If you have ever flown with kids, you know that no matter how good your kids are, it can be a nightmare. For example, on a trip earlier this year I was traveling with my husband, our toddler, and our baby (as a lap child). Although we had requested our seats weeks before the flight, and done online check in confirming those seats, when we went to board the plane we were told that we were divided into three groups, with our toddler sitting on her own in a different area of the plane from either of us. We had to throw a fit in order to get her seated with one of us. She was only two at the time and the airline thought that we were unreasonable for saying that she needed her seat, as requested, to be next to one of her parents! Needless to say, airlines are not always very accommodating for families with young children.
American Airlines has been a different experience. I have flown several times with American Airlines, including recently flying with my family from London to Tennessee and back. That was four flights with children on American Airlines on that trip alone.
I felt like the American Airlines employees at the check-in desk really wanted to help us. Not only did they make sure that we were all seated together, they reserved an extra seat for us when possible so that our baby could have her own seat as well. This meant that on one transatlantic flight we could bring her car seat on board with us so that she could happily sleep in her own seat. On the other overnight flight it meant that we could lift up the armrest and let our toddler lie down and sleep. Being sat together and having the extra seat made travelling so much easier. The employees also made any suggestions they could to make us more comfortable on the flight.
The only hiccup was that they seemed to have a difficult time with my daughter’s infant ticket, and it always took them a long time to check her in. However, they always figured it out in the end.
The stewards and stewardesses were polite and helpful on the plane as well. They were happy to bring drinks for my daughters, and made sure that they got little AA wings. At the end of the flights, they offered to help us with our bags as we disembarked, and seemed genuinely happy to help. At each stage we were able to check our stroller at the gate, and then collect it again as soon as we got off the plane.
The in-flight entertainment included a children’s movie (Monsters versus Aliens) and Disney channel TV programming. They only gave out uncomfortable in-ear headphones, though, so I recommend bringing your own headphones for your children to use.
I’m not saying that American Airlines was perfect, but they were far better to travel on with children than most airlines. They were nice to me and my kids, and they were helpful. If you’re traveling, especially on a long flight, with young children, I recommend American Airlines.