Check-in and luggage service
In order to not have the greatest stress before you even set foot on the plane, many airlines offer a family-friendly check-in. The ground staff at the respective airport then ensures a quiet and quick check-in without too long waiting times and families are usually allowed to board the plane first.
If an evening check-in is possible, this is of course highly recommended. By the way: Even a very small passenger under the age of two already gets a free baggage allowance from most airlines. Here there are differences, sometimes it is 10, sometimes even 20 kilos of free luggage.
For scheduled flights, it is often possible to take the pram or buggy up to the aircraft and to retrieve it immediately after landing on leaving the aircraft. Unfortunately, this is rarely possible for charter flights. By requesting the airline, you can quickly find out about it.
Safety on board
A maximum of one infant under the age of 2 may be carried per adult. For the small passenger costs are already incurred: Although there is still no seat claim, some airlines are already 10 percent of the fare required. From the age of 2 years, the so-called child tariff, which varies from provider to provider, becomes due for a seat. In some cases, up to 67 percent of the fare must be expected!
With timely booking you have the chance to get the coveted seats in the front row - because there is usually an air-conditioned baby bed in the wall in front of you to install. These cots are for example suitable for babies up to a size of 83 cm and 14 kg body weight at Lufthansa. In addition, there are special baby baths in many aircraft, which can be mounted in certain places in the aircraft. These are suitable for children up to six months (max 8 kg). Again, ask the airline as soon as possible!
Since July 2008, an EU regulation, the EU-OPS, regulates, among other things, the securing of infants under the age of two in aircraft. Thereafter, a child, when seated on an adult's lap, must be secured by an additional loop strap or other restraint system - whenever the Seat Belt Signs are lit. The Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) and the Federal Aviation Office are committed to ensure that in the future only qualified child seats are used, which are mounted on a separate seat - so that these double seat occupancy is no longer necessary.
Until then, the BMVBS and the LBA recommend all parents to book their own seat for their child and to clarify before the flight whether the airline can provide a child restraint system, or to inquire which types of child seats are used can. But beware: As soon as another seat is needed, extra costs, possibly even the child tariff, may be incurred.
You can find which child seats you can use and further information about transporting children by plane on the website of the Luftfahrt Bundesamt (LBA).
to eat and drink
Mothers who still breast-feed their children need not worry about caring for their child on the plane. However, should your baby get vials and / or already have their first glass of food, it is advisable to bring everything you need - or rely on what the airline offers. In addition, baby food consumed on board is not covered by cabin baggage safety regulations, even if they must be presented to the security checkpoint. You can read more about the security regulations at Lufthansa.
Children aged 2 and over are offered children's menus. Many organizers advertise that they have been put together with a nutritionist and pediatrician and so are tailored to the tastes and needs of children, which proves the importance of the airlines this age group.
The aviators also have a lot to offer when it comes to entertainment: most of them have their own audio program as well as cartoons for kids, as well as reading, games and painting fun. Usually in the on-board program also special children's films run.
Basically, you should inquire early with the tour operator or your airline, whether you fly charter or line, for all services that they offer when traveling with children. Because these have to be reserved in time! So that the flight is relaxed for you, we have a few tips ready:
- When traveling abroad, children of all ages need their own child passport (depending on the country, it may also be an identity card). Whether your destination country recognizes the German children's travel pass can be found on the travel pages of the Foreign Office.
- A health check in advance at the pediatrician is required! He clarifies you u.a. also about the required vaccinations. Because even the vaccination card should go on the journey.
- If possible, you should choose a flight that does not mess up your baby's routine too much. For long-haul flights it is recommended to fly overnight.
- At least one to two days before departure, a call to the airline is advisable to check whether all requests have been entered "in the computer".
- Pack your child a small bag (change of clothes - even for you -, enough diapers, wipes, medicine, toys, possibly baby food, for older children biscuits, etc.).
- In order to bridge waiting times, you can visit play areas in the airport (lounge, restaurants) with your child.
- Feed your child at take-off and landing. This calms your child and also helps to balance the pressure of the ears. In older children helps sweet sucking or chewing gum.
- Put on your child in a so-called "onion look". This allows you to put on or take off several layers of clothing as needed. And do not forget thick socks!
- Make sure that your child drinks a lot on board because the air is very dry. Recommended are still water, fruit spritzers or teas.
- If you need to change, ask for a shuttle service between the gates.