Traveling With Children And Infants



Flying on US Airways?

If one or more of your flights is on US Airways, policies may vary depending on which airline operates your flight.

Visit the following US Airways pages for more information: Unaccompanied minors | Pregnancy, infants & children

Which airline is operating my flight?

Important Information

Strollers that are large, non-collapsible weigh 20 lbs. (9kgs) or more must be checked at the ticket counter. Learn more about traveling with strollers.

Unaccompanied Minors cannot be booked on aa.com. Please call Reservations for assistance.

Traveling With Children ACSD - Child Restraints 

The following information will provide the answers to many common questions regarding children and infants traveling on American. Select the links below to jump to the topic for which you need information.

 

Age Ranges For Travel

In addition to children and infants traveling with you, we offer unaccompanied minor service for children from 5 to 17 years of age. This service is to ensure that your child is boarded onto the aircraft, introduced to the flight attendant, chaperoned during connections and released to the appropriate person upon arrival at their destination. Please see the chart below for special requirements based on age.

Age of Child Special Requirements

Under 5 years

Infants are accepted two days after delivery, however, at least seven days is recommended.

Children under 5 years of age may not travel alone under any circumstances. Another passenger at least 16 years of age must accompany them. AA reserves the right to request documented proof of age for the adolescent accompanying a child under the age of 16.

Infants under 2 years of age who travel within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands† may be held in an adult's lap at no charge. For transatlantic/transpacific travel or travel to/from Latin America, children under two years of age are required to have a ticket in their name for 10% of the applicable adult fare for the International portion. A 10% ticket does not entitle infants to their own seats. Contact Reservations for more details.

AA reserves the right to request documented proof of age for any traveler 2 years of age or younger. Please be prepared to provide documentation (birth certificate, passport, etc.) upon request.

If your infant will travel in his or her own seat, you will need to buy a ticket and bring a safety seat approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Children two years of age and older must travel in a purchased seat. See Seating Restrictions below for additional information.

5 through 7 years

Children 5 through 7 years of age must travel with another passenger at least 16 years of age or they will be considered Unaccompanied Minors. See Children Traveling Alone for more details.

Unaccompanied Minors in this age range may only travel on nonstop or direct flights. (A direct flight makes a stop without a plane change.) They may not travel on connecting flights. They also cannot travel alone on certain American Eagle flights operated with aircraft not requiring a flight attendant.

Specific information may be obtained through AA Reservations representatives, or at any American Airlines ticket location.

8 through 14 years

Children 8 through 14 years of age must travel with another passenger at least 16 years of age or they will be considered Unaccompanied Minors. See Children Traveling Alone for more details.

For travel on American Airlines and American Eagle, unaccompanied children may travel on nonstop, direct and connecting flights. If the itinerary includes a connection to/from another airline, including codeshare and oneworld partners, the unaccompanied children will not be accepted.

Also, Unaccompanied Minors in this age range will not be accepted for co-terminal connecting itineraries (such as changing from New York LaGuardia to New York Kennedy) because an unaccompanied child under 15 years may not use ground transportation unescorted. See Children Traveling Alone for more details.

15 through 17 years

Use of the Unaccompanied Minor service is not required, but is available upon request for children in this age group (subject to the same charges and provisions). Customers 16 years of age or older traveling alone may book travel online. Customers who are 15 and traveling alone must book travel by calling Reservations.

†When your travel involves the U.S. Virgin Islands, a ticket and payment of applicable taxes may still apply. Check with Reservations prior to travel for more information.

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Fares

International (outside the United States/Canada and Hawaii/Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands)

For fare purposes...

  • an infant is defined as a passenger under 2 years of age at the time of travel.
  • a child is defined as a passenger 2-11 years of age at the time of travel.

Availability of fares for infants and children varies depending on your travel plans. aa.com is currently unable to book a reservation for an infant traveling as a lap child. When traveling outside the U.S., infants under age two who do not pay a fare may be required to have a ticket. In addition, taxes may be assessed which can be significant.

Please contact Reservations for further assistance.

See Seating Restrictions below for additional information.

Domestic (United States/Canada and Hawaii/Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands)

Children two years of age and older must travel in a purchased seat, at an adult fare. See Seating Restrictions below for additional information.

Infants under two years of age may be held in an adult's lap at no charge.† However, for the safety of your child, American recommends purchasing a seat and using an FAA Approved Infant Seat or Child Restraint Device.

†When traveling outside the U.S., infants under age two who do not pay a fare may be required to have a ticket. In addition, taxes may be assessed which can be significant. Check with Reservations prior to travel for more information.

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Children Traveling Alone

The guidelines for children traveling alone vary depending on the age of the child. For the specific guidelines, please refer to Age Ranges For Travel above.

Please note that Unaccompanied Minors cannot be booked on aa.com. Please call Reservations for assistance.

AA reserves the right to request documented proof of age for children traveling alone. Please be prepared to provide documentation (birth certificate, driver's license, passport, etc.) upon request.

 
Charges For Unaccompanied Minors

Children who will be traveling alone will be required to use the Unaccompanied Minor service subject to the following charges:

Region of Travel Charges
TO/FROM ALL LOCATIONS $150 USD each way, plus tax

Please also note the following:

  • The charges listed are in addition to the applicable airfare.
  • Two or more unaccompanied children from the same family (immediate or extended), traveling on the same flights, will be assessed a single charge.
  • The charge does not cover onboard snack purchases or meals during a layover.
  • The charge is taxable for children 5 – 14 years old for travel wholly within in the United States.
  • Fees subject to change

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Procedures - Reservations And Travel Planning

Children traveling as Unaccompanied Minors must be booked through our Reservations representatives. Children traveling under the Unaccompanied Minor program may use electronic ticketing.

Please note that no reservation will be accepted for an unaccompanied minor traveling on an itinerary that includes the last on-line connection to any American Airlines or American Eagle destination.

American Airlines and American Eagle do not accept unaccompanied children when their itinerary includes a connection to/from another airline, including codeshare and oneworld partners.

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Procedures - Checking In (Domestic and International)

For domestic flights, please arrive at the airport two hours before departure in order to complete all necessary forms and check-in procedures. Please review the sample form to make sure that you have all the needed information. (Due to numerous signatures required, the actual form can only be completed in person at the airport).

For international flights, please plan to arrive three hours before departure.

Please see additional information below.

A parent or responsible adult must do the following when a child who will be traveling as an Unaccompanied Minor is brought to the airport:

  • Complete an Unaccompanied Minor form at the ticket counter. This includes providing the name, address and phone number of the parent or responsible adult who will meet the child at his or her destination. A child may not travel unaccompanied until this form is completed.
  • Obtain a boarding pass from the airport ticket counter (for clearance through the security checkpoint).
  • Remain with unaccompanied minors until the child is boarded on the flight and the flight has departed the gate. This may not be possible at airports outside the United States. See below for additional information.

An agent will ensure that the flight on which your child is confirmed is operating as scheduled. If the flight is delayed and expected to misconnect or divert to another airport, please make alternate arrangements for your child's travel.

Upon completion of check-in, your child and the parent or responsible adult delivering your child to the airport should be at the gate 30 minutes prior to departure for pre-boarding.

Please Note: Requests for someone other than American Airlines to escort your child at the connection city will not be honored. American Airlines remains responsible for the unaccompanied minor from the origin city to the final destination.

At airports outside the United States, you may be required to release your child upon check in at the ticket counter. In these instances, an American Airlines representative will escort your child to the departure gate and your child will remain under the supervision of an American Airlines representative until the flight departs.

American Airlines has implemented cashless cabins onboard flights within the U.S. and between the U.S. and Canada. However, international flights still accept cash as a possible form of payment. American Eagle is not accepting credit cards for onboard purchases at this time.

If your child plans to purchase a snack during a cashless flight, we accept American Express® cards and other major credit or debit cards. Our flight attendants use wireless handheld devices to quickly swipe the card and provide receipts upon request.

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Procedures - Checking In (International)

In addition to the information listed above, the following will help you know what to expect if your child is traveling across country borders.

Please plan to arrive three hours before departure. A check-in agent will ensure all documents are in order and assist in completing all forms prior to boarding. The agent will ensure that the parent or responsible adult delivering your child to the airport completes all necessary Customs and Immigration forms before American Airlines or American Eagle takes custody of your child.

Upon completion of check-in, your child and the parent or responsible adult delivering your child to the airport should be at the gate 30 minutes prior to departure for pre-boarding.

At the airport you may be required to release your child upon check in at the ticket counter. In these instances, an American Airlines representative will escort your child to the departure gate and your child will remain under the supervision of an American Airlines representative until the flight departs.

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Procedures - Picking Children Up From The Airport

The adult designated to pick up the unaccompanied minor at the destination airport should plan to arrive at the arrival gate 20 minutes before the flight's scheduled arrival time. Because airport concourses are secured to ticketed passengers only, the designated person should allow additional time to obtain the required boarding pass from the airport ticket counter to clear and proceed through the security checkpoint. After verifying identification and forms at the gate, the American Airlines employee will release your child to the designated individual.

 
Schedule Irregularities

If schedule irregularities occur at any city, American may refuse to provide air transportation services at any originating city to an Unaccompanied Minor holding reservations if there is a reasonable likelihood that the child will not make a flight connection.

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Identification Requirements

Passengers 18 years of age or older are required to have government-issued photo identification for travel within the United States. However, you may be required to present proof of age (such as a birth certificate) at the airport for any children under the age of 18 who are traveling with you.

Passengers under the age of 18 who are traveling outside the United States are subject to the same travel document requirements as adults. Visit the U.S. State Department's Web site for information on passports as well as visa and immunization requirements for international travel.

Note: Please contact the nearest Consulate for the latest updates.

Consent For Minor Traveling Without Both Parents/Guardians

Minors under the age of 18 who are traveling with only one parent may be required to have additional documentation if leaving their country of residence. Please contact the nearest Consulate of the country to which you are traveling for additional information.

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Seating Restrictions

 
Child Held By An Adult ("Lap Child")

Infants under 2 years of age may be held in an adult's lap, however, taxes, fees or fares may apply. Please contact Reservations for further information.

When one adult travels with two infants, the adult passenger may only hold one infant. An additional seat must be purchased for the 2nd infant. Seats may also be purchased for both infants (see Fares above). The maximum number of infants per adult passenger is two.

Infant In A Reserved Seat

If your infant will travel in his or her own seat, you will need to buy a ticket and bring a safety seat approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). 

Additionally, aa.com is currently unable to book a reservation for an infant traveling as a lap child. Please contact Reservations for further information and assistance.

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Exit Seats

Children (or adults with children) under the age of 15 may not be seated in an exit seat.

ACSD - Child Restraints  
Aviation Child Safety Device (ACSD)

The FAA-approved Aviation Child Safety Device (ACSD) provides all the protection of a traditional child safety seat by combining the use of the aircraft's lap belt and a four-point shoulder harness. Unlike typical child safety seats, the ACSD weighs less than 1 pound and fits into a 6" carrying case, making it much lighter and easier to transport.

The ACSD is approved for aircraft use only and should not be confused with other non-approved vest/harness-type devices.

For more information or to purchase the ACSD, please visit the AmericanAirlines C.R. Smith Museum® Gift Shop. You may also email Info.crsmithmuseum@aa.com for information.

 
FAA Approved Infant Seat or Child Restraint Devices

Most restraints that are used in automobiles are acceptable for use in aircraft by an infant or small child. Acceptable restraints manufactured in the United States will bear one or both of the following labels:

  • “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards”

Additionally, the restraint may carry a second label with red lettering which states the following:

  • “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”

Restraints manufactured outside the United States may be accepted provided that they bear either a label showing approval of a non-U.S. government OR a label showing that the seat was manufactured under the standards of the United Nations (U.N.).

U.N. approval is designated by a label with a circle surrounding the letter "E" followed by the distinguishing number of the country which has granted approval, plus an indication of the category and mass group of the child restraint which will be affixed.

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FAA Approved Infant Seat or Child Restraint Device Seat Locations

If you are using an approved infant seat or child restraint device, please note that it...

  • May face toward the front or rear of the plane in accordance with instructions on child seat label
  • May not occupy an exit seat or the row in front of or behind an exit seat
  • May not occupy the space between a customer and an aisle

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FAA Non-Approved Infant Seat or Child Restraint Devices

The following may not be used when an infant seat or child restraint device is required:

  • 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) bearing FAA aircraft approval labels
  • 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

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Carry-On and Checked Item Allowances

Carry-on and checked item allowances for children vary depending on whether or not a seat is purchased for the child.

Child with purchased seat
The standard carry-on baggage and checked baggage allowance apply.

Ticketed child, not occupying a seat
One (1)  bag at the first bag fee rate of the accompanying adult plus;

  • Approved safety seat for lap or ticketed child (may also be checked)
  • Umbrella stroller for lap or ticketed child (see details for stroller acceptance below)
  • Diaper bag for lap or ticketed child

Unticketed Child, not occupying a seat
No baggage allowance. However, the following items are allowed over and above the carry-on allowance for the adult traveling with an infant:

  • Approved safety seat for lap or ticketed child (may also be checked)
  • Umbrella stroller for lap or ticketed child (see details for stroller acceptance below)
  • Diaper bag for lap or ticketed child

 

IMPORTANT NOTE

All strollers, car seats and similar infant/child items should be labeled with a name and contact phone number.

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Infant Seat or Child Restraint Devices

If you do not purchase a seat for your infant (under two years of age):

  • An approved child safety seat can be carried on board
  • The device cannot be used in a seat unless there is an unoccupied seat available next to the adult traveling
  • Due to many events that occur during the last several minutes before departure time, we cannot be certain that an unoccupied seat that meets the above criteria will be available until the final boarding process
  • If an unoccupied, adjoining seat is not available, the gate agent will check the infant seat/child restraint device to your final destination. Please check with the gate agent for further details

You may want to consider checking the infant/car seat or child restraint device at the ticket counter. However, American is not responsible for damage to infant/child restraint devices and loss/damage of any items attached to the device, whether these items are checked at the ticket counter or the gate.

Infant/child restraint devices include, but are not limited to, strollers and car seats.

For taxi, takeoff, landing, during turbulence, or when the Fasten Seatbelt sign is on, American accepts only FAA approved infant seats/child restraint devices that are certified for use in aircraft.

 
Stroller Acceptance For a Ticketed or Lap Child
Stroller Type Features

Umbrella Stroller

  • AA highly recommends using this type of stroller
  • May be taken onboard the aircraft as long as it fits in the overhead bin
  • Exempt from carry-on allowance and baggage charges
  • May be checked at the gate
Fully Collapsible Stroller Weighing Less Than 20 lbs.
  • May be checked at the ticket counter
  • May be checked at the gate
  • May not be carried on the aircraft
  • Exempt from baggage charges

Large Stroller Jogging, Non-Collapsible Stroller or Heavy Stroller Weighing Over 20 lbs.†

  • Strongly discouraged to avoid damage. Facilities were not designed to accommodate these types of strollers
  • Must be checked at the ticket counter†
  • May not be carried on the aircraft or checked at the gate
  • Exempt from baggage charges when accompanying a child or infant who is traveling

Please note: American is not responsible for damage to any stroller not properly packed in original packaging.

†Large, jogging, non-collapsible strollers, or those over 20 lbs are not accepted at the gate. Please check these types of strollers at the ticket counter. There is no charge as long as a child or infant is traveling.

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 Special Amenities

 Diaper Changers

Changing tables are available in the lavatories of all wide-body aircraft.

 Bassinets

American does not offer bassinets for sale or for advanced assignment. As a courtesy, one onboard metal frame bassinet may be available on a first come, first serve basis at the gate on the 777-200 and the 767-300. The 777-300 aircraft offers three bassinets on a first come, first serve basis.

 Food

If you are traveling with an infant, please be sure to bring enough food and supplies with you. American does not provide baby food, bottles and other related items. However, baby bottles can be heated on all flights operated by American Airlines.

American Eagle flights are not equipped to heat baby bottles

Special children's meals are not available. For more information on available food and beverage choices, please see our Dining section.

Entertainment

Parents may wish to pack an audio headset for their children to use during flight. Headsets may be purchased onboard for $5 and kept for future use.

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Traveling While Pregnant Or Within A Week Of Delivery

A medical certificate is required if travel is within 4 weeks of the delivery date in a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy

Domestic Travel (Not Including Travel Over Water)

For domestic flights under 5 hours, travel is not permitted within 7 days before and after your delivery date. If you should need to travel within 7 days before or after delivery, a medical certificate is required as well as clearance from our Special Assistance Coordinators.

International/Over Water Travel

For international travel or any flights over the water, travel is not advised within four weeks of the delivery date, unless you are examined by an obstetrician within 48 hours of outbound departure and certified in writing as medically stable for flight. Travel within 10 days of the due date for International travel must have clearance from our Special Assistance Coordinators. Travel within 7 days after delivery requires clearance as well.

For more information, please contact a Special Assistance Coordinator through AA Reservations at 800-433-7300.

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See more travel information about our partner carriers within our oneworld alliance.