37 answers

Advice on Air Travel (Do We Need a Passport for a 7-Month Old?)

We have a 7-month old preemie (born 2 months early) who is doing fantastic. We have decided to take a trip to Miami for the weekend. The flight is only 2.5 hours so I'm guessing we can manage that however I'm very concerned about his identification and whether or not he needs a passport. I know it is not international travel but I have heard many stories about babies not being let on planes with just a birth certificate. His passport is in progress but will not be ready in time for our trip. Please advise!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks so much to all of the moms who have responded...I have found all of your feedback so very helpful. As it turns out, I received my son's passport in the mail today (much earlier than I expected) so we'll bring that just for safe measure! Thanks again!

Featured Answers

I would have no qualms about it. And I've never had any problems getting my daughter on the plane--even when she has her own seat. No one has ever asked for ID for her.

I started traveling with my daughter when she was 5 months old (she is now 2). All you need is a copy of her birth certificate although they usually do not even ask for that. I always give my daughter tylenyol before the flight to ease any ear pain, but she has always done great.

C.

you do not need a passport for a trip to Miami, If you are holding the baby, you will need his birth certificate (sounds ridiculous to have to prove his age at this point, but they still will require it). If he is getting his own seat, you don't need anything (at least for SouthWest). Have a nice trip

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We have two girls ages 4 and 3 and We have traveled to New york, Miami, Texas) and they have not required a passport for the girls. But I guess just to be sure you may want to call the airline

1 mom found this helpful

HI S.

My 2 1/2 year old has been traveling on planes since he was 8weeks old - I was told once that I needed the birth certificate but they never looked at it. I have never had any trouble getting him on the plane - he loves it. I do suggest though what really helps with their ears is either have them drinking his bottle or sucking on a pacifier. Our physician suggested that which was great when I flew home by my self when he was 8weeks old - he ate and then slept the rest of the way. My son is a thumb sucker so it was really easy for him. Best of luck - it is nice when you can take the car seat because they associate it like a car ride - we didn't do this till he was 2 and we had to purchase a seat for him- before that it was hard to keep him seated once he started walking.

I never had a problem traveling with DD as an infant. I would definitely carry a birth certificate just in case, but we have never been asked for it. You might want to call the airlines directly just to put your mind at ease. They should not be able to prohibit you from boarding without a passport on a domestic flight. In fact, it is not normal to ask for any id for children under age 16 or 17. Have a nice trip!

We've been traveling with my son (now 5) on airplanes since he was 7 months old. I've traveled with and without my husband and have never had a problem in presenting just his birth certificate.
We've flown from Richmond to Florida at least twice I can remember (once to Tampa and once to Miami) and his birth certificate was more than enough for them.
Have a great trip!

Hi S.,
My son was also a preemie. Fredis was 1 month early. I traveled to Chicago with him at 3 mos. You don't need a passport, but you will need either his birth certificate or the little birth notification that was initially sent to you in the mail. Also, make sure you give him either a bottle or a pacifier when taking off or landing. ;0)

You don't need a passport but you should add your child to your airline itinerary, even if they do not have a separate ticket. Having some form of identification is required I believe so have that birth certificate ready. Enjoy your trip.

YES, you do need a passport for the baby if you are traveling outside the country. You can also ask for a rush on the passport for an additional fee. You might want to call the passport agency you mailed to and ask them to expedite it quicker.

good luck,
IPB

I would have no qualms about it. And I've never had any problems getting my daughter on the plane--even when she has her own seat. No one has ever asked for ID for her.

you do not need a passport for a trip to Miami, If you are holding the baby, you will need his birth certificate (sounds ridiculous to have to prove his age at this point, but they still will require it). If he is getting his own seat, you don't need anything (at least for SouthWest). Have a nice trip

I have flown countless times with infants and have never needed a passport, I would think just a birth certificate and maybe his SS card. You do need to let the airline know prior to flying that you will have a lap child so when you check-in they will already have that information. If you ordered your tickets online, just call the airline directly and they can change the information their. Good luck and enjoy your trip!

The questions isn't for babies, it's for older children. Proving they are 2 or under, so they can fly for free, I never carried anything with my child, but airlines recommend a copy of your birth certificate. If you have that, they cannot deny you and there is no need to pay for a passport until you're ready to take your child out of the country (this being that your name is on the birth certificate). Have a great trip!!

S.,
I have been traveling with both of my children internationally and within the country from the time that they were only a few weeks old. I have never had to show anyone a birth certificate for either one of my children and only have to show their passport when we fly internationally. Of course things change all the time. I would give the airline a call and see what they say. Good luck and have a good trip.

Yes, you do need a passport for your 7-month old S.. I had to do an international travel myself with my 7 month old two years ago and had to pay extra money in order to expediate the passport process for my son.
All the best.

I'd call the airline you're using or surf their site for info. These days when it comes to air travel and new policies seem put into place or altered, it seems like going right to the source is the best way to get the answer! Maybe getting it through their email so you have proof someone gave you the answer they give you. It should be less complicated since you're not going out of the country! Have fun!

S.,
We've flown twice with our 6 month old and brought her birth certificate both times. On Southwest, they required it and actually looked at it. On Delta, they didn't require it. I would call customer service for the airline that you'll be flying to find out their specific policy.
Also, I would suggest asking about their "pre-boarding" policy - because I know Southwest doesn't offer that anymore!
E.

We've gone on two flights in the last year. (Mine is a year old) and took her birth certificate...they never even asked for any identification for her. If you're carrying your baby in arms make sure that your ticket is marked as such. Call the airline company and have them add it to your reservation. Other than that not much else has happened. I bring the B.C. just in case. Oh, and something we learned AFTER the first trip...(you can verify this on your companies website) but at least Northwest and Delta let you gate check the carseat and stroller. They don't count towards any of your luggage totals. Technically, your diaper bag doesn't even count as a carry on on Northwest. Wish I had known that the first time. Having the stroller in the terminal is VERY handy. And if it so happens that your flight is less than full they may let you use your carseat...which is nice when the baby just sleeps and you are free of holding them for a few minutes. As they get older it helps act as a restriction too. Sorry long answer to short question.

Hi S.,

We've traveled with our boys a lot (age 3 and 1)and I've found that you only need a birth certificate. Actually, they rarely ask for that but sometimes the airline has asked for it so they can verify our son's age (after age 2 they must have their own seat). We just flew to CA last week and I never had to show any identification for either boy.

I am currently writing to you from Florida (we came her eby plane this past Friday) - so, here's the most recent experience you'll need. I called AirTran's Customer Service number because I have a 23 month old daughter and (of course) no real identification for her. I was going to take her birth certificate but I wanted to call to make sure that nothing else was needed. He told me that all I needed was an ORIGINAL birth certificate for my daughter. I got to the airport and they didn't even ask me for any form of ID for her. (I guess they've got other more important matters to deal with). So, there you have it...just take their original birth certificate but you may not need it. It's better to just cover all bases. :-) GOod Luck and if you have any other questions, please feel free to E-Mail me at ____@____.com Luck!

no need for passport for flight within US

you don't need a passport to go to Miami -- no one traveling to miami would need to show one as a form of ID. If your name matches the baby's last name, it usually doesn't alarm the ticket agent to check the baby's birth certificate. If you're traveling without the father, then might ask to see the baby's birth certificate. I would think that a copy of the original would be sufficient. On this page it says that children are not required to show ID, http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/index.shtm, however it doesn't hurt to carry a copy of the baby's birth certificate.

S.,
I have two kids whom we take to California once or twice a year. (We live in VA) My oldest was only 7 months when we took her for the first time. They are both over 3 now, and the only thing that I have ever had to have was a birth certificate or a shot record. I guess the easiest thing to do would be to call the 1-800 number for the airline you are flying with and ask them but I'm pretty sure that the birth certificate will do. Good luck to you and your little one on the flight. At that size, mine were both pretty happy on the flight and were really interested at watching all of the other people. They loved standing on our laps and looking around at all the new faces! Hope all goes well and that you have a wonderful trip!

you need nothing. for a baby that young you do not even need a birth cert. if you want to bring someting only bring a copy of the birth cert,you do not want to loose it. the only thing you need to do is tell the airline before day of travel you are bringing a baby. I was a airline employee for many years this is a common question you should also be able to bring a additional diaper bag, stroller, car seat for free. call the airline to verify.

We just traveled domestically with our 6 month old and 4 year old and we didn't bring a birth certificate or an ID for my older child. Just be sure the airlines know that you will have a lap child in advance. The only time I've needed an ID for a child is when we flew overseas with our daughter when she was an infant.

Be sure to notify the airline that you will be traveling with an "infant" so that he is noted on your ticket (assuming he will not have his own seat.) Bring his birth certificate and that's all you'll need. You definitely want to let them know he'll be a lap-child because you may encounter problems if you show up and there is no mention of him on your tickets.

We found out that we needed a passport for our 9 mth old to go to Mexico. We have not needed in for domestic flying...what we have found out is that the infant still needs a paper ticket sometimes or at least noted on one of your tickets. Even if they are on your lap. They have always put the babies name on either my ticket or my husbands. We love flying with our kid...hope it works for you too. Have very low expectations and it will be fun. T.

I have flown with my son, now 1, on 6 separate round trips beginning from when he was 2 months old, all domestic. We've only been asked for a birth certificate once. Otherwise, just remember to call the airline before the trip to let them know you will have a lap child and they will give you any airline specific instructions they may have and note it on your ticket. I've left this call as late as a week before and never had any problems. Enjoy!

I started traveling with my daughter when she was 5 months old (she is now 2). All you need is a copy of her birth certificate although they usually do not even ask for that. I always give my daughter tylenyol before the flight to ease any ear pain, but she has always done great.

C.

You should not need a passport. We have traveled tons with our 11 month old daughter, starting when she was 2 months old. We have flown everything from 1 hour trips to across the country and to Mexico. For domestic flights, you only need a valid (original) birth certificate or shot record (we used the latter before her birth certificate had been processed). If you are still concerned, call the airline ahead of time, they should have in their records you are flying with an infant so it shouldn't be a problem. Have fun!

I've never had trouble getting my daughter on a flight. Just make sure you have a birth certificate and the parents on the paper is the same as on your drivers lic. So there isn't any mix up. I suggest you use a car seat for you little one, some suggest getting one seat for you and your child but i would never suggest that. I always took a carseat it's worth the extra money to keep you little one safe. Also hold isn't nessacary since your child should be used to setting in a car seat and knows there isn't holding involved in a car where there is a seat. My daughter did VERY well on a plane at 5 to 7mo. She stayed in her seat very well i didn't have to hold her unless i took her to the bathroom with me. good luck and don't worry about the flight and your daughter. they don't even ask about a birth certificate except when you get on.

Hello S.!

I have a now 20 month old daughter and I have been traveling (flying) with her both nationally and internationally since she was 6 weeks old. For all of the national flights they only required a birth certificate, mostly to verify the age of the child. When I traveled internationally they have asked for her passport and one time for her birth certificate as well. I have not had any problems in either case with the travel agents at the airport. Once I have shown the birth certificate at the ticketing counter they put a special notice on your boarding pass to show that you are traveling with a child which is important for getting through security.

I hope this helps. Have a great trip!

My husband and I traveled with our daughter on planes within the US twice: once in Dec. 06/Jan. 07 when she was 7 months old, and once in Nov. 07 when she was 18 months. Both times we had her birth certificate with us, but were NEVER asked by ANYONE about identification for her. It actually seemed kind of strange to me that you could just walk onto a plane with a baby. Before boarding one flight (a total of 4 flights each trip), the man at the gate asked us for her name and date of birth, and I guess he was confirming it on the computer screen in front of him, from the info we provided when we bought our tickets.

I flew with my daughter in Sept 2007 when she was only 2.5 months old and I only needed her birth certificate but I also took her Social Security # just in case they needed a second form of ID. Also it is required both parents be present with ID even though the child is "paired up" with one parent on their travel ticket if traveling as a lap child if not they have their own ticket if you paid for a seat. I don't think the rules have changes since then but to be on the safe side I would call the airline to double check so it's one less thing you have to worry about. Have a GREAT trip!!!!

Hi S.!

Speaking as a travel agent of 17 years, NO ONE needs to have a passport for travel domestically and while adults need a positive form of identification to get on an airplane, children do not.

I would strongly suggest you make sure to bring a bottle with you (unless you plan on nursing both at take off and landing). Drinking makes the baby swallow and thus prevents problems with changes in ear pressure.

Please feel free to ask me any other travel questions you might have! I love traveling and have been doing it ever since I was the age of your boy! :)

D.

Hi! You dont need identification for kids unless it is international. My children and I travel extensively both within the country and out. My 2 older ones were on planes before they were a month old (my 2nd one, I took her on a 6 hour flight when she was just 3 days old, they didnt even know I had her).

C. (widowed mother of 3 girls ages 4,6, 8)

I have flown with my daughter a hand full of times at the following ages: 7 weeks, 12 weeks, and 5 months. I have never had to show ID for her (Northwest Airlines nor TSA have asked for ID!) If you are still worried, I would contact the airline and ask.

No, you do not need a passport. I have flown mutiple times with my 2 kids (age 3 and 5), since my first son was 2 months old. No one has ever asked for any ID for either kid, except when we took them to England. The airlines would never NOT let an infant board with a parent. Good luck. S. G

Passports are only needed for out of country travel, not domestic. You may need birth certificate or shot record as proof of age. Depends on the airline. Call them and find out their policies.

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