From bouncy babies to temper tantrum toddlers, traveling with family can be tricky. To help families plan their next getaway, Warren Chang, Vice President and general manager of Fly.com, has compiled a helpful list for those travelling with children.
To ensure that airberlin’s youngest passengers are looked after properly, the airline provides cots free of charge in the first row on many flights of 90 minutes or longer (for infants up to 12 months old, subject to availability). airberlin flight attendants are happy to warm up baby food during the flight and travelers can receive a bag with diapers, baby bottles and a bib. On long-haul flights, parents can pre-order from a special children’s menu free of charge, and kids can expect access to their own audio programs and cartoons.
EL AL Israel Airlines
- On all EL AL flights, children can keep entertained with activity and coloring books filled with fun word games, trivia and coloring pages.
- During the summer season and holidays, kids can experience magic on-board with a clown as they perform an array of tricks and skits.
- On flights between New York (JFK/Newark) and Israel, EL AL provides kid-friendly kosher meals courtesy of Borenstein Caterers. Young passengers can munch on delectable favorites such as apple-stuffed pancakes, chicken tenders and mini potato pancakes. Children’s meals can be ordered in any class and do not require any additional payment.
- During the summer and special holidays, EL AL offers special family discounted fares for children between the ages of two and 12 accompanied by at least two adults. On most EL AL economy class flights, discounted fares begin at 10% off for the first child, 50% off for the second child and 25% off for three or more children.
On the ground, Etihad’s signature First and Business Class lounges in Abu Dhabi, London, Manchester and Dublin offer Family Rooms equipped to keep children busy and happy, with books, toys, television and an exciting children’s menu. Further, Etihad Airways lounges in Abu Dhabi offer nannies to watch over children, taking care that they are safe, engaged and enjoy their time at the airport.
While flying, kids can enjoy state-of-the-art inflight entertainment programs with more than 600 hours of movies, TV shows, music and interactive games, including a “kids only” interface.
Gulf Air has a free Sky Nanny service. The nanny escorts families onto flights, and while in flight, the nanny suggests dining times, and can keep an eye on children while parents sleep or watch a movie.
Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific
Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific give kids a backpack that includes books, a Virgin Atlantic baseball cap, even a digital watch, candy and coloring pen
JetBlue has a reading activity kit that was jointly developed with PBS Kids.
Other tips for flying with family
- The security line at US airports just got easier as TSA now lets kids leave their shoes on.
- Check to see which airports have children playrooms (such as at Minneapolis Saint Paul International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport).
- Make the trip a game; teach children about time zones and destinations before getting on a plane
- Pick window or aisle seats to increase the chances that the person in the middle seat will switch seats to give you the full row.
- Check on pre-boarding opportunities; some airlines allow families to board first.
More about the author of this article: Fly.com scours all the major U.S. airlines, international carriers and online travel sites and then helps people easily sort and refine results by criteria such as number of stops and departure times. Unlike online travel agencies, Fly.com is not a booking engine. Instead, users are referred to the appropriate website for direct booking.