While planning a family vacation, costs can add up fast—especially when you’re booking flights for every family member. Luckily, plenty of airlines out there offer discounted, or even completely free, tickets for kids of all ages.
So, which airline should you choose for a more affordable and cost-efficient flying experience?
These airlines can help you save money while planning the perfect family adventure, from limited-time promotions to general, year-round discounts. Here is your guide to ten airlines that can help make your next trip effortless and affordable with discounted or free tickets for kids.
Why not also check out our guide to the best flight booking sites?
Frontier Airlines boasts a commitment to affordable travel for families with a vast range of deals and discounts for kids up to 14 years old.
Infants under two years old can fly completely free of charge with Frontier Airlines when traveling in an accompanying adult’s lap.
Frontier Airlines also stands out as a top choice for families with their Kids Fly Free deal. On select Frontier flights, kids can fly completely free, with no taxes or extra ticket fees. And while some airline’s discounts are focused only on young kids, this promotion applies to all children ages 14 and under.
Despite a fantastic deal, there are some stipulations to accessing these free flights. You’ll need to purchase a subscription to Frontier’s Discount Den travel club for $59.99 a year to access this promotion.
Once you’re a member, kids can receive a free ticket with an adult Discount Den purchase on any flight marked with a Kids Fly Free Logo.
With family boarding and an open seating policy that makes it easier for families to sit together, Southwest Airlines is another excellent family-friendly airline for anyone traveling with kids.
While the airline discontinued its most recent infant and child fare offer in June of 2021, it offers a range of other deals that make family travel more accessible and more affordable. One child between two weeks and two years old can be carried free of charge when traveling with anyone 12 years or older if they’re not occupying a seat.
Southwest’s Companion Pass is another option to help save money when traveling with children.
If you travel on 100 qualifying flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in one year, you’ll earn a Companion Pass that allows you to fly with one person for free, not including taxes and airline fees. Through this pass, you can receive two tickets for the price of one, cutting down the cost of airline tickets for the whole family.
While American Airlines doesn’t offer consistent free or discounted ticket deals for kids, it is incredibly family-friendly. It provides a range of accommodations and promotions that simplify saving money when flying with kids.
Children under two years old that don’t occupy a seat can travel for free with any adult on American Airline flights. Families with young children can also ask to board early while at the gate for extra convenience.
And while American Airlines doesn’t always provide discounts for children, the company offers regular daily deals for free or discounted tickets for children.
If you’re looking to save on a family vacation, keep an eye out for these limited-time promotions to receive discounted tickets and other fantastic deals on flights.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) is dedicated to making it more affordable to travel as a family through generous discounts and regular Kids Fly Free promotions.
Infants ages up to two years old that don’t occupy a seat can either travel for free or receive a discount of up to 90%, depending on flight destination and route. Children ages two to 11 can also receive a discount of up to 25% of adult fare based on booking class, flight destination, and price.
The company also occasionally offers Kids Fly Free promotions for limited periods. During these promotions, children under the age of 11 can travel for free when accompanied by an adult.
This deal only covers base airfare costs, so passengers still need to pay additional airline fees and taxes. However, with this promotion, kids can fly at an affordable discounted price from several major locations, including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Boston, Chicago, or Washington, D.C.
SAS also offers youth tickets for a discounted rate for any traveler between 12 and 25 years old.
There are even more incentives and discount opportunities for kids flying with SAS through the company’s EuroBonus program. Kids can collect points and earn discounts on trips, accommodations, and more when they fly with SAS.
Qatar Airways offers plenty of ways to save while flying with children with a range of discounted fees for children of all ages.
Infants under two years old traveling on a parent’s lap are eligible for an infant fare, which tends to be around 10% of the applicable adult ticket fare. Children ages two to 11 may also qualify for Qatar Airways child fare, which differs based on destination and flight routes.
This airline also regularly offers Kids Fly Free promotions that allow you to purchase a complimentary ticket when you buy a ticket for an accompanying adult.
Air Tahiti Nui
With priority family boarding, comfort kits, and discounts and promotions offered regularly; Air Tahiti Nui is a great choice when traveling with children.
Parents of infants up to two years old who don’t occupy a seat can purchase a ticket for their child based on an infant fare. This fare costs around 10% of the applicable fare at the time of the flight booking. They also offer child fares that are generally 75% of the applicable adult ticket fare.
Along with these discounts, Air Tahiti Nui continuously offers promotions for free flights for children up to 11 years old. This includes an ongoing family fare special that allows children to fly from Los Angeles to Tahiti nearly for free. While you do have to pay fees and taxes, these regular deals make it simple to book an affordable and exciting adventure for the whole family.
British Airways attempts to make traveling with kids as simple and stress-free as possible through infant and child discounts, priority family boarding, and additional family services and support.
Children under two years old who don’t occupy a seat are eligible for the infant fare—10% of the applicable adult fare. Discounts for children ages two to 11 are also available, but prices vary greatly based on the flight destination, class fare, and more. With this discount, accompanied children can receive a discount of up to 75% of the adult fare.
While there are no consistent Kids Fly Free promotions offered, British Airways has been known to offer special promotions that allow children to receive free flights for select routes and destinations.
Virgin Atlantic offers several generous discounts for children across all age ranges. Infants under the age of two traveling on their parent’s lap are eligible for the infant fare, which is 10% of the adult fare plus tax and airline fees.
The airline also offers a child fare, which usually falls between 25% and 50% of the adult fare, dependent on the route and kind of fare. Age documentation is required when purchasing tickets for infants or kids.
Virgin Atlantic also goes a step farther than other comparable airlines with a discounted young adult fare that applies to passengers between 12 and 16 years old.
Japan Airlines has numerous discounts that make flying more manageable and affordable for any family traveling with children under 12 years old.
Infants under two years old who don’t occupy a seat can travel based on an infant fare of 10% of adult ticket prices. The airline also offers a child fare of 75% of the applicable adult fare for children ages two to 12 and infants that occupy their own seats.
Age documentation is required to access these discounted fares when booking your flight with Japan Airlines.
Etihad Airways is committed to making families and children as comfortable as possible while traveling. To make flying with kids easier and more convenient, Etihad offers special dedicated family rooms and priority boarding, as well as a range of discounted ticket options for kids.
Infants up to two years old are permitted to sit on an adult’s lap for the duration of the flight, with an infant fare equal to 10% of the adult ticket fare. You can expect to pay a child fare of up to 75% of the adult fare for children up to 11 years old, although this amount will differ based on flight departure and destination.
Etihad Airways has also offered several Kids Fly Free promotions for a limited time.
Their most recent special deal ended in September of 2021 and allowed two kids to fly for free with every adult ticket purchased. This promotion might have ended, but make sure to keep an eye on their upcoming deals and discounts to book an unforgettable family vacation at a heavily discounted price.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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