Booking Airfare & Flying…..with Kids! (Part 3 of 3)

Our Favorite Airlines

This post will most likely be relatively short.  In our family travels, we have never really stuck to one airline, we have always flown what was the cheapest airfare at the best time we wanted.  That being said, here is our experience with each airline we have flown.

  • When flying with kids they do still let you board early.  However, let’s be real, what benefit is that?  You have sit for an extra 30-45 minutes on the plane and by that time your kids have used up half the activities you had for them.
  • One of the most stressful parts about flying….overhead bin space.  All you have is a couple small backpacks and yet you can never find space to put your stuff near your seat because it is full of suitcases too big to bring on in the first place.
  • All in all, we have never really had any issues flying Delta.  They aren’t out of this world and they aren’t bottom dwellers that’s for sure.
  • For as much flack as they receive, we have actually never had a bad experience flying Frontier.  The seats were as comfortable in coach as any other coach seat, if not more so and all the planes have been in good/new shape.
  • You do have to pay for seat assignments, carry-on bags, drinks, etc.
  • You do NOT have to pay to check Car Seats.
  • Typically considered the top dog in the world of customer service, we have never had any issues to suggest otherwise.
  • We love the fact you have 2 free bags per person.  When booking airfare with a family you most definitely take this into consideration of your rate.
  • The boarding process is rather simple, I almost always pay for at least one of us to board early so we can all get seats together near the front of the plane.
  • You absolutely have to love their witty humor though!
American Airlines
  • 100% without a doubt the worst customer service.  Pray for our return trip in a few weeks as this is the first time as a family we have flown American since my wife and I traveled together almost 15 years ago on American.  I have traveled twice for work on American as I avoid it like the plague and every single trip has turned out to be a disaster and a lesson in what not to do for customer service.
  • Their planes, even though they claim to be updating them, are still so outdated, the last time I flew them 6 months ago for work, the arm rest still had an ash tray in it!
  • The one positive…their rates now rival those of Frontier in some routes.
Air Canada
  • I booked Air Canada for a flight from Alaska to Vancouver mostly because of the Non-Stop option, but also because the reviews I read talked about the added benefits they offered.  On that flight, could have been an off day, I saw nothing different than any other plane or air carrier.
Alaska Airlines
  • A friend of mine swears by Alaska Airlines, mostly because when they lived in Alaska they could go anywhere cheap.  We flew them once, was relatively uneventful and a typical flight.  I’d recommend them solely because they are a niche carrier to a niche market and you will typically get better service in those niche areas as people feel a sense of pride to that area.
West Jet
  • Our flight hasn’t left yet and I have been relatively impressed with their Customer Service, even for them being a carrier like a Frontier which is a you pay for everything type of Airline
  • They DO NOT OVERBOOK their flights.  Check out this funny video.
  • The one negative was they canceled our originally scheduled flights without notice.  I only happened to login to our account to notice their was some error and flight time issue.  I couldn’t figure it out from their website so I called their customer service line.  They fixed everything for me and gave us assigned seats next to each other for Free.  Kudos #1 to West Jet
  • The one negative so far is the TSA Pre check process.  With most American carriers you can submit your TSA Precheck number in advance.  With WestJet you have to wait until you check in.  Let’s hope it’s a painless process.
  • Stay Tuned!  Our flight leaves June 2nd and we will update this post right after!