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        无法容忍Full Disclosure:无法容忍 We may receive financial compensation when you click on links and are approved for credit card products from our advertising partners. Opinions and product recommendations on this site are ours alone, and have not been influenced, reviewed or approved by the issuer. See our Advertiser Disclosure?for more details. We appreciate your support!

        People around the world fly so much, you’d think it’s fun. The number of daily flights has now reached 102,465?according to a report.

        Frequent flyers, however, know better: 无法容忍Air travel can be a pain in the butt!无法容忍

        Mother Nature may throw a tantrum, canceling your trip due to terrible weather. Connecting flights may be missed. IDs can be forgotten, and luggage may?be lost.

        无法容忍What’s worse?无法容忍

        A bored and fidgety child thrown into the mix!

        Kids have all the right in the world to fly with their parents – to experience the joy of travel and see sights they only see in books or photographs.

        But if you want to fly with young ones, 无法容忍you should?invest time in planning and preparation无法容忍. Otherwise, you?may find yourself stuck in the skies with a crying or hyperactive child.

        无法容忍But worry not.无法容忍

        This guide will help you gear up for air travel with kids. Here are just some of the stress-relieving and practical tips you’ll learn here:

        • How to schedule your flight and which seats to pick to reduce inconvenience
        • How to prepare yourself and your child for the trip
        • Flying etiquette for kids and parents
        • Which airlines are family- and kid-friendly (and which aren’t)
        • And?more!

        无法容忍Here’s our promise:无法容忍

        At the end of this guide, you’ll know what to do to make flying with children 无法容忍less stressful无法容忍 and 无法容忍more fun无法容忍. Now, let’s get reading!

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        Packing Planning Travel With Kids
        Image Credit: PR Image Factory via Shutterstock.com

        You’ve made up your mind. You’re flying with your child. Now, age isn’t as big of an issue for babies. Some parents like?Leslie of Trips With Tykes?even recommend 3 to 9 months as a?great age to start flying.

        But however old (or young) your little one is,?preparatory work is cut out for you!

        And time is of the essence when readying the kids for air travel.

        You want to have as much time for 无法容忍planning, preparing, and packing无法容忍. Forget about spontaneous travel or cramming everything in a day before the trip. And don’t even think about using some new-age sleep hack on your child during the flight.

        That’s a surefire way to lose energy – and sanity!

        But worry not. The following sections will show you how to prepare – not just the kids but everyone – for the upcoming trip.

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        Good preparation starts before you even book the flight. And you must pay extra attention to two things – the 无法容忍schedule of the flight无法容忍 and the 无法容忍seats you pick无法容忍. You want to ensure the flight schedule works around your young one’s daily routine and, of course, that you’re all seated together.

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        Let’s say you’ve steered clear of red-eye flights.

        Good job! You have one less thing to worry about. Having said that, you’ve got work to do regardless of the flight schedule.

        无法容忍Hot Tip: 无法容忍Work around the times when the children get sleepy and energetic.

        If the young ones nap after lunch at around 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., schedule your flight during nap time if possible. That way, they’re more likely to nap instead of running amok during the trip.

        If they don’t nap and you’ve booked a flight in the afternoon when they’re likely to play, try wearing them out with fun outdoor activities in the morning. If the airport has a playground, let them run around before having them sit for hours.

        For morning flights, ensure your child gets a good night’s sleep. 无法容忍A sleep-deprived child is a cranky child无法容忍 – and you don’t want one inside the plane!

        Traveling With Child Kid
        Image Credit: Gorlov-KV / Shutterstock

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        You’ve booked the flight and picked ideal seats for the entire family. Now, however, you have to get everyone ready for the trip. This is a step you don’t want to skip, especially if your children are flying for the first time.

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        Remember the following rule of thumb:

        Taking away uncertainty brings you a step closer to a less stressful time in the skies.

        For some parents, this means giving the young one’s playthings – like a tablet and a pair of headphones – and having them sit still for an hour or two.

        无法容忍And this is a smart move!无法容忍

        Kids are playful and full of energy, and staying put during the flight may prove impossible. But by rehearsing and teaching them how to stay put for extended periods, you lessen the chances of your child making a ruckus in the cabin.

        Note, however, that there are other things to prepare kids for before the trip.

        无法容忍Hot Tip: 无法容忍Turn your travel preparation to an educational and kid-friendly game.

        The look, sound, and feel of an airplane are commonplace for traveling adults. But children who are about to fly for the first time may find them terrifying.

        无法容忍The solution:无法容忍

        An airplane toy and a healthy dose of imagination.

        You can use the toy to teach kids about the different parts of the plane – such as the wings, door, tail, and cockpit where the pilot sits. When boarding time comes, you and your child can have fun looking for and pointing out those airplane parts.

        Pack something from home that they’re comfortable and familiar with. It can be Teddy or a favorite toy. Doing so helps lessen the?unfamiliarity of the experience.

        You also want to talk to them about the security screening process. Tell them that their favorite toy will have to go through security. And most important, assure the young ones that they’ll get back their much-loved dolly or toy car right after screening.

        Oh! And do warn older kids that 无法容忍bomb jokes are NOT cool and can get everyone in trouble.

        无法容忍Hot Tip:?无法容忍Don’t miss our guide on The Best Ways to Help Families Speed Through TSA Airport Security…

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        Packing Luggage
        Time to start packing! Image Credit: Africa Studio via Shutterstock

        无法容忍The first rule:无法容忍

        Start packing?only if you know for certain the weight and dimensions you can take on the flight.

        Call or email the airline and airport to check their regulations and weight limits for baggage. The last thing you want to do is delay your flight because you have to unload stuff to meet the requirements.

        Baby food, formula, and breastmilk are often allowed in quantities beyond the allowable carry-on liquid size. But of course, you and your young one need more than liquid food to cope well with the flight.

        无法容忍Hot Tip:?无法容忍Don’t miss the handy tips we give in our guide on how to get through airport security easier/quicker!

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        The essentials have been packed, but you need another bag to store everything you may need to access during travel quickly.

        For toddlers, consider getting one of these?Jet Kids Bed Boxes. It’s a hand luggage, ride-on suitcase, and an in-flight bed in one kid-friendly package. A Bed Box can?help young ones get?through the airport AND gives extra size to their “bed.”

        If you’re traveling with a baby, infant supplies like feeding bottles, formula milk, and wet wipes go into this bag. You also want to have at least two water bottles and a couple of snacks thrown in. You never know when the kids will get thirsty and hungry.

        无法容忍Hot Tip: 无法容忍Mom and frequent traveler Ashley Vaccarino also suggests stocking up on wipes for easy hand cleaning and disposable placemats to minimize food mess.

        Chances are, you’ll need more than an iPod to keep your child entertained. Back in the day, coloring books, drawing paper, and colored pencils were the usual distractions. But you can go digital with a portable DVD player, a pair of headphones, charger, and a selection of movies made for children.

        And do add an extra pair of clothes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and pajamas for bedtime.

        Kid Luggage
        Image Credit: Shutterstock

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        Family Travel Lost Child
        Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

        Forget about trying to please everyone in the cabin.

        Know not everyone likes the company of children, and the mere presence of a kid will draw glares from some people. Not much can be done aside from ignoring these people. Your kids have the right to be travel with you.

        无法容忍But a parent must also remember:无法容忍

        No one else on the plane loves your children like you do.

        And what may come across to you as acceptable behavior (because “they’re kids”) may not be taken lightly. Families traveling together have garnered a bad reputation – and some of the reasons may be familiar to you:

        • Parents changing stinky diapers on the tray
        • Allowing young ones to kick other passengers or pull their hair
        • Treating flight attendants like babysitters
        • Letting kids play and run around the cabin
        • And the list goes on!

        无法容忍Bottom Line: 无法容忍Stay alert and don’t space out so you can keep them well-mannered and calm throughout the flight.

        You, as the parent, are 无法容忍responsible for supervising your young ones无法容忍, making sure they’re not intruding on someone else’s private space or causing inconvenience.

        Disruptive passengers are the bane of any flight, and you don’t want to be branded as such. Mom and dad, too, should stay behaved, minimizing loo visits and noise levels.

        If you want to go the extra mile, you can try this idea:

        无法容忍Get gifts –无法容忍 a tiny bottle of whiskey or a couple of chocolates for each of the seats around you on the plane.

        To each gift, add a little note that says: “Hello! I’m baby Miles. I’m pretty new to flying, and I hope it’s all OK. I hope this chocolate makes me a bit less annoying.”

        Drop the gifts onto the seats as you sit down, so the passengers see the little gifts as they get on board. If they still get upset at the baby flying after the gesture, they probably just don’t like children.

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        family traveling
        Image Credit: michaeljung / Shutterstock

        无法容忍Flying first class has a lot of perks无法容忍. Comfortable seating and greater legroom immediately come to mind. But the benefits go beyond these two, especially for kids and families.

        For starters, many other “firsts” are added into the distinction. First class passengers get faster and easier access to the security line at most airports. Not to mention they get to 无法容忍board and leave the plane first无法容忍.

        无法容忍And let’s not forget:无法容忍

        First class cabins are way more comfortable than their economy counterparts. And with less commotion and noise, kids flying first class have an easier time sleeping.

        But first class costs a lot more than economy flights. And while the steep price can easily prove worth it, not every family has the budget for it.

        无法容忍Fortunately, families and children can still get near-first class treatment with the right airline无法容忍. And in this section, we take a closer look at 5 of them!

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        JetBlue Plane
        Image Credit: Shutterstock

        JetBlue knows how to pamper their youngest passengers.

        Not only do families (with children under 2) get 无法容忍pre-boarding privileges无法容忍, the airline also treats little ones to a nice lineup of in-flight entertainment – with Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Animal Planet included in its roster of 3 dozen channels.

        And to keep those little tummies full and nourished, JetBlue also offers 无法容忍unlimited juice and free snacks for children无法容忍. Plus, EatUp boxes are also available for purchase for young ones with big appetites.

        Awesome, yeah? But JetBlue still managed to outdo themselves in 2016. During Mother’s Day, the airline launched their first ever “FlyBabies” flight where passengers got 25% off of their next ticket every time a baby cried!

        Talk about dedication to kid-friendly flying.

        Plus, 无法容忍JetBlue in usually on point with customer service – winning J.D. Power North America Airline Satisfaction Study for 12 consecutive years doesn’t hurt.

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        Families with kids aged 5 and under get 无法容忍priority boarding无法容忍 at Virgin America, just after first class passengers.

        All Virgin America planes also boast in-flight entertainment, including 无法容忍free satellite TV with channels for kids无法容忍, premium programs like “Go Diego Go,” and free video games to keep the little ones busy.

        Before the flight, you can purchase kids meals. For trips lasting longer than 2 hours, healthy food options like chicken and turkey sandwich as well as hummus with veggies are available. Jet Set Kid packs are also available, which includes a turkey sandwich, chocolate, and other snacks.

        But the best thing about flying with Virgin America is their bathroom. With 无法容忍diaper-changing stations无法容忍 in their rear lavatories and extra diapers available, parents won’t have to worry about dealing with stinky and wet diapers.

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        southwest airlines
        Image Credit: Southwest.com

        Southwest Airlines is another family favorite – and for good reasons.

        Southwest knows how packing light can prove difficult when flying with children, and they’re one of the few airlines offer 无法容忍free checked bags无法容忍 (2 bags up to 50lbs) to flying families. Sure, their base fares are often slightly higher than other low-cost carriers. But with?free checked bags taken into account, Southwest comes out as the more budget-friendly option.

        无法容忍Moreover, strollers and car seats always fly for FREE!?无法容忍AND, there’s free live TV which includes the Disney Channel!

        But what if you have to cancel or change a booked flight?

        No problem! 无法容忍Southwest won’t charge you anything无法容忍 – only the fare difference. We all know how kids are more likely to get sick than adults, and this perk lets parents handle such situations minus the huge penalty.

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        Pre-boarding is on Delta Airlines’ “menu.” 无法容忍Families with small children get the extra time they need to board the plane, find their seat, and settle in无法容忍 – without having to worry about other passengers waiting in line.

        Flying is hardly fun, but select Delta airplanes?are equipped with 无法容忍free in-flight entertainment (plus headphones)无法容忍 to give families have something better to do than watching the clouds. And with complimentary drinks and snacks on all flights, hunger-induced tantrums won’t be a problem.

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        Alaska Airlines Disney Livery
        Alaska Airlines Disney Livery. Image Credit: Carlos Yudica via Shutterstock.com

        To ensure families stay seated together, Alaska Airlines 无法容忍reserves two “family rows”无法容忍 in most of their flights. If you’re booking a flight with Alaska but seating together seems impossible, a simple phone call to reconfirm your flight is often enough to group you back together.

        Now, their fleet isn’t equipped with in-seat TVs. But flights lasting over 3.5 hours have digital in-flight entertainment players, with dozens of movies and 无法容忍built-in children’s programming无法容忍.

        And with flight attendants passing snack baskets an hour before landing, you and the kids will get to your destination with happy tummies.

        无法容忍Hot Tip:?无法容忍Don’t miss our study outlining the Top 10 Most Kid-Friendly Airports in the U.S.!

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        Great family-friendly airlines exist, but so do terrible air carriers. The latter group often lure passengers with low ticket prices, only to bombard them with fees, terrible customer service, and even safety hazards!

        Learn more about the 5 worst airlines for just about any passenger and 无法容忍steer clear of them无法容忍!

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        The discount airline calls itself the “most consumer-friendly airline,” but reports and ratings scream otherwise. Spirit Airlines has the honor of being the 无法容忍“most complained about airline无法容忍 and even made it to Business Insider’s list of the world’s worst airlines.

        The reasons for the dissatisfaction are numerous – from draconian reservation policies, malfunctioning seats, to an “impressive” list of fees.

        Sure, their ticket prices are lower than other airlines. But Spirit managed to earn 40% more per airplane than other airlines, thanks to their merciless and high-fee strategy.

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        Frontier Airlines was once the model low-cost carrier – friendly, comfortable, efficient, and affordable. What’s not to like? Unfortunately, even good things come to an end. When the ex-CEO of Spirit Airlines acquired Frontier, everything changed!

        Today, Frontier Airlines is just like other “low cost” airlines. Yes, their tickets have rock-bottom prices, but just about anything has 无法容忍a fee attached to it无法容忍 – from carry-on luggage, overhead bins, to reservations and more.

        Not to mention they axed Midwest Airlines’ warm and freshly baked cookies every flight, shortly after acquiring the latter.

        They’ve had unfortunate press about?sarcastic staff?and an email-only customer service which contributes to one of the worst rates airlines in the country.

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        Allegiant Air – another “affordable” airline – takes the third spot on our list. The airline has amassed a large number of critics for their terrible customer service – with unreliable planes, uninterested crew, and a rude customer service team.

        Heck, they won’t even grant a refund to a widowed man!

        And as if that’s not enough:

        The airline is also dangerous according to Greg Marino, a former aircraft mechanic for Allegiant Air. Marino revealed how the airline’s Sanford facility adopted bad maintenance habits and even 无法容忍flew airplanes with faulty components无法容忍.

        We provide a full in-depth review of Allegiant Air here.

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        Does United Airlines suck? Matthew Kepnes of Nomadic Matt gives 15 reasons why he thinks yes and here are some of the highlights:

        Calling customer service means talking to a rep who doesn’t know what the customer is talking about, cold transfers to another department, or just hangs up.

        The on-board meals are hardly edible. Their on-time status is terrible. And they don’t allow upgrades even if you offer money. But the worst of all (especially for a parent), 无法容忍the airline loses children?无法容忍and cannot be bothered about it!

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        The 无法容忍2015 Airline Quality Ratings report saw Envoy Air reduce its rate of customer complaints. But aside from the reduced complaints, there’s little to like about the airline.

        The same report saw Envoy Air’s denied boarding rate increase while their on-time performance takes a huge dip. But as if that’s not bad enough, the airline also proved terrible in handling baggage, faring far worse than the industry average.

        If you don’t want to lose your baggage and items you and your kids hold dear, don’t fly with Envoy Air!

        无法容忍Hot Tip: 无法容忍Don’t forget to pay special attention to the credit card you’re using. We’ve created this guide to the best credit cards to maximize your family’s travels to help you out.

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        This marks the end of our in-depth guide, and we’ve learned a lot along the way.

        We saw how to have the best start by planning your flight strategically, how to prepare kids who’re flying for the first time, and how to pack efficiently for the trip.

        Following that, we had a brief discussion of the etiquette to observe by parents and kids during the flight to ensure a smooth time in the skies. And to end the guide, we also looked at 5 of the best and worst airlines for traveling families.

        For additional advice on family travel, check out our dedicated guide: 33 Best Tips for Amazing Family Travel with Your Kids!

        We hope that this guide makes your upcoming trip with the little ones a lot less stressful and way more fun. But we’re also sure some of you readers have a tip or two hidden in their sleeves – and we’d love to hear about them in the comments!


        Like this post? Pin it on Pinterest!

        Ultimate Guide to Flying with Kids


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        No. Only passengers earn miles for the flight. You can, however, open an account in your child’s name and book a flight from the miles he/she has earned.

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        First class seats give you enough room for privacy and breastfeeding. Not to mention the space is enough to accommodate a bassinet or travel seat.

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        Always try to book direct flights! Getting off the plane, setting up camp somewhere, dragging your baggage, and rushing for a connection with a child is not good for your sanity.

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        That depends on the age of the child. A better – and healthier – alternative is to offer milk or juice to relieve the inner air pressure and discomfort.

        Alex Miller

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        Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a?young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug.?Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most?points possible on each dollar spent.

        无法容忍Disclaimer:无法容忍 Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

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        1. Anna kate无法容忍 April 27, 2019

          Lots of great info here. We have travelled with our three kids a lot but I remember being very nervous the first few times. For sure, preparation is key and letting the kids know what to expect on the flight will really help things to go smoothly. Kids are always much better behaved when they know what to expect. There’s a great video on YouTube you can show your little ones before they fly. It goes through everything they can expect at the airport and onboard a real airplane. Just search YouTube for “flying with kids Emma peppa”. The video is fun and aimed at little ones it has all their favourites like Emma wiggle and Peppa pig . Good luck! XX

          Reply

        2. Karen无法容忍 May 31, 2019

          This summer we want to go for a vacation, we think that our half year old is ready. We sleep trained him (parental-love, highly recommended) and we’re not afraid about the flight. But your airline review is brilliant and very helpful ?

          Reply

        3. FrequentFlyer无法容忍 June 30, 2019

          This article is ridiculous. I would never apologize for a child being a child on a flight or passing out gifts to others around you. If other passengers are annoyed with children on board then they can fly private and solve that issue. If not they shouldn’t say anything. I don’t get presents from passengers that encroach upon my space because of their body size, loud talkers, bad manners, body odors, etc so it’s ridiculous to think I should have to have the best behaved children on flights when adults can’t even manage that!

          Reply

          • Hi FrequentFlyer – this is simply an option for some parents that may find it helpful. It’s like any parenting advice, take it with a grain of salt and “you do you”. We include this tip here because we have had many parents report to us that they had done this prior to this article being published (so without our advice) and were not only very happy to do so but felt it went over well with other passengers which made them feel a little more secure about bringing their possibly scared or anxious kiddos aboard! What works for some won’t work for all, just a simple suggestion! ?

            Reply

            • Laura无法容忍 December 28, 2019

              Frequent Flyer does have a point though, it is part of the social contract. We live in a society and not in a bubble and this is part of it. As much as we parents can do, I don’t see bringing gifts for everyone as something people should expect, unless we think others are dogs and need treats.
              Flying at night? Hell yes to that, every parent I asked before our first long haul flight recommended the 1am flight, the entire 14h flight took place during night hours and she slept like a champion.
              What bothers us? People who use screens at night in the plane, people who go to the loo a million times and spend there a while with their mobile phones and leave a terrible odor, loud chewers, people who drink alcohol and keep the smell of it for the remaining of the flight, people with smelly feet, people who talk non stopstop,
              racists, people who touch your child.. Are there articles with tips for them? Will they even bother to check? Nah, let’s just put the pressure on those traveling with children. As usual.

              Reply

              • Michael无法容忍 December 30, 2019

                Whoa there, the article didn’t mention bringing gifts for “everyone” just those near your child. I’ve never experienced a flight where passengers “expected” to receive a gift for sitting next to a child, it was simply offered as a good way to relieve tension in case the neighbor wasn’t used to, and/or nervous about being around children, as they can be unpredictable through no fault of their own, they’re children figuring things out after all. FrequentFlyer suggested the article indicated the expectation was that the parent would have the “best behaved children”, in reading the article’s content I don’t see how FrequentFlyer reached that conclusion.

                Oh, and Laura if you’re upset with people using screens at night or going to the restroom too frequently you should flight private.

                Reply

          • RebeccaIsaflyer无法容忍 July 20, 2020

            Thats what im thinking! Im not gonna give random gifts to passengers that have a problem with MY KIDS!

            Reply

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