View Full Version : Which airline is most kid-friendly? Plus, does size matter?

09-14-2007, 01:34 PM
I am flying with my 6-month old in a few weeks -- for those of you who fly frequently, hats off to you! I'm nervous.

Anyway, it will be a short flight from Atlanta to Dallas and the ticket prices are pretty much the same with each carrier. So, who's the best to choose? Delta? American? Airtran?

Also, should I choose the biggest plane I can in hopes it will be less full (more room to walk, more likely to give me an empty seat so DD can have her own seat instead of being in my lap, etc), or should I go with the smaller plane, which means fewer passengers, full or not?


09-14-2007, 01:43 PM
Personally, I always prefer to fly bigger airlines and bigger airplanes. I figure if something happens (weather delay, etc.) then you have more options with a larger airline that is running more flights. Bigger planes also have wider aisles (usually), more bathrooms, more flight attendants, and are typically newer.

Flying into Dallas, I would probably give the nod to American since DFW is their big hub.

09-14-2007, 02:28 PM
I would fly a bigger airline but dont count on a seat. DH has had his last 2 flights canceled and bumped back an hour to consolidate flights to make a full plane. Book an isle seat!

09-14-2007, 02:41 PM
IME, time of day matters more when it comes to empty seats (and bigger planes are often assigned to flights that tend to be more full). Avoid the business rush - weekdays early morning and late afternoon into the evening, and Sunday late afternoon/evening. Pick a flight in the late morning or early afternoon instead. And go with an airline that has many flights a day between your destinations (and don't pick the last flight of the day) in case your flight is cancelled, you have a better chance of still getting out that day.

A wider aisle might be nice, but don't plan to walk much except to get to your seat and to the bathroom. Flight crews prefer to keep people seated so that the aisles don't get congested, so that beverage carts can get through, and for security purposes.

09-14-2007, 07:55 PM
Yeah, they are packing flights pretty full these days. We have been on completely full flights the last 3 times we flew. We just get a seat for DS now (which the last time we weren't even seated together, so we had to ask people to move).

09-22-2007, 10:10 PM
Not sure if Southwest is an option, but the bonus to flying with them with kids is that it is open seating and if you have kids you get to board earlier than anyone else. Pick the seats up front (for leg room) and let's face it...who wants to grab the seat next to the parent(s) with a baby/toddler. LOL

~ shari

09-26-2007, 12:12 PM
I have flown solo with baby/toddler in tow multiple times on both domestic and long-haul international flights, so you might benefit from my $0.02. I try to fly United Economy Plus because the extra seat pitch (legroom) allows me to install an enormous Britax Boulevard rear-facing. The Boulevard is a nightmare for me to travel with; I much prefer travelling with a Cosco Scenera or a Graco SnugRide.

I believe that size DOES matter. Not all United flights have Economy Plus, and some flights can be on unbelievably dinky aircraft with very cramped seats. Of course, just how much size matters depends on the measurements of your child's car seat and whether or not your child will be rear or forward-facing.

You can fit a car seat into closely-packed (little legroom) aircraft seats more easily if your child is forward-facing, but it is easier to tend to your child's needs if they are rear-facing, plus you eliminate the possiblity of your child kicking the back of the seat in front of you. Check out this site for car seat measurements:


Definitely check out seatguru.com before booking your flight and selecting your seat assignment. They have the seat width, pitch and comments regarding your seating options:


BTW, I recently saw a Dr. Phil episode on etiquette where a toddler was kicked off a Continental flight for saying (not screaming) "bye-bye" repeatedly during the safety briefing, so who wants to take a chance on seat-kicking? I will install my car seats rear-facing and avoid Continental if at all possible.

Hope that helps!

10-24-2007, 08:30 AM
We just flew AirTran this weekend. They oversold our plane by 6 people and people did get bumped--the next flight was the following day at 5:45pm and they were MAD! They also cancelled our nice 7:00pm flight 2 weeks before and put us on an 11:00 pm flight arriving at 12:34 am, giving us a 6 hour layover, when they could have put us on a 9:30 flight instead. However, when we tried to do standby for it, it was also oversold by 6 seats. The pilot was rude when I gate checked my stroller in a stroller bag. He told me that made it luggage and they cannot bring "luggage" up after the flight, so I needed to unpack it if I wanted the stroller back. I was furious, but kept it in the bag and bugged the people on the other end that they needed to get my stroller back for me.

AirTran also never once had DH and I sitting together.

I will NEVER fly them again.