The official list
Published partially in infographic form, lastminute.com’s list of most family-friendly airlines was recently released. Below are the top 10 airlines for overall family-friendliness (it also has two sublists – one for short/medium-haul journies, and another for long-haul or transcontinental flights:
- Etihad Airlines
- Air Canada
- Qatar Airlines
- United Airlines
- Aer Lingus
- TAP Air Portugal
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Oman Air
- Turkish Airlines
The criteria used included priority boarding, inflight entertainment, allowances for certain types of equipment (strollers/prams and car seats), child-friendly meals, and more. It looks like Etihad secured its top spot with its WiFi availability as well as seat comfort and availability of child-friendly meals.
Where did the data come from?
According to Travel Daily News, part of lasminute.com’s research included the gathering of feedback on social media. The website asked family travelers their opinions on what makes the biggest difference on a flight.
Flight reliability was the biggest factor among respondents, snagging 46% of Facebook votes and 59% of Twitter votes. 33% of Facebook users and 41% of Twitter votes noted comfort as being a major factor. On Instagram, however, 63% of voters said comfort was the most important.
Outside of social media polling, the rankings are based on data available from airlines on the services that they offer and the complementary features that are made available for families and children.
Looking at the overall list, there are certainly some surprises. For all the complaints that travelers throw at North American carriers, they seem to feature prominently on the list. In fact, Air Canada ranked #1 on the long-haul list. Furthermore, there is a distinct absence of airlines from East Asia in the top 10 list.
And then there were airlines you wouldn’t have expected to place in the top 10. Namely, the airlines where value and budget-friendliness are marketed above a premium experience. By this, we are looking at European carriers Aer Lingus and TAP Air Portugal.
In fact, Aer Lingus secured the second-best position for the shortest delays, averaging at just three minutes. Dave Shepherd, Aer Lingus Chief Commercial Officer, said:
“Aer Lingus colleagues on the ground and in the air always strive to deliver a great guest experience, especially to those traveling with children, so it is great to be recognized for our efforts by lastminute.com.
The airline offers half-price baggage and seat selection for children, and early boarding for those with buggies.
Hopefully, if you are traveling with your family in the near future or you are about to plan your summer holidays, this list will assist in providing a better journey to and from your destination.
Are you surprised by this list and its ranking of airlines? Let us know who you think should be promoted or demoted by leaving a comment.