveling with children and infants
You may be required to present proof of age (such as a birth certificate) for any children under the age of 18.
- Families with children under 2 years old can ask to board early at the gate.
- Only 1 carry-on diaper bag per child is allowed.
If you’re a family traveling with children under 15, we want to help make sure you’re seated together on your flight. Here are some tips for when you book:
- Be sure to book everyone in the same reservation.
- The farther in advance you book, the better. (Seats become limited closer to the day of travel.)
- On the seat map, choose seats for your entire family or skip seats for that flight.
- It’s better to skip seats than to choose just a few seats or seats scattered throughout the cabin. Our gate agents can try to reseat you but getting seats together the day of travel is difficult.
If you skip seats
If you’re unable to choose seats, don’t want to pay for seats, or chose a Basic Economy fare, our system will detect that you’re a family traveling. The system will search for seats together automatically before the day of departure. We’ll try our best to keep you together, but if seats are limited, we’ll assign seats so children under 15 are next to at least 1 adult.
Children and adults traveling in separate reservations
If you and your children are traveling together but have separate reservations, call Reservations so we can note it in each reservation.
Children (2 years or older)
Children 2 or older are required to have their own seat, a ticketed adult fare. Children under 5 can’t travel alone under any circumstances.
If you don't choose seats in Main Cabin or Basic Economy, we’ll assign seats a few days after you buy your tickets so children under 15 are next to at least 1 adult they’re traveling with.
Infants (under 2 years)
We accept infants as young as 2 days old. However, if you're traveling with an infant less than 7 days old, your physician will be required to fill out a passenger medical form before your flight. A special assistance coordinator will send the form directly to your physician. Infants must be accompanied by a person 16 years or older or by the infant's parent (any age) in the same cabin.
- Changing tables are available in the lavatories of all wide-body aircraft.
- Bassinets are available on a first come, first serve basis at the gate for travel only on 777-200, 777-300 and 787 aircraft.*
- Bassinets are not available in First / Business cabins.
Seating options for infants
Infant in lap
A parent or any person 16 years or older may hold the infant in their lap. The infant must be included in the reservation by calling American Airlines reservations. Taxes and a percentage of an adult fare may apply.
The infant must be under 2 years of age for the duration of the trip. If they turn 2 during a trip, the infant will need their own seat for the remainder of the trip.
If your infant will travel in their own seat, you must buy a ticket. The infant must either travel in a safety seat approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or be able to sit upright in their seat without assistance and have their seatbelt securely fastened during taxi, takeoff, landing and whenever the 'fasten seatbelt' sign is on.
*Infants using bassinets must be younger than 2 years old and weigh no more than 20lbs (9kg)
Acceptable safety seats
Most safety seats that are approved for use in motor vehicles are acceptable for use in aircraft. The seat must have a solid back and seat, restraint straps installed to securely hold the child and a label indicating approval for use on an aircraft.
The label may include:
- These notes: 'This child restraint system conforms to all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards' and 'this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircrafts' or 'this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.'
- Approval of a foreign government or a label showing that the seat was manufactured under the standards of the United Nations.
Safety seat requirements
- The safety seat can't be used in an exit row or in the rows on either side of an exit row; window seats are preferred.
- Install the seat in the direction appropriate for the size of the child and according to the instructions on the label.
- The child must remain in the safety seat with the harness fastened during taxi, takeoff, landing and whenever the 'fasten seatbelt' sign is on.
- To carry on a safety seat, you must have bought a seat for the child, or a seat must be available next to you. If an unoccupied, adjoining seat is not available, the gate agent will check the safety seat to your final destination.
Review seat dimensions before your trip.
Safety seats are not allowed in First or Business on select planes due to the seat angles.
- Boeing 777-200
- Boeing 777-300
- Boeing 787-800
- Boeing 787-900
- Any device without an approval label
- Booster seats with no approval label or shoulder harness
- Vest and/or harness-type devices, except Aviation Child Safety Devices (ACSD) showing the FAA aircraft approval label
- Belt extensions that attach to the parent or the parent's restraint
- Any device that positions a child on the lap or chest of an adult
Carry-on and checked bags
If you’re flying internationally with an infant on your lap, we’ll issue the infant a ticket. You may check 1 bag for the infant at the same rate as the adult’s first checked bag.
- Each ticketed customer is allowed 1 stroller and 1 car seat to be checked free of charge
- Strollers over 20 lbs / 9 kgs must be checked at the ticket counter
- All other strollers should be checked at the gate before boarding
- If you have a stroller and a car seat only 1 can be checked at the gate
- Play pens, wagons, cribs and 'pack and play' count as regular bags
- If any of these exceed carry-on limits they’ll be checked and incur regular fees
Children or infants traveling outside the U.S. are required to have the same documentation as an adult. If anyone under 18 is traveling internationally without both parents, they may be required to present a Letter of Consent.
Traveling during pregnancy
If your due date is within 4 weeks of your flight, you must provide a doctor’s certificate stating that you’ve been recently examined and you’re fit to fly.
For domestic flights under 5 hours, you won’t be permitted to travel within 7 days (before and after) your delivery date. If you need to travel within this time frame:
- Approval from your physician and a special assistance coordinator is required.
- Your physician will be required to fill out a passenger medical form before your flight. A special assistance coordinator will send the form directly to your physician.
International or travel over water
Clearance from a special assistance coordinator is required for international travel or travel over water:
- Within 4 weeks of your due date (travel also requires a physician's note stating that you’ve been examined within the past 48 hours and you’re fit to fly)
- 7 days before or after your delivery (travel also requires a passenger medical form to be completed by your physician)