Is Traveling With Children Tougher On Budget Airlines?
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
Booking that cheap airfare may seem like a good idea, especially when you have to pay a full-fare ticket for your pint-sized child. But certain restrictions and uncertainties can make traveling with children much tougher on budget airlines.
Doing your research in advance and knowing the fees and restrictions based on your airline will certainly help you prepare, but at the end of the day, it may be worth dishing out that extra cash for a more comfortable flight for everyone.
Budget airlines are notorious for delays and even cancellations, making additional headaches for connecting flights and transportation home or to your hotel. Trying to keep a child entertained for long flight delays can be stressful. Some airports have play areas designated for children. Otherwise, activities that will shake out some of their energy before being forced to sit for hours is always a good idea.
No Food or Entertainment
Do not expect free snacks or your favorite TV shows on budget flights. Entertainment and food is purely up to you. It is much tougher to have to plan out snacks, meals, and activities for your child on long flights without the help of in-service entertainment.
Luggage / Check-In
Check-in and security can sometimes be the most stressful part of traveling with children. Trying to navigate smoothly through lines while people impatiently side-eye you is not fun. There is always more luggage when traveling with a baby or toddler, and the added frustration of oversized bags and high luggage fees can really test your patience. Most definitely research your airline so you know what to expect in advance. The additional fees may end up costing you more than that pricier flight you passed up.
The service you receive on a flight can make all the difference. Dirty restrooms and impatient staff can turn even a quick flight into a bad mood that lasts all day. The level of service obviously depends on the airline and designated staff, but sometimes a quick online search for reviews can give you a pretty accurate glimpse into the overall level of comfort or discomfort you are about to walk right into.