Summer’s finally here, and with it, the opportunity to get out of the country and visit somewhere fresh and exciting with the whole family.

Maybe it’s Disneyland Paris, perhaps Universal Studios Florida, or you might even decide you want to visit sunny Australia on the other side of the world.

Wherever you choose to go, chances are you’ll need to book a flight to get there.

One of the fastest and safest forms of holiday travel, sprinting to the airport to arrive in time for your early flight can be stressful, but once you’re airborne, everything else becomes a breeze.

Unless, of course, you end up booking with an airline that isn’t exactly child-friendly, especially if it’s the first time you’re taking your child abroad - a daunting task for any parent.

So, that begs the question; which airline should you go with if you’re looking for the best travel experience with your kids?

Well, don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you! By analysing all the major airlines around the globe, and giving them a score out of 7, we’ve determined which are the most family-friendly based on the following criteria:

  • How much they charge for seat reservations
  • How much do you need to pay for checked luggage allowance
  • Do families get priority boarding?
  • Are child-friendly meals offered on board?
  • Is child-friendly entertainment offered on board?
  • Can you bring a carry cot on board for free?
  • Can you bring a pushchair on board for free?

So without further ado, here are the most child-friendly airlines if you’re looking to get away with the family this summer...

The best airlines for flying with children

Out of the 24 airlines we analysed, no single airline scored lower than a 3. But there were definitely some that excelled. Boasting the maximum possible score of 7, the following are your best options when holidaying by plane with kids:

1. British Airways

If you’re flying out of the UK, then it’s hard to beat the ever-present airline that is British Airways. Ticking all the boxes from our above criteria, British Airways can fly you pretty much wherever you need to go, whenever you want to travel.

2. Qatar Airways

Next up, and a great option if you want to fly to the far east, Qatar Airways matches British Airways on all their services. And while British Airways offers good economy class seats, Qatar Airways is the company to go with if you want some extra in-flight benefits.

3. Emirates

The perfect choice for flights to Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, you’ll be spoilt for destination options when choosing Emirates. However, they’re also the second most expensive airline in the world - though you certainly get what you pay for.

4. Qantas

Australia’s premium airline service, if down under is where you want to go, then Qantas should be your company of choice when you need to change flights. They also fly to various places in the Pacific, making them a great choice if this is the area you want to holiday in.

The least child-friendly airlines

Of course, while the previous four might be the best options for those looking to fly on holiday this summer, there are also a few airlines you might want to avoid. While not poor flying options, they’re certainly not ideal for travelling with children:

1. Air Canada

Although certainly one of North America’s most popular airlines, there are a number of factors that make Air Canada less than ideal for flying with children, scoring only 4 points overall.

First, they don’t offer free seat reservations or checked luggage, nor can you bring a carry-on cot onboard for free. However, they do at least cater to children with their food and entertainment options.

2. American Airlines

Another very familiar and well-known North American airline, American Airlines also scored a 4 on our ranking, for the exact same reasons as Air Canada. But if you’re left with no other choice, American Airlines do at least offer priority boarding for families.

3. Ryanair

Always a go-to option if you’re in need of cheap flights at a moment's notice, it might come as little surprise that Ryanair only scored a three overall.

You can bring a pushchair or carry-on coat onboard for free, and they do offer child-specific meals, but that’s it. Seat reservations are not free, and neither is checked luggage. You’ll also need to be at the gate much earlier to make boarding easier as there’s no priority for families.


Sadly for FLYBE, they ranked at the bottom of our list with a score of 3 as well. They only rank lower than Ryanair for the simple fact they offer no child-friendly meals, something that will likely be an issue on any lengthy flight. They do give families priority boarding, however.

And there you have it, those are the best and worst airlines for travelling with children.

Our top four are certainly the best options, but if you’re looking to fly on a budget, then our bottom four are still good choices, provided you can overlook the less child-friendly aspects of their services.

Child friendly airlines infographic desktop

In conclusion

While it’s certainly important to get your flights booked early for that peace of mind, you're also going to want the right insurance in place.

As well as travel insurance, something else you might want to consider for everyday peace of mind is life insurance.

Nobody wants to think about the worst happening, but having life cover in place is a great way to ensure your family is financially protected if you were no longer around.

Contact us today and our expert team will see how they can help you find the right policy at our best price for you, and don’t forget to visit the Reassured blog if you enjoyed this piece and want more like it.

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