This review is based on the experience of my friend, Samantha, who has flown with her baby on British Airways on 2 occasions. On the first occasion she flew from London to San Francisco when her baby was 3 months old (find out more here) and again from London to Nice when her baby was 6 months old.
Planning your Flight
As of June 2013, British Airways charge 10% of the adult fare for babies sitting on their parents lap. If you would like a separate seat for your baby you will need to pay a child fare. This can’t be booked online so you will need to phone up.
British Airways allow parents travelling with babies on their laps to reserve a seat free of charge for the whole party as soon as you have made your booking. This means that you have the reassurance that your party won’t be split up and seated away from each other – one less thing to worry about!
If you are going on a long haul flight or want your baby to sleep on the flight, it is possible to book a carrycot free of charge. In order to do this you need to reserve a seat in the carrycot position of the aeroplane. If you would prefer your baby to stay awake or sit up during the flight, you can reserve a child seat which will attach to the carrycot position. These are carried on board (subject to availability) so make sure that you reserve seats in the carrycot position when you book so you have this option.
Forward facing car seats can be used only if you have purchased a separate seat for your baby.
Online Check in
This is very easy to use, and means you have one less thing to think about on the day. Online check in is available from up to 24 hours prior to departure.
At the Airport
Take your baggage to the Bag Drop area. Staff tagged the buggy frame and car seat so we could use it in the airport and take to the aircraft door.
At the departure gate, make yourself known to the cabin crew as you will be invited to board the plane first so that you can get yourself settled. If you are travelling with a pushchair, you will be asked to fold this up and leave it at the aircraft door so it can be put in the hold. It will then be returned to you either on arrival at your destination or will appear on the baggage carousel.
BA Cabin Crew
The BA staff are great, especially the male stewards who helped us with all our equipment onboard. They offered us water and blankets on our short flight and the basinet on the long haul flight. They tried to get our baby a log book for the captain to sign but unfortunately had run out on French flight!
Is BA a baby friendly airline?
Yes. They don’t charge extra for carrying babies on laps and supply bassinets, carrycots and child seats free of charge. The cabin crew are really helpful too and help as much as they can during the fight
Useful Advice for travelling with babies on British Airways (BA)
Make yourself known at the Gate and make full use of your right to board first.
Don’t worry about what people will think if your baby starts crying. The aircraft engines are quite loud anyway so they will be likely to drown out the noise of a small baby crying (not a toddler though!!)
Don’t be afraid to ask to take the car seat on (if that’s your buggy combination).
If you are breast feeding, feed your baby at takeoff and landing to manage the air pressure.
For more info about flying with babies on BA click here