Flying on Alaska Airlines with a Baby – Our Experience and Review

Flying Alaska Airlines with a baby isn’t so different from other major US carriers.

We’re a well traveled family, with my son flying over 100 times now by a year and a half old, including on Alaska Airlines up to Vancouver via Seattle. Here’s everything to know about their infant and baggage policies before you fly on Alaska Airlines with your little one:

Booking on Alaska Airlines with a Baby

travel with a car seat

When on the booking page, you’ll be able to select ‘infant under two traveling on lap.’ Upon checking out, you’ll be able to enter your baby’s info and get the confirmation without having to call. I highly recommend doing this as I’ve run into issues with other airlines (like United and others have with American) by adding a lap infant later over the phone.

Thankfully unlike some airlines (looking at you, American) you can also add the lap infant on international fares without having to call. Keep in mind it’s standard that you’ll have to pay taxes and fees, and sometimes 10% of the adult fare, when flying internationally with a lap infant.

If your baby is a little older and your flight is long, though, I recommend booking your baby or toddler their own seat. I started doing this from one year of age and it is SO MUCH easier. On my Alaska flight when I was traveling solo with my baby for our Alaska cruise, he had his own seat.

Every US airline that I’m aware of will only allow one infant per lap and one infant per row due to oxygen mask availability. Babies of any age are permitted to fly with Alaska Airlines, and as is standard across the industry, those over 2 years of age must fly in their own seat.

Alaska Airlines Strollers, Baggage, and Gate Check Policies

how to travel with a car seat

Each airline is a bit different with what their gate and baggage check policies are with lap infants. Just because one airline allows diaper bags in addition to carry ons doesn’t mean the next one will, and that includes Alaska Airlines.

I was actually surprised to see the policy of diaper bags counting as a carry on, since every other airline I’ve flown has not counted them against carry on allowance. Keep this in mind when packing for your trip.

Alaska Airlines will check car seats and strollers as either hold luggage or at the gate free of charge. You’re allowed to bring both all the way to the gate if you wish, which in contrast to American Airlines which will only gate check one, is a nice perk.

Free checked baggage for strollers also applies to stroller-wagons that are designed to carry children and are collapsible to under 90 linear inches and 35 pounds. For anything larger, standard checked baggage fees apply.

If you do book your infant in their own seat and wish to bring a car seat onboard, make sure it’s an FAA-approved one. We flew with our UPPAbaby Mesa when we flew on Alaska Airlines. Provided your child is between 22-40lbs, you may alternatively use a CARES harness, which I have mixed feelings about.

Keep in mind restraint systems cannot be used in exit rows, aisle seats, or rows immediately in front of or behind exit rows.

Flying with Alaska Airlines- Family Boarding, Meals, and Bassinets

Like most airlines, Alaska Airlines has family boarding pretty early on in the boarding process. Each airline is different with regards to the age cut off. Southwest is a bit unique in that they allow those with children six and under to board early, but this is because they don’t have assigned seats. For Alaska Airlines, it’s those with children aged two and under. If you’re traveling with additional family members, Alaska’s policy is that everyone can board with the soonest boarding group.

Unfortunately Alaska Airlines does not appear to offer bassinets or infant meals. While some airlines will provide these amenities, particularly for long haul flights, Alaska does not. This is likely because Alaska’s flights are mostly within North America and aren’t nearly as long as our past 15 hour flights on Singapore Airlines, Emirates, and Qatar Airlines, all of which offered extensive amenities for babies.

I was offered a set of pin-on wings for Felix when we flew Alaska, though, which is more than I can say for any other US airline, so there’s that!

Overall, Alaska is fine to fly with a baby. They offer the standard amenities, however the carry on baggage allowance is a bit different than what I’m used to, so plan ahead for that.

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