Assume the worst: every seat will be allocated, the toilets will not have changing tables, the airline will not have any suitable food, you will be delayed for several hours, and any checked luggage will be lost. Carrying all the child’s essentials is important, especially if your child is on a special diet or on medication.
Child booster seats are only allowed to be used in seats which incorporate a shoulder harness. For that reason, booster seats are not allowed to be used on standard airline seating. As a guide, once a child has outgrown their full harness child restraint, it is safe for them to use the aircraft seat & lap belt.
An airline may supply child restraint seats or may allow you to use your own. When making your booking, check to see what arrangements the airline you are travelling with has for the safe transport of your infant. Once you have confirmed the acceptable use of the child restraint, think about the following:
Small children enjoy reaching out and exploring. If they are seated beside the aisle they could get hurt if their arms get bumped by a passing person or serving cart. Ideally, two responsible adults should sit one on either side of a small child.
Alternatively, the child can be seated on a row with a window on one side and a responsible adult on the other. If an infant is in a child restraint, that restraint should not impede another person making their way to the aisle so in that situation it is best that they be placed in the window seat.
Turbulence can happen at any time and without warning, so keep your child belted in as much as possible. If the child wants to get up and move around, let them do so only if the seat belt sign is off.
If the emergency oxygen masks drop down, put your mask on first. If the brain is starved of oxygen, you can get confused or pass out. Then you would be unable to help yourself or your child. For more information, see our section on what to do in an emergency.