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Flying British Airways with Baby

Flying British Airways with Baby

If I can with or without kids I tend to avoid British Airways and any connections via London Heathrow Airport.

British Airways Flying with Infant

When flying with a baby, British Airways accepts newborns as young as 2 days old as long as they don’t have any health complications. While you can fly with a newborn just 48 hours old, they do recommend you wait until they are at least a 1 week.

When booking tickets for the family, you’ll have the option to choose between having your baby sitting on your lap for the flight or bringing along an infant car seat or AmSafe system if you book them their own seat. 

If you choose a lap infant ticket and book yourself into a carrycot seating position on long-haul flights, you will also be offered the use of a carrycot or infant seat (more on this below). 

Infant Food on British Airways 

British Airways has a limited supply of tinned baby food available on long-haul flights however they recommend bringing your own baby food or formula that you know suits your child’s needs. 

You’ll also have to bring your own bottles and equipment in your carry-on baggage as they don’t provide sterilized water or bottles on board. 

British Airways Lap Infant

As I mentioned before, you can add a ticket for an infant in arms on British Airways when booking online. You will have to pay a small percentage of the ticket price to bring your baby on board so make sure you do this in advance. 

If you’ve already booked and wish to add a baby to the ticket at a later date, you can easily contact customer service to do this in advance. 

British Airways also allows you to pick the seats online, so when booking a lap infant make sure to choose one of the carrycot seating positions if you want to have this option available to you. The applicable seats will be marked in the seating chart to help you easily find them when booking online. 

Baby Facilities on British Airways

British Airways does a great job of looking after families right from check-in with their designated family check-in area at London Heathrow Terminal 5. Here you will receive help checking in and be able to drop off your oversized luggage such as strollers and car seats right at the desk without having to find a different part of the terminal. 

Families also receive priority boarding at the gate, so make sure to arrive 45 minutes early to ensure you have plenty of time to get on and relax. 

Onboard all British Airways flights you will also find change tables in the lavatories as well as a supply of tinned baby food at the ready. 

British Airways Car Seat Policy

Car seats can be used for infants and babies of any age as long as they comply with the airline’s safety regulations and are utilized in the correct seating positions. 

If you want to use your own car seat for an infant under 2 years old you will have to book your baby their own seat which will be at a reduced rate. You cannot do this online so make sure to contact their customer service to arrange this in advance. 

Alternatively, you can also choose to use an approved AmSafe system to fly with your little one. 

Note that if your car seat doesn’t meet all of the requirements below, you can still use it onboard when the seat belt sign is turned off however, it must be stowed during take-off and landing, meaning you will have to have your child on your lap during those times. 

Car seats can be used in the window seats on all planes but cannot be placed in emergency exit rows. On bigger planes that have 3 or more seats in the center aisle, you can also use the car seat in the very middle seat (not the aisle seat) as long as you are sitting beside it.

In all business class cabins, car seats cannot be used during take-off and landing and must be secured in the overhead locker, however during regular flight time use it okay.  

Accepted Car Seats on British Airways

Only single-piece car seats are accepted on British Airways, so any car seats that have a separate seat and base will not be able to be used onboard.  

For kids between 10-20kg, you can also use AmSafe Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES) in Economy, Euro Traveller, Club Europe, World Traveller, and World Traveller Plus seats. 

Baggage Allowance for Babies and Kids on British Airways

The British Airways baby policy is quite generous when it comes to additional luggage for babies and kids if you are flying on a ticket with baggage included. 

All Infants receive their own 23 kg (50 lbs) allowance of checked luggage plus up to two of the following items: 

  • Fully collapsible stroller
  • Car or booster seat
  • Travel cot
  • Baby back carrier. 

Note that the free 2 additional checked items are available regardless of what tickets you have purchased, however, you won’t receive the additional 23kg for your infant if you are traveling on hand luggage-only tickets. 

You are also able to bring an additional bag for your infant as a carry-on with in-flight essentials for your baby. 

For kids over 2 years old or any infant with their own seat, the regular baggage allowance for your ticket applies for both carry-on and checked luggage.

Bassinet on British Airways

On long-haul flights, some seats are equipped with the option to use a carrycot (bassinet) or infant seat. 

Carry cots (bassinets) are free and available for babies who weigh less than 8kg (17.5lb) and are under 6 months old

Alternatively, all lap babies up to 2 years old who weigh less than 12.5kg (27.5lbs) also have the option to use an infant seat. Infant seats can be used in a seated or reclined position, but for babies under 6 months it is recommended to always be reclined. 

Both carrycots and infant seats can only be used while flying, not during take-off, turbulence, and landing. Despite this, it can still make a huge difference on longer flights especially if you are traveling alone as you don’t have to have a little one in your lap for the entire time. 

How to Reserve a Bassinet/Carrycot on British Airways

There are a limited number of carrycot and infant seats on British Airways flights, so to ensure you have this as an option, you must pre-book a specific seat that is compatible.  

When going through the booking process, make sure to take the option to choose your own seats. The booking chart will show which seats are compatible with the carrycot and infant seats so make sure to choose one of these. 

If there are none available while booking, airline staff will try to reseat you at check-in if possible to accommodate your family, however, this isn’t always possible. 

Similarly, even if you book a carrycot seat, if someone needs the seat more than you, you may be moved to a regular seat.

British Airways Stroller Policy

In most destinations, you can gate-check your stroller as long as it is a single-piece, slimline, fully collapsible pushchair and fits within the following dimensions. 

Maximum dimension size including wheels

  • Height 38cm
  • Length 117cm
  • Depth 38cm

If your stroller meets the requirements it will be tagged and returned to you at the gate upon arrival at your destination. 

Any strollers that are larger than the dimensions above, can still be checked in at the gate, but they will be returned at the regular baggage claim carrousel upon arrival. 

Gate-Checking Baby Items

Strollers are the only items you can gate-check on British Airways. 

If you are bringing your own car seat and have booked a seat for your child, you may also carry this on board, otherwise, all baby items must be checked into the hold ahead of time. 

Flying from or via Heathrow Airport in London with a Baby or Toddler

When flying British Airways most likely you need to connect via London Heathrow or London Gatwick Airport.

London Heathrow Airport isn’t very family-friendly as it involves extremely long lines to security without any priority for families with kids. When changing to or from international to EU flight immigration often takes 45 minutes or longer.

If your flight leaves from a different terminal due to construction at Heathrow you might have to take a bus, or train, do immigration, and security, and walk for miles – strollers are a must even for older kids, because last time I swear it all took us 1 hour and 55 minutes of constant walking and waiting!

Heathrow is also the only airport in the world that denied me water or milk for a baby when over 100 ml. Anywhere else babies and even toddlers are exempt from this rule, but not at Heathrow. Apparently, the only exemption is for babies under 6 months old which is absurd.

If you accidentally leave your bottle or sippy cup to go through the x-ray the agent will tell you that since you haven’t dumped your liquid (when it happened in my case I had no clue about their rules!) they need to throw away your bottle as well. As I only had one bottle I was furious when it happened!

Thankfully, British Airways opened a new play area at Terminal 5 which can keep the kids occupied while waiting. It doesn’t require paying for the lounge, it’s a separate play area for free!

Flying with a Toddler on British Airways (Over 2 Years Old)

Alongside the inflight entertainment systems with child-friendly movies, TV shows, and audiobooks, when traveling with kids you can collect a free Skyflyers activity pack on board British Airlines flights. 

You’ll get crayons, a postcard, an eye mask, and socks to keep your youngster comfortable and entertained throughout the flight. 

British Airlines also has two fun mascots called Peggy the Pegasus and Leon the Lion who make appearances on several flights as well as at the family check-in zone at Heathrow. 

Kids Meal Options on British Airways

For short flights where meals aren’t usually included, you can pre-order a Peggy and Leon snack box which includes snacks, a drink, and a small toy for a fee to keep your little ones happy.

Alternatively, for long-haul flights where meals are included, British Airways has a range of children’s meals to suit all deity needs for kids who can eat solids.

You’ll need to pre-select the children’s meals online at least 24 hours before your flight under the special requests section. 

British Airlines also has a policy that makes sure kids will receive their meals before the regular food service so you can eat your own meal without having to deal with hangry kids.

Are Airplane Beds for Baby or Toddler Allowed?

No, unfortunately, airplane beds, hammocks, and other similar products are not allowed on British Airlines. 

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