The Ultimate Guide to Booking a Bassinet for Your Baby on a Plane

Did you guys know you can get a bassinet for your baby (for free!) on your next big international flight? That’s right, flying with a baby just got so much easier.

What is an airplane bassinet?

An airplane bassinet for babies is an in-flight bassinet cot (sometimes detachable, sometimes built-in) that is available on most international large flights for those flying with an infant in-lap. To use an airplane bassinet, you’ll need to call the airline ahead of time (they are usually first-come, first-serve) and request them. Then, make sure you are in the bulkhead as the bassinets are always set up on the bulkhead seats. Different airlines have different policies regarding booking and/or using bassinets (see below). Most are for babies six-months-old or younger, and have a weight limit of about 20 lbs. They also can only be used for babies who are not yet able to sit upright unassisted (which makes sense, since you don’t want your baby trying to climb out of the bassinet mid-flight!).

Do you need to book a separate ticket for a baby in a bassinet?

On most airlines, children under 2 fly free as an in-lap infant. This means you do not need to purchase a separate ticket for a baby if you’re planning on using a bassinet. Bassinets are first-come, first-serve and if you are able to reserve one for your baby that will be their ‘seat’ on the plane (besides takeoff and landing) should they want to use it!

Do bassinets on the plane cost extra for babies?

Bassinets do not cost extra. They are first-come, first-serve and there are a limited amount available (and unfortunately not every flight has them!). Also, depending on your airline, sometimes the bulkhead seat costs more than a basic economy fare, so it could end up being a little more to get the seats with access to the bassinet (but the bassinet is not technically extra).

How do you reserve a bassinet on the plane for your baby?

Call the airline immediately after booking your flight and ask that you request a bassinet. Also ask that they book you to the bulkhead seats. Do not make my rookie mistake and request the bassinet but  not double check that your seats are in the bulkhead! That’s what happened to me on our first flight trying to use a bassinet for our baby. 

What are different airlines’ baby bassinet details?

Many airlines have in-flight bassinets for babies. Search for your airline’s unique bassinet requirements and how big they are by Googling “X airline bassinet” and it should come up!

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Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.