When to board the plane
You won’t have to board the plane according to the zone on your boarding pass if you are traveling with a kid.
This means you get to board earlier than most economy passengers, and usually right after the first class passengers and million-milers. Just keep an ear out for the announcements during boarding time.
Board early or late?
Whether you choose to board early or late depends on personal preference.
Some parents prefer to spend as much time as possible in the waiting area because their kids can run about freely and access the restrooms easily.
Other parents prefer to board early and get settled in.
I recommend boarding early if you want to secure overhead compartment space for your belongings. On domestic flights that charge for checked bags, I’ve found overhead compartment space to be scarce.
For international flights, there’s generally enough storage space to go around.
Special seating areas
Some airports also have special seating area for families with young children and these are generally up front, and close to the gate (usually near the handicapped seating area). So keep an eye out for these seats.
Upgrade if you can
Even upgrading to Economy Plus can make a difference. You’ll have more space to move about with your kid and improve your overall comfort. Consider cobbling together your credit card points, frequent flier miles to make it happen.