When it comes to flying with children, all airlines are not created equal. Before you book your tickets, compare different airlines to find ones that offer family-friendly policies. For example, Delta, Southwest, United and many other major airlines offer priority boarding for families so kids can get settled in, while American Airlines makes families wait to board with the rest of the passengers. Some companies offer kids' menus and child-friendly amenities, such as the free in-flight children's programming on American and Virgin Atlantic, while others offer only standard meals and movies aimed at adults. Some companies even make you check your stroller at the ticket counter, forcing you to carry your child and all your gear to the gate.
Above all, choose an airline that allows you to pick your seats before your flight. It's not uncommon for parents to arrive at the airport only to discover they're seated several rows away from their toddler. However, sometimes family-friendly airlines will waive seat-booking fees for parents traveling with young kids.