The most family-friendly airlines

Flying is often regarded as little more than a means to an end. But for those flying with crying infants on their lap and young children who can’t sit still, a flight can make or break a whole holiday.

By researching into the facilities onboard 37 global airlines (36 offering short/ mid-haul flights and 32 offering long-haul flights), we’ve been able to rank the most accommodating airlines for families.   

What makes an airline family-friendly? 

There are certain amenities and services that airlines can offer that make travelling as a family that little bit easier. We researched flight reliability, onboard entertainment, Child-friendly food options, baggage allowances and priority boarding to determine the most family-friendly airlines.  

The airlines that came out on top.

The below table represents the top short/ mid-haul and long-haul airlines alongside the amenities and offerings that took them there.

Sources and methodology

Where airline sites have not stated or do not list additional details for baggage or meals, it has been assumed that they are the same as for adults. While certain items have been recorded as included in a ticket, they have not been assumed to be provided – only that they do not incur additional costs.

Priority boarding has been scored as higher scores for higher age caps on children. 

Baggage allowance has been scored based on three factors: the baby accessories allowed, whether children and infants are granted the same baggage weight as adults, and whether there are restrictions on how they're granted that baggage weight. 

We have used the below terminology for when amenities are available on some but not all aircrafts.
All aircrafts– all have the service
Most aircrafts– 50-99% of aircrafts have this amenity/ service
Some aircrafts– 25– 49% of aircrafts have this amenity/ service
Few aircrafts– fewer than 25% of aircrafts have this amenity/ service 

Full data and methodology can be found here.