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Best airlines for families

By Karan Smith
Best airlines for families

Best airlines for families

Up, up and away

The friendly skies have become chillier for families in recent years as airlines cancel pre-boarding, charge for seats together and even rollout kid-free zones.

Here's how some of the airlines popular with Canadians measure up.

A version of this article appeared in our April 2013 issue with the headline "Airline report," p.76.

Best airlines for familiesPhoto: dbabbage/iStockphoto

WestJet

WestJet offers:

— sense of humour
— strollers and car seats (or a playpen) checked for free
— families pre-board
— free live seatback TV (but you pay for movies)
— seat selection charge

Get more information here: WestJet

Best airlines for familiesPhoto: RobHowarth/iStockphoto

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Air Transat

Air Transat offers:

— family check-in counters at most airports
— families pre-board
— airport strollers in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver
— strollers and car seats checked for free
— kids' frequent-flyer program

Get more information here: Air Transat

Best airlines for familiesPhoto: JHLloyd/iStockphoto

Air Canada

Air Canada offers:

— free on-demand seatback TV
— small strollers and car seats checked for free
— fee for seat selection in economy class ($31 and up one way)
— charge for lap infants travelling internationally (10 percent of adult fare)

Get more information here: Air Canada

Best airlines for familiesPhoto: goldenKB/iStockphoto

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines offers:

— pre-boarding for families with children under five
— strollers of any size can be checked at the gate
— lap infants fly free
— known for its fun attitude with attendants prone to singing or rapping

Get more information here: Southwest Airlines

Best airlines for familiesPhoto: WILLSIE/iStockphoto

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Lufthansa

Lufthansa offers:

— activity kits
— healthy, fun kids meals
— free seat selection, which is set up so families can snag spots for bassinettes
— kids' frequent-flyer program
— charge for lap infants (10 percent of adult fare)

Get more information here: Lufthansa

Best airlines for familiesPhoto: urbancow/iStockphoto

British Airways

British Airways offers:

— feed-kids-first policy
— free seatback entertainment
— activity kits
— free seat selection when flying with an infant
—  charge for lap infants (10 percent of adult fare)

Get more information here: British Airways

Best airlines for familiesPhoto: dbabbage/iStockphoto

Tips for flying with kids

Best airlines for familiesPhoto: Nadezhda Prokudina/iStockphoto

Flying can be fraught with frustration. Check out what these major airlines offer families, and perhaps your next trip will be a bit more fun.

This article was originally published on Apr 24, 2013

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