Infants & Children   

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Helpful Hints For Infant (Less Than 2 Years Old) Travel

Infant In Arms

Infants and children less than 2 years old may travel for free within the U.S. if an adult (18 years or older) holds the infant in arms or places the infant in an FAA-approved child restraint during take-off and landing.

Infants and small children must be accompanied by someone who is at least 18 years old, or is the child's parent or legal guardian. The adult and the child must travel in the same cabin. If traveling with a newborn, please review Delta and Delta Connection® Carrier requirements for an approval letter from a physician saying it's all right for the newborn to fly.

International Flights

If a customer is traveling with an infant and their travel destination requires a passport and/or travel visas, the customer will need to secure a passport for the child. If a customer is traveling alone with children, foreign border officials may require custody documents or notarized written consent from the other parent. Check with the embassy at foreign destination before traveling.

Ticketing Requirements

A zero value ticket is required for travel on/after December 12, 2017, when:

  • The infant is less than two years old, AND
  • There is an accompanying adult at least 18 years old or the infant's legal guardian, AND

  • Travel is within the U.S. or travel is between the U.S. and Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands

A purchased ticket is required when:

  • A child is age two or older.
  • The child is to sit in a seat in order to travel in an approved restraint.
  • A customer is traveling with a second child, regardless of age, and has a lap-child
  • A customer wants child to earn SkyMiles.
  • A customer will be traveling between countries regardless of whether or not the child occupies a seat.

NOTE: Number of Infants per Adult—a limit of two infants, less than two years old, per adult may travel together.

International Taxes & Fees—For infants under the age of two and held in the adult's lap, the cost is usually about 10% of the adult fare plus any international taxes and surcharges, which can be significant.

Child Fares & Special Discounts


Travel within the Domestic U.S.

Delta does not offer discounted infant and child fares for travel within the domestic U.S.

Travel between countries

Discounted child fares may be available when traveling outside the U.S. or when traveling between certain countries. The price of the ticket will depend on the age of the child. Taxes & fees may also apply to infants held in the adult's lap.

Seat Assignments

Traveling with an infant restricts a customer’s ability to occupy some seats due to FAA regulations. To make sure both customer and infant are safe and comfortable during the flight, review Infant and Child Seating and Aircraft Types and Layout for more information.

Infant Baggage

Review the Infant and Children’s Baggage section for specific information on carry-on items such as child restraint seats, strollers, and diaper bags. During security check-in, the TSA will usually make a special provision for items such as medications and baby formula.

Approved Child Restraints

All child restraints have labeling that shows whether or not the restraint meets certain safety requirements. The label has a circle surrounding the letter "e" followed by the distinguishing number granting approval, and will indicate the seat's category and mass group.

Labeling Specifics

If a restraint was manufactured within the U.S. after 2/25/85, it needs to have the following labeling to be approved for Delta flights:

  • Conforms to all applicable federal motor vehicle standards
  • Is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.

If a restraint was manufactured outside the U.S., it needs to have the following labeling to be approved for Delta flights:

  • Has the approval of a foreign government
  • Was manufactured under standards of the United Nations (UN).

Child Restraints that are Not Permitted

Delta does not permit the following types of car seats:

  • Booster seats-even if they bear labels indicating they meet U.S., UN, or foreign government standards.
  • Vest and harness-type child restraint devices other than the FAA approved CARES restraint device.

Aboard The Aircraft

A customer may place an infant in an adjacent unoccupied seat after taxi, take-off, and landing if the seat remains open and the customer is using an FAA-approved child restraint. However, Delta can't guarantee that the adjacent seat will remain open. The customer will need to pay for the seat to ensure that it's available.

Seating for A Child Restraint (CRS)

The window seat is the preferred location for an approved CRS; however, an approved CRS may be used in any seat as long as it does not block other row occupants from accessing the aisle, except for the following:

  • Any seat in an emergency exit row
  • Any row immediately forward or behind an exit row
  • Any seat facing towards the back
  • Any bulkhead seat when the car seat base is from a combination car seat/stroller
  • Flat-bed seats: All types of child restraint devices (CRS) – including the CARES harnesses – are never permitted in flat-bed Delta One and First Class seats

For a three-seat configuration, if a child is placed in a restraint and occupies the middle seat of a single-aisle aircraft, the accompanying adult must sit in the window seat, unless the window seat remains vacant throughout the entire flight, then the accompanying adult may sit in the aisle seat. This leaves the aisle seat open for other customers, allowing easier access to the seat and to the aisle.

Similarly, if a child is placed in a restraint occupying the middle seat of a dual-aisle aircraft, the accompanying adult has to sit next to the child in such a way that other passengers can easily access the aisle.

A row may contain more than one child restraint device if the children are from the same family or travel group.

Take-Off And Landing

An adult may hold an infant or place the infant in a FAA-approved child restraint during take-off and landing.

Child Restraint Systems And Adult Responsibilities

The accompanying adult has the following responsibilities when using a child restraint during take-off and landing:

  • The adult has to make sure that the child restraint seat meets FAA guidelines (see Approved Child Restraints).
  • The adult has to make sure that the child restraint seat functions properly and is free of obvious defects.
  • The adult has to secure the child according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • The adult has to make sure the child restraint is secured to the aircraft seat using the aircraft seat's safety belt.

Our flight attendants will check with the accompanying adult that the child is properly restrained and the child's seat is properly secured to the aircraft seat. However, the ultimate responsibility falls to the accompanying adult.


Documentation Requirements for All Minors Traveling to or from South Africa

Minors (under the age of 18) are required to present additional documentation to enter or depart the Republic of South Africa.  

If both parents are traveling with the minor, they must present:

  • In addition to a passport for the minor, parents need an original stamped or sealed birth certificate or certified copy
  • English translations of all travel documents required if not originally in English

If one parent is traveling with the minor, the parent must present:

  • In addition to a passport for the minor, original stamped or sealed birth certificate for the minor, or certified copy, and 1 of the applicable items below:
    • Affidavit verifying consent from the non-traveling parent listed on the birth certificate for the minor to enter/depart South Africa
    • Court order indicating full parental responsibilities/rights and legal guardianship to a sole parent traveling with a minor
    • Death certificate for the other parent who is registered as the parent on the birth certificate, when applicable
  • English translations of all travel documents required if not originally in English

If an adult is traveling with a minor who is not their biological child, the adult must present:

  • In addition to a passport for the minor, certified copy of the minor's birth certificate
  • Affidavit from both parents or legal guardians of the child confirming the minor has permission to travel with the person
  • Copies of the identity documents or passports of both parents or legal guardian(s) of the minor
  • Contact details of both parents or legal guardian(s) of the minor
  • English translations of all travel documents required if not originally in English


  • Domestic South Africa travel: The law does not apply to children traveling domestically in South Africa (e.g., between Johannesburg and Cape Town).
  • School tours: In the case of school tours, the parental consent affidavit may be replaced with an affidavit from the school principal confirming that all consent letters are held by the school. Upon producing this affidavit, immigration officers at ports of entry and South African missions abroad would not require any additional documents from individual scholars such as parental consent, unabridged birth certificates, death certificates, court orders or copies of the passports or identity documents of the parents and of the person receiving the child in South Africa. This special dispensation applies to all schools registered with the Department of Basic Education and its equivalent abroad.  Download the suggested format for this affidavit here.
  • Transiting South Africa: Birth certificate and additional documentation are not required for those transiting South Africa (i.e., traveling through but not remaining in South Africa, such as a connecting flight to an onward destination outside of South Africa).
  • South African passport holders traveling to South Africa: Minors with South African passport traveling to South Africa are not required to present a certified copy of the minor's birth certificate. Note: These customers are still required to provide this when exiting South Africa.

Updated 12 October 2017

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