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Traveling With Children
15 Tips to keep you and them entertained & safe

1. Buy an inexpensive camera (or a single-use camera) for children old enough to use. The trip can then be photographed from the child's perspective and will make for a great trip memory book.

2. Involve the child or children in the planning process of the trip or vacation. Use a map to pinpoint the destination and the plane's flight route and discuss travel plans by using travel books, Web sites and videos. provides tons of planning information from destination details to pictures and maps of the plane and on-board entertainment options for specific fleet types.

3. Consider the added convenience of purchasing a full travel package from AA Vacations, which offers trips to family-friendly sites such as Disney World in Florida.

4. While it is a good idea to be prepared with baby essentials and items to keep youngsters occupied, try to avoid packing more than is needed. Consider packing a few toys in your carry on luggage and putting a few others in your checked bags.

5. Sitting in one place for long stretches of time is not easy for any child, especially a child traveling alone. Packing toys, books, and games they enjoy will make flight pass more quickly. Brand new items or old favorites are best.

6. Children hate waiting in line; don't we all! So American makes it easier to get you and the kids through the airport quickly. If you're checking bags, consider Curbside Check-in or the Self-Service Check-in kiosks. Also, AAdvantage members can log onto and print their boarding pass and bypass the check in lines all together.

7. Notify the check-in ticket agent if you and your children require special assistance when boarding the plane. For disabled children, American's Special Assistance Coordinators will help arrange the right service to meet any additional needs from wheelchair assistance to allergies or special boarding needs.

8. There are changing tables in all of American's international wide body aircraft. Changing tables are also available domestically on flights aboard Boeing 757 aircraft and all three-class transcontinental flights.

9. Airplane galleys don't have microwaves, refrigerators or formula on board, but bottles can be heated and medicine placed on ice for the flight if need be. Ask your flight attendant for assistance.

10. Strollers are OK if they fit in the overhead bin, which means that umbrella strollers are best if you want to take the stroller with you when you de-plane. You can check the big stroller with your luggage if you need it at your destination - or we will gate-check it for you.

11. For First and Business class passengers on select international flights, American provides a complimentary amenity kit that features two diapers, a baby spoon and bib, and a coloring book.

12. While American cannot require the use of child restraint seats, it strongly encourages their use. American advises parents to use approved child restraint seats on board its flights for children who weigh 40 lbs. or less. U.S. manufactured restraints are "approved" if they have a label stating: "This restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety conditions." Foreign manufactured restraints are "approved" if they bear a label showing approval for aircraft use by a governmental agency or bear a label showing the restraint was manufactured to United Nations standards.

13. If your child is sleeping, consider waking him or her before the aircraft begins descent and provide the child with chewing gum, hard candy or a pacifier. Frequent swallowing also allows air to freely flow out of and into the ear and sinus cavities, preventing discomfort.

14. To help identify your family quickly at the airport, dress everyone in either the same color or matching colors.

15. Always keep a recent photo of your child or children in your wallet (and place a photo of yourself in your child's pocket) in case you become separated and need assistance in locating them.

Children Traveling Alone

1. Pack your children's bags or backpacks carefully and be sure to put all medicines and valuables in their carry-on. (Carry-on bags are welcome on board provided they fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin.) This ensures that your child will be properly prepared in the cabin and it reduces the chance of inconvenience should your child become separated from the checked bags.

2. When taking a reservation for a child traveler who will be unaccompanied, be prepared to provide telephone numbers for parents and guardians. At check-in, you will also be asked to provide names, addresses and home and business phone numbers for you and for the party meeting your child.

3. Take advantage of special waiting lounges for unaccompanied minors that American Airlines provides in most of its major cities and in all domestic hub cities.

4. A children's activity book can be obtained from a flight attendant on transcontinental and international flights. The book contains travel-related games and puzzles.

5. An audio channel for children is offered on all American's Boeing 757 aircraft and wide body planes and features classic stories of children's literature and folklore.