Flying as a family can be a hectic, anxiety-producing experience. But the level of stress may vary based on the airline you choose.
Together with Enzo we have flown with Wizz Air, Lufthansa and Ryanair airlines. Our favourite company is Lufthansa, without Enzo we have flown with other airlines too but this is still our favorite. Because of meals, snacks and free drinks which are included in the price of your ticket as well as the attitude has always been kind, especially to the children. There was a feeling that the service staff loved the children and were very understanding when little ones are not in the mood. If compared, with Ryanair we were less pleased mainly because of small spaces.
Our next flight will be with Norwegian, VivaAerobús airlines, later we will share how we enjoyed it but for now, let's see a report from The Points Guy (TPG) ranks the best and worst domestic airlines for families.
A new report from The Points Guy (TPG) ranks the best and worst domestic airlines for families in 2019. According to TPG’s findings, JetBlue Airways is the most family-friendly airline, overtaking last year’s winner, Southwest Airlines.
Families have slightly different priorities when they travel compared to the average travele, these rankings differ from the website’s general best airlines rankings because the criteria is not the same. The report draws data from government statistics, published airline policies and procedures, TPG’s team research and other sources.
1. JETBLUE AIRWAYS
According to the report, JetBlue reigned supreme because of its seat options, free entertainment and Wi-Fi, snack basket and ability for families to pool miles together at no extra charge.
As far as general carriers in the United States go, JetBlue comes out on top for several reasons. First, there’s the variety of free in-flight entertainment options to keep the kids entertained, including live television, WiFi and, of course, the snack basket. Plus, JetBlue has the largest legroom in coach, which helps car seats fit and long-legged folks avoid getting too cramped. Finally, families who know how to work their points appreciate programs that allow them to pool points, and JetBlue is best in class in the U.S. in terms of making it easy to redeem points across the board.
Does a diaper bag count as a carry on JetBlue?
Fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. A jacket, umbrella, diaper bag, duty free items, and assistive devices (wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, strollers, child restraint seats, etc.) do not count towards your carry-on allowance.
2. SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
Southwest is often a favorite airline of flying families as well, and with good reason. Since it has different rules and practices than other airlines, however, it can sometimes trip up inexperienced flyers, especially travelers with kids.
Southwest is the last of the U.S. domestic airlines to still offer free checked bags – 2 bags per person up to 50 lbs each. This is a real benefit for families who travel, as it is often difficult to pack light with all the gear that little ones require. Also, strollers and car seats do not count towards your free bag allowance. Those items always fly free no matter what!
On Southwest flights, flight attendants will liberally distribute pretzels , but there is very little else in the way of food aboard shorter flights. Longer flights offer additional free packaged snacks. Flight attendants let you help yourselves to as many of these packaged snacks as you’d like, but thet don't give sandwich or a hot meal for purchase like many other airlines have.
3. HAWAIIAN AIRLINES
The friendly vibe on Hawaiian Air along with its array of complimentary food offerings make it one of the best U.S. carriers in general; it’s the only domestic airline serving free meals on every flight in every cabin. Hawaiian has also led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance from 2004 to 2018, as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation—and, as anyone who’s traveled with kids knows, every minute you’re not stuck in transit is golden.
To keep young fliers relaxed, the airline recently introduced an innovative “Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids” video that leads keikei (children) through a sequence of island-inspired stretching and breathing exercises (there’s a full range of other on-screen entertainment as well).
Can I take stroller and carseat on plane?
Keep in mind that carrying your car seat on a plane is only possible if you have bought your child a seat. If your child is ticketed as a lap child you will have to gate check your car seat no matter how many empty seats you think are on the flight. ... In general, you cannot carry a stroller on to your flight.
4. ALASKA AIRLINES
A Seattle staple, Alaska’s well-known for being on time, promises to deliver checked bags to baggage claim in less than 20 minutes, provides free kid-friendly movies and has a menu of healthy, actually flavorful plane food.
Bonus: The kids’ choice picnic pack is just $6 and full of favorites, from Pirate Booty to Tree Top applesauce and YumEarth organic fruit snacks.
Are car seats free on Alaska Airlines?
We will transport your child's car seat and stroller free of charge as checked baggage. You can check these items with your other baggage, or wait until you reach the gate area.
5. DELTA AIRLINES
Pre-boarding is on Delta Airlines’ “menu.” Families with small children get the extra time they need to board the plane, find their seat, and settle in – without having to worry about other passengers waiting in line.
Flying is hardly fun, but select Delta airplanes are equipped with free in-flight entertainment (plus headphones) to give families have something better to do than watching the clouds. And with complimentary drinks and snacks on all flights, hunger-induced tantrums won’t be a problem.
6. UNITED AIRLINES
Families with any children under age 3 can board before others.
Children must be at least 7 days old and under 2 years old to be carried within the U.S., Puerto Rico and USVI, and pay 10 percent of the adult fare. Outside of these regions, a ticket must be purchased for a lap seat child. Also, there are changing tables available on Boeing 747, 757-300, 767, 777, 787 and select 757-200 flights.
There are no kids’ meals, but snacks and sandwiches are available.
Kid-Friendly entertainment like satellite TV and in-flight movies are shown on overhead TVs. International flights feature seat-back movies, TV shows, games and music, including children’s options. Wi-Fi is available on most aircraft.
Stroller(collapsible only) and Car Seat are allowed with no extra charge, but to be informated- no booster seats, belly belts, vests or harnesses are permitted.Bassinets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and they are only available on international flights.
7. AMERICAN AIRLINES
There are no Pre-boarding for kids but Infants at least 2 days old or under age 2 may be carried free of charge when traveling within the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the USVI) and Canada. For all other travels, 10 percent of adult fare (plus tax) will apply.
Changing tables are available on all wide-body aircraft and also discounted Child Fares.
American Airline does not offer kids’ meals, but snacks and sandwiches are available.
When flight is longer than four hours you can enjoy free movies on overhead TVs. New and refurbished planes have in-seat entertainment with movies, TV shows, music and games.
Wi-Fi is available on nearly all flights within the U.S.; it is available on select international flights.
Fully collapsible strollers under 20 pounds can be checked at the gate, along with car seats. Umbrella strollers may be carried on as long as they fit in an overhead bin. FAA-approved child restraining seats are permitted, but not allowed in exit rows or the rows directly in front or behind an exit row.
Bassinets may be available on a first-come, first-served basis, though they cannot be reserved in advance. They are found on 777-200, 767-300, 777-300 and 787 planes.
The good news for Frontier? It scores higher than the other budget carriers. Frontier isn’t a full-service airline, but its effort to become more family-friendly while maintaining it’s a la carte fee structure is working. You can pool miles if you have the cobranded credit card or Frontier elite status, it has the ongoing Kids Fly Free promotion and base fares are low enough that you probably can budget in needed extras.
The bad news? It still ranks lower than almost everyone other than the budget carriers. The airline takes hits for expensive bag fees, small seats and lack of free snacks, built-in entertainment and complimentary advance seat assignments.
Frontier is a good airline for families comfortable with its pricing model, but it needs to improve its on-time arrivals — it’s currently the tardiest airline of the bunch.
Are strollers free on frontier?
A stroller and car seat may be checked free of charge when traveling with a child. A diaper bag may be carried on free of charge when traveling with a child.
This ultra low-cost airline is what it is. It doesn’t trumpet itself as meeting the special needs of families beyond being a cost-effective way for everyone to fly. Along those lines, Spirit came in first when it came to affordable awards, and that’s without factoring in the discount for those with the Spirit credit card, which sometimes drops award flights as low as 1,250 miles each direction.
Just don’t sit on those miles — they expire after 90 days without activity. Also plan to be self-sufficient on Spirit flights, since you aren’t going to get anything in the way of entertainment, food or complimentary advance seat assignments.
Spirit should steal a page from the Frontier Airlines playbook with more family-friendly mileage rules and maybe even a way for families to guarantee seats together without paying extra.
Europe’s biggest carrier was also ranked the best on the continent by Money Magazine last year for its comfortable seats and extensive in-flight entertainment system. The airline maintains that comfort for families by offering special check-in areas in Frankfurt and Munich, as well as an extensive Kinderland play area in Munich. With the thought that well-fed kids are happy kids (a perceptive thought, indeed), they’ve crafted in-air children’s menus that have been taste-tested by a panel of junior chefs to appeal both to their eyes and their stomachs. Young passengers in every class have a complimentary choice of dishes created especially for them, such as “tortoise muffins,” “Lu’s favorite lasagna” and “sausage mummies”—dishes that not only look fun, but are also really tasty. Meals for infants, including baby food, mini sausages and soups, are also available on Lufthansa flights.
Can you take a car seat on Lufthansa?
Unfortunately Lufthansa is unable to provide you with child restraint systems, but as parents you are welcome to bring your own car seats or baby baskets on board with you for your children. Please note that the child restraint system is your property and therefore also your responsibility.
The worst airlines for traveling families and kids are considered :
The world's 5 most dangerous airlines :
Blue Wing. ...
Nepal Airlines. ...
Trigana Air. ...
Yeti Airlines/Tara Air
We hope that this guide makes your upcoming trip with the little ones a lot less stressful and way more fun. But we’re also sure some of you readers have a experience flying with different airlines – and we’d love to hear about them in the comments!