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Top Family Friendly Airlines

Best Family Friendly Airlines

Updated February 2020

The quick reference table below shows the Best Family Friendly Airlines – in terms of the extra facilities and amenities they provide over other airlines.  (To find out the full details of what your airline provides on board for kids, click on this link.)

I often get asked, ‘what is the best airline for babies?‘ Or ‘what are the best kid friendly airlines?‘ and the answer very much depend on what age your child is, and what is most important to you at the time. Therefore, these results cover the additional extras that airlines provide for kids of all ages. This includes more than a generous infant baggage allowance and a colouring book.

Which are the Best Airlines to Fly for families? baby on a plane with toys and activities

Is there such a thing as a family friendly airline?

Airlines are becoming increasingly aware of how important family friendly airlines are to parents. Often, it can be the deciding factor, especially if flying long-haul.

Obviously, every family has different priorities which make the flight experience better for them, and these priorities often depend on the age of their child travelling. But in general, everyone likes a helpful airline; with resources onboard to entertain children, some sleep options and decent baggage allowances. If they allow child airplane seat extenders then even better!

So what features are needed to be considered the best airline to travel with kids?

Many of these airlines offer 10kg for infants checked in allowance on top of the free stroller/car seat allowance but others go even further and allow 23kg or more!

Furthermore, good meals options, extra comforts and kids’ activity packs and toys all provide welcome relief for some of the stresses parents have about flying with young children.  

Some airlines go the extra mile and provide extra in-flight entertainment, including soap making, cookie making, balloon art and magic tricks! So yes, I do think there are several contenders for the best family friendly airline.

For detailed information on exactly what individual airlines provide on board, including entertainment, activity pack contents, sky nannies, kids’ lounges, cookie making and SO much more – read this post  on Baby & Child Amenities Available On -Board Your Flight

With this in mind, here are the best of those; my top family-friendly airlines for various ages including details on the best airline to fly internationally with baby.

(Note that with regard to the meals, all these airlines provide child and baby meals on request,  but I’ve included those that go the extra mile and include toddler meals too. Also note, Auckland based Air New Zealand provide a sky couch for an extra fee which is great for families who want to prioritise sleep.

Air New Zealand Sky couch B777 -photo courtesy of Air NZ
Air New Zealand Sky couch bed B777 -photo courtesy of Air NZ

You may have noticed that no US based airlines feature on the chart, but I would like to mention Jet Blue. They offer unlimited free snacks and drinks and kid TV channels too. They also allow a diaper bag as carry on.

Best Family Friendly Airlines Compared

Top Family Friendly Airlines Compared by Carrie Bradley

Qantas state there is no carry-on allowance for infants but food and nappies etc required during the flight may be carried in addition to adults cabin allowance

Extra services e.g magic shows, soap making, chalk art, cookie making only from outbound Korea flights. Services vary depending on date and destination. Baby, toddler, child food only from Incheon

** Hello Kitty operated flights only. Routes include Taipei to Paris, Houston, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul, Bali

Does your favourite family friendly airline make this list? What makes it family friendly? Please do comment below.

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Chris

Thursday 26th of September 2019

Hi there is a BBC article linking to this site. Having travelled with Singapore airlines earlier this year, there are some inaccuracies in the data (or misunderstanding from me), or the article is just probably due an update. In terms of Singapore - we were offered child headsets on 3 of 4 planes (we weren't on the first and didn't know to ask). Whether it counts as extra entertainment or not - but we were given a weird Disney plush toy and a range of colouring in, trip diary type notebooks on various flights. No sky nanny that I am aware of. However, Changi airport has free strollers for use in the airport air side by all travellers, which were really useful for stopovers. Hope that helps.

Carrie Bradley

Thursday 26th of September 2019

Hi Chris, thank you - yes you are completely right about the child headsets and a Singapore post is on its way. They also provide post weaning meals too, another first I believe! I do need to update about the strollers and headsets and will do this in the next few days, so thank you for highlighting that- as I do like to keep this site as up to date and current as possible. I only just found about the BBC, but a very pleasant surprise! Thanks again for letting me know!

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Una

Thursday 21st of February 2019

Virgin Atlantic is not a family friendly airline - we did everything by the book and booked a bulkhead cot for our baby only to be told 24 hours before the flight that we don't have one even though we were the first to put a request in. They couldn't even guarantee for our return flights...stressed and upset is an understatement

Frank

Wednesday 1st of August 2018

Hello. I think you have left out the most important criteria for family friend airline, which is of course does airline arrange seats so that a parent and a child can sit next to each other. On my own experience Qatar Airways don´t do that, they but you to sit next row than your 4 years child.

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