alaska air

Not all airlines are created equal, and that is putting it mildly. From booking to boarding, checked bags and carry on, you will feel the difference on every flight you take. Learn the ins and outs of the airlines you may travel on your next trip with your family. Knowledge is power; if you need to get that stroller gate-checked or can only carry on one small bag, wouldn’t you like to know ahead of time? Please note that you should double check with your carrier before you arrive. Rules and regulations do change faster than I can update this page. 

Checked bags

  • What can you be charged for? 
    • Suitcases of any size (check weight limit. Most airlines are 40-50 lbs max.)
    • Skis, snowboards, surfboards, golf clubs, and other large sporting equipment
    • Almost everything you could possibly hand an agent at the ticket counter to go into the cargo hold
    • Baggage fees for Airlines in the United States (2013 edition)
  • What is free? 
    • Car seats
    • Strollers
    • Some airlines allow one free checked bag

Airport Security

Navigating airport security with kids can be daunting. It is possible to do it smoothly and without too much stress as long as you are prepared. Your child can not go through security in a stroller or car seat. You will have to carry him/her. Your liquids are dependent of how old your child is. Are they eating baby food, nursing or getting a bottle? I’ve got the tips you need and a run down on how we get through security with two kids in tow.

Gate checked items

  • Strollers
  • Car seats (unless you are bringing it on board)
  • Optional
    • Small travel cribs: pack n’ plays and Baby Bjorn cribs will have to go with your checked bags (for a fee), but smaller cribs like the Phil & Ted Traveler or Lotus Baby crib can be carried on board as long as they fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment
    • Carry-on suitcases: if the plane is overcrowded, or if it’s a small puddle-jumper, you may be asked to gate check your carry-on bags. Make sure you take out all electronics and medications. This bag is less likely to get lost, but it is still a possibility.

Airplane Safety

Airplane arm rests: There are unknown dangers lurking in the arm rest of your airplane seat. Corinne, from Have Baby Will Travel, investigates why airlines aren’t doing more to cover sharp parts of seats that could seriously damage your baby’s fingers if caught in the armrest.

Airlines in alphabetical order

Air Canada

Alaska Airlines

British Airways

Cathay Pacific

Frontier Airways

Porter Airlines




US Airways

United Airlines


Before you book

Are budget airlines really cheaper? Bethaney, from Flashpacker Family, does a cost analysis of fares, plus all of the hidden fees to see how these so-called “budget” airlines stack up.