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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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