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We all know that babies and infants under age 2 tend to be able to fly free, at least if they’re sitting on your lap. On U.S. airlines, “lap children” are usually completely free, while foreign airlines charge a nominal fee. That might be 10% of the parents’ ticketing price. But did you know there are ways grown kids can fly free, too?
Now that we’ve piqued your interest: the age limit varies by airline but tends to be for kids starting at age 2 and running through 11 – 15. Most of these promotions are extremely limited-time offers, but we’ve gathered up the best airlines to keep an eye on.
One exception is Frontier Airlines, which regularly offers kids-fly-free promotions even if they’re not available on each and every flight.
Let’s explore all the airlines you’ll want to bookmark. But first download The Krazy Coupon Lady app to be alerted about all the latest travel deals as they pop up.
1. Frontier Airlines
Frontier Airlines has a Kids Fly Free program. While it’s a fantastic program, there are some hoops to jump through.
First, you’ll have to join Frontier’s Discount Den. Membership is $59.99, and only one grown-up in the family will need to join in order to score the kids-fly-free promotion. Even if just one child flies free with you once, this program pays for itself. You’ll also find discounted fares and early access booking for everyone else in the family through your Discount Den membership.
Now, kids don’t get to fly free on every single flight. The promotion only applies to certain dates and locations. If you’re traveling during a popular travel holiday, don’t expect to see any eligible flights. This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but generally the days you’re most likely to find Kids Fly Free flights are:
These free kids tickets are only available on domestic flights within the U.S. and only to children ages 14 and younger. For every adult on your flight, one child can fly free if it’s a qualifying flight. For these purposes, “adult” means age 15 or older.
Related: Here’s how to make your Frontier Airline flight go smoother.
2. Scandinavian Airlines
Scandinavian Airlines doesn’t always run free-kids’-ticket promotions. But when they do, they tend to be for travelers within Europe.
When this promotion is available, kids ages 2 – 11 fly free with an accompanying adult ticket purchase domestically within Scandinavia.
TIP: Are you super American and have no idea about European geography? No stress, we’ve got you covered. Scandinavia refers to the region that makes up Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.
The promotion can also apply to select European flights as long as the point of origin or end destination is in Scandinavia.
With this promotion, the ticket is free, but you’ll still have to pay taxes and fees. Taxes on flights in Europe tend to be quite expensive, as there are extra laws surrounding the carbon emissions on planes.
3. Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways occasionally runs a kids-fly-free promotion, but these tend to be limited to one point of origin. For example, in 2021 they ran a kids-fly-free promotion out of Copenhagen.
You could travel to a multitude of destinations, including the UAE, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, South Africa, New Zealand, and more. But you had to depart out of Copenhagen.
The promotions typically only apply to economy class seats and have always required a unique promo code. While there’s not a kids-fly-free promotion running right now, keep an eye out for them in the future.
4. Air Tahiti Nui
Headed to Tahiti? Keep an eye on promotions from Air Tahiti Nui. While the promo isn’t always running, when it is, it tends to offer up to two free kids tickets (ages 2 – 11) for each adult ticket purchased. You’ll still have to pay taxes and fees for your children, but the airfare itself is erased.
When this promotion runs, it’s usually for flights out of LAX.
5. American Airlines
Keep an eye on American Airlines Daily Deals. While it’s super rare to find a kids-fly-free promotion, they do make an appearance once in a blue moon. When they’re live, they typically apply to children ages 15 and younger and only for select destinations.
For example, in 2021 they ran a promo that let one child fly free for every adult ticket booked to the Caribbean. But you had to book within 24 hours of the deal going live.
On the rare occasions when they run, American Airlines’ kids-fly-free promotions are unique because unlike other airlines, the promotion applies to all cabins, not just economy class.
Related: 22 Ways to Save on American Airlines & Skip Baggage Fees
6. British Airways
This is another airline that doesn’t run the kids-fly-free promotion in perpetuity. But when it does happen, it tends to only apply to flights within the U.K. Every once in a while you’ll see an exception made for Billund so children can fly to Legoland, but that’s the exception rather than the norm.
TIP: Another geography factoid for you: the U.K. includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The rest of Ireland is a separate sovereign country and is not a part of the U.K.
When British Airways runs this promotion, it applies to children ages 12 and under, and you can get two free kids’ tickets for each adult.
It will be interesting to see which direction European airfare deals go in the future. After the pandemic and in the midst of an energy crisis, more and more Europeans are making eco-friendly travel decisions. Which means they’re more apt to hop on a train than catch a jet-fuel-burning flight.
Every so often, Etihad will offer limited kids-fly-free promotions. The latest allowed up to two children to fly free with each adult ticket purchased for select travel dates. It was only applicable for flights to Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
While these promotions aren’t frequent, they’re worth tracking just in case.