Arrive at the airport two hours early. Always allow extra time to get to your gate. Fortunately most airports have play places in the terminals near the gates, utilize them during the unavoidable waiting. There are “gate passes” for an unticketed friend or family member,
to allow them through security to help you to the gate.
When booking, explain clearly that an infant or small child is flying with you, and you must be seated together. Re-check your seat assignment when checking in, do not assume all is in order. Don’t let them tell you that you can change the seats later at the gate. You don’t want to be standing in an aisle counting on the kindness of strangers.
If you’re bringing a car seat on the plane, tell them when booking your flight, and also when checking in at the counter. Car seats must be placed in a window seat and not in an emergency exit aisle.
Try to sit on a bulkhead row. The extra foot room and no passengers in front is perfect, there’s no under-seat storage at lift off or landing allowed anyway (safety concerns), and everything you’ll need for baby will have to be put in the storage above the seats, but during the flght you’ll be able to spread out everything you need in front of you.
Bring a cheap stroller. Pick one up before your travel date. Check your stroller as you’re getting on the plane, and it will be waiting for you when you land, but if they lose it, no great loss. Jet Blue lost my stroller twice in a row, and I will never fly with a quality stroller again.
All airlines offer pre-boarding for those flying with infants and children under 4 years old, take advantage of it. When you hear preboarding announced get up in line, quickly.
Always use a backpack for carry-on . It’s much easier to navigate down the aisles of the plane than with a regular bag.
You must check your airline’s Web site before leaving. Security regulations change constantly. Be sure to check your baby’s diaper bag thoroughly for contraband items, I’ve been held up for over an hour over nail trimming safety scissors wedged deep in a corner of the bag.
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