How to save money on airline tickets for kids

Traveling with your family can be an exciting and memorable experience. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges, especially when it comes to budgeting and saving money. In addition, if you have a picky eater in your family, finding food options that they will enjoy can be another hurdle to overcome. Thankfully, there are ways to save on airfare for kids, making family trips a bit lighter on your wallet.

Some airlines offer discounts and even free seats for kids flying with adults. While it’s standard for children under two years old to not have to purchase a seat if they fly as a lap infant, some airlines allow kids to fly for free even after they turn two. Aegean Airlines currently has a Kids Fly Free deal where tickets are 100% free for all kids and infants traveling with just one adult. Scandinavian Airlines also offers free children’s tickets for kids aged 2 to 11, where you only pay taxes and fees. Frontier Airlines has a Kids Fly Free program that allows kids up to 14 years old to fly for free when accompanied by a paid adult on a reservation.

Other airlines offer discounted fares for kids. United Airlines offers discounts for young adult travelers aged 18 to 23, starting at 5% but sometimes even more, depending on the route. Singapore Airlines provides a 25% discount in economy class for kids. International airlines such as Air France, Emirates, LATAM, and Qatar Airways offer child fares on select routes and fares. Some North American airlines, like Hawaiian Airlines and Air Canada, have discounted tickets on select international flights. It’s important to enter your child as a “child” when searching for tickets on an airline’s website to trigger the discount if available online.

Lap infants, children under two years old who fly on an adult’s lap, can save families money on domestic air travel. While most international flights allow lap infants, they usually require payment of taxes, fees, and sometimes 10% of the fare. However, airlines like JetBlue, Southwest, and Alaska don’t charge a percentage of the adult fare for lap infants flying internationally, only taxes.

For those flying on miles, some airlines offer discounts for children’s award flights. Air France-KLM’s “Flying Blue Family” program provides a 25% discount on award tickets for children aged 2 to 11 when traveling with a parent. SAS offers a 50% off the point price for children aged 2 to 11 when booking its special “EuroBonus Trip” points category. Children under two get a free points ticket, but taxes and fees still apply.

In the United Kingdom, children under two are not charged Air Passenger Duty (APD), a government tax on flights departing the UK. Children aged 2 to 16 flying in economy are also exempt from APD. However, children aged 2 to 16 in higher classes of seats, such as premium economy and business, will be charged APD.

When searching for child fares, be sure to check for any special codes or separate web pages for booking. For airlines that offer discounts year-round, simply look up the flights you want, indicating the number of kids in your group and their ages.

While traveling with your family may present challenges, there are ways to save on airfare for kids. By taking advantage of discounts and free seat offers from airlines, you can make your family trips more affordable. So, start planning your next adventure and create lasting memories with your loved ones without breaking the bank.

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