Want to travel with your new-born or send your child on holiday to visit loved ones, but not sure what the current procedures are? Don’t worry! Here’s everything you need to know for a pleasant flight, whether you’re with your child or not.
Flying with a child: what you need to know
Minors can no longer be on their parents’ passports. Even when accompanied, all children between the ages of 0 and 18 (the day of their birthday) must possess the following documents in their name:
– a national identity card for a journey within France or the European Union
– a passport for a journey anywhere else in the world.
In general, children are subject to the same regulations as you: If the country you’re going to requires a passport or visa, your child must have their own as well, even if under the age of 3. Those documents are to be presented at the same time as yours during check-in.
All minors travelling with an escort other than a parent must have an exit permit (AST). To learn more, check the government’s website.
If the child doesn’t have the same last name as their escort, you can present your family record book and/or the child’s birth certificate, but they are not on the list of mandatory documents. There is no rule that requires a parent who doesn’t share a last name with their child to prove their right to parental authority.
However, if the child is travelling with only one of their parents, some countries reserve the right to request proof that the other parent has allowed it. These include Algeria, Morocco, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Switzerland.
What should you do when travelling with a baby?
Your baby can fly on a short flight when as young as one week old, and on a long-haul flight when as young as three weeks. If travelling with a baby, we recommend notifying your airline in advance.
You can take into the cabin all medications and food that your baby needs for the trip, without any restrictions or need to show a prescription. Simply place all liquid items (bottles, jars) in a resealable transparent plastic bag, and present them to the security officers when going through screening. The officers may ask to taste the food, so we recommend taking resealable containers. However, avoid small glass jars that could break. Once aboard, the flight crew will provide you with water suitable for preparing a bottle.
Liquid care products (such as baby lotion), however, are subject to regulations on carrying liquids in the cabin. These items must therefore be less than 100 ml each, and be presented in a 20 cm x 20 cm transparent plastic bag.
Some airlines allow you to take a baby seat or stroller aboard, in addition to your carry-on baggage. Contact your airline for more information. And if need be, we can provide strollers for your use in terminals all the way to the boarding gate. You can help yourself to this free service 24/7. Visit terminal 2E, gates K, L, and M at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, and West Terminal Hall 10 and South Terminal Hall A at Paris-Orly.
Travelling with a baby: some helpful advice
Prepare a sugar water bottle to hydrate the baby regularly
Swallowing while drinking will help reduce the effects of pressure change in the ears.
Soothe your baby during take-off and landing
These moments can be stressful for your baby. Soothe them with a pacifier or breastfeeding.
Bring a lovey and toys they love
Perfect for cuddling and keeping busy, to avoid crying episodes.
Have enough diapers and wipes with you
To feel comfortable during the flight, your baby must be clean.
Your child is travelling alone: preparing for their flight
Many airlines offer an unaccompanied minor service so that your child can travel alone. Although these services generally cover children ages 4 to 12, they vary from one airline to another, and may apply to bigger or smaller age ranges (sometimes for an added charge). Some airlines also offer assistance for children with reduced mobility. We recommend contacting the airline to find the right solution for you.
Most airlines require that the unaccompanied minor service be reserved at the time you buy your ticket. You’ll need to fill out a form and follow a special process. A limited number of unaccompanied children can be allowed on board, so we recommend booking tickets and the service as soon as possible.
Unaccompanied child: what documents are needed?
All children (ages 0-18) must have at least a national identity card and/or passport, depending on their nationality and destination.
In all cases, you must check: www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/
Contact your airline, as they often require filling out a form and following a special process.
Welcoming families and their children at the airport: we are at your disposal
To make your trip pleasant from start to finish, we provide spaces and services designed for small children. Changing tables, baby lounges, strollers on loan… Enjoy our services!
Change your baby comfortably:
More than 100 changing tables are available in the restrooms at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly airports. For your comfort, they are equipped with toddler beds and child-friendly toilet stalls. Accessible before and after security, access to these spaces is free and open 24/7.
Enjoy the convenience of family restrooms:
For your children’s comfort, we provide family restrooms equipped with large and small toilets, as well as baby carriers for greater freedom of movement. Available before and after security, access to these spaces is free and open 24/7.
Move about freely by borrowing a stroller:
Had to part with your stroller at check-in? Don’t panic, we’ll lend you one! You’ll find them right after the security checkpoints, and can move about freely all the way to the boarding gate. To enjoy this free service 24/7 without needing assistance, visit terminal 2E, gates K, L and M at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, and Orly 1-2-3 Hall 10 and Orly 4 Hall A at Paris-Orly.
Relax with your baby in a special room:
Need a moment of calm, far from the bustle of the airport, before getting on the plane? We’ve designed a space where you can rest with your baby before setting off on your trip. Featuring individual alcoves with cradles, seats, high chairs, bottle heaters and microwaves, this space can be accessed by anyone, 24/7. Visit the Orly 4 at Paris-Orly.
Make going through security with your children a fun time:
Every weekend on the spring, summer, and Christmas holidays, we provide Family Access service: Handing out educational game books and staging entertainment in some of our terminals.
Before departure: conditions to travel
Age: Your baby may travel on short-haul flights from the of age one week, and from the age of three weeks for long-haul flights. Below are a few recommendations to make the trip as pleasant as possible for both you and the baby.
Passeport: Your baby must comply with the same rules as you do: if the country you are travelling to requires a passport and visa, your baby must have them too..
Baby food: You can travel with baby food . The agents at the security checks may ask you to taste all liquid food (baby bottles containing milk or sweetened water, etc.).
Transport of your domestic animal (dog, cat, hamster…) is authorized on domestic and international flights. Please contact your airline directly.
Your pet belongs to a wild or protected species
When booking your flight, notify the airline of the presence of your pet (some airlines refuse to carry pets in the cabin). Confirm the pet’s presence 72 hours prior to the flight. On the day of departure, carry with you the animal’s up-to-date health certificate. Find out what is required for your destination (vaccinations, registration tattoo…). Quarantine may be required depending on the destination and circumstances.
Flight conditions depend on the airline.
In the cabin:
• the pet must weigh less than 4kg,
• the travel cage must be smaller than 115 cm linear (L+W+H).
In the hold:
• the pet must weigh over 4 kg;
• the hold is ventilated, heated and pressurized;
• the cage is anchored to remain stable throughout the flight (we recommend reinforcing with brown tape);
• your airline may sell you a travel cage suited to the airport;
• mark on the cage: the animal’s name and registration tattoo number, your name and contact details, and your destination..
Pets travel at same rates as excess luggage.
Guide-dogs of passengers with a physical or sensory disability may travel free of charge in the cabin accompanied by their owner. They must be muzzled.
Your pet belongs to a wild or protected species
Transport of such animals is strictly regulated (e.g. a wild animal or reptile). Request information from your airline or the following ministries in France:
1Ministry of Agriculture
Tel: 01 49 55 49 55
2Ministry of the Environment
Tel: 01 42 19 20 21
Air transport is a highly regulated sector offering numerous guarantees for your safety and to protect your interests in the event of delays, cancellation, etc.
Your travel conditions
From the time of booking, your travel agent must inform you of:
• The identity of the carrier operating the flight
• The identity of the carrier other than the one indicated on the ticket in the event of a change
• Details regarding change of aircraft, stops and transfers between airports during the trip
Cases involving compensation
Overbooking or cancellation
Under certain conditions, you are entitled to:
• reimbursement without penalty of the full fare, or travel at a later date at your convenience
• financial compensation from the airline in the event of denied boarding (€250 for flights up to 1,500 km, €400 for flights within the EU over 1,500 km and for flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km, €600 for flights in excess of 3,500 km)
Major delay involves:
• 2 hours or more for flights of up to 1,500 km
• 3 hours or more for flights within the EU over 1,500 km and for flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km
• 4 hours or more for flights in excess of 3,500 km
Should you fall into one of these categories, you are entitled to immediate and full compensation for expenses involving snacks, meals and lodging if necessary.
For delays in excess of five hours:
You are entitled to:
• reimbursement of your fare if you abandon your trip
• if applicable, full compensation for your return flight to your initial point of departure only if you abandon your trip