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Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

Newcastle, Australia
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Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

My family and I need to make the following flights in May:

LAX-CLT - 8th May (flexible)

MCO-LAX - 21st May

We are travelling with 4 kids - ages 9, 2, 1, 10 months. We will likely have 4 bags and 3 car seats between us.

Which airline would you suggest is the best for either of these two flights?

Limerick, Ireland
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1. Re: Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

use ...FLIGHTSTATS.COM /

you can check to see who's flying between airports / route

use the "HIDE CODESHARE feature to see which actual airlines

fly the route

MCO - LAX see Virginamerica.com /

Pittsburgh...
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2. Re: Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

Who ever flys direct. Trust me, there is no monetary value you could pay me to do a connection with 4 children. A direct flight would be my biggest priority because:

-avoiding hassles with kids

-no lugging around baggage/car seats- no one will be there to help you carry stuff around and carts are hard to find

-less up/down means your kids will experience less pain in their ears (some children are seriously effected by ear pain during air travel)

If all airlines flew a direct route and all other things equal, I would say Southwest is the most kid-friendly airline out there.

Liverpool, UK
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3. Re: Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

"Which airline would you suggest is the best for either of these two flights?" - Best is a subjective term but with 4 kids I'd suggest a non stop flight is better than indirect and the hassle of changes although this probably wont be the cheapest option.

For LAX to CLT I'd suggest United or US Air who operate non stop flights on this route.

For MCO to LAX you have a number of non stop options including United, Delta, AA.

Your cheapest option could be Southwest but this would require a stop.

Flights with the likes of UA, AA etc will incur baggage charges whilst baggage is free on SW.

Search matrix for options but this wont include SW - if you go with 1 airline e.g. UA also price up multi city option rather than 2 x one way tickets.

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

http://www.southwest.com/?int=GNAVHOMELOGO

Newcastle, Australia
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4. Re: Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

I am considering southwest via LAS on the MCO-LAX flight. It's going to run about $250 cheaper for us and will only be about 90 minutes longer than a direct flight. Have also looked in Virgin America but never used them before.

My kids have flown a lot, even the youngest has taken something like 6 or 7 flights in his nearly 9 months alive. We don't have an issue with them crying, painful ears etc and keep in mind we will have travelled from Australia also (but will have been in CA for 10 days between flights). We plan flights around sleep times where possible to make flights a bit smoother.

We also minimise the amount of carry-on luggage we have. And surely a connecting flight on the same airline (for example Southwest : MCO-LAS/ABQ-LAX) won't require me to collect and recheck bags at LAS/ABQ?

Why would you consider Southwest to be " the most kid-friendly airline out there"?

Newcastle, Australia
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5. Re: Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

Thanks Tom. Metal for LAX-CLT would be US as UA is codeshare on non-stop flight. I am contemplating cashing in some UA miles for this flight but can only book F for my dates. We have more than enough miles for that, it's just a matter of whether the value is there.

Any chance more E award seats would get released between now and early May? I'm thinking not but you have to ask.

Fortaleza, CE
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6. Re: Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

Sometimes people say bas are free on Southwest but, of course, that actually means up to 2 bags up to 50 lbs. each. Yes, it's US that flies non-stop from CLT. We've done that flight. Have you compared fares? Before asking which is "best" in unspecified ways, you might first check fares.

Newcastle, Australia
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7. Re: Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

yes have checked fares. not everything is necessarily about money when you are travelling with young kids.

we did lax-clt direct a couple of years ago on US. nothing fantastic but we got there in 1 piece, as did our bags.

Pittsburgh...
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8. Re: Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

I think that Southwest is the most kid-friendly because

1. They offer no assignmed seats and family boarding so as long as you arrive at the gate on time, it is very likely you will get to sit next to each other, even in the case if travel disruptions.

2. They still offer snacks- and will offer them on several rounds with a variety of drinks.

3. Travelers tend to be more casual and the airline has a much more relaxed attitude.

Even if you could save $100 per person, I would undoubtably recommend a direct flight. I travel alone and a connection is a huge inconvenience and a risk of travel disruptions that I don't want to deal with- and that's only one ticket to rebook.

Dallas, Texas
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for Boston, Orlando, Walt Disney World
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9. Re: Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

On the LAX-MCO i would opt with Delta.

Newcastle, Australia
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10. Re: Best airline for USA cross country flight with little kids

Why Delta?