Traveling with children

Traveling with children and infants

You may be required to present proof of age (such as a birth certificate) for any children under the age of 18.

Traveling internationally? Children or infants traveling outside the U.S. are required to have the same documentation as an adult. If anyone under 18 is traveling internationally without both parents, they may be required to present a Letter of Consent.

Families with small children may pre-board upon request. Please see an agent at the airport.

Only 1 carry-on diaper bag per child is allowed.

Children (2 years or older)

Once a child has reached their second birthday, the child is required to have a purchased seat at an adult fare. Children under 5 years of age may not travel alone under any circumstances.

Infants (under 2 years)

We accept infants as young as 2 days old. However, if you're traveling with an infant less than 7 days old, your physician will be required to fill out a passenger medical form before your flight. (A special assistance coordinator will send the form directly to your physician.) Infants must be accompanied by a person 16 years or older or by the infant's parent (any age) in the same cabin.

  • Changing tables are available in the lavatories of all wide-body aircraft.
  • Bassinets are available on a first come, first serve basis at the gate for travel only on 777-200, 767-300, 777-300 and 787 aircraft.
  • Bassinets are not available in First/business Class cabins.

Seating options for infants:

  1. Held by an adult (lap child): A parent or any person 16 years or older may hold the infant in their lap, the infant must be included in the reservation by calling American Airlines reservations. International taxes and percentage of adult fare may apply.
  2. In a reserved seat: If your infant will travel in his or her own seat, you must buy a ticket and bring a safety seat approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Acceptable safety seats

Most safety seats that are approved for use in motor vehicles are acceptable for use in aircraft. The seat must have a solid back and seat, restraint straps installed to securely hold the child and a label indicating approval for use on an aircraft.

The label may include:

  • These notes: “This child restraint system conforms to all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards” and “this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircrafts” or “this restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”
  • Approval of a foreign government or a label showing that the seat was manufactured under the standards of the United Nations.

Safety seat requirements

  • The safety seat can't be used in an exit row or in the rows on either side of an exit row.
  • Install the seat in the direction appropriate for the size of the child and according to the instructions on the label.
  • The child must remain in the safety seat with the harness fastened during taxi, takeoff, landing and whenever the “fasten seatbelt” sign is on.
  • To carry on a safety seat, you must have bought a seat for the child, or a seat must be available next to you. If an unoccupied, adjoining seat is not available, the gate agent will check the safety seat to your final destination.

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Seats and restraint devices not approved for use This content can be expanded

Strollers

Each ticketed customer is allowed 1 stroller. When traveling with a child, the stroller will be checked free of charge. Only small, collapsible and light strollers (up to 20lbs/9kgs) can be checked at the gate. These may be carried on board as long as they fit in an overhead bin. Any stroller that weighs over 20lbs/9 kgs, is too large or is non−collapsible must be checked at the ticket counter.

Customers are allowed 1 stroller and 1 car seat per ticketed passenger. Both items may be checked at the ticket counter or one item can be checked at the gate and one at the counter. These items are checked at no charge, when traveling with a child or to adopt.

Traveling during pregnancy

If your due date is within 4 weeks of your flight, you must provide a doctor’s certificate stating that you’ve been recently examined and you’re fit to fly.

Learn more about special assistance coordinators

Zika virus travel policy

If you're pregnant and traveling to a destination in Latin America or the Caribbean affected by the Zika virus, you and your travel companions can request a refund for tickets purchased on or before March 31, 2016. Just provide a doctor's note confirming your pregnancy when you request a refund.

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Domestic travel

For domestic flights under 5 hours, you won’t be permitted to travel within 7 days (before and after) your delivery date. If you need to travel within this time frame:

  • Approval from your physician and a special assistance coordinator is required.
  • Your physician will be required to fill out a passenger medical form before your flight. (A special assistance coordinator will send the form directly to your physician.)

International or travel over water

Clearance from a special assistance coordinator is required for international travel or travel over water:

  • Within 4 weeks of your due date (travel also requires a physician's note stating that you’ve been examined within the past 48 hours and you’re fit to fly)
  • 7 days before or after your delivery (travel also requires a passenger medical form to be completed by your physician)