Children and Travel

Travelling with your children on Air Canada is simple! Here are some useful tips for a seamless travel experience:

Family Check-in

Flying with kids under age 6? Make it easier by looking for Family Check-in signage at select airports¹.

Early Boarding

Kids under age 6 and their family board early², before general boarding. This means extra time to store belongings and settle in.

Family Seating

We’ll make sure you and your kids under age 12 sit close to each other at no extra charge³.

¹ Available for departures from Toronto-Pearson Int. (YYZ) and for domestic or international flights from Montreal-Trudeau Int. (YUL) and Vancouver International airports.

² Make sure to be at the departure gate by the time indicated on your boarding pass to take advantage of pre-boarding between zones 2 and 3.

³ A fee may apply if you decide to change the free standard seat assignment provided, or if you select Preferred Seats.

Because families should stick together!

When you book your flight online, indicate that you are travelling with children, and we will assign generic seats in proximity to each other for you and your children within 48 hours after your ticket is issued.  You can then review your seat assignment by going to My Bookings.

For Air Canada Vacations bookings, go to the “View & Print Itinerary” link.

If you book directly with Air Canada Reservations, be sure to tell our agents that you’re travelling with a child between the ages of 2 and 11, and they’ll make sure you’re seated close together at no extra charge.

If you did not book your travel via Air Canada directly, you can contact Air Canada Reservations to be seated, or go to My Bookings to review your reservation 48 hours after booking and validate your seat assignment.

If we are unable to seat one adult in close proximity to a child, you may contact Air Canada Reservations to change your booking to another flight on which we can provide proximity seating, or cancel your trip, all at no extra charge.

Choosing your own seats

For the best choice in seats, it’s always better to select them when you book your flight. Note that a fee may apply when choosing your seats in advance. A fee may also apply if you decide to change the free standard seat assignment provided, or if you select Preferred Seats.

Fun for Kids!

To keep the little ones happy, we offer a variety of cool giveaways on select flights. And don’t forget to check out the “Kids” section on our In-Flight Entertainment.

Collectibles*

Logbooks

At Family Check-in, your kids may receive a Logbook, which can be used to collect stickers on every flight. Simply ask your flight attendant for a sticker once you are on board!! These fun badges are a great souvenir of each trip your kids make.

Coloring Books

On Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge flights within Canada, we offer coloring books to keep your kids entertained.

If you’re flying Air Canada to Europe, Asia, Australia or South America, your kids will get a backpack with an activity book and special earphones!


* Subject to availability.

Special Services

Meals

Special meals for infants and children are available on all of our international flights and in Air Canada Signature Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Premium Rouge on all flights.  You can order your special meal at time of booking on aircanada.com, or by contacting Air Canada Reservations at least 18 hours prior to departure.

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.

Change tables

All our aircraft (except the Beechcraft (BEH), Dash 8-300 (DH3) and Dash 8-100 (DH1) and most Canadair Regional Jets (CRJ)) 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’re also happy to support breastfeeding on board our aircraft, whenever safety permits.

Identification Requirements

Find out what travel documents your child needs to travel.

Child Welfare and Safety

Infants

For safety reasons, Air Canada recommends the use of a Child Restraint Device on board an aircraft rather than lap-holding your infant.

Children (age 2 and up)

Using a child restraint device is optional for children age 2 and up on an Air Canada aircraft. However, do not transition your child from a child restraint device to a seat belt if your child is not tall enough and their legs are too short to bend over the edge of the seat. These children are not ready to wear a seat belt only as they will tend to slide under the seat belt. Even when your child is properly seated, the seat belt will be pressing against their abdomen rather than on their hips. In an emergency situation, your child may be seriously or fatally injured.

Safety Regulations

Air Canada is bound by Transport Canada regulations with regard to acceptable child restraint devices.

  • Only approved child restraint devices can be used on board our aircraft. Most child restraint devices that are used in cars can be used on an 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.
  • 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 use of a child safety seat or restraint device is:
    • Mandatory for an infant under 2 occupying a seat. For the welfare and safety of your child, we recommend using a child restraint device for your child, especially during takeoff, landing and turbulence.
    • Optional for a small child, dependent on the manufacturer's guidelines for the device's maximum weigh.
  • 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.

Please consult our “Child Restraint Devices” tab to get information about acceptable Child Restraint Devices, Prohibited Child Restraint Devices, Exceptions on the Air Canada Signature Class, Weight Restrictions, Combination Systems, Checked Baggage rules and Carry-on Baggage rules.

The age of your child will determine which booking, seating and ticketing rules apply. Please refer to the ‘Children and Travel’ tab for guidance on how to make sure you and your child are seated close together.

Infants (under age 2)

  • To purchase a ticket for an infant, please call Air Canada Reservations.
    • Exception: If you are travelling within Canada with an infant on your lap, you may purchase their ticket online.
  • An infant as young as 7 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. Lap held infants are not adequately secure during takeoff, landing and turbulence. We recommend that you purchase a seat for your child and use a child restraint device.
    • An infant for whom a seat is purchased must be properly secured in an approved child restraint device.
    • Air Canada does not provide child restraint devices. See the ‘Child Restraint Policy’ tab on this page.

Children (age 2 to under age 12)

  • Travel within Canada or between Canada and the U.S.: Purchase your child’s ticket online or by calling Air Canada Reservations.
  • International travel: Call Air Canada Reservations to purchase a ticket for your child.
  • The use of an approved child restraint device is optional for children age 2 and up. See the ‘Child Restraint Devices’ tab.

Fares

  Infant (up to age 2) Child (over age 2)
Within Canada
  • Seated on adult’s lap: no charge
  • Own seat: adult fare
  • Own seat: adult fare
Canada/U.S.
  • Seated on adult’s lap: only taxes apply
  • Own seat: adult fare
  • Own seat: adult fare
International

† The discount on the adult fare does not apply to any taxes, fees, charges and surcharges.

†† The child’s fare applies only to children under age 12. Youngsters aged 12 and over pay the adult fare. If an infant's second birthday occurs between the departure and return segments of an international trip, you have the option to pay:

  • The full published child's fare for that flight (and be certain to have a confirmed seat both ways), or
  • The infant fare on the departure, and the published child's fare on the return.

Travelling with an infant or child in the Air Canada Signature Class cabin

  • With exceptions, child restraint devices are not permitted. Call Air Canada Reservations for details.
  • When occupying a Classic or Executive Pod in Air Canada Signature Class, a child age 2 to 11 must be seated directly in front of, directly behind or in an adjacent seat facing the accompanying parent or guardian.
  • The child and the accompanying guardian will receive a mandatory briefing on the safety features of the Air Canada Signature Class cabin prior to takeoff.
  • Please contact Air Canada Reservations whenever booking travel with young children in Air Canada Signature Class to ensure the availability of appropriate seating.

Bassinets

If you're travelling with a young (or small) 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.

  • Bassinets are assigned on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability at time of flight departure.
  • Bassinets may be provided on the following aircraft:
  • For safety reasons:
    • Bassinets can be used only for infants weighing less than 12 kg (25 lb) who are unable to sit upright.
    • The cabin crew is responsible for installing the bassinet once the seat belt sign has been turned off.
  • Please note that bassinets are installed at bulkhead rows where armrests do not lift.

Strollers

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.
Air Canada strongly recommends the use 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 heavy strollers can only be checked at the baggage counter because gate facilities in airports are not designed to accommodate them. 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.

Approved child restraint systems

Child 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 CARES™ 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 Air Canada Signature Class cabin.

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.

Prohibited Child Restraint Devices

  • 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

Air Canada Signature Class

  • For safety reasons, child restraint devices are not permitted in the Air Canada Signature Class cabin. Some exceptions apply. Contact Air Canada Reservations for details.
  • Infants under age 2 can travel in the Air Canada Signature Class cabin but must be held in the adult's lap.
  • When occupying a Classic or Executive Pod in Air Canada Signature Class, a child age 2 to 11 must be seated directly in front of, directly behind or in an adjacent seat facing the accompanying parent or guardian.
  • CARES™ child restraint devices cannot be installed in the Air Canada Signature Class cabin.
  • 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.
  • If you are travelling with a car seat for a child of 2 years and above, we recommend that you bring your car seat for use on board instead of checking it. Please refer to our Child Welfare and Safety section.

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 like 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.