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Flying Air France with a Baby or Toddler: What to Know

We have flown with pretty much every major airline in the world with our two kids ever since they were babies. Most of the time I can say that most airlines, despite different policies, have been fine for flying with a baby or toddler, there are only three airlines that I tend to avoid when flying with kids after numerous fails: American Airlines, Air France, and British Airways.

Air France doesn’t get many good reviews, whether you’re flying Air France with a baby or solo. Here’s how to prepare for flying Air France with a baby and know about their infant policy and luggage restrictions.

Flying with Infant on Air France

Air France accepts newborns as young as 7 days old and classifies any children up to 2 years old as an infant. While Air France doesn’t have their own document requirements when flying with babies, don’t forget to check the documentation requirements of your destination country as this can change from place to place. 

In terms of seating options, your choices with Air France are pretty standard. Kids under 2 years old can either sit on your lap, sit in their own seat with an approved car seat, or sometimes sleep in a bassinet (long haul flights only). 

Of course, there are special requirements for each of these options that I will go into more detail throughout the post, but something important to note right off the bat if you are traveling alone with babies is that Air France allows one adult to travel with two infants only if one of them is in an individual seat.

Infant Food on Air France 

While it’s recommended to pack your own food when traveling with infants, for flights that are over 2.5 hours you can request baby food to be provided onboard for your little one.

As you might know, French are crazy about food and feeding kids absolutely everything from the early days, so your little ones won’t go hungry.

You’ll be given a selection of organic jars of baby food and baby cookies, but it must be requested at least 48 hours before your flight. You can request it on their website

Even though it’s great to have this option, it’s always a risk as you don’t know if your baby will like what is provided so it’s important to have a backup just in case. 

Flying Air France with a Baby

Air France Lap Infant Policy

Flying with an infant in arms on Air France is the cheapest option you have as it costs just 10% of the adult fee to add a baby to your booking on international flights and is free on domestic French flights. 

You will have to secure your baby facing forward with a seatbelt extender that attaches to your own for take-off and landing as well as any time the seat belt sign is turned on. This means it can be pretty uncomfortable (and especially hard to breastfeed) if you are unlucky enough to get a particularly bumpy long flight. 

For some seats, you can easily add a lap infant to your booking online at the time of reservation, but if you don’t see this as an option or are adding them after the fact, you will have to call the airline to arrange this.

Note, that if you are trying to book seats in La Première business class cabin, you cannot add infants online and will have to call to arrange special conditions.

Baby Facilities When Flying Air France with a Baby

Onboard you can expect to find change tables in the lavatories on all flights. On long-haul international flights, you will be given a special baby kit. The baby kit contains a cute bunny comforter, plus a matching pouch and an organic baby cleansing care product which is a nice touch when you’re flying with a baby for long distances. 

If you read reviews online you may also find that the cabin crew on Air France have mixed reviews when it comes to helping with children. Some people have experienced extra kind and caring staff who were happy to assist a mother with their hands full and others will say that they refused to help.

Most of the time, the staff will more likely ignore you, or give you an eye-sight when an infant is crying, than smile and say “what a cute baby!”

Air France Car Seat Policy

If you choose to have your infant seated in a car seat, it’s important to make sure you are following all of the regulations, otherwise, they will make you have your infant in your arms for the whole flight instead. 

Firstly, you must pick your seat wisely as there are quite a few different seats where you can’t use a car seat. You can’t use a car seat or hardness in Premium Economy on any flights nor in La Premiere Cabin or Business Class on most planes (all Boeing 787, Airbus A330, or certain Boeing 777).

On Airbus A350 aircraft you can use these devices in business class, but not in the center seats. Generally, car seats also can’t be installed in exit row or aisle seats regardless of the class.

Assuming you’ve chosen appropriate seats, it’s also your responsibility to make sure your car seat is installed correctly.

You’re allowed to have it rear-facing during take-off and landing but you’ll be asked to re-adjust the seat to a forward-facing position when the seatbelt sign is turned off so that you don’t prevent the seat in front of you from being able to recline. Which, makes many car seat, especially infant bucket seats, unusable on board.

Accepted Car Seats on Air France

Only car seats with a CARES-approved (Child Aviation Restraint System) harness will be accepted for use on Air France flights and they must be compatible with your child’s height and weight. 

Car seats must not be bigger than 44 cm/17.3 as they are required to fit completely within the airplane seats. If your seat is in the first row of the economy cabin where the seats are narrower, your car seat can’t be larger than 42 cm / 16.54 in.

Air France Baggage Allowance for Infants and Kids

Kids over 2 years old and babies who have their own allocated seats are entitled to the same amount of baggage as adults for both carry-on and checked luggage provided you are traveling on a ticket that includes baggage. 

If you’ve opted to have your infant fly on your lap, the Air France baby policy allows you an additional 12kg of hand luggage and up to 10kg of checked luggage. In addition to this allowance, you can bring one foldable stroller and one car seat per infant. 

Keep in mind that Air France will very often weigh your luggage and make you fit it in the designated container, especially at Paris CDG airport. Even if the flight isn’t full and there’s plenty of space in overhead bins, on a few occasions the staff made us check our carry-on.

Bassinet on Air France

If you’re flying on a long-haul flight with Air France and your baby is under 10kg/22lbs and 70cm/27in, you may be eligible for an airplane bassinet.

Bassinets are located in the bulkhead seats in Business, Premium Economy, and Economy cabins but are limited in number, so if you’re hoping for this option it’s best to book as early as possible. 

How to Reserve a Bassinet/Carrycot on Air France

To reserve a bassinet in advance on Air France you will need to contact their customer service at least 48 hours before your flight. The best way to do this is to call straight after you make your booking to have the best shot at availability. 

With Air France, you can actually pay to reserve a bassinet seat in advance to guarantee your spot and it’s usually pretty affordable. But if you don’t want to pay, you can try your luck and wait until advanced reservations have closed (around 50 hours before your flight).

At that point, they will automatically try and assign bassinets for free to anyone flying with lap infants but priority is usually given to the youngest babies. 

Toddler flying Air France from Paris to Stockholm

Air France Stroller Policy

When flying Air France with a baby you can check one folding stroller per child free of charge in addition to your regular luggage. Stollers that are going to be checked in cannot exceed 55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm in dimension when closed.

The only airplane stroller that according to Air France stroller policy can be taken on board is Babyzen Yoyo, but there might be expectations to it depending on the size. Any stroller has to be placed in a stroller bag to be taken on board and there are no exceptions.

If you prefer to bring the stroller into the cabin with you, you can, however it will replace your baby’s hand luggage allowance so diaper bag won’t be allowed.

It must be smaller than 15 cm x 30 cm x 100 cm (5.9 in x 11.8 in x 39.4 in) and again carried in a comprehensive carry case. It’s also important to note that storing your stroller in the cabin is also subject to available space. If the flight is fully booked you may be asked to gate-check it. 

Gate Checking Baby Items

Generally, you are allowed to take your stroller all the way to the gate when flying with Air France where it will either be gate checked or taken aboard. Stroller wagons and double strollers are often refused if they’re too big to go through certain security areas.

Especially if you’re flying in or out of Terminal 1 at Paris CDG Airport, bigger strollers can’t be taken or brought to the gate, as going through the terminal requires a long ride on leveled escalators where strollers aren’t permitted.

You should always check ahead at the ticket counter as this may change depending on the airport and route.

While you are also entitled to check a car seat for your baby free of charge, you cannot gate-check any baby items other than a stroller, so you’ll have to do this at the ticket desk. 

Flying with a Toddler on Air France (Over 2 Years Old)

Kids over 2 years old or any baby who is flying in a car seat will generally pay around 80% of the adult’s fare on short trips and around 70% on long-haul flights. You’ll also be guaranteed that if you are flying with kids under 11 years old they will be seated with at least one adult from your party. 

Onboard traveling kids can look forward to receiving a fun pack that includes games, coloring books, and other types of entertainment suited to their age in addition to the inflight entertainment that includes plenty of child-friendly cartoons. 

Kid’s Meal Options on Air France

If your youngster is between ages 2 and 8 years old, they will automatically be allocated a kids meal which means there is no need for you to pre-request it for toddlers. These meals are fun and colorful while also being organic, balanced, and kid-friendly foods. They also come pre-cut and ahead of regular food service so you can enjoy your own meal in peace

If your kids are 9 or over you have the choice of ordering them a kids meal in advance online or for them to receive the regular adult meal. Note that if you want to pre-order a kids meal for your older children you must do this at least 24 hours in advance. 

Are Airplane Beds for Baby or Toddler Allowed?

No, unfortunately, airplane beds and other large sleep devices are not allowed on Air France flights due to safety regulations. 

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