Baggage allowances when flying with a baby

Travelling with a baby? Your days of travelling light are over for a while, so you’d better get used to it. As you become an expert family frequent flyer and your children get older, you’ll be able to trim back a bit.

For domestic flights, children aged two or more receive the same baggage allowance as adults.

Infants travelling without a ticket domestically (or on a 10% fare internationally) do not receive a baggage allowance. However most airlines, including Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin, Emirates and Singapore Airlines, allow one car/booster seat, portable cot and a pram or stroller as checked baggage per child free of charge.

Airlines provide this information on their websites and update it frequently. Always check at the time of booking as luggage allowances can change, especially with low-cost carrier.

Note that if you are flying with a low-cost carrier such as Jetstar, you have to buy your baggage allowance at the time of booking or before you fly. If you leave it till you get to the airport the charges can be much higher. Think carefully about how much luggage you will need; better to overestimate and spend an extra $15 than be slugged $70 or more at check-in.

Some airline fares do not have a checked baggage allowance at all, and again, you’ll get slugged at the airport if you end up travelling with too much stuff. If there’s a chance you need to travel with baggage (and with kids, you most likely will), choosing a higher, more flexible fare at the time of booking often makes economic sense.

Regulations vary for different airlines (even those on code-share arrangements sharing a long-haul route) and for travel to/from the US. Check the airline’s website for full details, as fare conditions and baggage allowances do change from time to time.