Are there any restrictions for acceptance of infants on Air New Zealand flights?
Air New Zealand classes an infant between 0 to 23 months old, and children between 2 and 11 years inclusive. There aren’t any age restrictions for infants in Air New Zealand flights.
Adults 15 years and over (16 years or older on flights to/from Canada) may travel with a child in their care. For safety reasons, children under the age of 15 may not hold infants, and an adult can hold only one infant.
When is required to purchase a ticket and reserve a seat for my baby?
Children under the age of 2 for the entire journey are not required to have a seat reserved for them. Infants not occupying a seat and accompanied by an adult can travel paying an infant fare but must be held by the accompanying adult. If the infant turns 2 years of age at any point of the journey, then the infant must occupy a seat, and you are required to purchase a child fare for the entire journey.
If one adult passenger is traveling with more than one infant under 2 years old, he/she will need to reserve a seat for the additional infant and pay a child’s fare. The additional infant must be restrained in an approved infant car seat, which the adult passenger must provide.
Children between 2 and 11 years of age including are always required to have their own seat reserved. You can reserve a seat for your baby even if you are not required, but you do not want to hold your baby for the entire flight on your lap. The use of an approved infant car seat is required, and the child’s fare will apply.
Are there any discounts for children and infants traveling on Air New Zealand flights?
Child and infant fares can be booked online for all Air New Zealand flights if the child or infant is traveling with an adult.
On international flights, an infant pays 10% of the adult fare. On domestic flights, the infant travels free of charge. In both cases, the infant is not allocated a seat and must be held on your lap.
Children from 2 years to 11 years pay 75% of the adult fare on long-haul international flights, except in Business Class. There is no child discount for New Zealand domestic, Tasman and Island fares.
Children and infants with reserved seats have the same baggage allowance as the accompanying passenger. However, they are not entitled to any additional allowances linked to the accompanying passengers frequent flyer tier status.
Infants not occupying a seat do not receive a checked baggage allowance, but the infant fare includes one piece of carry-on baggage.
A child or an infant is entitled to a free allowance for up to two pieces from the following list: car seat (including booster seat), stroller (including pram, buggy), portable cot. This is in addition to any other allowances, regardless of fare type (including fares that do not include a checked baggage allowance).
For safety reasons, strollers must be stowed in the overhead lockers of the aircraft. Only on Boeing B777-200, B777-300, B787-9 and A320 Domestic aircraft and only strollers with a completely collapsible frame and seating will normally fit in the overhead lockers. Due to limited cabin storage space, your stroller will need to be checked in on Air New Zealand flights operated by other aircraft). Also, if the stroller is too big to fit in an overhead locker (e.g. prams, three-wheeled jogger-style buggies), it will need to be checked in with the baggage. Airport staff may request that your stroller is checked in if the flight you are traveling on is full.
Infant and Child Car Seats
The age of a child that can use a car seat is up to 7 years, provided the child doesn’t exceed the weight limit for the restraint system of the car seat. The type of child seat may be rear- or forward-facing, depending on the age and size of your child. A rear-facing car seat may be used only if it doesn’t interfere when the seat in front reclines. The car seat must:
- Have its own inbuilt restraint system.
- Be in good, safe working condition.
- Not exceed the given dimensions:
- Width – 43 cm (17 in)
- Height – 48 cm (19 in) for rear-facing car seats and 65 cm (25.5 in) for forward facing car seats.
- Be approved for use in motor vehicles (should display a manufacturing standards marks).
The CARES child restraint system has been approved for use on Air New Zealand flights by the New Zealand CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and can be an alternative to using a car seat. However, infant car seats or the CARES restraint system cannot be used in Business Premier lie-flat seats on all B777 and B787 aircraft. Infants under the age of 2 years are still able to be seated on their parent/guardian’s lap.
Child booster seats cannot be used on board. Flights operated by Virgin Australia including Air New Zealand 7000 flights have different standards for infant car seats (check Virgin Australia’s rules with regard to child restraint devices).
Infant Amenities Offered on Air New Zealand Flights
On international flights operated by Boeing B777-200, B777-300 and B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, there are a limited number of bassinet positions on any aircraft, so it’s important to request a bassinet seat when making the booking. Bassinets are designed for infants of average size up to 8 months old, so pre-allocation of bassinet seats is only available on a first come, first served basis for infants up to 8 months. Bassinets can be requested via Seat Select online service. However, when selecting a seat online (not all seats in a Bassinet Row have bassinet fittings), you have to select those that are with a bassinet icon and states that it includes a bassinet.
The bassinets are made up with blankets, sheets and a pillow. Bassinets fitted on the Boeings aircrafts measure 29 inches (73.66 cm) long and 13.5 inches (34.29 cm) wide, and have a maximum weight restriction of 11.8 kg (26 lbs). If you are travelling with an infant aged between 8 and 15 months, weighing a maximum of 11.8 kg (26 lbs), a bassinet seat may be allocated, only if one is still available at the time of check-in on the day of travel.
Skycouch Infant Harness, Belt, and Pod
In Economy Skycouch on long-haul Boeing 777 and 787-9 flights, Air New Zealand developed a new product, the Skycouch Infant Harness, Belt, and Pod, that allows infants to keep lying down even when the seatbelt sign is on.
The Skycouch Pod is 70 cm long, 15 cm deep, 32 cm wide at the head, and 22 cm wide at the feet. Used together with the Infant Belt that loops through the pod, it offers additional comfort and protection. The Skycouch Infant Harness comes in three sizes:
- Small (infants up to 5 kg and less than 65 cm length)
- Medium (infants 5 to 10 kg and 65 to 85 cm length)
- Large (infants 10 to 18 kg and 85 to 110 cm length).
On international flights, special meal options are available, for infants only on long-haul flights and for children aged 2 years and over on long-haul flights in all classes and Tasman and Islands flights only with The Works, Works Deluxe, Premium Economy, or Business Premier fares. When you order a child meal, a fun kid’s pack is offered. Meals must be requested through the contact center of the company or selected online, at the time of booking or at least 24 hours prior to your departure. If a child’s meal is not requested, a standard meal will be provided. The cabin crew serve adults after serving children’s meals, so they can feed their children before eating their own meal.
Passengers are welcome to bring their own pre-packed snacks for their children, but remember that the cabin crew is unable to refrigerate, heat or add water to any food items passengers brings on board. They can prepare, heat and wash bottles. You have to remember that all food taken on board must be either eaten or destroyed before landing due to quarantine regulations. The cabin crew can also cater for children with special dietary needs on long-haul flights, disposable diapers, drinking cups and formula are available. Pre-prepared baby food is carried on board for emergency use, but due to limited aircraft space, only a small quantity of these products is loaded.
Groups of children
Whatever the reason, and whatever the size of the group, sports tournaments, school trips, and family reunions are just some of the occasions when groups of children travel with Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand recommends that there should be at least one adult for every five children travelling.
Travelling with other people’s children
Border authorities recommend that persons traveling with a child (under 18 years of age) who is not their child, should carry a copy of the child’s birth certificate as well as a consent document or letter signed by the parent or lawful guardian of the child, to prove that the child has the permission of the absent lawful parent or guardian.
Safety and well-being
International hygiene and safety regulations do not allow the cabin crew to administer medication, feed children, change nappies, take children to the toilet, or allow children to run through the aircraft. The cabin crew cannot administer medication, but they do have Obis oil available to help children suffering from earache during takeoff or descent. To care for the infant during takeoff and landing, Air New Zealand suggests having a feeding option to give to the baby to help their ears adjust to the change in air pressure. Children seem to be more susceptible than adults to the changes in air pressure, and this is dangerous if they are suffering from a cold, or have tonsil or adenoid problems. If a child has one of these problems, the child should see a doctor before traveling.