Families with children come in all different shapes and sizes. A child, or children, may have one mom and one dad. Or they may have one mom and her new husband, and one dad with his new wife. A family might be one or more kids, plus two moms, or two dads. And some families may include just one parent from the very start, or that’s how it eventually turned out because of reasons.
So it’s not all that unusual for an adult to be in charge of 2 kids or infants (read: age 2 and under) while on a plane. As it turns out, some countries have specific rules about that very situation.
We discovered this because a single mom, Amanda Leigh Vienno Bailey, recently tried to fly Canadian airline Flair with her twin infants, and found out the hard way that it’s against the rules to do so.
“It sucks being a single mom,” Amanda Leigh Vienno Bailey says in her TikTok video. She continued that she was “super disappointed” after confirming with Flair several times that she could fly with her 3 month old twins. The mom says she was all packed and got her hopes up about the trip after telling herself, “I can do it.”
But once she got to the airport, she was told that, as per Canadian Aviation Regulations, an adult passenger can only be responsible for one child under the age of 2. Even if you buy seats for infants, they must be accompanied by another adult.
All in the name of safety, of course.
(As a side note, Bailey had been posting about her upcoming trip with her kids for a while and some people had already commented that the airline wasn’t going to allow her to bring 2 babies onto the flight by herself. But she said that Flair told her multiple times that she could, so…I dunno.)
Anyway, the rule is not Flair’s…it’s Canada’s. And it’s apparently been a part of Canadian Aviation Regulations for forever. This is how it’s worded:
For the safety of both adults and children, the Canadian Aviation Regulations require that no passenger can be responsible for more than 1 infant (child under the age of 2). If you are travelling with children under the age of 2, a passenger must accompany each of your children, even if you buy seats for them.
Of course, as someone living in the U.S., my first question was,
What’s the rule for the United States?
Fortunately, it’s not as stringent. According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) safety requirements, an adult passenger must accompany each lap child (well that’s good. Otherwise whose lap would they be sitting on, a stranger’s???). Babies/infants under age 2 can sit on the lap of a ticketed adult, but it’s recommended (albeit not required) that they instead be restrained in their own approved car seat attached to the seat. If you’re flying with two infants, you can keep one on your lap and buy a seat for the additional child (for them to sit in their approved car seat). No additional adult is required to accompany the additional child
So whether you fly Delta, Jetblue, Spirit, Southwest, etc., you’re safe – 2 babies, no problem (but one will have to be in an approved car seat).
What about other countries?
Not surprisingly, it depends.
I’ll be honest, it’s hard to tell what official regulations are from country to country because official safety requirements are usually written in the country’s official language. And frankly, as a native English speaker whose last high school Spanish class was sometime in the late 20th century, my French, Vietnamese, Portuguese, etc., are pretty darn limited ;-). But we can always check to see what the rules for specific airlines are…
- Aer Lingus: One adult can’t be responsible for more than two infants. Where one adult is travelling with two infants, at least one of the infants must be over six months old and accommodated in a car type safety seat. If both infants are under six months old, they must be accompanied by an additional responsible adult.
- Air France: you’ll need to make a reservation on the phone if you are flying with more than one infant.
- Air New Zealand: On all flights, infants sit on their adult’s lap and not a seat. You can only have one infant sitting on your knee. If you are travelling alone with two infants, you’ll need to purchase a child fare adjacent across the aisle and seat the other infant in an approved car seat.
- British Airways: one lap child per ticketed adult (an infant fare may apply), but you can also buy an additional seat for a second infant to travel in an approved safety seat.
- China Eastern: In the absence of special arrangements, each adult passenger can carry a maximum of two infants, and the ticket class of the infant must be consistent with the ticket class of the adult. Infants cannot occupy its own seat. When two infants travel together, the extra infant can purchase a ticket at child price and occupy one seat.
- Finnair: an adult can have only one infant sitting on her or his lap, a child’s ticket needs to be purchased for the other baby.
- Icelandair: Only one lap child is allowed per adult. If one adult is traveling with more than one infant under two years of age, a seat will have to be purchased for the other child. Also note that it’s not possible to book a ticket for an unborn child.
- JAL: One adult may accompany up to two infants. However, travelers who are pregnant and due to give birth within 28 days may accompany only one infant age 0 to 1. In such cases, a seat must be purchased for the infant (the Child Fare will apply), and the infant must sit in a child seat
- Korean Air: One adult passenger may accompany one infant. When one adult passenger travels with two, a ticket must be purchased for one infant.
- LATAM Airlines: Each adult can travel with up to two infants, reserving an additional seat for one of them by purchasing a child ticket for children 2 years old until the day before turning 12 years old and paying the corresponding price.
- Lufthansa: Please note that for safety reasons only one baby per adult is allowed on board. However, if you have a second child under two years old travelling with you, you have the option of booking a seat and taking an appropriate child restraint system, such as a baby carrier or child car seat, on board with you.
- Qantas: When booking online, there is a limit of one infant per adult booked. If you need to book an infant with a seat or book travel that involves more infants than adults, please contact us to make your booking. When more than one infant travels with one adult, each additional infant must occupy a seat and be able to sit upright without assistance or travel in an approved child car seat or restraint.
- Royal Air Maroc: A passenger can accompany only one infant.
- Singapore Airlines: To fly with your infant or child on Singapore Airlines, you must book their ticket together with your adult ticket in a single transaction. Each infant must also be accompanied by an adult who’s at least 18 years old. At least seven days old and under two years old.
- Vietnam Airlines: When passengers purchase tickets on Vietnam Airlines website or application, the maximum number of infants and children purchasing tickets with one adult is stipulated as: One child under 2 years of age and/or one child from 2 to under 12 years of age; Two children from 2 years of age to under 12 years of age.
If the number of children purchasing tickets with one adult exceeds the above number, please contact their ticketing offices for assistance.
- VivaAerobus: For your safety, only one baby per adult is allowed, and they will not be able to travel in the emergency exit rows.
- Wizz Air: Infants up to the age of 2 may fly for an infant fee on the accompanying adult’s lap. One person can accompany one infant only.
Note: there are plenty of other rules about how young an infant can be, if an “infant” can sit up by themself and Icelandic’s rule that, “it’s not possible to book a ticket for an unborn child” (I assume they mean for a future flight after the baby has been born, but it still made me giggle a little). When it comes to “how many infants can one person travel with?” the correct answer appears to be, “it depends on the airline.”
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