Do you need to buy a flight ticket for your child? Airline rules vary when it comes to requiring tickets for young children.
On domestic United flights, children under the age of 2 can travel on their parent’s lap free of charge.
For international United flights, you’ll need to purchase a ticket for a child regardless of age, even if you choose to bring your child on board as a lap child (i.e. a child without a purchased seat)!
Buy flight ticket for child?
The advantage of purchasing a seat for your child means that you’ll be guaranteed a seat for your kid, so you’ll have a spot for the car seat. Even if your child refuses to remain in the car seat (this happened to a relative of mine) during the flight, you’ll have an extra seat to stow your stuff.
If you choose not to purchase a ticket for your under 2 child (something that many parents choose to do), ask the counter check-in staff nicely if they can spare an extra seat next to you for your child. Having a lap child in your arms for a short flight is no big deal but for a long flight, you’ll feel a lot more cramped and uncomfortable.