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Flying the Family Friendly Skies

SS Member Image By drodriguez 09.24.08
Flying the Family Friendly Skies
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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?

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  • Happyme By Happyme

    I love the idea. I would really want the company to focus on safety. I would not buy to much, but, food that kids like for a treat would be nice. A big bathroom for changing diapers in, or being able to bring in a couple of kids. I would like a breast feeding area.

  • WickedTwizt By WickedTwizt

    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.

  • momof3letmebe By momof3letmebe

    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!!!!

  • jamiesmom By jamiesmom

    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...

  • thekrause6 By thekrause6

    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.

  • tracybear By tracybear

    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??!!!

  • anayely By anayely

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

  • kgoodman By kgoodman

    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.

  • hairs2u By hairs2u

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

  • kellys10 By kellys10

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

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