Travelling with an infant or child

The policies, regulations, and tips below are designed to help you plan your trip with your infant or child, and to help make your travel as enjoyable as possible.

Are you planning on having your child travel alone? You'll want to learn more about Air Canada's service for unaccompanied minors.

Please also view important information for passengers flying on code share flight(s).

Pregnant women travelling by air

A woman with a normal pregnancy and no previous history of premature labour may travel up to and including her 36th week on Air Canada and Jazz.

Booking, ticketing and seating rules for infants and children

Infant (under age 2)
  • An infant as young as 7 (seven) days can travel on an Air Canada flight.
  • Only one infant is permitted per adult passenger (16 years of age or older).
  • Whenever the seat belt sign is on:
    • An infant seated on a parent's lap must be held securely;
    • An infant for whom a seat is purchased must be properly secured in an approved child restraint device (see Child restraint policy' below).
Booking, ticketing and seating rules for infants:
Type of travel Seating How to book Fare
Within Canada Parent's lap Online or via Air Canada Reservations $0
Own seat Air Canada Reservations Adult fare
Between Canada and the U.S. Parent's lap Air Canada Reservations $0 (taxes apply)
Own seat Air Canada Reservations Adult fare
International Parent's lap Air Canada Reservations 10% of adult fare*
Own seat Air Canada Reservations Child's fare*
International
Business Class

Child restraint devices are not permitted in International Business Class.

Exception: On our B777-300 aircraft with three-cabin configuration, child restraint devices are accepted in International Business Class only at seats 1D and 1G.
*International travel: Discount does not apply to taxes, fees, charges and surcharges. If an infant's second birthday occurs between the departure and return segments of an international trip, the fare can be determined from one of the two options below:
  • The child can pay the full published child's fare for that flight (and be certain to have a confirmed seat both ways), or
  • The child can pay the infant fare on the departure, and the published child's fare on the return.
Child (age 2 to under age 12)
  • The use of an approved child restraint device is optional for children age 2 and up (see ‘Child restraint policy’ below).
Booking, ticketing and seating rules for children:
Type of travel Seating How to book Fare
Within Canada Own seat Online or Air Canada Reservations Adult fare
Between Canada and the U.S. Own seat Online or Air Canada Reservations Adult fare
International Own seat Air Canada Reservations Child fare*
International Business Class

Child restraint devices are not permitted in International Business Class.

Exception: On our B777-300 aircraft with three-cabin configuration, child restraint devices are accepted in International Business Class only at seats 1D and 1G.

When occupying a Classic Pod in International Business Class, a child age 2 to 5 must be seated directly in front of the accompanying parent or guardian.
The child and the accompanying guardian will receive a mandatory briefing on the safety features of International Business Class prior to takeoff.

Please contact Air Canada Reservations whenever booking travel with young children in International Business Class to ensure the availability of appropriate seating.
*International travel: Discount does not apply to taxes, fees, charges and surcharges. The child fare applies only to children under age 12. Youths aged 12 and over pay the adult fare.

Ticketing rules are subject to change without prior notice.

Baggage allowance

A child or infant's baggage allowance is over and above that of the parent(s).

Checked baggage:
Please refer to the checked baggage table that corresponds to your itinerary to determine the allowance for your infant or child.

Carry-on baggage:
  • The normal carry-on baggage allowance applies to children and infants occupying a seat.
  • If you are travelling with an infant on your lap, you may bring one standard carry-on bag not exceeding 10 kg (22 lb) in weight to carry their belongings, in addition to your personal carry-on allowance.

Important: Always pack remotely-controlled toys in your checked baggage. This will make clearing of your carry-on baggage much easier.

Special services

  • Formula, breast milk, juice and baby food (in small containers) are permitted in carry-on baggage. Because onboard refrigeration may not always be available on all aircraft types, the cabin crew is unable to look after these items onboard. We therefore ask that you bring these items in a small cooler to keep them at the desired temperature. If available, extra ice may be provided as needed.
  • Infants' and children's meals are available only on International flights and in Business Class within North America. An infant meal consists of such food as strained fruits, vegetables, meats and desserts. A children's meal is designed for children two years of age and older. Examples of the choices available are hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, sandwiches, brownies and raisins. To order an infant/child meal, please call Air Canada Reservations at least 18 hours prior to departure.
  • All of our aircraft (with the exception of our Dash 8-300 and Dash-8 100 aircraft) have diaper-changing tables located in either the front or back lavatories.

Stroller, bassinet and child restraint device policies

Please see below for detailed information on the following policies:
Stroller policy
Small strollers

Air Canada strongly recommends the use of small collapsible umbrella type strollers (see examples below).

A stroller with a collapsed diameter not exceeding 25.5 cm (10 in) and a length not exceeding 92 cm (36 in) is allowed, in addition to your carry-on allowance, regardless of destination. It can be checked at the gate to be delivered to you at the aircraft door at the end of your flight.

Large strollers

Because gate facilities in airports are not designed to accommodate them, large, heavy strollers will need to be checked in and will count as one piece of baggage toward the maximum number of checked bags allowed by your fare type. Large strollers are also subject to space limitations, and there is a risk that they cannot be accommodated in the aircraft.

Bassinet policy
If you're travelling with an infant in Economy Class, you may request a bassinet in advance of travel by contacting Air Canada Reservations. However, we are unable to confirm availability until the time of your flight's departure.

Important:
  • bassinets are assigned on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability at time of flight departure;
  • bassinets may be provided in Economy Class only on the following aircraft:
  • for safety reasons:
    • bassinets can be used only for infants weighing less than 12kg (25lbs) who are unable to sit upright;
    • the cabin crew is responsible for installing the bassinet once the seat belt sign has been turned off.
Child restraint device policy

About Transport Canada and Canadian Aviation regulations

  • Air Canada is bound by Transport Canada regulations with regards to acceptable child restraint devices (with the exception of the CARES™ child restraint device).
    • Only approved child restraint devices can be used on board Air Canada, Air Canada rouge and Air Canada Express (operated by Jazz, Sky Regional, Air Georgian, and Exploits Valley Air) aircraft.
  • Canadian Aviation Regulations do not allow an adult passenger (age 16 years and older), at any time, to be in charge of more than one infant onboard an aircraft. This applies whether the infant is seated on the adult's lap or sitting in a child restraint device in an adjacent seat.

 Approved child restraint systems

  • Air Canada is bound by Transport Canada regulations with regards to acceptable child restraint devices (with the exception of the CARES™ child restraint device).
  • Some child restraint devices are a combination of a child restraint system and a booster seat.  To be acceptable for use in the aircraft, the internal harness system must be installed and all child restraint device-labelling requirements must be met.  When used as a booster seat, the internal harness system is removed and is not approved for use on board the aircraft.

  • The CARES™ child restraint device:
    • is designed for children ages 1 to 4, weighing between 10-20 kg (22-44 lb), whose height is 100 cm (40 in.) or less and who are capable of sitting upright.
    • consists of an adjustable belt-and-buckle flight harness that attaches directly to the aircraft seatbelt.
    • must be used within the limitations specified by the manufacturer (as indicated on the label), and must display the following:
      • Legible CARES label with approval standards (FAA approved in accordance with 14 CFR 21:305 (d) and approved for aircraft use only).
      • Part number 4082-1 on label
    • cannot be installed in International Business Class.
    • is not easily compatible with Dash 8-300 and Dash 8-100 aircraft. Contact Air Canada Reservations for more information.
  • Child restraint devices manufactured in Canada after January 1, 1981:
    • must bear a label stating that "This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.", or
    • must bear the National Safety Mark, which indicates the number of the standard(s) to which the restraint device conforms, i.e. CMVSS 213 (child restraint device) or 213.1 for (infant restraint device).
  • Child restraint devices manufactured to United States standards:
    • Models manufactured between January 1, 1981 and February 25, 1985 must bear the following label:
      "This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards."
    • Models manufactured on or after February 26, 1985 must bear the following two labels:
      "This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards" and "THIS RESTRAINT IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT" (in red lettering).
  • Foreign-built car seats must adhere to Transport Canada regulations.

Devices not accepted for in-flight use:

  • The following devices are not accepted for use as infant/child restraint devices on Air Canada aircraft:
    • Booster seats: a booster seat (or cushion) is defined as a removable device for use in a vehicle for the purpose of seating in an elevated position a person whose mass is 18 kg or more. It is designed to be used with an automobile lap and shoulder belt and is therefore not approved for use in an aircraft.
    • Belly loops
    • Vests or harness type devices
    • Little Cargo® seats (notwithstanding any claims from manufacturers that they are approved for use in aircraft)
    • Infant sling/wrap carriers similar to Snugly™ or Baby Bjorn™ are accepted in addition to the infant's carry-on allowance if required for use on board the aircraft.  These carriers are not approved for use as a "restraint device" and may not be used during taxi, take-off, and landing, or at any time the seat belt sign is illuminated.  The parent or guardian will have to remove their infant from the carrier every time the seat belt sign is illuminated.

Other important rules, regulations and exceptions

  • The use of a child safety seat or restraint device is:
      • Mandatory for an infant under 2 occupying a seat
      •  Optional for a small child, dependent on the manufacturer's guidelines for the device's maximum weight

 

  • Air Canada does not provide seat restraint devices for small children or infants.
  • An infant for whom a seat has been purchased must be properly secured in an approved child restraint device.

  • International Business Class:
    • For safety reasons, child restraint devices are not permitted in International Business Class on the following aircraft:
    • Infants under age 2 can travel in International Business Class but must be held in the adult's lap.
    • Children ages 2 to 5 can travel in International Business Class but must occupy the seat directly in front of their parent or guardian.
    • CARES™ child restraint devices cannot be installed in International Business Class.

* Exception: On our B777-300 aircraft with three-cabin configuration, child restraint devices are accepted in International Business Class only at seats 1D and 1G.

  • All approved devices must fit between the armrests of the seat. They must be installed according to the directions on the device and secured using the seat belt fitted on the aircraft seat.
  • Weight restrictions are specified on all child restraint devices.
    • Aft-facing devices are generally restricted to babies weighing less than 9 kg (20 lb).
    • Forward-facing devices are generally restricted to babies or children weighing 9 to fewer than 30 kg (20 to 65 lb).
  • A combination system (i.e. both a child restraint system and a booster cushion) is accepted for in-flight use provided it is used as a child restraint system and the internal harness system is installed, and all labelling requirements are met. It must not be used in-flight as a booster cushion*, with the internal harness system removed.
  • Pouch-type infant carriers (e.g. SNUGLI®, Baby Hawk or Ergo) are allowed for use on Air Canada flights, except during take-off, landing, taxiing on the runway and at any time the seat belt sign is on.
  • A restraint device that cannot be restrained due to size, design, or damage must be transported as checked baggage, as it cannot be stowed under the seats or in the overhead bins.
  • Please contact your travel agent or Air Canada Reservations for more information and possible exceptions to these rules (e.g. medical reasons).

    *A booster seat (or cushion) is defined as a removable device for use in a vehicle for the purpose of seating in an elevated position a person whose mass is 18 kg or more. It is designed to be used with an automobile lap and shoulder belt and is therefore not approved for use in an aircraft.

Checked baggage rules

  • To/from all destinations, infants/children, aged 0 – 11 years, may check a car seat or booster seat free of charge in addition to their regular baggage allowance.
  • Customers are asked to write their name and address on all devices with the use of an indelible (Sharpie-type) marker.

Carry-on baggage rules

  • A child restraint device may only be accepted as carry-on in addition to the infant's child carry-on allowance provided a seat has been purchased for the infant/child.
  • Infant sling/wrap carriers similar to Snugly™ or Baby Bjorn™ are accepted in addition to the infant's carry-on allowance if required for use on board the aircraft.  These carriers are not approved for use as a "restraint device" and may not be used during taxi, take-off, and landing, or at any time the seat belt sign is illuminated; The parent or guardian will have to remove their infant from the carrier every time the seat belt sign is illuminated.

Identification requirements

Canada does not permit children to travel on their parent's passport, even though some countries still allow it. For travel to countries where a passport is required, all Canadians, including children, must carry their own.

In addition, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has recommended a policy requiring every individual, including a child, who travels by air to have his or her own travel document.

A child must hold a valid passport for all international travel. Furthermore, prior to any international travel that includes a child, parents should contact the Embassy or Consulate of all countries the child will be visiting to enquire about entry and exit requirements.

The following documents are recommended for travel within Canada and may also be required for international travel to/from certain countries.

  • The childs birth certificate showing the names of both parents.
  • Any legal documents pertaining to custody.
  • A parental consent letter authorizing travel (if the child is travelling with one parent, the letter must be signed and dated by the other parent; if the child is travelling without his parents, the letter must be signed and dated by both parents.)
  • A death certificate if one of the parents is deceased

We invite you to view more information on travel documents, and valuable information from the Government of Canada on children and travel.

  ID required
Within Canada For travellers younger than 18, no passport is required. However, it is recommended that children carry an original birth certificate or non-government issued ID, e.g. a student card.

Please note that airlines are required by federal government regulations to check identification at the departure gate for all passengers who appear to be 18 years of age or older. For detailed information on identity screening regulations, visit the Passenger Protect website.
To/From the U.S. All passengers, including minors (children under 18) are required to present a valid passport or other valid travel document such as a Nexus card when travelling by air between Canada and the United States.

Read detailed information about required travel documents when travelling to and from the United-States.
International travel Canada requires that all passengers, including children, carry their own passport when travelling by air to another country, although some countries still allow for a child to travel on his/her parent's passport.

In addition, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has recommended a policy requiring every individual, including a child, who travels by air to have his or her own travel document.

Prior to any travel that includes a child, parents should contact the embassy or consulate of all countries the child will be visiting to enquire about entry requirements. Find a list of embassies on the Embassy World website.