The Points Guy (TPG) has launched a new family travel vertical with expert Summer Hull of Mommy Points at the helm. The new content comes as a result of TPG’s first-ever acquisition and entrance into the family space, expanding its reach on all things points, miles and travel.
While flying as a family can be intimidating, Summer shares some of her top family travel tips to make traveling with kids a bit less painful:
- Seat Assignments are Key: Perhaps the most important airline travel need for families of all sizes is getting seats together without paying extra for the privilege. The top airlines for this category are JetBlue, Hawaiian and Alaska, which all include complimentary seat assignments on all tickets. Southwest’s open seating policy is also a way to ensure prime seating, as children ages six and under can board after Group A.
- Early Boarding for Families: While there’s some logic to boarding young children on the aircraft at the absolute last second to minimize their time sitting still on the plane, the reality is that if you need to install a car seat or ensure space for your carry-on bags, being onboard early is crucial. United and JetBlue take the top spot for early boarding for families, as they get young families onboard early in the process.
- On-Time Arrival: Spending the least amount of time on a plane is key for families. As such, Hawaiian Airlines received the highest on-time score, with JetBlue coming in last.
- Airline Loyalty Program for Families: When it comes to spending less and experiencing more, the airline loyalty program is not to be overlooked. JetBlue offers the most family-friendly policies due to its “free family pooling of miles” option for all members.
To celebrate the new content vertical, TPG has also unveiled a brand-new industry report, The Best Airlines for Families, putting Southwest at the top. TPG examined the ten largest U.S. airlines, looking at ten different equally weighted criteria that are relevant for traveling families. Key takeaways include:
- Southwest: The airline — with its coveted Southwest Companion Pass, relatively no extra fees and family boarding makes Southwest TPG’s top choice for family travel. Its extensive — and expanding — domestic route and award program are a bonus for traveling families.
- JetBlue: Ranking right on the heels of Southwest, JetBlue comes in close second. Offering a better onboard experience for families than Southwest when looking at seat comfort, snacks and entertainment, JetBlue is consistently a top pick for families. Its on-time arrival ranking bumped it down just shy of the top spot.
- Alaska Airlines: after taking the #1 spot in TPG’s Best Airlines in the US rankings this year, Alaska comes in the middle for family-friendly options, as its limited route network and lack of strong complimentary in-flight entertainment product causes it to rank lowest in the Top 5 for families.
- United: Young families take note — with the best early boarding policy of all US airlines, United allows families with children two and under to board even ahead of first class.
- Allegiant: Ranking dead-last in nearly every ranked category when it comes to meeting the needs of flying families, its low prices can be tempting for families. Ultimately the extra fees and lack of offerings make it challenging for families who don’t come prepared to meet their own needs while in-flight.