Children and Travel

We’ve outlined policies, guidelines and travel tips that will help you and your child enjoy a safe, relaxed and enjoyable trip together.

Booking, ticketing and seating rules

The booking, seating and ticketing rules that apply will depend on the age of your child. 

  • An infant as young as 7 (seven) days can travel on an Air Canada flight.
  • At no time can an adult passenger (16 years of age or older) be responsible for more than one infant.
  • 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 the ‘Child restraint devices' section on this page. 

Booking, ticketing and seating rules for infants:

Type of travel Seating How to book Fare
Within Canada Parent's lap Online or 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   Child's fare*
International Business Class

Child restraint devices are not permitted in International Business Class.

Some exceptions apply. Contact Air Canada Reservations for details.

*International travel: The 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:

  • You can pay the full published child's fare for that flight (and be certain to have a confirmed seat both ways), or
  • You can pay the infant fare on the departure, and the published child's fare on the return. 
  • The use of an approved child restraint device is optional for children age 2 and up. See the ‘Child Restraint Devices’ section below.
  • If you are travelling with children under the age of 12, you will receive complimentary seat assignment ensuring children are seated adjacent to an adult/guardian travelling with them. You should always indicate in your booking that you are travelling with children.
    You may contact Air Canada Reservations directly to be seated, or go to the ‘Manage My Bookings’ tab to review your reservation 36 hours after booking to validate your seat assignment.
    • Air Canada Vacations bookings: click on the ‘View & Print Itinerary’ link to view your seating arrangement
    • Bookings with a travel agent or via another travel website: click on the seat selection tool link to view your seating arrangement.

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.
Some exceptions apply. Contact Air Canada Reservations for details.

When occupying a Classic Pod in International Business Class, a child age 2 to 11 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. Youngsters aged 12 and over pay the adult fare.

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 on board. 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.
  • Special meals for infants and children are available only on international flights and in Business Class within North America. To order, please call Air Canada Reservations at least 18 hours prior to departure.
    • Special meals for infants consist of strained fruit, vegetables, meat and dessert.
    • Special meals for children age 2 and over include hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, sandwiches, brownies and raisins.

All our aircraft (except the Bombardier Dash 8-300 (DH3) and Dash 8-100 (DH1) have diaper-changing tables located in either the front or back lavatories.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you have a normal pregnancy and no previous history of premature labour, you may travel by air up to and including your 36th week on Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Express.

We are also happy to support breastfeeding on board our aircraft, whenever safety permits.   

Stroller, bassinet and child restraint device policies

Choose from the links below to see our stroller, bassinet and child restraint device policies.

You can bring one stroller for each child you are travelling with in addition to your carry-on and checked baggage allowance and regardless of your destination.

Small Strollers

Air Canada strongly recommends the use of small collapsible umbrella type strollers like these:

Three examples of small collapsible umbrella-type strollers

Small strollers - with a collapsed diameter not exceeding 25.5 cm (10 in) and a length not exceeding 92 cm (36 in) - can be checked free of charge at the baggage counter or at the boarding gate.  When accepted at the baggage counter, your stroller is delivered to the arrivals baggage hall at your final destination. When accepted at the boarding gate, it is delivered to you at the aircraft door at every point in your journey.

Large Strollers

Because gate facilities in airports are not designed to accommodate them, large, heavy strollers can only be checked at the baggage counter.  Additional baggage fees do not apply.  Large strollers are also subject to space limitations, and there is a risk that they cannot be accommodated in the aircraft.

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.

About Transport Canada and Canadian Aviation regulations

  • Air Canada is bound by Transport Canada regulationsOpens in New Window with regard to acceptable child restraint devices (with the exception of the CARES™ child restraint device).
    • Only approved child restraint devices can be used on board our 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 on board 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

  • 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.
Restraint Device Transport Canada Regulation

AmSafe Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES™)

Adjustable belt-and-buckle flight harness that attaches directly to the aircraft seatbelt.

Designed for children weighing between 10 to 20 kg (22 to 44 lb), whose height is 100 cm (40 in) or less and who are capable of sitting upright.

Must be used within the limitations specified by the manufacturer (as indicated on the label), and must display the following:

  1. Legible CARESTM label with approval standards (FAA approved in accordance with 14 CFR 21:305 (d) and approved for aircraft use only)
  2. Part number 4082-1 on label

Cannot be installed in International Business Class.

Is not easily compatible with Bombardier Dash 8-300 (DH3) and Dash 8-100 (DH1) aircraft. Contact Air Canada Reservations for more information.

AmSafe (CARES™) device for taller individuals

Adjustable belt-and-buckle flight harness that attaches directly to the aircraft seatbelt.

Designed for taller individuals with special needs who are over 137 cm (54 in) and up to 183 cm (72 in.) in height.

Must be used within the limitations specified by the manufacturer (as indicated on the label), and must display the same label and part number as the regular CARES™ device (please see above).

Important: Contact the Air Canada Medical Assistance Desk if the use of this larger type of AmSafe (CARES™) device is required for travel.

Devices manufactured in Canada

Must bear one of the following:

  1. A label stating that "This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards", or
  2. 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).

Devices manufactured to U.S. standards

Must bear both of the following labels:

  1. "This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards", and
  2. "THIS RESTRAINT IS CERTIFIED FOR USE IN MOTOR VEHICLES AND AIRCRAFT" (in red lettering).

Devices manufactured to Australia/New Zealand (AS/NZS)  standards

Must bear both of the following:

  1. A Standard 1754 label, and
  2. A label indicating that the device is acceptable for use on board an aircraft

Devices manufactured to United Nations (UN) – Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) standards

Must bear both of the following labels:

  1. A label displaying UN standard ECE R44-03 (revision 03) or a later revision, and
  2. A label displaying qualification for use in aircraft.

Other foreign-built car seats

Must adhere to Transport Canada regulations.


The following devices are not accepted for use as infant/child restraint devices on our 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 (40 lb) 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 and vests or harness type devices
  • BedBox®, Plane Pal, Fly-Tot, Fly LegsUp, Flyebaby.
  • Little Cargo® seats (notwithstanding any claims from manufacturers that they are approved for use in aircraft)
  • Infant sling/wrap carriers similar to Snugli™ 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. Some exceptions apply. Contact Air Canada Reservations for details.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    • Rear-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 (40 lb) 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 and children age 0 to 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 Snugli™ 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 allow children to travel on their parent's passport, even though some countries still do. For travel to countries where a passport is required, all Canadians, including children, must carry their own.

Find out what travel documents your child needs to travel.

Over 10,000 young travellers fly unaccompanied with us each year. And with our Unaccompanied Minor service, every one of them receives the best care from our highly trained staff from the moment they arrive at airport until they reach their destination. 

Eligible Flights

You can purchase the Unaccompanied Minor service for your child if they are travelling on:

  • A non-stop flight operated by Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge
  • A non-stop Air Canada Express flight operated by Jazz, Sky Regional, Air Georgian GX - Flight series 7350-7499, or Exploits Valley Air 8K - Flight series 7615-7649).

Important: The Unaccompanied Minor service cannot be purchased for connecting flights or codeshare flights

Age Restrictions

Under age 8

Not available

  • Children under age 8 must be accompanied by a passenger age 16 or older when travelling.
  • The accompanying adult must occupy a seat in the same cabin and be seated adjacent to the young child.
8 to 11 years
(inclusively)

Mandatory

  • The Unaccompanied Minor service is mandatory for children aged 8 to 11 who are travelling alone.
12 to 17 years

Optional

  • The Unaccompanied Minor service can be purchased but is considered optional for youth ages 12 to 17 who are travelling alone. 

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  • Unaccompanied minors may not travel with a pet in the cabin.
  • Only adult passengers (16 years of age or older) may act as accompanying adults for minors (under age 12).

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve answered some commonly asked questions about the Unaccompanied Minor service.

Contact Air Canada Reservations or your travel agent to let them know your child will be travelling alone. You will be given details about our special services and what procedures are involved when a child is travelling unaccompanied. Please remember to tell us if your child has a medical condition.

Your child can’t travel unaccompanied if he/she is:

  • blind or deaf
  • severely allergic to peanuts/peanut products
  • severely allergic to cats

A child with a medical condition can’t travel as an unaccompanied minor without prior medical approval. We reserve the right to refuse carriage of an unaccompanied minor if medical clearance can’t be obtained. For more information on obtaining medical approval for your child, please contact the Air Canada Medical Assistance desk. 

If your child is travelling on an Air Canada flight, the call centre agent handling your child’s reservation will recommend that your child be seated in the last three rows of the aircraft, close to the cabin crew. This seating arrangement will allow members of the cabin crew to keep an eye on your child during the flight, and attend to his/her needs. This recommendation does not apply to Air Canada Express flights.

A service fee of $100 CAD/USD each way per child per flight applies, regardless of the fare you select.

If your child age 8 to 17 is travelling as an unaccompanied minor on a flight offering only Air Canada Bistro service, the price of a meal or hot snack is included in the service fee charged for the special care of your child. 

Complimentary non-alcoholic beverages are always available on all our flights. And complimentary meal service is available for all passengers travelling in:

Credit card only cabins
All Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge flights, as well as Air Canada Express flights operated by Jazz have credit card only cabins.

The price of a meal or hot snack is included in the fee charged for the Unaccompanied Minor service. If you’d like for your child to be able to buy an extra meal or snack on the flight but onboard credit card payment is not an option, you can pre-purchase convenient Air Canada Bistro vouchers online at any time up to one (1) hour before your child's flight.

  • Carefully explain the details of the trip to your child in advance -- this will make the experience less stressful for everyone.
  • Make sure your child is well rested.
  • Make sure your child has a carry-on bag containing a snack and favourite item(s) in case of a delay.
  • Make sure the parent/guardian meeting your child at their destination:
    • Knows the number and arrival time of the flight your child is travelling on.
    • Is aware that he/she will need to present a piece of government-issued photo identification to identify him/herself.
    • Is aware that he/she will be required to sign for the unaccompanied minor envelope (T672-ENV) that contains your child's ID and travels documents, and retrieve it from the Air Canada agent accompanying your child.

When you arrive at the airport, head for the Air Canada counter to begin check-in formalities.

  • You will first be asked to provide identification for your child. Only original documents are accepted (no photocopies
    • For travel within Canada, children under 18 years of age must present a birth certificate, health card, passport or other government-issued identification.
    • A passport is required for flights to and from the United-States as well as for international flights.

  • You’ll then be asked to complete a "Request for Carriage" form, which is attached to an envelope bearing the letters "UM." The form contains:
    • Your child's identification and flight number,
    • The name(s) and contact information of the person(s) who will meet your child at his/her destination, and
    • The authorizing signature of your child's parent or guardian.

The envelope will remain in the care of an Air Canada agent, and serves as a document holder for your child's passport, airline ticket, emergency numbers, and Customs documentation.

Even after an Air Canada agent has taken your child into their care, you must remain at the airport until the flight has departed.

All children travelling alone are always made to board ahead of the other passengers. This gives your child time to settle in comfortably and ask the flight attendant any questions s/he may have about the flight.

  1. The agent will give your child a Unaccompanied Minor lanyard (hang-tag) so that he/she may be easily identified by airport staff as an Unaccompanied Minor.
  2. The agent will accompany your child through the security check and proceed to the boarding gate area. In some airports, parents/guardians are permitted to escort their children to the departure gate. Please see the next FAQ for more information, or refer to the local Airport Authority website.
  3. Once boarding is announced, your child will be escorted to the aircraft ahead of other passengers and will be greeted by the In-flight Service Director who will guide your child to an assigned seat.
  4. Upon arrival at your child's destination, the In-flight Service Director will help your child disembark, and will hand them over to an airport agent. This agent will escort your child to the Arrivals section to meet the person designated on the Unaccompanied Minor envelope.
  5. The person meeting your child will be asked for photo identification, and will sign the Unaccompanied Minor envelope, accepting responsibility for the child. 

Escorting your child to the boarding gate is allowed at select airports only. Please refer to the local Airport Authority website or see an Air Canada representative at check-in.

  • Where permitted, only one parent or guardian may accompany the child to the gate. The parent or guardian may be required to fill out a "Passenger Escort Form," and show photo identification.
  • If a parent or guardian is unable to escort the child, Air Canada will provide the escort.

International flights and flights to the U.S. 

Due to security regulations, the passenger escort service is not available for international flights and flights to the U.S. In this case, an Air Canada agent will escort the child to the gate.

You must remain in the airport until the flight has departed.