The Ultimate Guide to Flying Hawaiian Airlines with a Child Under 2

Living in Hawaii means that if you want to fly anywhere other than an outer island, you’ll be traveling at least 5 hours to get anywhere. Anywhere! My family flies with Hawaiian Airlines all the time because let’s face it- they’re pretty awesome.

Fun fact: I’ve applied to be a flight attendant for Hawaiian Airlines twice and my resume hasn’t made it past the automated reader thing-a-jig… I don’t think it ever will, but I’ll keep trying.

We recently had our first family vacation and to be honest, Aaron and I were both nervous about flying with Aria because we didn’t know what to expect! #FirstTimeParents

Here are some tips I learned during our flight experience with Hawaiian Airlines. If you’re a new parent who may be flying with your child under 2 years old, this post is for you!

1. Booking the Flight

Get Extra Comfort Seats.

We knew right away that we wanted the extra leg room, especially with our toddler in tow! Sure, it costs a little extra, but it’s SO WORTH IT.

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They’ll send you exclusive deals not advertised anywhere else! I love the deals where their sale dates land within a few days and the travel dates are months ahead! They don’t make me feel rushed to book a flight right away. Whew!

Get the Hawaiian Miles card.

You can earn Hawaiian Miles with either a debit or credit card. I use both and it’s so exciting to see my points add up. The flights are pretty pricey, but it’s worth it to use my point if I’ll be shopping with one of their partners anyway. Credit cards earn 1 mile per $1 spent, and debit cards earn 1 mile per $2 spent. Oftentimes they have deals with their partners that offer more miles per dollar spent. The most recent one I’ve seen was earning 25 miles per $1 spent at an online floral retailer!

2. What to Pack

There are 13 items you absolutely must pack in your carry on, no matter what! Check out the detailed items list right here!

3. Car Seats and Strollers

You’re free to bring your car seat and stroller along with you.

Car Seats

We wrapped our car seat in heavy duty bubble wrap and a large plastic bag because we’ve heard horror stories about how car seats were treated on some flights (not necessarily Hawaiian Airlines, but in general). We couldn’t believe our ears that car seats were being reported as tossed around (some even found broken!) by airline employees, so we did what we could to protect ours.


Hawaiian Airlines will allow you check in both your car seat and stroller at no additional cost to you. We chose to bring our stroller with us to the gate where they gave us a claim ticket right before we boarded the plane. When we arrived at our destination, our stroller was waiting for us immediately outside the plane!

4. Boarding the Plane

Usually (from our experience), families with young children are able to board the plane immediately after the elderly and passengers with disabilities have boarded. Hawaiian Airlines boards by zones, and we’ve been Zone 2 with Aria.

5. On the Plane

Make sure your carry on bag is within reach of you. It wouldn’t be fun to have to keep grabbing something from the over head compartments. Click here to see a list of “tricks” I keep in my carry on bag!

6. Meals

Hawaiian Airlines only provides complimentary meals to passengers who have paid for a seat. This means you’ll need to load up on snacks for your little one! We ended up sharing our pasta with Aria because she’s always curious about we’re eating!

I hope these tips helped you better prepare for your first flight on Hawaiian Airlines! Be sure to check out their Traveling With Infants and Toddlers page for more updated information! The flight attendants were extremely friendly (as they always are!) and when we landed both in LA and Honolulu, the passengers sitting in front of us complimented our parenting skills since Aria wasn’t a super fussy kid!

We all know what other passengers are thinking when they discover they’re sitting near a young toddler… we’ve been there too!

What are some of your tips for flying with children under 2? Please leave your tips in the comments section!

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I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It