A flight aboard one of these international airlines for families is perfect for jumpstarting your next vacation with kids! Though traveling with children can be tricky, it’s easier when you can depend on a reliable airline. Luckily, plenty of international contenders make traveling long distances with little ones seem less complicated. For example, airlines like Singapore, Emirates, and Aer Lingus have incentives for all ages, including priority boarding, kid-friendly entertainment, and swag bags! Be aware, however, that these opinions are often subjective – one family can have a great experience with an airline, while another can fall on the opposite spectrum. What makes these airlines stand out is their dedication to admitting their flaws and constantly striving to remedy any mistakes, providing a smooth experience from takeoff to landing and beyond. Using suggestions from our Facebook group, here is our list of the 12 Best Airlines for Kids on International Trips.
Parents consistently cite Lufthansa as one of the best airlines for kids. With hubs in Frankfurt and Munich International Airport, it services JFK, Heathrow, LAX, and other destinations throughout the U.S and Europe. Before boarding, parents can set little ones up on the JetFriends website, where children can explore interactive games and cartoons. Certain airports, such as Frankfurt and Munich, also have play areas where kids can wait for boarding. Aboard, in-flight entertainment provides appropriate programming for a variety of ages. Flight attendants also provide kids with activities, ranging from a coloring book to model trains. The children’s menu is also well-crafted with tasty dishes like lasagna. At the end of the flight, kids can even trade in their logbook, where they recorded information about the flight, for an official pilot certificate! Sign up for JetFriends, Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program for children, to accrue points.
Click here for more information on Lufthansa’s airline policies for kids. For COVID-19 related information, please visit this page.
“Lufthansa is our favorite – the flight attendants (even at the gate) have always gone over and above to take care of me and my kiddo. They make me feel like a VIP for having a child compared to US-based airlines, which treat families like a nuisance.” -Katy Spada
When traveling internationally with children, Emirates tops our list of recommendations. Whether to JFK or Heathrow, families traveling from Dubai International Airport can check-in or check bags a day in advance, as well as benefit from the family-designated check-in counter. Families also receive priority boarding! Kids will begin their trip with Emirates’ special Fly With Me stuffed animal, accompanied by a Lonely Planet amenities kit. This includes a complimentary travel tote and a variety of books, journals, and crafts. Kid-friendly meals range from chicken tenders to pasta, served on eye-catching trays. For a mid-flight snack, kids can also enjoy cookies and fruit snacks. Kid-sized headphones also allow little ones to enjoy Disney and other in-flight entertainment in comfort. Make sure to also sign up for the Emirates’ Sky Surfer Program, where kids can gain points and eventually redeem them for flights or items such as iPods and waterpark tickets.
“We fly with Emirates every year and the crew has always been fantastic with my child.” – Laura Iride Bonaccorsi
Singapore Airlines will make your next family vacation special! From its hub in Singapore Changi Airport, this is one of the best airlines for kids and flies to popular cities across Asia, including Tokyo, Hanoi, and Taipei. It also services select destinations worldwide: London, Rome, Paris, LAX, and JFK, among others. As a plus, the airline offers special fares for youngsters, those under two 10% of the regular economy fare, and 75% for other children. It’s also particularly equipped to handle babies, with four meal types dedicated to infants, like baby food and a “Post-Weaning” meal option for littles between the ages of 1 and 2. If you’re flying Business class or up, there’s even an extra gourmet menu designed specifically for kids! Parents can reserve bassinets in advance, as well as benefit from amenities such as diapers, disposable bibs, bottles, and baby wipes. Age-appropriate stuffed animals are available for kids of all ages!
“Singapore Air is always great. My absolute favorite!” – Nikki Hanselman Haft
Prepare for an amazing family adventure aboard Etihad Airways! From its hub in Abu Dhabi International Airport, families traveling to the United Arab Emirates can book this kid-friendly airline from JFK, LAX, O’Hare, among other U.S cities. It also flies to London Heathrow, Barcelona El-Prat, and Dublin Airport. Luckily, Etihad provides a free nanny service on all long-haul flights, making it one of the best airlines for kids! Parents can sit back, relax, and maybe even read while in-flight nannies cater to your kid’s needs throughout every class. Goody bags keep them busy and content, containing activities like origami, paper crowns, and pilot hats. The airline even offers an option where you can bid to reserve a “neighbor-free seat”, making it easier to keep the whole family together during the flight. To give families the opportunity to save some money and explore another destination, Etihad Airways also offers free layovers.
“Agree with Etihad – not the most punctual but the service is great!” – Elizabeth Rojas
Swiss International Airlines
Swiss International Airlines is a sure contender for one of the best airlines for families on International trips! Families can book a flight from hubs in Zurich International Airport and Geneva Airport to major metropolises worldwide, like London Heathrow, JFK, or Milan. This airline offers “Swiss Kids,” a program aimed to make traveling with kids more pleasant, even beyond the actual flight. Find a demonstration of this philosophy in the Zurich airport, which offers designated airport family areas and kid-friendly amenities ranging from playrooms, video games, and a craft workshop area. In-flight, expect the crew to have stickers and coloring books, snacks, and a menu consisting of mashed potatoes, macaroni, and other favorites. Parents can even bring their child’s car seat aboard or pre-book a bassinet. Swiss also has a section on its website that’s entirely dedicated to children, consisting of quizzes, downloadable apps, digital downloads, and printouts to keep them amused.
“We have flown Swiss many times. It’s awesome! They give little airplane stuffies to young kids and pass out chocolates and ice cream!” – Laurie Manheim
Fly in comfort by booking family airlines tickets on Qatar Airlines! Servicing flights to and from Hamad International Airport, this is one of the best airlines for kids internationally, and has hubs across Europe, Asia, and Africa. In fact, your luxury treatment starts prior to boarding, since Hamad International Airport has a designated airport playground and family rooms! Aboard, children will have plenty of space to stretch out, whether to watch an age-appropriate movie or complete their interactive activity pack. Kids can also look forward to delicious and nutritious meals, which parents are required to preorder prior to flying. Those traveling with younger children will also appreciate Qatar’s dedication to making the process smoother. The airline offers priority boarding, the option to reserve a bassinet, and access to a special kit with diapers, baby food, and soft toys. Don’t forget your swag bag with plush toys on your way out, courtesy of Qatar’s Oryx Kids Club!
“We love Qatar Airways! Very kid-friendly.” – Nesilda Calaguas
Aer Lingus makes traveling with little ones a breeze! Offering flights to Dublin Airport and layovers for other European destinations, this international airline primarily services major U.S airports, like JFK, LAX, and Seattle-Tacoma. It’s also a budget-friendly airline, which makes it a great option for parents traveling with multiple children! Enjoy kid-friendly entertainment on transatlantic flights, alongside pre-booked meals suitable for even the pickiest eaters. Kids are also free to try an adult’s meal if they want to. Baggage allowance also ranges whether you’re traveling in Europe or transatlantically, but nonetheless includes flexible options for parents with lots of gear. Aer Lingus also offers various facilities aboard for families to use, such as baby changing areas, infant seat belts, and bottle or food heating. Parents can pre-book a bassinet for use during your flight too. Just remember they’re only available on a first-come, first-serve basis!
Take your next family trip with Turkish Airlines, one of the best airlines for kids! Flying from its main hub in Istanbul Airport to worldwide destinations such as JFK, Miami, and Heathrow, this family friendly airline is a great choice for travelers heading to Turkey or Tunisia. Little ones get a 10% ticket discount on domestic flights and possibly even higher if international, depending on where you’re headed. Plus, a special welcome kit with toys and activities! Infants can travel on their parents’ laps, but you can also request a special infant carrier up to a day in advance. Similarly, Turkish Airlines often keeps various types of baby food onboard for anyone who needs it. Parents with children older than two can also request specific kid-friendly meals prior to departure. Strollers can also be checked as cargo, but if you’re traveling to select airports, like Frankfurt, you’ll have to claim it in the baggage area.
“Turkish Air gave us cute little handmade toys and a little kit on board. They offer baby and child’s menus and the flight attendants are the sweetest!” -Desiree Yoo
All Nippon Airways
Book All Nippon Airways for your next adventure to Asia! Ideal for families traveling from the United States or Europe, this kid-friendly airline flies to major cities like Tokyo, Seoul, and Shanghai. Priority treatment for families begins before your flight with All Nippon Airways, as families can contact the airline in advance if they need any assistance prior to boarding. All Nippon Airways classifies those under two as infants, who only need to pay 10% of the adult fare, and those between two and eleven as children, who need to pay 75%. Parents can also request a bassinet with a soft blanket in advance for international flights, or bring their own car seat or plane bed. Strollers aren’t subject to checked baggage restrictions, either. Aboard, children can also dine on special meals travelers must order in advance, including powdered milk. Most planes also have diapers just in case!
“ANA is the best airline I’ve ever flown.” -Jana Goodlife
Air New Zealand
Book Air New Zealand for all your fun family vacations! Operating within New Zealand and to select countries in the Pacific Rim, this is one of the best airlines for kids and is a favorite for parents traveling within its limited jurisdiction. Infant fares cost 10% of an adult fare when traveling internationally, but are free if you’re traveling within New Zealand! Car seats, strollers, or two other kid-related baggage are also included within your baggage allowance. Aboard, children will be paid special attention to, from in-flight activity packets to entertainment options on long haul flights. Though domestic trips only offer snacks, international options include the choice to order a special children’s meal. (If your kid had special dietary restrictions, you can request various options too.) Parents traveling with infants can also pre-book a bassinet. An infant pod or harness is available for customers who choose to fly via Air New Zealand’s Skycouch Program.
“Air New Zealand, though specific, is fantastic!” – Wendy Hook
IcelandAir is great for families traveling between the United States, Iceland, or Europe! Offering flights from major airports like JFK, Chicago O’Hare, and Seattle-Tacoma, this budget-friendly option is popular among travelers with young children due to its fantastic family perks. For one, children fly for free if they are under two. Little ones are also permitted to spend the duration of their flight in an approved child seat. Attendants provide in-flight activities such as coloring books, in addition to entertainment suitable for children of all ages. When they get hungry, little ones between two and eleven receive a complimentary meal with juice (infant meals must be reserved prior to flying!) If you’re heading to Europe and have a layover, families can also request an extended stopover to see this scenic Nordic nation – at no extra charge!
“IcelandAir loot bags were amazing. Headphones, eye masks, activity books, a snack. I’m sure there was more I’m not remembering. My kids had an awesome experience!” – Stephanie Becker Trigg
A flight with Aeroflot will surely be a memorable experience! This family airline flies from its main hub, Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, to notable destinations worldwide, including JFK, London Heathrow, and Dubai International Airport. Children particularly love the colorful swag bags offered aboard, complete with coloring books, puzzles, and other activities to keep them entertained. A designated children’s channel also offers kid-friendly movies and cartoons throughout your flight. On flights longer than three hours, kids’ mealtime options can be tailored to your little one’s needs. Parents with infants can also request a bassinet for your flight, but you must do so at least 36 hours in advance. If not, feel free to bring your own, since the airline allows passengers to carry a bassinet or pushchair free of charge. Kids who are frequent flyers can also sign up for Aeroflot’s Bonus Junior program, where they’ll accrue miles for their travels.
“I love Aeroflot! They made our flight to Russia and back amazingly and also took care of our kids great! Super family-friendly!” – AlbaNidia Morales
Thank You To Our Community!
A special thank you to the Families Who Love to Travel Facebook community who generously shared their travel advice and top picks for this list of 12 Best International Airlines For Kids. We could not have compiled such a thoughtful and robust list without their dedication to our community. Families Who Love To Travel is a group of amazing families who also love adventure and exploring through travel. Join the Facebook community and also the Instagram community to connect with other families who also love the unique experiences travel has to offer.
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