Traveling with kids isn’t easy, especially when it comes to navigating the not-always-kid-friendly skies. Some airlines cater better to pint-sized travelers than others. Internet travel guru The Points Guy has just released a new report on the best airlines for families, ranking the ten largest carriers in the United based on criteria specific to family needs, such as ease of booking, in-flight entertainment, seat comfort and even mileage rewards and points.
So, which airline is the best for families? Scroll down to find out who made number one.
While this carrier is the most cost-effective when you need to get seats for your entire entourage, it is a no-frills airline that flies on select routes. Without in-flight entertainment and dining, you'll need to be armed with in-flight entertainment and snacks of your own to keep your kids busy the entire flight.
9. Spirit Airlines
Spirit is another low-cost carrier that will help you save money on travel, but like Allegiant, those low-prices mean less in-flight entertainment and lots of extra fees for add-ons. Plan ahead and make sure to pack up enough activities to keep your kids happy.
Frontier is another low-cost carrier, but it just introduced a new cardholder program for pooling family miles which allows elite fliers to get upgraded seats for their entire family. This can be an excellent perk if you're a family of frequent fliers.
7. American Airlines
American offers better-than-average in-flight programming for kids, which means your flight will be more comfortable, but it doesn't rank as high on the list because it lacks early boarding for families and has a limited amount of standard complimentary seat assignments.
United has the best early boarding policy for families of all the major airlines, allowing families with kids two and under to board even before first class passengers. However, in-flight entertainment and seat sizes are inconsistent.
5. Alaska Airlines
Alaska features on-time arrivals and high customer satisfaction scores, and not to mention free snacks and drinks (plus awesome eats for purchase) and an outlet at every seat so that critical iPad will never run out of juice. While the airline does provide in-flight entertainment, the free selection for kids is slim.
4. Hawaiian Airlines
By sheer definition this airline rocks because of where you end up when you land. Hawaiian music, floral uniforms and free Kona coffee all make for an island experience in the sky. On-time arrival, larger than average seats and early boarding for families make this airline one of the best. The only strike against the airline is that the destinations it flies to are limited.
3. Delta Air Lines
High rate of on-time arrivals, a great selection of in-flight entertainment and, of course, the free cookies are what push this carrier into the top three.
2. JetBlue Airways
Thanks to several free amenities, like Wi-Fi (hello Netflix!), snacks and drinks and comfortable seats JetBlue ranks as one of the best. It only lost out on the top spot because its route network is a little more limited than the number one airline.
1. Southwest Airlines
No bag fees, family boarding and an extensive route network, coupled with the fact that it is actually a low-cost carrier makes Southwest the ultimate airline for traveling families according to The Points Guy.
Featured photo: Southwest