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air canada seat selection with child

Seating of Children with an Accompanying Passenger on an Airplane: A Guide

Table of contents.

Air Passenger Protection

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1. Introduction

This guide explains the steps airlines operating to, from and within Canada must take to help seat children under the age of 14 close to their parent, guardian or tutor (accompanying passenger) at no additional charge.

The guide covers:

  • When and how an airline must help seat these children;
  • How close children must be seated to their accompanying passenger;
  • The class of service for seating arrangements; and
  • What an airline should do if they have followed all the steps, but still cannot make the appropriate seating arrangements.

This is not a legal document. The explanations and definitions it provides are for general guidance purposes only. The obligations to facilitate the seating of children under the age of 14 can be found in the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) and Annex A of this guide. In case of differences between this guide and legislation, regulations or Canadian Transportation Agency decisions, the legislation, regulations and decisions prevail.

2. When and how to help seat children

As soon as an airline becomes aware that a confirmed passenger will be travelling with a child under the age of 14, the airline must take steps to help seat them close together. They must do this at the earliest opportunity. This may mean assigning the seats before check-in , if that is when the airline is first told about the child on the flight.

If an airline does not have a practice of assigning seats to passengers before check-in, or if seat availability is limited, they must let the passenger know that they will try to assign the seats at check-in (online or in person), or at the boarding gate before take-off.

If an airline has tried but has not been able to assign seats close together in advance or at check-in, they must ask for volunteers to move seats to achieve this at the gate , and then again on the aircraft before take-off , if necessary.

Airlines must not charge a fee for making these seating arrangements . However, this does not mean they have to offer free seat selection to people travelling with children. If someone wishes to pre-select particular seats for themselves and a child, or change the seats assigned to them by an airline, the airline may charge the applicable fee for each seat, as set out in their tariff.

Recommended practices for seat assignment

It is recommended that airlines put in place standard processes that allow them to seat children near an accompanying passenger at the earliest opportunity.

To do this in advance (before check-in), airlines may choose to have their system automatically assign seats to a child and accompanying passenger at the time that a reservation is made. If this is not possible, the airline could let passengers know that seating can be arranged at no charge by contacting the airline. This information could be published on the airline's website and/or itineraries.

It is also recommended that airlines have standard processes, and provide staff training, for assigning seats at the airport (at check-in and the boarding gate) and on the aircraft. If an airline needs to ask for volunteers to switch seats to allow a child and accompanying passenger to sit close together, they could consider making public announcements.

3. Seating distance

Airlines must take steps to seat a child within a certain distance of their accompanying passenger. The allowable distance depends on the child's age. Airlines must take steps to:

  • Seat children under the age of 5 directly beside their accompanying passenger. They must not be separated by an aisle unless the plane's layout requires it (for example, where a plane has banks of single seats only). In those cases, the two passengers should be seated in the same row, separated only by the aisle.
  • Seat children aged 5 to 11 in the same row as their accompanying passenger and separated by no more than one seat (or the space of an aisle).
  • Seat children aged 12 or 13 no more than two rows away from their accompanying passenger. This means that there should not be more than one row between them.
  • If a 4 year-old is seated in 1A, the accompanying passenger must be no farther than 1B.
  • If a 7 year-old is seated in 1C (an aisle seat), the accompanying passenger may be in 1A, 1B or directly across the aisle in 1D. In this case, the aisle takes the place of a seat.
  • If a 13 year-old is seated in row 3, the accompanying passenger can be anywhere in rows 1-5.

These requirements help make sure passengers can supervise and help children they are travelling with. To further support this, airlines should take into account any barriers that could affect the seating arrangements. For example, if a 12 year-old and their accompanying passenger are seated a row apart, but the two rows are separated by a curtain or other divider, the arrangement may not be appropriate.

Recommended practice: Documentation

It is recommended that airlines document the steps they take to seat a child and accompanying adult close together. In any dispute between an airline and a passenger, the airline may have to provide proof that they followed the requirements.

4. Class of service

Airlines must do everything they reasonably can to meet these seating requirements in the same class of service that the child and accompanying passenger reserved. If changing the class of service for one or both of the passengers is the only way to seat them within the required distance of each other, the airline may suggest an upgrade or downgrade to the passengers.

If the passengers agree to a downgrade in the class of service, the airline must refund the price difference between the two services. If the accompanying passenger chooses to be seated in a higher class of service than their original booking, the airline can require that they pay the difference. Airlines should explain in their tariff how they will calculate the price difference between the two services and how they will either refund or collect the difference from passengers.

If another passenger volunteers to give up their seat in a higher class of service and agrees to a downgrade in class of service so that a child and accompanying person can sit close together, the airline should also refund the price difference between the two services to that volunteer.

At check-in, a confirmed passenger tells the airline that he is traveling with a 6 year-old child. These passengers are booked in Business Class but the only available seats in the same row are in Economy Class. The airline should let the passenger know that

  • The only available seats in the same row are in Economy Class;
  • They will seek volunteers at the boarding gate and on board the plane before take-off (if necessary), and
  • If the passenger wishes to downgrade the tickets in order to be sure to be seated together, the airline must reimburse the difference in price between a Business Class and Economy Class ticket on that flight.

If the passenger does not want to be downgraded, the airline must try to seat the two passengers in the same row by asking at the boarding gate and on board the aircraft before take-off for volunteers to change seats in Business Class.

If no one in Business Class volunteers, the passenger and child may choose to be seated apart, or to be seated together in Economy Class, if seats are still available.

5. What to do if passengers cannot be seated together

If an airline has followed all the steps and is still unable to arrange seats within the required distance of each other, they should talk to the affected passengers about their options. The passengers may choose to sit farther apart, or decide not take the flight at all.

If the passengers choose not to take the flight, it is recommended that the airline provide other reasonable alternatives. These could include, for example, booking them appropriate seats on another flight at no extra charge, or cancelling their flight and providing a refund. The airline's tariff should explain what they will and will not do to accommodate passengers who choose not to fly in these circumstances.

An airline should not force another passenger to change seats or leave the flight to seat a child and accompanying passenger together.

Annex A: Legislative and Regulatory References

Canada Transportation Act

86.11 (1) The Agency shall, after consulting with the Minister, make regulations in relation to flights to, from and within Canada, including connecting flights,

(d) respecting the carrier’s obligation to facilitate the assignment of seats to children under the age of 14 years in close proximity to a parent, guardian or tutor at no additional cost and to make the carrier’s terms and conditions and practices in this respect readily available to passengers

Air Passenger Protection Regulations

Assignment of Seats to Children under the Age of 14 Years

Assigning seats

22 (1) In order to facilitate the assignment of a seat to a child who is under the age of 14 years in close proximity to a parent, guardian or tutor in accordance with subsection (2), a carrier must, at no additional charge

(a) assign a seat before check-in to the child that is in close proximity to their parent, guardian or tutor; or

(b) if the carrier does not assign seats in accordance with paragraph (a), do the following:

(i) advise passengers before check-in that the carrier will facilitate seat assignment of children in close proximity to a parent, guardian or tutor at no additional charge at the time of check-in or at the boarding gate

(ii) assign seats at the time of check-in, if possible,

(iii) if it is not possible to assign seats at the time of check-in, ask for volunteers to change seats at the time of boarding, and

(iv) if it is not possible to assign seats at the time of check-in and no passenger has volunteered to change seats at the time of boarding, ask again for volunteers to change seats before take-off.

Proximity to adult’s seat

(2) The carrier must facilitate the assignment of a seat to a child who is under the age of 14 years by offering, at no additional charge,

(a) in the case of a child who is four years of age or younger, a seat that is adjacent to their parent, guardian or tutor’s seat;

(b) in the case of a child who is 5 to 11 years of age, a seat that is in the same row as their parent, guardian or tutor’s seat, and that is separated from that parent, guardian or tutor’s seat by no more than one seat; and

(c) in the case of a child who is 12 or 13 years of age, a seat that is in a row that is separated from the row of their parent, guardian or tutor’s seat by no more than one row.

Difference in price

(3) If a passenger is assigned a seat in accordance with subsection (2) that is in a lower class of service than their ticket provides, the carrier must reimburse the price difference between the classes of service, but if the passenger chooses a seat that is in a higher class of service than their ticket provides, the carrier may request supplementary payment representing the price difference between the classes of service.

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ISBN 978-0-660-35977-9

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Air Canada Seat Selection: What You Need to Know

JT Genter

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

When purchasing a flight on Air Canada — as with most airlines today — you're guaranteeing that you'll get a seat on the flight. However, you may need to pay more if you want to specify which seat you'll get to fly in. Whether you want a view out the window or want to avoid a middle seat, getting your seat selection right can make your travels more pleasant.

Here's what you need to know about Air Canada seat selection — from the fees you may have to pay to how you might be able to get extra-legroom seats for free.

» Learn more: The points collector’s guide to Air Canada Aeroplan

How to make your Air Canada seat selection

You can pick a seat during booking or on the Air Canada website after your flight is ticketed. If you don't select a seat in advance, you can choose one from the remaining seats when checking in within 24 hours of your flight.

Note that seat selection isn't available on the website or app within two hours of departure. Within this time, you'll need to see an airport agent to pick a seat.

If you've already booked your flight, you can retrieve your booking starting from the "My Booking" tab on the Air Canada homepage. Enter your booking reference or ticket number and last name. Select "Find" to retrieve your booking, then select the "Change seats" link.

air canada seat selection with child

However, not all seat selections are free. If you booked a Basic or a Standard fare, you may have to pay to choose a seat in advance of check-in — even for a standard seat.

Air Canada seat selection fees

Fees to select a seat vary depending on which fare type you booked, what route you're flying, whether you want to select a preferred seat and your Aeroplan elite status level.

» Learn more: The best airline credit cards right now

Air Canada standard seat selection fee

Most seats in Air Canada economy are classified as standard seats. So, these fees are what matters most if you plan to select seats in advance.

air canada seat selection with child

To give you an idea of what to expect, Air Canada publishes the following price ranges for standard seat selection:

Air Canada doesn't specify which routes get complimentary standard seat selection on Standard fares. However, we generally find that standard seat selection is free on long-haul routes to certain destinations in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

For an example of how much you'll pay, we priced an Air Canada flight from San Francisco to Vancouver. A Standard Seat selection for the nearly two-and-a-half-hour flight is $34.56 each way — regardless of whether you book a Basic or Standard fare. Note that the number is likely a result of currency conversion from Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars.

air canada seat selection with child

Despite being a much longer flight (almost seven hours one-way), standard seat selection on a flight from Miami to Vancouver isn't much more at $45 each way.

air canada seat selection with child

Upgrading to a preferred seat on the flight from Miami to Vancouver costs $96.

» Learn more: The guide to Air Canada premium economy

Air Canada preferred seat cost

Preferred seats are found in exit rows, in select bulkhead rows and in the first few rows of the cabin on some flights. That means you're either going to get extra legroom or be closer to the front of the aircraft, shortening your wait to get off the plane at your destination.

Air Canada publishes that "Preferred Seat prices range from $20 to $199 CAD/USD." That published range is too broad to be useful, so here's a look at some examples.

In the examples priced out above, preferred seats between the U.S. and Canada cost:

San Francisco to Vancouver: $62 each way.

Miami to Vancouver: $96 each way.

However, long-haul flights are where a little more space may be more critical. When looking at Air Canada flights from Los Angeles to Tokyo-Narita, with a connection in Vancouver, preferred seats on the first flight from Los Angeles to Vancouver cost $66 each way for all bulkhead and exit row seats — regardless of whether the seat is an aisle, window or middle seat. Picking a standard seat was free, seemingly as this flight is part of an international itinerary that offers free seat selection.

air canada seat selection with child

For the flight from Vancouver to Tokyo, all preferred seats cost $133.40 for the one-way flight. Since I picked a Standard fare, standard seats were available free of charge.

air canada seat selection with child

How to get Air Canada preferred seats for free

The easiest way to get preferred seats for free is by booking a Latitude or Comfort fare. Aeroplan elite travelers can also select preferred seats for free depending on their fare type and elite status level.

The following Aeroplan elite status members — and up to one traveling companion on the same reservation — will get complimentary access to preferred seats when:

Aeroplan Super Elite: Traveling a Flex or Standard fare, or an Aeroplan flight reward.

Aeroplan 75K: Traveling on a Flex or Standard fare.

Aeroplan 50K: Traveling on a Flex or Standard fare in Canada or between Canada and the U.S.

Aeroplan 25K or 35K When checking in for your flight and traveling on a Flex or Standard fare. Automatic Aeroplan 25K status is included as a perk of the Aeroplan® Credit Card , which has an annual fee of $95 .

Unfortunately, Aeroplan members can't use points to purchase Air Canada preferred seats. Also, note that Star Alliance Gold elite members aren't entitled to free preferred seat selection — or even free seat standard selection — when choosing seats online.

Air Canada seat selection recapped

Air Canada seat selection ranges from free to potentially hundreds of dollars each way. That means it's important to factor these fees in when deciding whether to book with the airline.

The good news is standard seat selection is free at check-in and when flying to certain long-haul routes. Otherwise, you'll need to have elite status or book a more expensive fare type to avoid Air Canada seat selection fees.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

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air canada seat selection with child

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Canadian Transportation Agency

Seating of children under 14 with parent or guardian

Airlines must, at the earliest opportunity and at no extra cost, take steps to seat children under the age of 14 near their parent, guardian or tutor. The distance will depend on the age of the child:

  • If a child is under the age of 5 , they must be in a seat next to their parent, guardian or tutor.
  • If a child is between 5 and 11 , they must be in the same row, separated by no more than one seat from their parent, guardian or tutor.
  • If a child is between 12 and 13 , they must be no more than a row away from the parent, guardian or tutor.

Resource guide

Seating of Children with an Accompanying Passenger on an Airplane: A Guide explains the steps airlines operating to, from and within Canada must take to help seat children under the age of 14 close to their parent, guardian or tutor at no additional charge.

Reference: Airline obligations for seating of children under the age of 14 years are set out in the Air Passenger Protection Regulations .

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Air travel with children

This page provides information on flying with children, including what to pack in carry on baggage, going through security screening and using child restraint systems (car seats) on board the aircraft.

On this page

Travelling with children under 2 years old, child restraint systems.

  • Children travelling alone

Carry-on baggage

Security screening.

For the safety of both adults and children, the Canadian Aviation Regulations require that no passenger can be responsible for more than 1 infant (child under the age of 2).

If you are travelling with children under the age of 2, a passenger must accompany each of your children, even if you buy seats for them.

Although children under 2 years old may be held in your arms during a flight, Transport Canada highly recommends that you use an approved child restraint system (car seat) for all legs of the flight. Car seats are designed to different standards than aircraft seats, so they may work differently and fit differently in planes. Any car seat intended for use on board an aircraft must have a statement of compliance label that shows it meets the applicable design standard and the date it was made.

The use of a car seat provides the best protection for the infant or child and minimizes the effects of unanticipated turbulence. Using a familiar car seat will make your child more comfortable, and you can also use it when you reach your destination. 

If you decide to use a car seat, always:

  • check with your airline for its specific policies
  • follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions
  • tighten the aircraft seat belt through the correct path on the car seat
  • secure straps out of the way since tether straps cannot be used on board the aircraft

The following devices are not approved for use as child restraint systems on an aircraft:

  • Not approved for use as child restraint systems on an aircraft, as they are designed to be used with a car lap and shoulder belt
  • Not approved for use as child restraint systems on an aircraft, as they may not be used when the aircraft is moving on the ground, during takeoff and landing or when the safety belt sign is on
  • Not approved for use as child restraint systems on an aircraft, as they could injure the infant in case of an accident

Child car seat safety

Child restraint systems and other seating devices

Children who are travelling alone

If your child is travelling alone, contact the airline in advance to ask if someone from the airline will escort and supervise your child from check-in through arrival, and if there are any restrictions such as age limits.

Ensure that the person who brings your child to the airport stays at the airport until the flight has departed and that the person who is picking up your child at the point of arrival has appropriate identification and authorization.

A child who travels alone or without 1 of their parents or guardians should have a consent letter signed by the parents or guardians who are not accompanying the child.

You are permitted to pack the following items in your carry-on baggage:

  • Breast milk in quantities greater than 100 ml, even if you are flying without your child
  • Gel and ice packs to refrigerate breast milk or medically necessary items and medication that need to be refrigerated (as indicated on the label or a medical note)
  • baby food, formula, medications, milk, water and juice
  • gel or ice packs to keep your baby products cool

Check with the airline before you travel. Some items cannot be used during taxi, takeoff, landing or when directed by a crew member.

Carry-on baggage  (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority)

Planning is important when you fly with young children. A little strategic planning can make the flight a more pleasant experience for you, your children and other travellers.

Check if the family and special needs lane is available. Place infant carriers and other child-related items, including diaper bags, on the conveyor belt for security screening. Strollers need to be inspected separately.

Present all liquids to a screening officer for separate inspection.

Let your child walk through the metal detector. If your child is not able to do so alone, you can hold them in your arms as you walk through the metal detector.

Airport security screening – Families  (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority)

Related links

  • Children and travel
  • Travel documents for children
  • Travelling with children  (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority)

Are airlines required to seat families together? Guide to airline family seating policies

Tarah Chieffi

Editor's Note

As a mom of three, I'm no stranger to the ins and outs of flying with family .

I know how to disassemble and reassemble my double stroller with ninja-level precision so it will fit through the baggage scanner at security. I also throw screen time rules out the window on travel days. Most importantly, I don't take any chances when it comes to getting my family's seats together when we fly.

Because I know how turbulent flying with kids can be, I happily gave up my seat on a recent solo flight when a father asked if I would switch seats so he could sit with his young son.

I was also quick to say yes because he had a window seat a couple of rows in front of my own window seat. (Had he been in the middle seat, I might have needed an adult beverage thrown in to sweeten the deal, but I digress.)

Related: Should you ask to switch seats on a plane?

The crux of the issue is that it can be costly and confusing to find seats together when traveling with young kids. Some parents assume they will automatically be seated with their kids. Others may end up separated from their families if they are rebooked due to a cancellation. Regardless of the reason, airlines are not legally required to seat families together.

In November 2022, the Department of Transportation began monitoring airline seating policies to determine if federal regulation was necessary regarding family seating.

After months of monitoring, the DOT launched an online dashboard that displays, among other things, which airlines guarantee free family seating. This is part of a larger initiative by the Biden administration to improve consumer protections in the airline industry.

So far, only three airlines – American Airlines , Frontier Airlines and Alaska Airlines – comply with the DOT's guideline that airlines guarantee "adjacent seats for children 13 and under and an accompanying adult at no additional cost for all fare types."

That doesn't mean you are completely out of luck in guaranteeing your family sits together if you are flying on another major airline. Here is a guide to each airline's family seating policy and tips for ensuring your family members can sit together on your next flight.

American Airlines

Like most major airlines, American allows you to choose your seats when booking or at any time leading up to your flight.

There is no fee to choose your seats if you book a first-class, business-class, premium economy or main cabin fare. However, you will have to pay a fee to choose your seats if you choose basic economy tickets — American's least expensive (and most restrictive) fare type.

If you're traveling with children under 15 on any fare type, American's system will detect that you are a family traveling together and automatically search for seats together if you don't choose them yourself. If adjacent seats are unavailable for your entire family, American guarantees children under 15 will be seated next to at least one adult.

Related: Here's what it's really like flying business class with little kids

air canada seat selection with child

It's important that you do everything in your power to choose seats for your entire family at the time of booking. This is the only way to guarantee your entire family will sit together during your flight.

To do this, American advises the following :

  • Book your entire party's tickets in the same reservation.
  • Book your tickets as early as possible, so there are more available seats to choose from.
  • It's better to skip seat selection than to choose just a few seats or seats scattered throughout the cabin.

Related: Your ultimate guide to American Airlines AAdvantage

Alaska Airlines

To select your seats at the time of booking on an Alaska flight, you'll need to book either a first-class, premium or main-cabin ticket. Only a limited number of advance seating assignments are available to customers who purchase Alaska's Saver fare tickets.

If no advance seats are available, the seats will be assigned at the gate; this is not ideal for a family wishing to sit together.

The good news is that Alaska Airlines' family seating policy does guarantee that children under 14 will automatically be seated with at least one parent or guardian at no additional charge, including on Saver fares. So, even if you can't find adjacent seats for your entire family, you can rest assured that your children won't be seated separately from an adult.

air canada seat selection with child

To guarantee your family sits together on an Alaska Airlines flight :

  • Book as early as possible and reserve your family's seats together at the time of purchase.
  • Book children on the same reservation as adults.
  • Confirm seat selections made through third parties on Alaska Airlines' website or by speaking with a reservations agent by phone.
  • If you cannot get reserved seats together with your family during booking, call an Alaska Airlines reservation agent to review available seating options.
  • As a last resort, check in online exactly 24 hours before your flight, as this is when most unclaimed seats become available (does not apply to Saver fare seats, which are assigned at the gate on the day of departure).
  • Arrive at the gate at least 60 minutes prior to your departure time and speak with a gate agent. Alaska does block a limited number of seats to accommodate families and other needs on a first-come, first-served basis.

Delta Air Lines

All but one of Delta's fare types allow you to select your seats when you purchase your tickets.

If you want your family to sit together, steer clear of Delta's basic economy fares because they do not include advanced seat selection. If you purchase first class, Comfort+ or main cabin tickets, you'll have the option to select your seats during the booking process.

air canada seat selection with child

Delta's has other tips for getting your family's seats together :

  • Book children on the same reservation as the adults in your party.
  • Confirm seat selections made through third parties by calling a Delta reservations agent or going online .
  • If you cannot obtain seats together with your family, contact Delta by phone to review your options or, as a last resort, speak with a Delta gate agent at the airport.

Delta does try and seat family members together but only upon request.

Flight attendants will sometimes ask for volunteers to switch seats. The airline also blocks a handful of rows in the main economy cabin on most flights to accommodate groups and families. Still, there are no guarantees unless you reserve your family's seats together before arriving at the airport (preferably at the time of booking).

Frontier Airlines

Frontier's base fares can be alluring to budget-conscious flyers. However, you'll have to pay extra if you want the luxury of advanced seating assignments.

Luckily, Frontier updated its family seating policy to be in compliance with the DOT's recommendations and guarantees that children under age 14 will be seated automatically with at least one parent or guardian at no additional charge.

Unless you have elite status with Frontier , seat selection fees run between $17 and $90 per passenger per flight segment. There are no fare types that include complimentary seat selection for non-elite members if you want your entire family to sit together.

However, you could potentially make up the extra cost by joining Frontier's Discount Den and choosing a Kids Fly Free flight .

air canada seat selection with child

Frontier also recommends that families:

  • Book as early as possible and purchase advance seat reservations at the time of booking.
  • Book children on the same reservation as adults in your party.
  • If you book through a third party, visit Frontier's website as soon as possible to purchase advance seat selections.
  • Check in as early as possible online or through Frontier's mobile app and Frontier will assign group seats together if any are available.
  • If your family is not assigned seats together, speak with a gate agent for assistance.

JetBlue offers complimentary seat selection with all fare types except Blue Basic, meaning Blue and Blue Extra fares include free advance seat selection. However, for Blue Basic fares, there is a fee of between $5 and $40 each way to choose your seat more than 24 hours before departure (Seat selection is available for free at check-in).

With JetBlue's family seating policy , however, the airline guarantees that children ages 13 and younger will be seated next to at least one adult traveling with them on the same reservation without an additional fee. This applies to all fare types, including Blue Basic fares. At the time of booking, JetBlue's system will assign seats together for at least one accompanying parent as long as adjacent seats are still available when you book your flight.

air canada seat selection with child

Other tips from JetBlue :

  • Book as early as possible for maximum seat selection availability.
  • Confirm seat selections made through a third party on JetBlue's website.
  • If you cannot obtain seats together at the time of booking, contact a JetBlue agent at check-in or talk to one at the gate. They will do their best to seat your family together.

JetBlue does its best to keep families together and blocks a limited number of rows until the day of travel for passengers with disabilities and unaccompanied minors . If any seats are available after accommodating these passengers, JetBlue may be able to use them to seat families together.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is the one airline on this list that does not assign seats in advance, so you cannot purchase a specific seat assignment ahead of time.

With Southwest's open seating policy , you will be assigned a boarding group (A, B or C) and a position within that boarding group (1 through 60-plus) at check-in. Essentially, A1 is the best boarding position and you'll have the most seating options available to you when you board the plane.

Because of this, the strategies for getting your family's seats together on a Southwest flight differ from other airlines.

Check in on time

To get as high of a boarding group as possible, you'll need to check in exactly (like, to the second) 24 hours prior to your flight. This should land your family in an A or B boarding group, and most of the time, you won't have an issue getting your family's seats together. You may have to venture to the back of the plane to find those seats, though.

air canada seat selection with child

Utilize family boarding

If you have a B or C boarding group and are traveling with a child 6 years old or younger, you will have the option to board between the A and B groups during "family boarding."

Southwest's policy states that up to two adults can board with a child age 6 or younger during family boarding. If you have more adults than this in your party, speak with a Southwest gate agent to determine your best strategy for finding seats together once on board.

Related: Southwest Airlines offers expanded family boarding ages on some flights

Purchase EarlyBird Check-In or Upgraded Boarding

You can also purchase EarlyBird Check-In , which gives you the convenience of automatic check-in 36 hours before your flight. (Southwest's regular check-in process begins 24 hours prior to your flight.) This means you'll automatically receive an earlier boarding position and more available seats to choose from than if you'd done it yourself.

EarlyBird Check-In pricing starts at $15 per passenger per flight segment, and you must purchase it for everyone in your party. Depending on availability, you may also be able to purchase Upgraded Boarding at the gate for between $30 and $50 per person per flight segment to secure an A1-A15 boarding position.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card holders can receive two EarlyBird Check-Ins per year, which can bring the total cost for your family down a bit. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card also has a benefit of four Upgraded Boardings per year.

Rapid Rewards A-List and A-List Preferred members (and those traveling on the same reservation) automatically receive a boarding position 36 hours prior to departure, though you will still need to check in within 24 hours of your flight to receive your boarding pass.

air canada seat selection with child

Buy a Business Select fare

Finally, you have the option to purchase a Business Select fare, which, among other perks, includes priority boarding in the A1-A15 group.

Speak with an agent

If you don't heed our advice and find yourself at the airport with a less-than-desirable boarding group, Southwest advises that you speak with a gate agent or flight attendant. They will see if any passengers are willing to move to accommodate your family if you aren't able to get seats together.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines keeps its family seating advice plain and simple: The only way to guarantee you'll be able to sit with your family is to purchase your seat assignments ahead of time.

Seat assignments start at $5 per person per segment and vary by route and seat location in the aircraft. You can purchase your seat assignment when you book your flight, during check-in or anytime in between. However, the earlier you choose the seats, the better chance your entire family will be able to sit together.

Spirit currently has no official family seating policy. It only states that it "can't guarantee that you'll sit with your friends and family" if you don't purchase seat assignments; it says that gate agents will work to provide adjacent seats for guests flying with children aged 13 and under whenever possible.

air canada seat selection with child

There are ways to save money when purchasing your seats, though. Spirit Saver$ Club members receive low fares and discounted prices for add-ons like bags and seats. There is an annual fee, but if you have a large family or plan on flying Spirit Airlines often, the cost may be less than purchasing seats for your entire group.

Speaking of frequent flying, members of Spirit's Free Spirit loyalty program at the Gold level receive, among other perks, free seat selection at the time of booking. Unlike Frontier's program, Spirit's elite status perks, such as seat selection, do not confer to other members on the reservation.

United Airlines

United is also among the few airlines committed to helping families sit together on flights. United's family seating policy guarantees families with children under age 12 in certain cabins can sit together for free, regardless of fare type.

Now, United's new "dynamic seat map feature" will enable passengers to book two seats together for travelers under 12 and an adult companion for free, including on basic economy fares.

air canada seat selection with child

You'll probably want to avoid basic economy on United if you want your party to stay together. United explicitly states on its website that it's not able to guarantee your entire party will be able to sit together if you purchase a basic economy fare and do not purchase advance seat assignments.

Here are a few more helpful tips for families flying United :

  • Book your tickets as early as possible and reserve your family's seats together when booking.
  • Confirm seat selections made through a third party.
  • If only scattered seats are available at the time of booking, you are better off letting United's system automatically choose seats for you because it will attempt to seat families on the same reservation with unassigned seats together.
  • If you do not select seats in advance, United's system will attempt to find adjoining seats for you and your children under 15 on the same reservation, regardless of fare type.
  • If you cannot obtain seats together, arrive early at your departure gate and speak with a gate agent. They will ask for volunteers to move seats and help accommodate your family.

General tips

There is a lot of overlap with the guidance for getting your family's seats together on most U.S. airlines (with Southwest being the exception).

air canada seat selection with child

You want to do everything possible to:

  • Book early and select seats when you book. Do not wait until the last minute to check your seat assignments.
  • Avoid saver or basic fares because they often do not offer complimentary seat selection.
  • Choose your family's seats when booking, whether it's included with your fare or you have to pay an additional fee.
  • If you are unable to get your family's seats together at the time of booking, call the airline and speak with a reservations agent to determine the best course of action.
  • Keep checking seat availability in the months and weeks leading up to your flight, especially in the final week before your trip and again 24 hours before your flight. These are the times when people make last-minute changes or elite flyers receive automatic seat upgrades, freeing up space on the seating map.
  • If you arrive at the airport and still haven't been able to secure your family's seats together, politely ask a gate agent or flight attendant for help. You may still have the option to pay for an upgrade, or they can assist you by finding open seats. It may be too late to do anything official, but they'll be much more willing to help if you approach them with kindness.

Related: Where to sit on a plane with 2 small kids

Bottom line

Sometimes kind travelers will help parents who end up in a bind onboard, but there's no guarantee. Luckily, airlines are falling in line and making it easier for families traveling together to sit together.

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air canada seat selection with child

Family-friendly Air Canada: free seat selection for proximity seating

Post date: Jul 10 2018

Date: Jul 10 2018

By: Travelweek Group

MONTREAL — Air Canada’s family-friendly services available to passengers with young children flying Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or Air Canada Express now include dedicated check-in counters at major hubs and complimentary seat selection for proximity seating.

The range of services is designed to meet the needs of travelling families, according to the carrier.

“Summer is the time of family travel and Air Canada is pleased to offer special new services to make each trip easy and memorable for customers with young children. With Air Canada Family Summer Travel Services, we are introducing airport and onboard programs that will simplify all aspects of the travel experience for families during their summer holiday travels,” says Benjamin Smith, President Airlines and Chief Operating Officer at Air Canada.

Full details on the program as well as other travel information for family travel are available on the new AC Family page at aircanada.com .

Key selling points of the program include:

  • Dedicated family check-in lines for families travelling with young children at Air Canada’s main hubs at Toronto-Pearson, Montreal and Vancouver;
  • Complimentary, standard seat selection within each cabin of the aircraft for proximity seating for family members;
  • Pre-boarding between zones 2 and 3 for families travelling with young children;
  • Complimentary Air Canada Skyrider activity book for children up to age 11; and
  • Priority rebooking in event of schedule changes

Air Canada also continues to offer a fee-for-service Unaccompanied Minor program for children aged eight to 17 travelling without a parent or guardian on nonstop itineraries. The UM program includes a dedicated agent at both the departure and arrival airport and regular monitoring onboard by a flight attendant for the duration of the flight.

Details about the program are available at the AC Family page on aircanada.com .

Travel Week Logo

Tags: Air Canada, Family Travel, Rouge, Wired

air canada seat selection with child

Carpe Diem OUR Way Travel

Air Canada with Kids | Economy, Premium Economy and Signature Class Cabins

Posted on 2022-07-08

I have flown with my boys countless of times over the past decade. You may have stumbled upon my various airplane activity posts or snack packing list posts in the past. We are so thrilled that travel is back and I recently had the opportunity to test out all of Air Canada’s classes of service with my 8-year-old in tow! Instead of just telling parents what it is like to fly on Air Canada with kids, below I am able to show them what it is like. Below you will find photos of our experiences in Signature Class with kids, Premium Economy Class with kids and Economy Class with kids.

It is important to note that travel within Canada (and North America) is different than overseas travel. Do not expect meals and blankets in Economy class. Food is typically for purchase. Blankets and pillows are typically not provided. However, there are certain things that families do get when they fly Air Canada. One is free seat selection. Canadian regulations require that children are seated with a parent. If you do not pay to chose your seats, seats together will be allocated to you (typically AFTER you purchase and maybe even the next day).

Air Canada with Kids First Class and Economy Reviewed.

When you Arrive to the airport

DEDICATED CHECK IN:

Some airports have dedicated family check in for flights on Air Canada. While Vancouver does have it, it was closed when we checked in. Hopefully these services will be resumed to full capacity soon. Anyone who has kids knows that waiting to get rid of the luggage and waiting in slow moving lines can be tough with little ones.

PREBOARDING:

Air Canada allows pre-boarding for families with children under 6. This is great for those who are traveling with a car seat and who want to get settled. Personally I now board last (unless it is really late and I just want to get on). It means the kids are sitting for less time before the aircraft takes off. Whatever your choice, I have always found the Air Canada staff to be friendly and welcoming to families.

AIR CANADA GOODIE BAG:

Air Canada typically offers goodie bags for kids. My favorite thing in the bag are the over the ear headphones. I find earbugs are almost impossible for kids under 10. My kids get very frustrated with them constantly falling out. These latest bags also had some coloring accessories and a tic tac toe game.

air canada seat selection with child

Air Canada Signature Class with Kids

Air Canada’s First Class cabin is called “Signature Class” and features the very popular, lay-flat seats. I first flew Signature Class a few years ago and you can read my review about what it is like here. Often times it is referred to as First Class or Business Class by passengers, but, whatever the name it is Air Canada’s highest level of service. I mention this mostly because people looking for information will often search for Air Canada business class or Air Canada first class with kids so I want to make sure I capture the information that people are looking for!

Air Canada Business Class with kids.

Signature Class Set up with Families is Complicated

I find that Air Canada’s first class setup is for the single traveller. Which is fine. I love the privacy of it. But it does not even really work for couples, as you cannot talk to anyone without leaving your seat. With that being said, it is doable and the comfort level is 10/10 if you are taking an overnight flight.

Where it can get complicated is with young kids. My boys are very different. Mattias is independent and happy to be solo, where Markus hates to be alone and is much more comfortable with close contact. Now that he is 8 and we had the opportunity to check out the Signature Class I would 100% do it again. But I did get up and walk over to his side about a dozen times. However when he was 5 this would have been almost impossible. And younger than that, not at all. He would not have stayed in his seat. However for Mattias when he was 5 he would have said see ya mom, and figured out how his seat worked and left me alone for hours.

We all know our kids best, that is why I mention both of mine as they are so different. If you have a snuggly kid like Markus, or one that wants to talk to you a lot, you should consider premium economy to travel as a family.

air canada seat selection with child

If you are looking for seat set ups on Air Canada pods with kids, I do have some helpful hints.  

Option #1: THE MIDDLE SEATS SAME ROW: choose the seats in the middle of the plane, that way, there is just a small partition and you can reach over it to hand your children things. The downside is you cannot help with buttons or seatbelts and would have to walk all the way around the cabin the be beside them

Air Canada Business Class With Kids

Option #2 MIDDLE AND WINDOW: The way my configuration was set up, the adjacent window seat was a little behind mine, so I could see the passenger there. If you sit in the middle seat and have your child in the window just behind you, you can easily get up and take one step to help them and reach them. The seat just in front of the middle is not as ideal as you cannot see into the pod at all.

air canada dreamliner business class review

Option #3 MIDDLE SEATS ONE BEHIND THE OTHER: This is another good option to be just one step away from your child. You can stand up and take one step and you are beside them. It is probably the CLOSEST option, although you cannot turn around and see them while sitting. At least in the option above, you can see them from your seat if you look behind you. 

Where to sit on Air Canada Signature Class with Kids

Air Canada Premium Economy with Kids

After reading about Air Canada’s highest level of service and its drawbacks for anyone not traveling solo, you will be happy to know that Premium Economy is nothing like sitting in Economy. I find the premium economy label misleading as I personally assoicaite it with airlines that do not have a nice first class. But Air Canada’s premium economy has almost everything that signature class has without the pods and fancy headphones. If you want space with kids, premium economy has it. If you want upgraded level of service, better food, glassware (I LOVE the Air Canada glasses IYKYK) nicely plated meals rather than plastic laden meal trays, premium economy has it.

Air Canada with kids in premium class

Air Canada’s premium economy has several advantages for families. Firstly, there are two seats together. While I ended up being in front of Markus, it was fine, because I could reach back and touch him easily. While it would have been even easier if we were side by side, this worked for us. These seats also have a huge recline so sleeping is a lot easier than in economy class. The headrests are also fully adjustable.

Air Canada Premium Economy Section

Air Canada Economy Class with Kids

There is nothing wrong with economy class and to be honest, it is how we usually travel. I try and get a window when possible so the kids can lean against it, but they do struggle to get comfortable propping the small pillows against the wall.

I never choose the bulkhead rows when I am traveling with my kids. The arm rests in the bulkheads hold the tray table so they do not lift up. We always raise our armrests and snuggle in for more comfort. While bulkheads offer more leg room, kids do not really need it and dealing with the tray table is a hassle.

Air Canada Kids Meal

Air Canada offers the opportunity to order a kid’s meal ahead of your flight. You must book it in advance, not when you check-in. There are a few advantages to ordering a kid’s meal when flying on Air Canada. One of the reasons that I always order a special meal for my kids is because the special meals come out first. While that often means that the kids do have the meal in front of them for a long time, it does provide a welcome distraction.

Note that if you are flying overseas on a code share (meaning you bought your ticket from Air Canada but another airline, British Airways or Lufthansa for example, your meal choice may not transfer over to their system.) However I have found you can use your booking number on their website to choose your special meal. You can also contact Air Canada reservations and they can make a note on your booking.

Typically the kid’s meals are more child-friendly options, pasta with tomato sauce etc but to be honest, most of the time my kids will just snack on the bun. Sometimes even, they prefer the adult meal. So when my meal comes around, if it is rice or potatoes, I will often switch with them and eat their pasta, because anyone who files a lot knows, when you are offered a choice, always pick the pasta : )

Air Canada has a whole section on their kids meals. You can find it on their website.

Air Canada children's meal in economy.

More About Air Canada

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic carrier and among the 20 largest airlines in the world. As of summer 2022 Air Canada expands its summer schedule with the recent service resumption announcement of 34 routes to Europe, Asia, Africa and The Middle East. The airline’s international network extends to 67 airports from its Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver hubs, as well as from Calgary and Halifax, and 96 total routes. As travel resumes to full capacity I am sure that Air Canada will continue to add routes back to its schedule!

Image Credits:

header photo courtesy of Air Canada

Lindsay Nieminen hails from Vancouver, Canada and shares her love of travel on this website. She is passionate about showing others that they should not put off traveling the world just because they have young children or are single parents. She aims to encourage them to seek out adventure, whether it is at home or abroad by providing information on how just about everywhere can be a destination to explore as a family.

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In signature class, you can remove that divider between seats. Thin piece of plastic lifts up. So you can easily talk to and pass items to your partner next door.

Unfortunately not all of the planes have the divider that can be removed. We have actually never been on a plane that has the removable ones so its better to plan for them not to be removable!

thanks so much for the review, we are looking at booking flights from UK to Toronto in Business Class with our 2.5 year old – not sure the best seating plan for this?

We are finding flights from the UK to Toronto in July are cheaper in Business than Premium – around £800 cheaper for Business, even though Premium would be better for our daugher.

thanks again.

Thanks for the feedback! that’s quite a conundrum (and surprising).

This blog entry was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you! Markus sounds similar to my daughter, and your blog confirmed what I was already thinking with the signature class pods being too separated. Premium economy sounds much better for us. Thanks again!

I am so glad it was helpful!

Thank you so much for this blog, especially the info on seating arrangement in business class. I am flying business with my 7 year old for the first time and had no idea which seats to pick.

So glad it was useful Sharon! Enjoy your trip!

Air Canada backs down on $40 fee to seat child with parent

Airline says it amended procedures to allow complimentary seating for children on tango flights.

air canada seat selection with child

Social Sharing

Air Canada says it has amended its policies after a leading air passenger rights advocate criticized an incident where the airline refused to guarantee a toddler a seat next to her parents on a Vancouver to Toronto flight unless a $40 fee was paid .

  • Air Canada says parents must pay to guarantee 2-year-old can sit with them on flight

Gabor Lukacs told CBC News Friday that Air Canada is mandated by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to make all reasonable efforts to seat children 12 and under adjacent to an accompanying adult. Its own operating tariff says it will do just that — and for free, even on the airline's economy brand, Tango, he added.

"Air Canada is misleading the families and is engaging in fear-mongering,"  Lukacs said.

"Essentially Air Canada is asking for ransom money to ensure that children are seated next to their parents while actually as a matter of law,  they are required to do it anyway — and free of charge.

"It is a cash grab," Lukacs said.

New procedures implemented today

Asked for comment over its procedures for seating children,  Air Canada said Friday that it, "automatically assigns seating without an advance seat selection fee soon after the booking has been made, either directly through Air Canada or through a travel agency, for parents and guardians who have indicated they are travelling with children on a Tango fare."

air canada seat selection with child

They said the new information will be updated to their website shortly.

The change of procedure comes a day after CBC News published the story of Caley and Matt Hartney , who were told that their two-year-old daughter, Charlotte, would not be guaranteed a seat next to one of them, without a $40 charge.

"I clarified with the [call centre agent] three or four times, that he was telling me my child was not guaranteed a seat next to [us] without a fee," Carley Hartney said Friday.

Informed that her story had prompted a change in procedures, Hartney said she was delighted.

"I am really happy to hear that," she said.

'Children have to be safe. Full stop'

The idea that a child under 12 should sit next to a parent or guardian on a flight is not about convenience, Lukacs argues. It is a straightforward safety issue.

"The children have to be safe and Air Canada cannot operate a flight, and cannot have terms and conditions that jeopardize the safety of children — whether it is Tango, executive class or whatever.

"Children have to be safe. Full stop."

Lukacs said that no one is expecting that families should be able to insist on all sitting in a specific row number, just that a child under 12 is seated next to an accompanying adult for no extra charges.

"That's all, " he said. "Nothing beyond that."

Last year, following a passenger complaint against another airline, Air Canada, along with several other carriers, were ordered by the CTA to file new tariffs by March 2, 2015 that "reflect the fact that the respondents have adopted supplemental seating policies or procedures and are making reasonable efforts to ensure that children are seated with their accompanying guardian."

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' class=

Hello, can someone please tell me if its possible to make a fee free Seat selection during the Online Check in process?

Route Germany - Canada

We are a Familiy of 4 with two Kids 12&14 and ive read, that without payed seat reservation it could be that we got sit seperated from our Kids!

' class=

Seat children under the age of 5 directly beside their accompanying passenger. They must not be separated by an aisle unless the plane's layout requires it (for example, where a plane has banks of single seats only). In those cases, the two passengers should be seated in the same row, separated only by the aisle.

Seat children aged 5 to 11 in the same row as their accompanying passenger and separated by no more than one seat (or the space of an aisle).

Seat children aged 12 or 13 no more than two rows away from their accompanying passenger. This means that there should not be more than one row between them.

The above are the rules they are required to follow. You can usually choose free seats in the online check in process also.

' class=

"We are a Familiy of 4 with two Kids 12&14 and ive read, that without payed seat reservation it could be that we got sit seperated from our Kids!"

Above has some excellent information.

What you likely can expect is to have two seats together (more or less) for one parent and the 12 year old. As to the other parent and the 14 years old, they could be anywhere in the cabin.

If you want 4 seat close together, then you will have to pay.

You should have no issues getting two sets of two seats, or at the very least seats in front or behind the other.

As always, if you want a guarantee of 4 seats together you will need to pay for them.

air canada seat selection with child

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity.

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Air Canada flying with babies

Does air canada impose age restrictions for infants.

Infants under 7 days old are not accepted for travel on Air Canada flights.

Infants at least 7 days old may travel only accompanied on the same flight and in the same compartment by an adult at least 16 years of age .

An adult passenger occupying the same or adjacent seat occupied by the infant may travel with only one infant on Air Canada flights.

When does Air Canada require a ticket purchase for my baby?

Air Canada requires you to purchase a ticket for your baby when:

  • Your child has reached his/her second birthday before the commencement of travel, for the entire trip, or during your trip, for the returning flight.
  • You and your child will be traveling internationally , regardless of your baby’s age, and whether or not the baby will be sitting on your lap.

If an infant reaches his/her second birthday between the departing flight and the return flight of an international itinerary, the fare can be determined from one of the following two options:

  • You can choose to reserve a seat for your infant on both flights, and the child will pay the full published child fare for the entire trip.
  • You can choose to travel with your infant on lap on the departing flight, and the child will pay the infant fare on departure and the child fare on return.

Does Air Canada offer discounts for infants or children traveling on domestic or international flights?

You may travel with your infant on your lap until his/her second birthday, free of charge, on flights within Canada . Also, there is no charge when an infant on lap travels between Canada and the U.S., but taxes apply .

Children under 2 years old, occupying a seat, pay the applicable adult fare when traveling within Canada and between Canada and the U.S. (no discount) .

For international flights , Air Canada charges the infant fare (10% of the adult fare) when the child is traveling in the parent’s lap , and the child fare applies when a seat is reserved for an infant and a child restraint device is used. The discount does not apply to fees, taxes, charges, and surcharges.

What is Air Canada policy on checking-in and baggage allowance when traveling with a child?

When traveling with an infant or child, you may choose the way you want to check in . In addition to the option of checking in with an Air Canada agent at the ticket counter, Web Check-in, Mobile Check-in, and Self-Service Kiosk Check-in are available when traveling with your infant or child. However, boarding passes must be printed at the airport if you check in using a mobile device.

A child or infant’s baggage allowance is over and above the baggage allowance of the parent . For children and infants occupying a seat, the normal carry-on baggage allowance applies. If the infant does not occupy a seat (infant on lap), the accompanying adult may carry on board one standard carry-on bag for the infant’s belongings, in addition to the normal carry-on allowance .

On Air Canada, Air Canada Express, and Air Canada Rouge flights, infants on lap have a checked baggage allowance based on the itinerary . You can use Air Canada Checked Baggage Calculator to find your baby’s baggage allowance and any applicable charges.

For each infant or child, two of the following items are accepted free of charge:

  • One stroller – a stroller with a collapsed diameter at most 25.5 cm (10 in) and a length not exceeding 92 cm (36 in) may be checked at the gate and will be delivered at the aircraft door at every point in your journey; large strollers must be checked at the baggage counter and will be delivered to the arrivals baggage hall at the final destination. Because large strollers are also subject to space limitations, there is a risk that they cannot be accommodated in the aircraft.
  • One car seat or booster seat – to be checked.
  • One playpen – may be substituted for either a stroller or car seat.

Infant on Lap

Air Canada allows children under 2 years old to travel on an adult’s lap to any destination , domestic or international. Because child restraint devices are not permitted in the Signature Class , infants cannot occupy their own seat and must travel as an infant on lap .

If you’re traveling with an infant in Economy Class on some aircraft¹ , you may request a bassinet in advance of travel by contacting Air Canada Reservations. However, availability cannot be confirmed until the time of your flight’s departure. Bassinets are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. For safety reasons, bassinets can be used only for infants weighing less than 12 kg (25 lbs) who are unable to sit upright .

¹ Airbus A330 300 ,   Boeing B777 200LR (77L) , Boeing B777 300ER (77W) International Layout 1 , Boeing B777 300ER (77W) International Layout 2 , Boeing B787-8 (788) International , Boeing B787-9 (789) International .

Infants Traveling in Their Own Seat

If you prefer your child under 2 years old to travel in his/her own seat, you must call Air Canada Reservations to book your travel . An infant for whom a seat is purchased must be properly secured in an approved child restraint device.

Child Restraint Devices

Whenever the seat belt sign is on, the infant must be properly secured in an approved child restraint device . Only an approved child restraint device can be used on board Air Canada aircraft. Air Canada is bound by Transport Canada regulations with regards to acceptable child restraint devices (with the exception of the CARES child restraint device). Accepted child restraint devices must meet the following requirements :

  • Models manufactured in Canada must bear a label stating that “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards”, or the National Safety Mark, indicating the number of the standard(s) to which the restraint device conforms: CMVSS 213 for a child restraint device or 213.1 for an infant restraint device .
  • Models manufactured in the U.S. must bear the label “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards” and, in red lettering, this additional label “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft.”
  • Foreign-built car seats must adhere to Transport Canada regulations.
  • Legible CARES label with approval standards (FAA approved in accordance with 14 CFR 21.305 (d) and approved for aircraft use only).
  • Part number 4082-1 on label.

The following child restraint devices are not accepted for in-flight use : booster seats, belly loops, vest or harness type devices, Little Cargo seats (regardless of any claims from the manufacturer that they are approved for use in aircraft).

A combination system (i.e. a child restraint system and a booster cushion) is accepted for in-flight use provided that all labeling requirements are met. It must be used as a child restraint system with the internal harness system installed, and cannot be used in-flight as a booster cushion, with the internal harness system removed. Pouch-type infant carriers (e.g. Baby Hawk Ergo or Snugli) are allowed for use on Air Canada flights, except whenever the seat belt sign is on or during take-off, landing, and taxiing on the runway.

All approved devices must be installed according to the directions on the device and secured using the seat belt fitted on the aircraft seat. They must fit between the armrests of the seat. For safety reasons, child restraint devices (including CARES child restraint devices) are not permitted in Signature Class at any time.

Children who are 2 years or older must have a ticket and a reserved seat when traveling on an Air Canada flight. The use of an approved child restraint device is optional. Children pay the applicable adult fare for travel within Canada and between Canada and the U.S. (no discount) . Air Canada offers discounted tickets only for children between the ages of 2 and 11 years who are traveling internationally . A child traveling on an international flight will pay the child fare until his/her 12th birthday and the applicable adult fare after his/her 12th birthday.

The following travel beds for kids are not accepted for in-flight use: BedBox, Plane Pal, Fly-Tot, Fly LegsUp, Flyebaby.

In Signature Class, a child aged 2 to 7 must be seated directly in front of, directly behind, or in an adjacent seat facing the accompanying adult. When booking travel with young children in Signature Class, call Air Canada Reservations to ensure the availability of appropriate seating.

For domestic and international departures from Toronto-Pearson (YYZ) and Montreal-Trudeau (YUL) airports and for domestic departures from Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary International airports, Air Canada offers Family Check-in for families with kids under age 6 . At Family Check-in, kids may receive a special luggage tag.

Families with kids under age 6 board early , before general boarding (between Boarding zones 2 and 3) thus having extra time to store belongings and settle in.

Air Canada offers Family Seating to make sure you and your kids under age 14 sit close to each other at no extra charge by assigning generic seats in proximity to each other within 48 hours after the ticket is issued.  You can then review your seat assignment in My Bookings and validate or change your seat assignment. If no adult is seated in close proximity to a child, you may contact Air Canada Reservations to change your booking to another flight or cancel your trip, at no extra charge.

Special meals for infants and children are available on all international flights and in Business Class, Premium Economy, and Premium Rouge on domestic flights and must be ordered at least 18 hours before departure. Baby formula, breast milk, juice, and baby food (in small containers) are permitted in carry-on baggage, which you should bring in a small cooler because onboard refrigeration may not always be available on all aircraft types.

On Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge flights within Canada, coloring books are offered to keep kids entertained. On flights to Europe, Asia, Australia, or South America, kids are offered a backpack with an activity book and a crayon kit.

More information here >>

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As featured on

Parents Say Air Canada Policy To Seat Them With Their Kids Isn't Always Applied

Parents Editor, HuffPost Canada

Air Canada's policy is to sit young children together with a parent or guardian at no additional charge.

Preparing to take kids on a long flight is stressful enough without discovering you’re not actually seated next to your child.

Yet that’s exactly what some parents say has happened to them recently on Air Canada flights . In a Twitter thread Sunday, a number of parents say they’ve had to pay extra to pre-book seats in order to guarantee they can sit next to their children, or kick up a fuss with a booking agent to get their seats changed.

Parents being separated from their kids on flights has been a hot-button issue for years, and in 2015 former transport minister Lisa Raitt urged airlines to put an end to it. According to the new standards set out in the passenger bill of rights , airlines will soon have to ensure that kids under age 14 are seated near their parents or guardians at no extra cost.

And while Air Canada’s policy is to sit young children together with a parent or guardian at no additional charge, some frustrated parents say that hasn’t been their experience.

Family separation in economy class is @AirCanada 's new defacto position. My 5 y-o isn't sitting w her dad on a flight to Toronto tomorrow AM, his calls to customer service be damned. And given how frequently minors & girls are violated/abused when flying alone, I am livid. https://t.co/xhjoH3jXO4 — Neda Maghbouleh (@nedasoc) June 9, 2019

“Family separation in economy class is Air Canada’s new defacto position. My 5 y-o isn’t sitting w her dad on a flight to Toronto tomorrow AM, his calls to customer service be damned. And given how frequently minors & girls are violated/abused when flying alone, I am livid,” Toronto sociologist and author Neda Maghbouleh tweeted Sunday evening.

“Just got off cust. service w/ who says tough luck about having my 5 y/o year sit by herself on a 5 hour flight tmrrw (I can’t see my seat assignments until today). Apparently on Air Canada 5 & under children sitting with their parents is a privilege you have to $ for,” her spouse and fellow sociologist Clayton Childress tweeted moments earlier.

Childress’ situation was eventually resolved after Air Canada responded on Twitter , he and Maghbouleh later explained, and he was booked next to his daughter. Air Canada also confirmed with HuffPost Canada that the father and child were seated together for Monday’s flight.

But Childress tweeted that it “ shouldn’t take RTs and followers ” for that to happen. And several other parents chimed in with similar stories to his.

Yes, this isn’t anything new. Happened to us a few years ago with my 8 yr old daughter. 8 is also too young to force a child to sit alone. They rectified after I made a fuss. We shouldn’t have to make a fuss. The airline shouldn’t be making these decisions for families. — Naz Deravian (@bottomofthepot1) June 10, 2019
Public policy and automated booking policy obviously don't line up. Recently my 4 yo granddaughter was seated away from her mother after booking by phone. @AirCanada claimed they did not know she was 4. Age is required info when booking tickets, so that's a crock. — Miriam Richards (@richardsmiriam1) June 10, 2019
Had a similar situation with them and was so puzzled as to why!!! — jairan gahan (@GahanJairan) June 10, 2019

Air Canada’s policy is to sit young children together with a parent or guardian at no additional charge, spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick told HuffPost Canada in an emailed statement. In fact, customers travelling with children usually will find that at check-in, their seats have already been assigned together, he added.

“We carry hundreds, if not thousands of families every day and the Canadian Transportation Agency has rated our process for seating children together with their parents/guardians as best practice in the Canadian industry,” Fitzpatrick said.

WATCH: 6 takeaways from the new passenger bill of rights. Story continues below.

“We are also working to be fully compliant with the new provisions of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations respecting the seating of children when they take effect Dec. 15.”

By Dec. 15, airlines will have to ensure that kids under age five are seated next to their parent or guardian, kids age five to 11 are no more than a seat away in the same row, and kids age 12 and 13 are no more than a row away, according to the Canadian Transportation Industry .

Airlines could be fined up to $25,000 per incident for non-compliance.

The airline has drawn ire for its treatment of parents and children before. In 2017, A P.E.I. mom was barred from boarding an Air Canada flight because she was travelling with two infant children, which violated Canadian safety regulations, but she said the airline had previously told her (twice) it wouldn’t be an issue.

That same year, a two-year-girl peed her pants after an Air Canada flight attendant allegedly kept her from going to the nearby executive bathroom because they were seated in economy.

And in March, a mom tweeted that an Air Canada customer service rep told her to breastfeed her infant son in the plane bathroom during their upcoming flight.

Also on HuffPost:

From Our Partner

air canada seat selection with child

Families and children

Families and children

Are you traveling as a family? With our Kids service, our top priority is to maximize comfort and well-being for you and your family: personalized services at the airport, special meals for infants and children, onboard entertainment and more. Our cabin crew makes sure your flight is a truly pleasant experience.

Total comfort for you and your child

REDUCED FARES If your child is 2 years or older

  • When traveling with your child, you can enjoy a discount, if the fare allows, on your child's ticket: up to 20% on short-haul flights and up to 33% on medium-haul and long-haul flights.
  • If you are traveling with children over 2 years old, you can choose your seat when booking your trip or can be seated side by side by an agent at the airport.
  • We guarantee that children between 2 and 11 years old will be seated next to one of their accompanying adults at the latest on the day of their flight's departure.
  • You will receive side-by-side seating at no extra chose at the latest on the day of your flight's departure to/from Canada.

If your child is under 2 years old

  • He or she can travel on your lap on any flight at a discount* of 90%.
  • Alternatively, your infant can travel on the seat next to you. In this case, you will need to buy a child fare ticket (2-11 years old) and bring an approved  car seat or  harness for your child to use.
  • If your child celebrates their second birthday during your trip, they will automatically be registered for the child rate for all the flights in your booking. The infant discount no longer applies. If you would like your infant (under 2 years of age) to travel in an individual seat next to yours, please  contact us to reserve the seat and find out which type of safety devices are allowed (car seat or harness) during your trip.

* For flights between Paris and Corsica, infants (aged 0-2 years) may travel on your lap free of charge. Important: If you would like to travel in the La Première cabin with your infant, please contact us by telephone, as specific fares and conditions apply.

Are you traveling with one or more children?

The "Sparadrap" association, with support from the Air France Foundation, has created this short video to answer common questions that children may have before they travel by plane.

visuel-sparadrap-youtube

PLAN YOUR TRIP Discover our  Options at a glance and organize your trip according to your needs.

If you plan ahead, you'll arrive on board relaxed and with peace of mind. Please check in online as soon as you can, and read our tips to save time at the airport . At Paris-Charles de Gaulle or Paris-Orly, you can choose the  Meet & Greet Option to receive personalized assistance, seamless passage through security checkpoints and, if needed, help in your own language.

papa-et-enfant-valise

There are many places in the airport to change and nurse your baby. For older children, some terminals offer dedicated areas for them to play or relax before boarding the plane.

Your child is 2 years or older

  • Your child has the same baggage allowance as an adult.
  • The total number and weight of baggage items permitted depends on their travel cabin and ticket type.

Your child is under 2 years

  • If your child has their own seat, they can travel with the number of baggage items included in their ticket.
  • ON BOARD one hand baggage weighing up to 12 kg/26.4 lb and measuring no more than 55 x 35 x 25 cm/21.7 x 13.8 x 9.9 in.
  • IN THE HOLD one checked baggage for your child weighing up to 10 kg/22 lb in addition to the number of baggage items included in your ticket

*Light Fare bookings with no baggage option are not eligible for this service. However, all fares allow you to check in either a stroller or backpack-style carrier, as well as a car seat. 

On board our long-haul flights in the Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins, we can provide you with a bassinet if available. Please contact us ahead of time to make your request. Bassinets are designed for infants weighing less than 10kg/22lbs and measuring less than 70cm/27in. They must be stowed away in the event of turbulence. Baby-changing tables are also available. To check availability and submit your request for a bassinet, please  contact us  by phone as soon as possible after booking your flight, and at least 48 hours before your departure.

pilote-tend-ourson-enfant

For all cabins on long-haul flights* , your child will receive a baby comforter. In the La Première, Business, and Premium Economy cabins, this cuddly toy comes with a matching pouch, certified organic thermal water made in France, and cotton squares to wash your baby.

doudou

If you would like your infant (under 2 years old) to travel in an individual seat, you must install him or her in an approved car seat or harness. However, some aircraft and seats do not permit the use of these safety devices. As travel rules vary by aircraft, please contact us by telephone to book a seat for your infant. Please note: For safety reasons, any equipment designed for children to sleep horizontally (convertible bag that serves as a bed, inflatable mattress placed in front of the seat, etc.) are not permitted on board Air France aircraft.

ON OUR LONG-HAUL FLIGHTS*

repas-enfant

With the Kids service, we offer a meal that is adapted to your child's needs: playful plating, and balanced and pre-cut dishes. If your child is between 2 and 6 years old, we will automatically book this meal for them. All meals are organic. If your child is between 7 and 11 years old, they will automatically qualify for an adult meal. If you wish, you can request a Kids meal. Please make sure to submit your request at least 24 hours before your flight's departure.

repas-bebe

You can request a meal composed of sweet and salty little jars made from organic farming as well as baby cookies up to 48 hours before departure. However, we recommend that you bring your own baby bottle and food to make sure you have enough to feed your child.

On long-haul flights*, your child receives games and coloring books suited to his or her age. Your child can also enjoy our selection of kids' entertainment : cartoons, new movies for all ages and kids' radio stations. Does your child have a tablet or smartphone? Starting from 30 hours before the flight, download our range of magazines for young people in the Air France Press app .

visuel-kit-kids

* The Air France long-haul network  includes most intercontinental flights, notably those:

  • between metropolitan France and the Caribbean or the Indian Ocean,
  • between metropolitan France and the French overseas departments and territories,
  • between Europe and Asia, Oceania, Africa (not including North Africa), North or South America, or the Middle East .

Children and youth under 16 years of age traveling from the United Kingdom are exempt from paying the British Airport Tax (Air Passenger Duty). This exemption is automatic.

Accompanying passenger

  • Every child* must be accompanied by an independent adult who is at least 18 years of age. The accompanying adult may be under the age of 18 if he or she is the child's father, mother or legal guardian. The child and the accompanying passenger must travel in the same cabin. If it is not the case, the child is considered an unaccompanied minor (UM).

* Up to 12 years of age for flights within metropolitan France and flights to/from French overseas departments and territories, and up to 15 years of age for international flights.

  • A passenger may travel with 2 infants (under 2 years old) however the booking must be made by  telephone . Additionally, 1 of the 2 infants must travel in an individual seat at a child fare and must be installed in an approved car seat or harness .
  • under the age of 15  within our international network,
  • under the age of 12  within our Metropolitan and Overseas France network.

Travel tips

- Travel is not recommended for infants in the 7 days following birth. - Avoid travel if your infant is ill. - Bring enough bottles and food for the trip. - Please remember to bring the items you need for changing your infant (diapers, wipes, etc.). - Make sure your infant drinks amply during the trip. - Prior to departure, please remember to make sure you have all your child's documents required by the police, customs agents and immigration officers at your destination country. - If you are bringing a stroller on board, please remember to affix a label displaying your contact information (name, address, phone number and e-mail). - If your child is receiving medical treatment or suffers from travel sickness, please remember to bring his or her medical record and medications. - Choose comfortable and warm clothing (sweaters and socks). - During take-off and landing, give your child a piece of candy or chewing gum, or a pacifier, bottle, lollipop or cookie for infants, to reduce possible earaches.

Traveling with a stroller

You can transport a foldable stroller and car seat in the hold at no extra charge. Some strollers may be accepted in the cabin, subject to space availability. Depending on the type of stroller, the following size limits apply.

  • Small foldable stroller:* dimensions cannot exceed 15 cm x 30 cm x 100 cm / 5.9 in x 11.8 in x 39.4 in
  • Other foldable stroller: this replaces your child's hand baggage allowance and once folded, its dimensions cannot exceed 55 cm x 35 cm x 25 cm / 21.7 in x 13.8 in x 9.8 in.

* Space permitting on long-haul flights, except between metropolitan France and Cayenne, Fort-de-France, Havana, Mauritius, Pointe-à-Pitre, Punta Cana, Reunion, Saint-Martin and Santo Domingo.

poussette

Please note: strollers must be packed in a carrying case that covers the stroller fully. In addition, for security reasons, some airports may have to deny access to strollers inside the boarding areas.

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Plan & Book

Flight information, infinity mileagelands, business travel, please select your country / region of residence, customer commitment, baggage information.

Regarding to the transportation of musical instruments and lost or damage baggage, please click Excess Baggage and Other Optional Fees and Delayed / Missing / Damaged Baggage .

Assignment of Seats to Children under the Age of 14 Years

According to Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) APPR, for passengers who are travelling on EVA Air/UNI Air operated flights to/from Canada, EVA Air/UNI Air will strive to seat children under age of 14 near their parent, guardian or tutor at no extra charge.

  • To avoid limited seats on the day of travel, we recommend you to select seats as soon as you purchase your ticket. Passengers with Premium Economy Class Basic, Economy Class Basic or Discount product cannot make complimentary seat selections during the booking process, please contact EVA Air Reservations Centers. We will strive to seat children with one accompanying adult at no extra charge. Be sure to book children with you in the same reservation or do cross-reference in different record.
  • under the age of 5: in a seat directly adjacent to the accompanying adult
  • aged 5 to 11: in the same row and separated by no more than one seat from the accompanying adult
  • aged 12 or 13: separated by no more than a row from the accompanying adult
  • If you want to select particular seats for you and your family, you may consider purchasing seat selection with a fee or selecting different Fare Family Types that complimentary for seat selection.
  • If it is not possible to arrange a proximity seat when you contact our reservations centers, we will make every effort to facilitate seat assignment at the time of check-in, at the boarding gate or before take-off. However, it is possible that there are limited seats to arrange it when it is close to or on the day of travel. You may contact EVA Air Reservations to change your booking to another flight on which we can provide proximity seating, or cancel your trip Change/refund fee will be waived.

You can click on the link to read the EVA Air Conditions of Carriage .

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IMAGES

  1. Air Canada Seat Selection Policy 2023, +1-888-565-0250

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  2. SeatGuru Seat Map Air Canada

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  3. Seat Map Air Canada Boeing B737 MAX 8

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  4. Air Canada Seat Selection: What to Know

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  5. How to Select Seats in Advance for Air Canada?

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  6. Air Canada Airbus A320 Seating Chart

    air canada seat selection with child

COMMENTS

  1. Air Canada

    Children and Travel Children and Travel Booking, Ticketing and Seating Bassinets and Strollers Child Restraint Devices Travelling with your children on Air Canada is simple! Here are some useful tips for a seamless travel experience: Family Check-in Flying with kids under age 6?

  2. Air Canada Flying With Kids Information

    We recommend that you purchase a seat for your child and use a child restraint device. An infant for whom a seat is purchased must be properly secured in an approved child restraint device. Air Canada does not provide child restraint devices. Travelling with more than one infant

  3. Seating of Children with an Accompanying Passenger on an Airplane: A

    1. Introduction This guide explains the steps airlines operating to, from and within Canada must take to help seat children under the age of 14 close to their parent, guardian or tutor (accompanying passenger) at no additional charge. The guide covers: When and how an airline must help seat these children;

  4. Guide to Air Canada Seat Selection

    Enter your booking reference or ticket number and last name. Select "Find" to retrieve your booking, then select the "Change seats" link. However, not all seat selections are free. If you...

  5. Seating of children under 14 with parent or guardian

    Seating of Children with an Accompanying Passenger on an Airplane: A Guide explains the steps airlines operating to, from and within Canada must take to help seat children under the age of 14 close to their parent, guardian or tutor at no additional charge.

  6. Air travel with children

    Although children under 2 years old may be held in your arms during a flight, Transport Canada highly recommends that you use an approved child restraint system (car seat) for all legs of the flight. Car seats are designed to different standards than aircraft seats, so they may work differently and fit differently in planes.

  7. Air Canada Family Seating Experience : r/familytravel

    Air Canada has a "Family Seating" policy that ensures families with kids under 14 sit together at no extra charge. It looks like they try to seat at least ONE adult in close proximity to the child, and if not, they can change you to another flight or cancel the trip without charge. It also says a fee may apply if we change the free standard ...

  8. Guide to airline family seating policies

    So far, only three airlines - American Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Alaska Airlines - comply with the DOT's guideline that airlines guarantee "adjacent seats for children 13 and under and an accompanying adult at no additional cost for all fare types."

  9. Family-friendly Air Canada: free seat selection for ...

    By: Travelweek Group Share MONTREAL — Air Canada's family-friendly services available to passengers with young children flying Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or Air Canada Express...

  10. Air Canada with Kids

    If you are looking for seat set ups on Air Canada pods with kids, I do have some helpful hints. Option #1: THE MIDDLE SEATS SAME ROW: choose the seats in the middle of the plane, that way, there is just a small partition and you can reach over it to hand your children things.The downside is you cannot help with buttons or seatbelts and would have to walk all the way around the cabin the be ...

  11. Air Canada

    Air Canada - Advance Seat Selection. See your profile. Join Aeroplan Join Aeroplan. We have detected a device type and/or operating system version that may result in slow performance on this site. If you are experiencing problems, please try our mobile app Opens in a new window .

  12. Air Canada backs down on $40 fee to seat child with parent

    Asked for comment over its procedures for seating children, Air Canada said Friday that it, "automatically assigns seating without an advance seat selection fee soon after the booking has been ...

  13. Air Canada Seat Selection, Online Check in?

    Seat children aged 12 or 13 no more than two rows away from their accompanying passenger. This means that there should not be more than one row between them. The above are the rules they are required to follow. You can usually choose free seats in the online check in process also. Edited: 1 year ago.

  14. Air Canada flying with babies

    Air Canada allows children under 2 years old to travel on an adult's lap to any destination, domestic or international. Because child restraint devices are not permitted in the Signature Class, infants cannot occupy their own seat and must travel as an infant on lap.

  15. Parents Say Air Canada Policy To Seat Them With Their Kids ...

    According to the new standards set out in the passenger bill of rights, airlines will soon have to ensure that kids under age 14 are seated near their parents or guardians at no extra cost.

  16. Seat selection with children : r/aircanada

    7 dolfan1980 • 8 mo. ago Typically they'll seat you together, but it it could be one adult with both kids, one adult one kid, or all over the place messed up. Torontobeachboy • 8 mo. ago

  17. Families and children

    If your child is under 2 years old. He or she can travel on your lap on any flight at a discount* of 90%. Alternatively, your infant can travel on the seat next to you. In this case, you will need to buy a child fare ticket (2-11 years old) and bring an approved car seat or harness for your child to use. If your child celebrates their second ...

  18. Flights to and from Canada

    According to Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) APPR, for passengers who are travelling on EVA Air/UNI Air operated flights to/from Canada, EVA Air/UNI Air will strive to seat children under age of 14 near their parent, guardian or tutor at no extra charge.

  19. Travelling with Children and Other Flight Guidelines

    For children, surprises will be given out on all our flights: Headphones, Beach ball (aboard flights to the South), Activities booklet (aboard flights to Europe), Deck of cards (aboard flights from Europe and from the South). Wide array of entertainment options for everyone, from classic movies to new releases to hit TV series.

  20. Seat selection : r/aircanada

    You need to wait until the online check-in opens at 24 hours before the flight to select the seats, so it is possible you guys cannot even be seated together, but may also be able select wonderful seats. So take your guaranteed seats now and see if anything opens up upon online check-in. 5. The_Bogwoppit.