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Junior JetSet: Flying the Child-Friendly Skies

While young passengers getting a set of wings and a tour of the cockpit may seem like a thing of the past, plenty of airlines still put forth extra effort to ensure that children enjoy their flights. From supplying baby food to gifting birthday cake, check out which airlines go the extra mile.

  • American Airlines offers changing tables on all widebody aircrafts and heats up baby bottles.
  • Continental Airlines provides special children’s meals for its youngest travelers. Infants under the age of two get Level 2 Gerber food. The airline also offers video games on its in-flight entertainment system.
  • Delta’s new in-flight entertainment system (available on certain flights) has a Fly Kids Channel featuring The Book of Pooh, Dora the Explorer, Hanna Montana and Legion of Super Heroes, among other shows and a number of video games.
  • Horizon Air offers travelers the ability to pre-order a personal DVD player for $10 each flight segment. The digEplayers are pre-loaded with movies, music and television programs for both adults and children. They also have snacks like Stacy's Pita Chips and Bear Naked Granola.
  • As the first US carrier with free seatback TVs, JetBlue offers kids a great selection of stations like the Cartoon Network, Nick at Night and TV Land. The airline’s trans-fat free complimentary snacks include animal crackers, chocolate chip cookies, and those great blue chips. When time permits, the captains visit young travelers and give tours of the flight deck.
  • Known for their no-frills service to keep costs down, Southwest will help you celebrate your child’s first flight with their First Time Flying Certificate. The pilots also give tots a tour of the cockpit before the plane’s departure.
  • Virgin America extends its cool vibe with an in-flight entertainment system featuring a selection of on-demand movies, video games and music on every seat back. The system even has parental control settings so you can monitor what your kids are watching. Healthy food and drinks are available throughout the flight, and the airline claims that its “mood lighting has been found to be soothing and calm for children, especially infants.”
  • We only focused on domestic carriers here, but I have to note that Emirates could be the most kid-friendly airline in the world. They provide kids with special brightly colored headsets for their seatback in-flight entertainment system, featuring hundreds of channels of TV, movie, music and video game programming. But best of all, if you let the airline know that it is your child’s birthday in advance, flight attendants will deliver a cake en route to your destination and take a party photo for your lil one to show off when they get home.

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aistea311 aistea311 7 years
I was on an American flight to London in March and this kid was collicky and crying the whole time. The flight attendant was taking care of the child more then his own parents!!!!!
kittyhill kittyhill 7 years
SAS is also a very kid-friendly international airline. When I flew with my family many years ago to Sweden, they had a bassinet in the bulkhead for my little brother--it made it easy for him to sleep the whole trans-Atlantic flight! They also had a cake & a birthday party for my younger sister, who was turning 3 on the return flight.Also, I just returned from Russia on British Airways & found that they were VERY accommodating. They had bulkhead bassinets & toddler seats in Coach, & provided snacks & warmed-up bottles.
kittyhill kittyhill 7 years
SAS is also a very kid-friendly international airline. When I flew with my family many years ago to Sweden, they had a bassinet in the bulkhead for my little brother--it made it easy for him to sleep the whole trans-Atlantic flight! They also had a cake & a birthday party for my younger sister, who was turning 3 on the return flight. Also, I just returned from Russia on British Airways & found that they were VERY accommodating. They had bulkhead bassinets & toddler seats in Coach, & provided snacks & warmed-up bottles.
citizenkane citizenkane 8 years
I agree with AnnaLove that an unhappy child on a long flight can be a bit annoying to fellow passengers....Hopefully some of these things that the airlines are offering will help with that. What child IS happy sitting still for 3 hours or more with no entertainment??
graylen graylen 8 years
I always wondered when I had kids if the little things that annoyed me about kids would keep true. I have to say, I now have a nephew and niece and my whole perspective changed. I can only imagine it will keep changing as I have my own. I CERTAINLY have sooo much more sympathy towards parents now... especially on planes.
AnnaLove AnnaLove 8 years
Oh how I wish I was... I'm having a baby in August, I looove MY baby but hopefully I can change my mind on children in general by then :(
macgirl macgirl 8 years
AnnaLove, you might be on the wrong sugar site? ;-)
lorioz lorioz 8 years
I would love to know more about international airlines- if possible. :Thanks for the ones you've posted though.
AnnaLove AnnaLove 8 years
Anything that keeps their little mouths shut is good news to me. Kids in enclosed spaces annoy me to no end.
meandtheo meandtheo 8 years
I must add that Frontier is also VERY kid friendly. They have changing tables in two of the three bathrooms and also have DirecTV in the backs of their seats offering several cartoon channels. Not only that but I was flying alone with my six month old on my lap and ended up in the middle seat. The flight attendant moved two stand-by passengers so I could have a whole row for me and my daughter. It was so kind!
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