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Everything from checking bags to boarding
the plane is a little different when you’re doing
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Family Flying with 18 month old

Carissah
New Arrival

Hi. In June we are traveling to FLL to board our cruise ship. This will be our first time traveling with our 18 month old. She will not have her own seat. My questions are:

1. When do I notify the airline I will have a lap child?

2. Can I use her passport instead of bringing her birth certificate?

3. Any other tips or things to know 

about traveling with an 18 month old? Our youngest was 5 on his first flight so things were different at that age.

Thanks for any help in advance.

4 REPLIES 4
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Re: Family Flying with 18 month old

Jwalsh3rd
Active Member

Southwest.com has an entire link about flying with infants.  It specifically states that a birth certificate is required to verify a child's age.  My experience is that a call to Customer Service or a tweet to @southwest Air will get you a quick and accurate answer.  

Re: Family Flying with 18 month old

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@Jwalsh3rd wrote:

Southwest.com has an entire link about flying with infants.  It specifically states that a birth certificate is required to verify a child's age.  My experience is that a call to Customer Service or a tweet to @southwest Air will get you a quick and accurate answer.  


I think they have accepted vaccination reports as well, but if you have a passport I think that would work. It's not mentioned specifically, my guess is since few infants would have one. 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Family Flying with 18 month old

Carissah
New Arrival

Yes I read the link but sometimes there are still unanswered questions on there. I tried calling last night but the wait time said 83 minutes. No one has time for that. And I don’t tweet, so I couldn’t go that route. Thanks for chiming in though.

Re: Family Flying with 18 month old

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@Carissah wrote:

Hi. In June we are traveling to FLL to board our cruise ship. This will be our first time traveling with our 18 month old. She will not have her own seat. My questions are:

1. When do I notify the airline I will have a lap child?

We have done it the same day when arriving at the airport, but feel free to call anytime that is convenient prior to the flight and make a note. You'd still have to verify age at the ticket counter, then they will print a pass for the child.

 

If you are rapid reward members and have the "live chat" option available in the app you could do it that way as well.

 

Calling is quite easy if you can arrange for an off-time to make the call. Then it will all be set so you can use curbside check-in more easily.

 


@Carissah wrote:

Hi. In June we are traveling to FLL to board our cruise ship. This will be our first time traveling with our 18 month old. She will not have her own seat. My questions are:

 

2. Can I use her passport instead of bringing her birth certificate?

 


Pretty sure, yes. It only says birth certificate in the link that was posted but I think that's due to the assumption that very few will have passports at that age (we did, but we also carried around a laminated copy of the birth certificate too).

 


@Carissah wrote:

Hi. In June we are traveling to FLL to board our cruise ship. This will be our first time traveling with our 18 month old. She will not have her own seat. My questions are:

 

3. Any other tips or things to know 

about traveling with an 18 month old? Our youngest was 5 on his first flight so things were different at that age.

Thanks for any help in advance.


You are probably aware of family boarding, if not that would be good to discuss here or see other threads on the topic. 

 

I like curbside check-in at MDW to get rid of the car seat and pack-and-play if we're taking them. We purchased several of the Southwest "blue bags" to protect from scuff marks - these are currently $17. You can buy your own bags of course too.

 

Gate checking the stroller if you bring it through the airport - get to the gate a little early to get your tag so that you are ready when family boarding is announced. If you have a blue bag, put the tag on the blue bag and not on the stroller. Then you'll carry the item down the jetbridge and leave it near the aircraft door where the ramp agent will grab it and stow it underneath. You'll pick it back up in this same position - don't rush to get off the airplane as the items sometimes take a little time to make it back upstairs to the jetbridge.

 

Ask the FA when you board if the changing table is in the front or back of the airplane in case that affects your seating choice. If you feel a dirty one coming on, they'll have you take a garbage bag into the lavatory to wrap the package so as to avoid a stinky garbage bin.

 

Nursing or feeding on ascent and descent help the baby equalize their ears...don't let the baby fill up while you are on the ground.

 

When the FA comes through the cabin prior to take-off, they will be counting all of the passengers. If you have temporarily set the baby on the middle seat they may count them - let the FA know the baby is a lap child. 

 

Let us know any other concerns that you have! There are several experienced family travelers active on the board.

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.