Which Airlines Are Best For Traveling With Children?

Holidays are always exciting, but traveling with young children? The jury’s out. Love it or hate it here are the best airlines for traveling with your kids.

Etihad, BA, Lufthansa at airport
Which airlines are best for children? Photo: Tomás Del Coro via Wikimedia Commons

What is it about traveling with children that makes flying just that little bit more stressful? Flying with children requires a lot of determination. So it comes as pleasing news that there are some airlines out there that want child and parent alike to have a relaxing onboard experience. This could be in the form of children’s entertainment and meals to free baggage allowances or even sky nannies! In no particular order, here are the world’s best child-friendly airlines.

Etihad Airways

It appears that the Middle Eastern carriers are leading when it comes to offering a family-friendly service. Among them, Etihad offers an almost unprecedented service with child and infant fares for passengers under 12 years old as well as children’s meals, movies, and games. The airline also offers a bassinet for babies on a first-come-first-served basis and provides young children with an activity pack on board. But that’s not all. The airline takes the pressure off parents by offering a Flying Nanny. That’s right, with Etihad your children will get just that extra attention for no extra cost. And for parents, there’s the extra assurance that a pushchair or car seat can be taken for free in addition to a normal baggage allowance. Etihad does pull out all the stops. On its website, it says:

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“We do everything we can to make flying with children as comfortable as we can.”

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And we believe it.

Air Canada

When it comes to catering for children, Air Canada makes its inflight experience as adventurous as possible. It offers an explorer-themed backpack packed with entertainment like puzzles and coloring books as well as special luggage tags. It also makes a commitment to sit children under 14 with a parent or guardian for no extra cost, has family priority boarding and family check-in. But traveling on Air Canada is the most child-friendly when flying internationally. This is when the airline offers a child fare and child meals.

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Air Canada Mom traveling with Child
Air Canada wants children to feel the adventure. Photo: Air Canada

ANA

Whilst other airlines accommodate passengers by allowing them to bring extra bottled milk and food sachets, All Nippon Airways operates a kind of onboard baby shop. It provides formula milk and nappies to allow for extra passenger ease. It also has bassinets that come with the latest technology: a blanket designed for heat retention, ventilation, and absorbency. As well as this, All Nippon Airways has allergen-free child meal options which can be requested before flying.

Lufthansa

Lufthansa is turning the operational element of the airport on its head. When it comes to traveling with children, it incentivizes parents to make the most of viewing points as a form of entertainment for children. It says:

“At many airports, there are viewing terraces available which, in fine weather, allow even better insights into how an airport works. If your children would prefer to play and run around, visit the play corners specifically designed for children which most airports provide.”

Child at family check in
Lufthansa is trying to make the whole travel experience enjoyable. Photo: Lufthansa

There’s also the option to check in one 23kg bag for passengers under two years old. What’s more, the airline recently collaborated with a Michelin star chef to provide a healthy, balanced, and fun-looking in-flight menu for its young passengers.

Special mentions

Whilst some airlines excel in their provisions for children, it seems as though the Middle Eastern and Asian carriers are championing the child-friendly aura. Special mentions must also be handed to Emirates who offer child headsets unlike most airlines as well as a free stroller at hub airports. Gulf Air, like Etihad, also uses a Flying Nanny to make flights more enjoyable for children.

What’s your favorite airline for traveling with children? Let us know in the comments!

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Norman

Interesting. How about a complimentary article dealing with best airlines to fly with other peoples children e.g. Malaysia used to have a child free economy section…heavenly!

Moaz Abid

How about Emirates or Qatar Airways. My nephew travelled with me and recieved the oryx pack on Qatar. Emirates also offers packs and bags etc. And the in-flight entertainement is fully packed with animated movies, games etc. In my opinion, I think Emirates and Qatar offer better and should be included in the article.

Marek

Airlines understand they have to provide assistance to minors traveling alone. Therefore it is not in their best interests to split parents and their dependents. I could understand splitting one parent away from the other (as the seats could be understandably switched from one parent to the other), but for liability reasons no children should be forced to fly unaccompanied from a parent or guardian for any reason. Any airline that chooses to do this is one accident away from legislation and a serious lawsuit requiring otherwise. Should a child die because their guardian was seated away from them during… Read more »