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We are considering booking an international flight through American Airlines that has one of the legs operated by El Al. We also have a 9 months old infant and would like to fly with her on our lap, along with a stroller and a car seat (checked).

How does this work with code-shared flights? Do we need to call both airlines to let them know of the child? AA does not allow selecting El Al seats online. Also, should we expect any issues checking a car seat with El Al and getting it back from American at our final destination (the stroller will be checked at the gate)?

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It is somewhat unclear from your question whether you are aware, but you cannot simply bring the baby with you. You must purchase a ticket for the lap child or infant, albeit at a reduced fare; for international flights, this is commonly 10% of the accompanying adult's fare. The infant's reservation will be provided to El Al along with the rest of the party's, and El Al, like all major airlines, understands the concept of a lap child.

I would strongly advise, however, calling both American and El Al to request bassinets; such requests are not always transmitted correctly to partners. A bassinet would make a huge difference in comfort on a transoceanic flight, and you will also be able to ask any other questions about services aboard your particular flights.

With regards to the car seat and stroller, El Al's Flying with Infants page notes

It is also advisable to bring with you a carrier and/or carriage or stroller for use at airports. The carriage will be marked at flight check-in and you can use it right up to the entrance to the aircraft. It will be returned to you as you disembark at your destination.

and further

Parents traveling with a baby are entitled to bring a fully collapsible stroller or an infant’s carry-seat or car seat, to be brought to the entrance to the plane. Upon landing at your destination, the ground crew will bring the stroller/infant carry-seat/car seat as close as possible to the plane entranceway.

If you check your car seat, it will more or less be treated like any other bag, and unless you have a long stopover, would be tagged to your final destination. American will hand it off to El Al at your outbound connection, and vice versa on the return. You would reclaim it where and when you reclaim the rest of your luggage. As to "any issues," well, that is a bit broad. There is a risk that it could be damaged or soiled or lost, the same as anything else you check with the airline, but airlines transport innumerable infants along with their paraphernalia without incident every day.

  • Thanks a lot. Yes, I am aware that a lap child needs a ticket. We'll strongly consider a bassinet. I believe that with AA it is done at check-in / gate and that El Al may charge for it when flying to europe. I did call AA and El Al to inquire about a stroller and a car seat. AA assured me there should be no issues checking the car seat at check-in and the stroller at the gate. They weren't sure about the opposite direction (El Al -> AA). – Shawn A Jan 7 at 20:32
  • I called El Al 4 times and got different answers each time (no language barrier, I am a native speaker). According to their website a lap child may check in a bag up to 10 kg and dimensions of up to 115 cm (less than most car seats), and a stroller may be checked in at the gate. So hopefully they will allow the car seat to be checked, if not we'll have to pay for it. – Shawn A Jan 7 at 20:33
  • Cool. I will leave the part about the lap child fare in, just in case future visitors have doubts about that. I found the wording on the website unclear about who gets charged the bassinet fee to Europe (I would assume everyone, but it's worded as if it might apply only if you don't reserve one in advance). Safe travels, and feel free to edit the question to provide a summary of your actual experience once you return. – choster Jan 8 at 14:57

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