Flying with Infants: Breastfeeding, Milk, and Stroller Policies for Major Airlines

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Flying with Infants: Breastfeeding, Milk, and Stroller Policies for Major Airlines

9 min read

Editor's Comments

Unfortunately, in 2024 it still seems that a number of the major airlines haven't yet made their mind up on breastfeeding, or if they have, they haven't yet published their policy online.

We've made a list of popular airlines available to UK flyers for those that publish them, we've stated their policies on carrying expressed milk and breastfeeding.

Where we haven't been able to find official policy, we have in some cases referred to passenger experiences or third party publications - its best to take these with a pinch of salt. If you're in doubt, contact the airline!

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Airline Breastfeeding and Expressed Milk Policies

🛫 British Airways

🤱 Breastfeeding:

No policy on breastfeeding is stated on their website.

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

They are however relaxed when it comes to carrying breast milk (British Airways Official Website. Accessed: 06/24). You’re allowed to carry as much as you need, even if it exceeds typical liquid allowances.

Carrying a stroller:

BA permits 2 essential items for every child under 2. These items include strollers, and there are no restrictions regarding weight.

🛫 KLM

🤱 Breastfeeding:

A notice from KLM dated 2019 states the following, “ Of course mothers can breastfeed their children during our flights. By no means is the mother obliged to cover up herself or her child”. (News.KLM.com. Accessed 06/24)

During the same year, there were reports of a mother being asked to “cover-up” when breastfeeding. The airline responded to this incident by clarifying that breastfeeding is okay, but they may occasionally ask mothers to cover up if they think it will cause offence to other passengers.

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

KLM state: 'You are always allowed to bring liquid medications, baby food and special diet foods that you need during the flight.' (klm.com, Accessed 06/24)

Carrying a stroller:

Strollers can be taken onboard KLM flights if they are no bigger than 15 x 30 x 100cm when collapsed.

🛫 Lufthansa

🤱 Breastfeeding:

We couldn’t find an official policy regarding breastfeeding stated on their website, but found a tweet from Lufthansa, which we've added below:

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

You can carry expressed milk on Lufthansa flights and they reccommend taking along your babys favourite food or bottle.

Lufthansa have stated that they will be happy to warm up food or bottles and that their aircraft carry water which is suitable for babies bottles. (lufthansa.com, Accessed 06/24)

Carrying a stroller:

You are welcome to take a pushchair on Lufthansa flights.

🛫 Singapore Airlines

🤱 Breastfeeding:

You’re also allowed to breastfeed and you can benefit from extra blankets provided. (Singapore Airlines Infographic, Accessed 06/24)

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

You can take as much breast milk as you want on flights with Singapore Airlines (singaporeair.com, Accessed: 06/24).

Carrying a stroller:

You'll be able to check in a fully collapsible stroller and a car seat.

Or, you can bring your fully collapsible stroller with you into the cabin. (singaporeair.com, Accessed: 06/24)

🛫 easyJet

🤱 Breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding is permitted on easyJet flights (easyjet.com, Accessed 06/24).

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

You can take breast milk in your hand luggage. The milk must be in bottles of 100ml or less, and you’ll need to place the bottles in clear bags no bigger than 20 x 20cm. You must not take more than 1 litre and for security reasons, you may be required to taste it. (easyjet.com, Accessed 06/24)

Carrying a stroller:

You can take a stroller for every child under the age of 2 on easyJet flights.

🛫 American Airlines

🤱 Breastfeeding:

We were unable to ascertain from the American Airlines official website whether or not breast feeding is permitted onboard their aircraft.

There have been some stories of people being asked to cover up (Reddit.com, Accessed 06/24) but they generally seem to state that the airline was apologetic after the event, perhaps suggesting breastfeeding is allowed onboard their aircraft.

Further clarity would be useful and if you're worried, we'd suggest you contact the airline directly.

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

You’re free to carry a soft sided cooler of breast milk in addition to your hand luggage. (aa.com, Accessed 06/24)

Carrying a stroller:

You can check a stroller before the flight and collect it afterwards on American Airlines flights.

🛫 Ryanair

🤱 Breastfeeding:

At the time of writing, Ryanair does not seem to state whether breast feeding is permitted onboard their aircraft.

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

You can take as much baby milk, powdered milk, sterilised water and baby food as you need - even if it exceeds the usual limits on liquids.

Furthermore, these items don't need to fit in the usual transparent bag that is needed for other liquids - but be aware that you may need to present these items for inspection at security. (ryanair.com, Accessed 06/24)

Carrying a stroller:

As with BA, Ryanair allows 2 essential items, including strollers.

🛫 Air France

🤱 Breastfeeding:

We couldn't find specific policy relating to breastfeeding on the Air France website.

The best we could do was find a third party website which states that breastfeeding is allowed. 'There are no objections to breastfeeding during flights'. (madeformums.com, Accessed: 06/24)

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

You can transport breast milk if it’s in bottles of 100ml or less.

Carrying a stroller:

Space permitting, you can take a stroller in the hold. If not, it can be checked free of charge on Air France flights.

🛫 Emirates

🤱 Breastfeeding:

Emirates states very clearly that it’s happy to help breastfeeding mothers and can provide blankets for additional privacy if needed when breastfeeding. Staff can also warm up bottles of milk taken on the plane in hand luggage. (emirates.com, Accessed 06/24)

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

Forumla may be carried on board. (emirates.com, Accessed: 06/24).

Carrying strollers:

Strollers are allowed if they are collapsible.

🛫 Cathay Pacific

🤱 Breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding is permitted during all stages of the flight.

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

Formula milk is allowed and you can request a container with hot water to warm your food items. You are asked to pack food and expressed milk in a cool bag or vacuum flask. (cathaypacific.com, Accessed 06/24)

🛫 Jet2.com

🤱 Breastfeeding:

Jet2.com prides itself as a ‘family friend airline’ and as such mothers are welcome to breastfeed during all phases of flight, whilst observing the seatbelt sign. (jet2holidays.com, Accessed: 06/24)

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

Jet2.com allow parents to carry formula in eithe powder or liquid form in clear bottles of no more than 100ml size. You are also permitted to carry expressed milk. (jet2.com, Accessed: 06/24).

Carrying a stroller:

So long as you're travelling with an infant or child, Jet2.com will allow you to take a collapsible puschair, car seat or travel cot free of charge. Whichever of these items you choose to take, it must be collapsible and the wright must not exceed 10kg. (jet2.com, Accessed: 06/24)

🛫 Virgin Atlantic

🤱 Breastfeeding:

Virgin Atlantic clearly welcome mothers to breastfeed onboard their aircraft.

They state that they will be able to provide blankets or even a seat in the galley for those who wish to seek privacy. (virginatlantic.com, Accessed: 06/24)

🍼 Carrying expressed milk/formula:

Baby food and formula milk

Baby food and formula milk are allowed, but you must follow the local security restrictions.

Virgin Atlantic can’t store expressed milk but they can provide ice buckets if you wish to store expressed milk for later use.

(help.virginatlantic.com, Accessed: 06/24)

Carrying a stroller:

Virgin Atlantic allows customers to carry a fully collapsible stroller AND a car seat, in addition to the regular, free check in allowance. (virginatlantic.com, Accessed: 06/24)

Flying with Infants: What You Need to Know

In addition to breastfeeding/expressed milk policies, there are a few other things you should know about flying with infants in and out of UK airports:

Documents: To fly with a baby, you will need the baby’s passport and a document of maternity. You may also need a birth certificate and must file a visa application if your destination requires it.

Seats: Children under 2 can fly free of charge if they sit on a parent’s lap. They may also be offered a seat at a reduced charge.

Insurance: Make sure you have health and travel insurance to cover you for all eventualities. You can get family packages to cover all of you.

Vaccinations: If you’re travelling outside of the UK, contact your GP to see if you or your child needs any vaccines. These include meningitis, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and yellow fever.

In The Press...

In 2019, Rachel Duffy was ordered to stop breastfeeding her child on a Ryanair flight from Faro to Manchester (independant.co.uk, Accessed: 06/24).

In the same year, KLM demanded that a breastfeeding passenger “cover-up”. (theguardian.com, Accessed: 06/24)

Two years earlier, Singapore Airlines told a woman that she had to dump 1.5 litres of breast milk before she could board a plane. (globalnews.ca, Accessed 06/24)

Despite these stories and many others like them, many new mothers have breastfed on planes and have transported breast milk without issue.


FAQs About Flying with an Infant

At what age can my baby fly?

Unless your doctor has forbidden it, babies are usually okay to fly from 7 days old. They can fly when they are younger, but the airline may request proof that they are okay to do so. Speak with your doctor first and contact the airline if you need to make special arrangements.

Is flying dangerous for a baby?

No, it’s not dangerous, but the air pressure onboard can cause them discomfort.

What is the best seat for a baby on a plane?

A window seat is often the best option. There will be fewer distractions, and they can look out of the window.

What is the best airline for flying with children?

According to a 2024 Forbes list (forbes.com, Accessed 06/24) British Airways is the best airline for travelling with babies/children, followed by Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, and easyJet.

What is the worst airline for flying with children?

The Forbes guide mentioned above ranks Wizz Air, TUI, and Norwegian Air as the worst airlines for flying with children.

Summary: Flying with Infants

Flying with infants is challenging at the best of times, but it can turn into a nightmare if there are unclear policies concerning breastfeeding and the transportation of breast milk. Many airlines don’t have specific policies regarding these actions. We have listed the ones that do, but if you’re not sure, we recommend getting in touch beforehand and asking. You can also ask the airline’s staff at the airport or even on the plane.