The “Need to Know” airlines series for family travelers continues with these important tips for families flying China Airlines with a baby, toddler, or young children (and even if your kids are no longer babies or toddlers, don’t miss the new Family Couch seating tip and photo below!).
China Airlines’ Discounts for Infants and Children
China Airlines generally offers a 25% discount for children from 2 to 11 years and infants flying in their own seats, which can make a big difference in your family’s bottom line. If you have a choice between China Airlines and a U.S.-based carrier, definitely compare the total ticketing price for your whole family–not just the advertised fare.
To ensure the child discount is applied, make your reservation directly on www.china-airlines.com or use one of these sites that factors in the child’s age and available discount by airline (remember, not all do!) and may also have special offers or promo codes for extra discounts:
Click “More Advanced Options” in the search box to enter the ages of your children and your preferred airline (eg. China Airlines).
Flying China Airlines with an Infant or Lap Child
Buying Tickets for Your Infant/Lap Child (less than 24 months, no seat): Oddly enough, you cannot currently purchase international tickets for a lap child on China Airlines’ website, although you can purchase international tickets for a lap child flying China Airlines on both CheapOair.com and OneTravel.com.
If you need to book your family’s tickets through the China Airlines’ site, be sure to call their reservation number soon afterward to let them know you will have an infant traveling with you, and to pay the applicable fees for the lap child. In most cases, the lap child’s fees for international flights will be 10% of the applicable adult fare plus taxes and surcharges. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL YOU GET TO THE AIRPORT TO TAKE CARE OF THIS or you may miss your flight! 😉
The North American reservations phone number for China Airlines is 1-800-227-5118, and worldwide reservations numbers can be found here (use the drop-down menu for the region you need).
Lap Child Luggage Allowance: China Airlines allows one complimentary checked suitcase weighing up to 22 lbs. (10 kg.) for each lap child, plus a collapsible stroller.
Bassinets on Long-haul Flights: Baby bassinets (AKA skycots) are also available, but do be sure to call reservations well in advance to make your request and ensure you have the necessary seating positions to take advantage of these.
Using Car Seats on China Airlines Flights
China Airlines has no unusual conditions for using car seats on its aircraft other than they don’t want children over 40 lbs. using them. They may check to see that your child’s car seat is tested and certified in the country of its manufacture, so be sure you are ready to point to the label if needed.
Other Perks for Families Flying China Airlines
Sure, the children’s meals, baby food, toys, and baby care kits with diapers are certainly a nice touch, but it’s hard to top China Airlines’ new family couch seating in coach! The first 10 rows of economy seating have leg rests that fold up to create a flat bed three seats long (best for families with small children, of course). The Family Couch seats are now available on flights from Los Angeles to Taipei and will soon be available on San Francisco-Taipei and New York-Taipei flights as well. More of that, please! 😉
More tips for your family’s travels:
Have your choice of airlines? Use the Airlines Comparison Chart in Travels with Baby: The Ultimate Guide… to compare the family-friendly perks, amenities, and available infant/child discounts between more than 40 airlines.
Flying solo with your child? Don’t forget you’ll need a letter of consent for international air travel with only one parent or guardian (follow link for sample letter).
Traveling with school-age children? Be sure to check out the latest posts for travel advice and inspiration over at our sister site Family Travel 411.
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks