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Best International Airlines For Family Travel

Finding an international airline to accommodate family travel can be tricky. Luckily, there are plenty of kid-friendly airlines that make the process a bit easier. Companies like Singapore, Emirates, and Etihad have a variety of incentives for both children and adults. From priority boarding to swag bags, these airlines make long flights a breeze. Be advised, 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. Still, beyond being family-friendly, what makes these airlines stand out is their dedication remedying their mistakes. All of them provide families with a smooth experience from takeoff to landing and beyond. 

1. Lufthansa

Contributors of Families Who Love To Travel consistently cite Lufthansa as one of their favorite family-friendly airlines. Kids can sign up for JetFriends, Lufthansa’s frequent flyer program for children under the age of 18. Before boarding, parents can also set them up on the JetKids Club website. There, children can explore the airline’s features through interactive games and cartoons. Certain airports, such as Frankfurt and Munich, also have play areas where kids can wait for boarding. On the actual plane, the in-flight entertainment reflects how kid-friendly Lufthansa is through appropriate programming for a variety of ages. Plus, the flight attendants can provide kids with toys and activities ranging from coloring book to model trains. The well-crafted children’s menu includes tasty dishes like lasagna and “sausage mummies.” The best part is that at the end of the flight, kids can trade in their logbook for an official pilot certificate. 

2. Emirates

When traveling internationally with children, Emirates is usually at the top of the list of recommended airlines. Families traveling from Dubai are able check their bags a day ahead of time at the family-designated check-in counter. Kids will begin their trip with Emirates’ special Fly With Me stuffed animal. Lonely Planet also provides an amenities kit including a complimentary tote and a variety of books, journals, and crafts. The meals include kid-friendly favorites like chicken tenders and pasta, served on eye-catching trays in all different colors. For a mid-flight snack, kids can also enjoy boxes of cookies and fruit snacks. Kid-sized headphones are also available, so the little ones can enjoy Disney, Cartoon Network, and other in-flight entertainment in comfort. Sign up for the Emirates’ Sky Surfer Program to take advantage of rewards. Kids can gain points and eventually redeem them for flights or items such as iPods and waterpark tickets. 

Singapore Airlines 

Singapore Airlines offers special fares for younger customers. Kids younger than 2 can fly for 10% of the regular fare, and those over 2 can fly for 75%.  The airline is particularly equipped to handle babies, however. Their kids menu includes four meal types dedicated to infants, like baby food for those under 1 and a “Post-Weaning” meal option for those 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. Families can also reserve bassinets in advance, as well as benefit from amenities such as diapers, disposable bibs, bottles, and baby wipes. Tips on how to handle your baby’s first flight can be of use if you’ve never traveled with children before. Singapore Airlines also offers stuffed animals and toys for kids of all ages. 

Etihad Airways

Etihad provides a free nanny service on all long-haul flights, making it an ideal airline for international family travel. Parents can sit back, relax, and maybe even read a magazine while in-flight nannies cater to your kids needs throughout every class. Each nanny has a goody bag available to keep kids busy and content, containing activities like origami, hand puppets, face paints, 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. 

Swiss International Airlines

Swiss International Airlines offers a program called “Swiss Kids,” which has been described as a program aimed to make traveling with kids more pleasant. Both the Zurich and Munich airport offer designated family areas and kid-friendly amenities ranging from playrooms to video games and a craft workshop area. In-flight, expect the crew to have stickers and coloring books, snacks, and a menu comprised of mashed potatoes, macaroni, and other favorites. Swiss also has a section of their website entirely dedicated to children, consisting of quizzes, downloadable apps, digital downloads, and printouts in order to keep them amused. 

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Families Love Travel Team

The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.
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