Practical Information

Flying with children

If you are going to fly to America with children, it is useful to prepare as well as possible. How should you deal with booking airline tickets for your children? Are there special arrangements or discounts? What can you take into account during the flight and what are the transportation options at the airport?


Below our personal advice with answers to all these questions. So don’t worry about the flight and think about:

  • activities with children in New York.

Flying to America with babies and children up to 2 years

Flying with a baby is always a challenge, especially when it comes to a long flight. Airlines charge the full rate if you book a seat for your baby. If you keep your baby on your lap, a ticket costs around $56 to $112 US Dollars. Most flights to America are fully booked, so you cannot assume that no one is sitting next to you.

Special seats for babies and children

Every airline uses slightly different rules regarding the seats for families with small children. My experience is that no company really takes it into account, even if you want to pay extra. The fact is that at the so-called “bulkhead seats” a baby bed can be attached that is provided by the company itself. It makes the journey for the baby and the parents much easier. However, we only managed to get these seats once. The other times they were occupied by people without children. This can be very frustrating. The best way to get these seats is to contact the airline by phone immediately after booking. If it is not possible to get such a seat by telephone, then I recommend that you arrive early at the airport and then request it again. Please note that a maximum weight of 10 kg / 20 lbs applies to these cribs. The policy for boarding with children differs per airline. At some companies, for example United Airlines, parents with children are allowed to board earlier. Waiting in the long line with a child on your arm can be stressful. Because most hand luggage compartments are already full, it is possible that your diaper bag will be stored 15 rows away.

Nutrition during the flight

There is a children’s menu for your child. Sometimes, after booking your flight online, you can indicate that your child would like a children’s menu. Does your child only drink milk? Always make sure you bring some extra milk because of any delay. In addition, there may be long lines of up to 2 or 3 hours at the customs in America. The milk can be heated for you on the plane. Try to plan your baby’s diet. Once you have landed, it takes a very long time before you can find a place where you can feed (breast) again or heat up a bottle. So try to give the last food as late as possible during the flight.

Tip:
We advise you to briefly address the passengers who are sitting in front and behind you on the aircraft before the aircraft takes off. It is a small effort to say in advance that you will do everything to keep your baby as calm as possible during the flight. In general, people react very friendly and find it less annoying when the baby has to cry during the flight.

Transport from airport to hotel

Are you traveling in a shuttle bus or taxi from the airport to your hotel? Then it is important to know that it is officially required to have a car seat. If your hotel is near a metro station and you don’t have that much luggage, consider taking the metro ( if this is possible) . You can also choose to book a private transfer from the airport, where you can use a car seat for an additional fee.

Flying to New York with children from 2 to 12 years

From the age of 2 years, you will have to book your own airplane seat for your child. The price for the ticket is equal to the price that you pay for yourself, so children do not receive a discount. Before booking, take a good look at how the aircraft is arranged. Often families of, for example, 3 people are divided because, for example, the aircraft always has only 2 seats next to each other. You can prevent this by checking the layout of the aircraft before booking. This of course gives no guarantee, but at least you have a head start on others who have not done this. It is also wise to let your child play nicely at the airport.I can still hear my mother say: “It is not a playground here!” If you give the children a little space to get rid of some energy, it will be better during the long flight.

Activities for children while flying

Most planes to America have small screens for cartoons and games. This is not the time to teach your child that watching TV is not good for them. Also bring your own. Suppose your flight has no screens, then a tablet is really a solution. Make sure there are all kinds of fun things for your children on before you leave. It is also nice to prepare your children for what they will see by telling them about America. Maybe you have a nice book from which you can tell a story or a puzzle.

Sleeping during the Flight

The flight is long and many children sleep a few hours. It is no problem to make a bed on the floor with some pillows and your jacket where your child can sleep under your legs. The disadvantage is that you will have to wake your child in case of turbulence. Also bring nice thick socks so that your child can take the shoes off. I even see some children walking with large cushions, I wouldn’t do it myself, but it looks very comfortable.

Prevent annoyances from fellow passengers

The biggest annoyance of fellow passengers is kicking children against their seats or the sound of a tablet / game console. Of course, a child remains a child, but these annoyances can often be prevented by taking headphones or by telling your child that kicking against a chair is not intended. As soon as everyone has found their place, I ask the people sitting in front of and behind me to talk to me if there is something that bothers them. The reactions are always very friendly and people will be less irritated if things don’t go well.

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