I'm traveling with small children. What tips can you offer?

  • If infants (even newborns) don't have a DoD ID Number then they need a Passport. SSN only is no longer accepted (as of Jan 2017)
  • Infant Life Preservers (LPU-6/P): Most aircraft will have a limited number of infant life preservers (commonly known as "infant cots") in case of an in-flight emergency over water. If the infant cot capability is maxed out then any further passengers with infants can't be manifested (get seats) on that flight (doesn't happen often, but it does happen so be prepared). Per regs the LPU-6/P Infant Cot is required for infants under 2 years of age or under 30 lbs.
  • Infant Car Seats: They are not mandatory, however, AMC encourages children be restrained in car seats. IAW FAA Directives, booster seats, harnesses, and child restraint vests shall not be used. Most travelers will find a car seat useful especially with the web seating on some cargo flights. In addition, if you need to rent a car to get to/from your Space-A departure/arrival points a child seat may be needed to comply with local laws.
  • NOTE:  Strollers and Car Seats can be checked as part of your baggage or gate-checked depending on the mission and neither count against the passenger’s normal baggage allowance.
  • Infant Milk, Juice: TSA rules have been relaxed for breast milk, formula and juices - volumes in excess of the standard 3 ounces for liquids need to be declared before the security checkpoint. See this TSA page for info. Juices and water are normally available on AMC aircraft so powder formula is allowed and recommended.
  • Meals and Food:  If ordering a meal for the flight ask if Cheese or PBJ sandwiches are options at the check in counter. If you wish to bring your own food snacks this is fine.
  • Documentation:  If traveling without sponsor then each child (regardless of age) needs to be included on the dependent travel memo.  Also, children age 10 and over are required to have an ID card for Space-A travel.
  • Clothing:  Some aircraft types can be extremely cold during flight so please make sure infants/children can be warmly dressed if needed (layer!).  Toddlers (like adults) are required to wear solid shoes, no open toed footwear, sandals, or Crocs are permitted (Patriot Express flights are probably the exception).
  • Assigned Seats:  Every passenger (including children and infants) is required to have an assigned seat so if there is one seat left and you are next in line and there is more than one person traveling then they will skip over you until they get to the next single passenger.

Here's some specific items and suggestions provided by a mom:

Finally, if the child is not accompanied by both parents and you're going overseas, then some folks recommend the adult have a note from the child's other parent acknowledging that they are aware of the trip.  For more details please see the info listed CBP's info for Children Traveling with One Parent.