Flying SAS with a Baby or Toddler – Our Experience and Review

Traveling with a toddler is considered a daunting experience for many parents, especially when it involves long flights. I’m here to tell you after over 100 flights with my 20 month old, it really doesn’t have to be.

My recent journey with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) on our trip to Norway with our toddler was a comfortable, easy experience. From the booking process to in-flight amenities, here’s a detailed account of my experience flying SAS with my toddler and everything to know before you fly with them:

Booking Process and Adding a Lap Infant

flying sas with a baby toddler

The booking process for our SAS flight was straightforward. We initially booked our tickets online through the SAS website, which is user-friendly and intuitive. When traveling with a toddler under two years old, you have the option to add them as a lap infant or book a separate seat for them. We’ve been milking flying business and having our toddler on our laps as much as we can for longer flights, and were lucky enough to find a decent cash deal on this one.

During the booking process, there’s an option to include a lap infant. SAS allows you to add the infant’s details (name and date of birth) at the time of booking. The additional cost for a lap infant is almost always 10% of the adult fare plus taxes. Children aged 2-11 who travel with a person over age 16 get a discount of up to 25%, depending on the destination, price and booking class.

Even as a lap infant, my child was entitled to certain baggage allowances and amenities.

Stroller and Car Seat Check Policies

flying sas with a baby toddler

One of the biggest concerns for parents traveling with young children is the handling of strollers and car seats. SAS has clear and accommodating policies for these essential items. You can check a stroller and a car seat for free, in addition to your regular baggage allowance.

At the airport, the stroller can be used up to the gate, which is incredibly convenient. You simply inform the staff at the check-in counter that you will be gate-checking the stroller. At the gate, an airline staff member tags the stroller, and you leave it at the aircraft door before boarding. Upon arrival, the stroller is usually returned at the aircraft door, or at the baggage claim area depending on the airport’s policy.

For car seats, you have two options: you can check it in with your luggage or bring it on board if you have purchased a separate seat for your child. If you decide to bring it on board, ensure that it is approved for airplane use. We use the Cosco scenera, but you could also consider using a CARES harness (read my CARES vs. car seat comparison).

You could also consider a ride-along suitcase. We still travel with a stroller that can fit in the overhead bin as well, but if your child is at the independence age and hates the stroller, they may be open to the suitcase. Ours thinks it’s so much fun!

Bassinet Policies on SAS

flying sas with a baby toddler

For longer flights, SAS provides bassinets for infants under 11 kg (about 24 lbs). When booking your flight, it’s crucial to contact SAS customer service to request a bassinet. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s advisable to make this request as early as possible.

You’ll also have to be in a bulkhead seat to attach the bassinet to the wall, so keep this in mind when booking. Some airlines like Emirates and Singapore save these seats for those traveling with lap infants, but most airlines like United do not.

I’ve also never been on a flight with any airline that did not have changing tables in the bathrooms.

Extra Amenities for Families

flying sas with a baby toddler

SAS stands out for its thoughtful amenities aimed at making the journey smoother for families with young children. Here are some of the extra services and amenities we experienced:

Toys and Activity Kits: While most airlines we’ve flown, including Qatar, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Emirates, and Singapore all provide toys or in the case of Qatar and Emirates, full on amenity kits for young kids, SAS didn’t have anything to offer. This isn’t a huge deal as we always come prepared with travel toys, but it’s worth knowing!

They do, however, have extensive entertainment for kids onboard! Bring your own headphones.

Lap infant baggage allowance: SAS offers those traveling with lap infants up to 23kg of checked baggage for the infant, which is a nice perk that not every airline offers. They note that lap infants do not get carry on allowance, though there’s no mention of an exception for diaper bags, which most airlines have. We were allowed to bring our diaper bag and Joolz Aer stroller on without any issues.

Special Meals: SAS offers special meals for kids. You can preorder Kids’ meals on flights longer than 80 minutes within Europe when you fly in SAS Plus, and in all travel classes to the rest of the world. Meals must be ordered 24 hours before departure by contacting SAS Customer Service when travelling in SAS Business or SAS Plus. When travelling in SAS Go to/from Asia and North America you request your special meal online.

They don’t appear to offer puree. I also recommend always traveling with baby food and definitely formula if needed just in case. You’re allowed to bring liquids over the limit through security when it’s for a baby or toddler.

flying sas with a baby toddler

For adults, I thought this was some of the nicest food I’d ever had on an airline, which really surprised me! Since our son just eats what we eat, he had some of our food.

Priority Boarding: Families with young children are given priority boarding, allowing us to settle in without the rush of other passengers. This extra time was beneficial for getting my toddler comfortable and organized before the rest of the passengers boarded, and some airlines (cough cough, Southwest) don’t offer this until way into the boarding process.

In-Flight Experience with SAS

flying sas with a baby toddler

The in-flight experience on SAS was generally positive, especially with a toddler in tow. The cabin crew was exceptionally attentive and understanding of the needs of families with young children on our flight out. On the way back, they were still friendly but not overly so.

This is always just going to depend on who you get that day. I’ve had amazing experiences before with flight attendants who clearly just loved kids. Still, service was good and I have no complaints.

Comfort and Space: The seat configuration in business class was perfect for a toddler. We had a completely open center space that gave him room to wander around a bit and not be strapped to our laps.

Cabin Crew Assistance: The cabin crew were attentive and regularly checked in to see if we needed anything. They were quick to offer assistance with putting hot water in bottles when I asked.

Lavatories: The lavatories were equipped with changing tables, making diaper changes mid-flight manageable. The changing tables were a bit cramped but functional, and the flight attendants were quick to point out a free lavatory when they saw me approach with my son.

Overall Impression of SAS

flying sas with a baby toddler

Flying with a toddler on SAS was a positive experience overall. We had no idea what to expect from them since it’s not an airline I’d heard much about prior to our flight, honestly. They aren’t quite on the level of Singapore (which will always be #1 in my heart) or Emirates or Qatar, but I’d put them in their business class in the same category as United’s Polaris. It was nice, and I’d fly them again.

Though they didn’t go above and beyond to be family friendly, they don’t make it hard to travel as a family, either.

If you’re planning a trip with a toddler or infant, SAS is certainly worth considering for its family-friendly approach and attention to detail.

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