Children under two years
Children under the age of two traveling within the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with a parent or with an adult 18 years or older can travel on the adult's lap free of charge. If there are two or more children under the age of two traveling with the same adult, only one of the children may travel as a lap child. Any additional children are required to have tickets for their own seats. Children under the age of two traveling internationally (including children traveling to Canada and Mexico) without a seat are required to have a purchased ticket and are subject to infant fares and taxes. When making your reservation, you should indicate that you are traveling with an infant, regardless of your destination.
Incubation and infants under seven days old
United does not accept infants in incubators or infants younger than seven days old.
Infants under the age of two traveling without a seat within the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands do not require a ticket. All infants traveling internationally, including infants traveling to Canada and Mexico, must have a ticket, even if no seat is purchased and they are traveling as a lap child.
Infants traveling between the U.S. and Canada, or from Mexico to the U.S. or Canada, only pay taxes on the ticket. Infants traveling without a seat to other international destinations are charged 10% of the adult fare at the time of infant ticketing (it is usually less expensive to purchase the infant ticket in advance). Infants traveling on an adult's lap on front cabin awards or upgrades must pay 10% of the front cabin fare in applicable markets.
Once infants turn two years old, they are required to have a purchased ticket and occupy a seat. Infants who reach their second birthday after their outbound flight must have a purchased ticket and occupy a seat for their return flight(s).
Nursing mothers are welcome to breastfeed or pump on our aircraft and in our facilities. Dedicated nursing spaces, including nursing mother rooms and Mamava nursing pods, are available in many of our airports and we are in the process of adding more. You can locate nursing spaces by using the airport maps feature in the United app or by visiting the airport’s website. In addition, some of our United Club℠ locations have family rooms available for our United Club members and customers who purchase a one-day pass.
If you will need to pump, we recommend bringing a battery-operated or manual breast pump, since the availability of inflight seat power varies by aircraft fleet. Breast pumps may be carried on board in addition to the one bag and one personal item limit. Due to the unpredictability of turbulence, we are not able to allow nursing mothers to pump in the aircraft galley areas or to use jump seats. Our flight attendants may be able to provide ice to keep pumped milk cool during a flight, but they are not permitted to store items such as milk or formula.
Strollers may be checked to your final destination without a fee, in addition to your normal baggage allowance.
Children can be transported in their strollers throughout the airport. However, strollers must be checked at the gate. No strollers of any size are permitted as carry-on baggage. Your child's stroller will be delivered to you at the aircraft door upon request at your connecting city or destination. Large, non-collapsible strollers cannot be checked at the gate. Please see a United representative at the airport check-in counter to check your large, non-collapsible stroller.
United is not responsible for damage that occurs to strollers that are not packed in a box and checked at the check-in counter.
Infant and child seating and safety seats
You may use an FAA-approved child restraint system (CRS) or child safety seat in certain seats on board the aircraft if you have purchased a seat for your child. United does not provide child restraint systems or child safety seats.
The FAA has approved the use of the child safety restraint system CARES (child aviation restraint system), for travel. This system uses an additional belt and shoulder harness that goes around the back of the seat and attaches to the lap belt. Children weighing between 22 and 44 pounds may use this device. More information about CARES and other child restraint requirements is available at www.faa.gov/passengers/fly_children/.
Child safety seats or restraint systems must be placed in window seats on single-aisle aircraft, and in window seats or in the middle seats of a center section on two-aisle aircraft. The use of child restraint systems is not permitted in rear-facing seats or seats in the exit row on any aircraft, or in United Global First℠ on three-cabin 747-400, 767 or 777-200 aircraft.
If manufactured after February 1985, the car seat should also be certified for use in aircraft. You should place your child in the child safety seat for takeoff, landing and during turbulence.
The following child restraint devices may not be used on board the aircraft: booster seats, belly belts attached to adult seat belts only, and vests or harnesses that hold the infant to the adult's chest.
Passengers traveling with infants and children under 15 years of age may not be seated in exit rows.
Children under the age of two are allowed to travel on an adult’s lap. Due to oxygen mask allocation, on some aircraft only one lap child is allowed per seat section, and passengers with lap infants may not be seated in certain rows.
Children who are not held by an adult and are unable to sit upright with the seat belt fastened must be carried in an FAA-approved infant seat. The infant seat must be secured in an aircraft seat and cannot be held on an adult's lap. It must remain properly secured to the aircraft seat at all times. An infant seat cannot be used in an exit row or in the row immediately before or after an exit row.
Bassinets are large enough to hold an infant weighing 22 pounds (10 kg) or less. They may not be used during taxi, takeoff or landing, or when the seatbelt sign is illuminated. A limited number of bassinets are available for use, free of charge, on international aircraft only. Bassinets are available for customers traveling international segments in United BusinessFirst® on select 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft and in United Economy® on 747, 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft. Bassinets are not available for customers traveling in United Global FirstSM, United First® or United Business® at this time.
Customers can request a bassinet by calling the United Customer Contact Center at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) within the United States or the appropriate Worldwide Contact Center. We will provide accompanying seat assignments for an adult traveling with an infant and up to one travel companion. There is no fee for these seat assignments when arranged by the United Customer Contact Center or with a United representative at the airport. Bassinet availability is limited, and these arrangements are not guaranteed.
If you are traveling with an infant, please bring enough food and supplies with you. Our flights are not equipped to heat baby bottles. You may request hot water or ice from a flight attendant to keep items hot or cold.
For information on available food and beverage choices, please see the Inflight Dining page.
Changing tables are available on Boeing 747, 757-300, 767, 777, 787 and select 757-200. Your flight attendant will be able to direct you to the proper lavatory.
Tips for traveling with children
- We recommend that you bring a selection of items, such as small toys, coloring books, storybooks, or a tablet with downloaded videos or age-appropriate apps, to help keep your child entertained during the flight.
- Giving your child something to eat or drink when the plane is taking off and landing may help alleviate ear pain caused by the cabin pressure adjusting to the altitude.
- Make sure to bring enough food, diapers and other supplies to last through your time at the airport and in flight, and you may want to have extras on hand in case of any potential delays or travel disruptions.