Home > Travel information > Special travel needs > Traveling with infants
Incubation and infants under seven days old
United does not accept infants in incubators or infants younger than seven days old.
Acceptance of accompanied 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 you are traveling with an infant, regardless of your destination.
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. United does not provide infant seats. The infant seat must be secured in an aircraft seat and cannot be held on an adult's lap. The infant seat 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.
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 over two years of age are required to have purchased tickets and occupy their own seats. Passengers traveling with infants and children under 15 years of age may not be seated in exit rows.
Child safety seats
You may use an approved infant car seat on board the aircraft when you purchase a seat for your child. The seat must be an FAA-approved child safety seat device. Car seats must be placed in window seats on one-aisle aircraft, and window seats or the middle seats of a center section on two-aisle aircraft. Car seats are not permitted in rear-facing seats on any 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 FAA has approved the use of a child safety restraint system for travel. The system, CARES (child aviation restraint 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 is available at www.kidsflysafe.com.
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.
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.
A limited number of bassinets can be reserved 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.
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. Along with bassinet requests, we will provide accompanying seat assignments for an adult traveling with an infant and up to one travel companion. Call the United Customer Contact Center at 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331) within the United States, or call the appropriate Worldwide Contact Center. There will be 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, so we recommend that customers call ahead of time to make these arrangements.
Changing tables and diapers
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. Please bring an adequate supply of diapers for your trip.
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.
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.
We recommend that you bring your child's favorite toy, coloring books and storybooks. 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.