Flying the Family Friendly Skies

   By drodriguez  Sep 24, 2008

The phrases family friendly and the airline industry do not often find their way in the same sentence.  It is difficult enough to travel alone as an adult, especially if you add on flight delays, cancellations, layovers, etc.  But to be confined in a cramped seat for hours with nothing to do but look at a Sky Mall can be downright impossible for a small child. 


With rising fuels costs, the airlines seem to be worrying less about a passenger’s comfort and more about trying to make a profit.  One company, which claims to have a different take on the whole idea of air travel, is Family Airlines.  Earlier this year, Family Airlines submitted an application to fly with the DOT (Department of Transportation). 


The Las Vegas based company is still in the beginning stages and waiting for approval before they can begin sending flights out.  According to their website, Family Airlines would target families as well as travelers on a budget.  Their fares would be drastically lower than most airlines, boasting coast-to-coast one-way tickets for $69 and shorter trips for just $19. 


The airline also plans to open a “family section” designed specifically for passengers traveling with children.  So when your four year old decides he needs to go to the bathroom for the third time in ten minutes, fellow passengers from the “family section” would probably be more sympathetic than most.


Family Airlines founder and CEO Barry Michaels explains how the airline plans to make money while offering such low cost fares, “While the primary source of revenue for most airlines is passenger ticket sales the Family Airlines strategy will depend on the development of alternative profit centers to generate additional sources of revenue.”  This means they will rely heavily on extra purchases like food, drinks, movies, video games, and email access.



What do you think of the idea of a more family friendly airline?


Do you think Family Airlines’ business model will work if it receives approval from the DOT?

Make a Comment

kokonut1966 by kokonut1966 | Tarpon Springs, FL
Aug 17, 2009

I don't like this idea at ALL! Here we go getting stuck in front of some kid who's screaming and kicking my seat!! Ugh! And I don't even like to fly as it is!

raisinrom by raisinrom | Glen Gardner, NJ
Dec 05, 2008

Seems like all the mothers love this idea. I'm going to take a risk of making people angry. This entire country is geared around FAMILY and rewarding familes, child deductions . . . What about us single folks ? This airline claims to give discounts to those "on a budget". What are the parameters of "those on a budget" ? So if you're a family, you automatically get a discount, but if you are single, you aren't considered a FAMILY and you have to PROVE you are on a budget in order to get a discount ? To tell you the truth, ONE child on an airplane is bad enough, I wouldn't DARE fly Family Airlines and be subjected to numerous, miserable, screaming kids in an enclosed space for hours on end ! I DO apologize to those rare children who ARE well-behaved and those great families who raised them. I know they are out there, unfortunately they aren't the majority.

ander10e by ander10e | Goldsboro, NC
Oct 24, 2008

I love it! Flying with small children can be quite painful for passengers traveling without kids.

hmngbrd by hmngbrd | Langhorne, PA
Oct 18, 2008

I certainly would use this airline. With 4 small grandchildren, this would be the perfect way to travel for family vacations.

tangeemct by tangeemct | Charlotte, NC
Oct 16, 2008

This is awesome! When my children were young and we lived on the opposit coast from our family, it was very difficult to fly a young family of 4 back and forth on holidays. We were a military family for 20 years and the money we spent flying back and forth just so papa and grandma could see their grandchildren were brutal on an enlisted person's checkbook.

When I saw this idea, I immediatly thought of all the young families separated from their loved ones or those of us on a tight budget that suddenly have a funeral to attend, or the numerous reasons we have to fly the friendly skies.

One time we were bumped to first class much to the excitement of our then 7 year old who apparently thought she was royalty. I had to stop her from bugging the crap out of the flight attendants with buzzing them every time a thought popped in her head "do you have magazines, are those cookies I smell, do I get one? I need a blanket, it's too hot, can I get another drink?

smiddlemore by smiddlemore | POST FALLS, ID
Oct 16, 2008

My family consists of two toddlers, me and sometimes my husband we fly mostly international flights and have noticed a considerable decline in family friendly airlines. I loved flying China Airlines they had the most helpful and understanding airline staff, unfortunatly the airline isn't very safe to fly, so we forgo comfort for a little security. Flying has become a nightmare. Airline staff are usually grumpy and less than helpful and often downright hostile, and this all befoer we even board the plane. In one situation both my children had fallen asleep and a flight attendant was handing out meals I asked if he could hold my childrens meal in the back till they woke up his words " I can't promise anything" sure enough when I asked for those meals an hour later only one was still left. I kept thinking - I paid $$$ for service like this, and in any other situation I would ask for my money back. I would LOVE to see an Airline that could offer a family friendly experience, safety in flight and all at a reasonable price!

kellys10 by kellys10 | Louisville, KY
Oct 15, 2008

I LOVE this idea!! I fly with two small children, and I'd love to check it out!

hairs2u by hairs2u | Lowell, MA
Oct 14, 2008

This is a great idea for the whole family to travel I think we would all travel more often.

kgoodman by kgoodman | Orlando, FL
Oct 13, 2008

I think the idea is great, but it will be interesting to see how it actually works once the airline is up and running. There's a fine line between a budget airline and a crappy airline. I kind of picture trash strewn about, stains on the seats/walls, dirty bathrooms, etc. I would hope it wouldn't turn into that, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

anayely by anayely | chicago, IL
Oct 10, 2008

i think its a wonderfull idea n people would pay that n more for the nice service

tracybear by tracybear | Midlothian, VA
Oct 09, 2008

I don't know if having to buy everything on board a cheaper flight will come out any cheaper in the end. We've flown cross country twice this past summer with a 4 year old, 2 year old and a infant and the best flight we had was on Continental from LAX to Newark. The flight had monitors on every seat with video games for little ones (it was touch screen) and movies and tv shows, although neither the movies nor the tv shows were appropriate for my little ones. But luckily they had power outlets on every aisle so I was able to plug in our DVD player for them to watch movies we brought. They even fed us a full breakfast. I think having a family friendly section is great in theory but it sounds like it is designed to benefit those not traveling with children by keeping all of our loud screeming babies segregated to one area of the plane. If they really want to be family friendly they would come up with some way for kids to be able to lay down for naps and have kid food and coloring books or something for them to play with. And maybe an extra bag of peanuts or something for the exhausted parents. And hey what about bringing back the child's fare??!!!

thekrause6 by thekrause6 | MORRISVILLE, NC
Oct 09, 2008

I love this idea. With a family of six and living on the opposite coast of my family, we don't get home often because of high airline prices. Basically the cost of going home for a week is equal to just about anyother vacation and all we have paid for is the airfare. We also don't many visitors because of the high prices for my siblings and their families to travel to us. I wouldn't mind paying for food, and video games and movies/tv for the kids if the fares were low. It is when you are paying $400 plus and they start tacking on fees that is frustrating. I would definetly fly more if this airline was an option for me, and I have been know to drive 2 hours away past other airports to get a lower fare. Sometimes even with gas and parking it is still cheaper to drive to a non local airport.

jamiesmom by jamiesmom | Sterlington, LA
Oct 08, 2008

I think this would be awesome! I just got back from a trip to see my family on Sunday that my hubby had to skip out on because of the price of tickets. Thankfully my little guy loved the plane ride and never fussed. Biggest problem was boarding. American Airlines doesn't offer family boarding anymore and I was in group 3, last group to board. I was in the next to last row, by the window on a full flight. Squeezing thru with my carry on and toddler was a nightmare...

momof3letmebe by momof3letmebe | Oxford, PA
Oct 08, 2008

I would LOVE it! There are so many places we'd like to go, but can't afford to fly 5 of us. We would spend a few thousand dollars just on airfare! That's just crazy. Now, if we could fly coast to coast for $350 total....COUNT ME IN!!!!

WickedTwizt by WickedTwizt | Georgetown, OU
Oct 08, 2008

In theory it sounds great, but I am a little skeptical about their profit margin from extras being enough to keep up with the maintenance and upkeep of the planes. As someone else mentioned, too many of the budget airlines haven't made it in the past. Let's hope they have researched what didn't work for those companies and can make this idea work. I have family and friends that live too far away to drive with kids, one being only 7 months old, and I would love to be able to afford to fly with them more regularly. Still, the fares they are projecting are less than Greyhound tickets, so still leaves me with the skepticism of how this will truly work out.