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5 Best U.S. Airlines For Traveling With Children

Little child sleeping on U.S. airline with stuffed animal
Photo Courtesy: Tram Dao

What are the best U.S. airlines for traveling with children? Of course, traveling domestically seems a little more complicated when little ones are involved. Many U.S. airlines listed here are especially accommodating to kids, however, which often earns them the subjective title of the 5 Best U.S. Airlines For Traveling With Children. Plan a trip with Southwest, Alaska, or Virgin, and you’ll soon discover all the added benefits that make flying with these companies a real treat for families. Treats include swag bags, coloring books, and kid-friendly activities galore! On this list, we mention the most important things you need to know when flying in the U.S with children. We also highlight some of the 5 Best U.S Airlines For Traveling With Children to make your vacation all the more enjoyable! 

Hawaiian Airlines 

As the only U.S airline that offers free meals on every flight (in every cabin), Hawaiian is a great choice when flying domestically. Guests also repeatedly rate it as one of the most punctual airlines in the United States, which is definitely an important factor when flying with kids. In the spirit of Aloha, children will have a variety of in-flight entertainment to prepare them for their journey to Hawaii! Though a direct flight may seem impossible with finicky children, Hawaiian lessens the load a bit with its “Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids.” The video leads children through a series of island-inspired stretches and yoga poses, soothing them to sleep, or simply teaching them how to steady their breathing. Movies, snacks, and games are also available in the in-flight entertainment section!

Southwest Airlines 

Surely Southwest Airlines tops our list for the best U.S. airlines for traveling with children! Most of all, it’s one of the best airlines to travel on a budget, making it a popular choice for families of all types. Beyond the money you can save on regular tickets, infants also travel free on Southwest. Plus, children under age 11 can fly at a discounted fare! Luckily for those traveling with a lot of cargo, Southwest also provides families the option to transport car seats and strollers at no extra cost. And, families with children under the age of four can board the plane during Family Boarding, which usually takes place right after group A! In-flight, there are a variety of free entertainment options to keep children distracted, including a portal to access Cartoon Network. Though there aren’t any kid-specific meals, there are plenty of snacks, like pretzels and cookies!

Alaska Airlines 

A flight on Alaska Airlines will be a wonderful treat for prospective pilots! Crews here often give little flyers a peek at the cockpit, in addition to providing warm hospitality throughout your flight. While past flights were limited to the West Coast or Hawaii, Alaska has recently expanded to the Midwest and East Coast. Now, it provides families across the United States with a convenient option for domestic travel! As a plus, priority boarding can also accommodate children under the age of 2. And Disney coloring books and crayons are always an amenity! In-flight entertainment options include a whole “Kids & Family Section” with shows for all ages. Parents can also purchase a snack box for a small fee, with goodies like Pirate’s Booty and Wikki Stix. At the end of the flight, a stewardess will even reward kids with their very own pair of wings!  

Virgin Airlines

Like other family-friendly airlines, Virgin offers families a variety of incentives. However, they particularly go above and beyond when it comes to child safety! The airline provides a special infant seat built to fit in any cabin. (And you can bring your own car seat free of charge!) Plus, kids won’t ever be bored, since in-flight entertainment has a dedicated section for them. (Don’t worry – it also features parental controls so adults can ensure their kids are accessing age-appropriate content!) For your baby needs, Virgin also provides bottle-warming, free in-flight cots, and a backpack. Kids can enjoy swag like coloring books, stickers, stuffed animals, and more! Despite a lack of kid’s menu, parents can also purchase snack boxes, featuring PB&J sandwiches to munch on!


Children in front of U.S. airline sign for JetBlue
Photo courtesy: Shweta Jain

Jetblue provides its younger customers with a comfortable and convenient flying experience! Servicing multiple major cities across the U.S. and beyond, it’s no wonder this airline is constantly recommended for families. In fact, in addition to pre-boarding priority, children also get unlimited snacks and juice here! If you’re really hungry, though, there’s also the chance to purchase a more substantial EatUp box. Need to keep them busy for the long-haul? Fortunately, in-flight entertainment also offers access to Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Animal Planet, in addition to at least one movie. (If not, the 36 other channels may be showing something interesting!) JetBlue has also partnered with Soar With Reading to provide young fliers with activities prior to leaving for the airport. Print one of their activity sheets to get kids excited about your next family vacation!

Thank You to Our Community 

We hope this list of 5 Best U.S. Airlines For Traveling With Children helps you make an informed decision! A special thank you to the Families Who Love to Travel Facebook community who helped to compile this article. Families Who Love To Travel is a group of amazing families who love adventure and exploring through travel. Join the Facebook community and the Instagram community to connect with other families who love the unique experiences travel has to offer! 

If you’re looking for more great ideas for family travel, check out our Family Travel Tips!


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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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