We all know what a nightmare it can be it to fly with children. Packing for the flight is a chore and we also have to worry about how to keep our kids in check so as not to serve as a disturbance to other passengers on the flight. As such, many parents and families are opting for closer destinations that are just a drive away, as opposed to going through the hassle and stress of flying with kids that could potentially take away the joy of going on a holiday.
But don’t give up just yet. No longer do you have to forgo a longer trip to a farther holiday destination because of your fear of flying with kids! These kid-friendly airlines are here as the ideal solutions to your flying/travel woes with their reliable range of family-friendly amenities.
First of all, we have our very own Singapore Airlines, which provides quality kid- and family-friendly amenities that are deserving of the airline’s world-class status.
Infants and kids’ care amenities: Singapore Airlines is ready to supply baby essentials like nappies, feeding bottles, and wipes. The cabin crew, or more widely known as Singapore Girls, are also trained in childcare to provide adequate assistance to parents on board.
Infants and kids’ seating arrangement: Singapore Airlines is one of the few airlines who allow the use of convertible in-flight beds for your child, such as Bed Box or other forms of sleep cushion aids. Refer to airline’s detailed regulations on the use of such devices here.
Infants and kids’ meals: Singapore Airlines’ specially-crafted kids’ menu, Yummy!, offers an extensive selection of food items for children. The sheer variety of dishes on the menu is bound to satisfy even the fussiest eater. Singapore Airlines also allows your child to pick his or her favourite menu, ensuring meals aboard the plane are to your child’s delight.
Infants and kids’ in-flight entertainment: The Young Ones section on Singapore Airlines’ Next Generation KrisWorld In-flight Entertainment System is well-packed with movies, television programmes, music, and audio stories to keep your child engaged. For those under 12 years old, exclusive Disney-branded travel packs are also provided, and it is said that the pack is revised every four months with new items!
No doubt, Emirates is one of the most reputable airlines when it comes to providing unparalleled kid- and family-friendly services that will make your flying experience one of utmost comfort.
In a recent survey commissioned by Emirates, it was revealed it takes an average of 90 minutes for Singaporean children to get bored when flying long-haul. Parents are concerned about ensuring their children’s comfort (67%) on long-haul flights, followed by keeping them entertained (62%) and asleep (49%). Emirates makes sure to look after these and more concerns with the following services.
Infants and kids’ in-flight care amenities: Changing tables are available in the bathrooms for you to change your baby on board with ease. Infant amenity kits with essential items like nappies, bibs, baby wipes, changing mat, and diaper rash cream are also readily available.
Infants and kids’ meals: Infant and kids dishes are available with prior booking, at least 24 hours before the flight. Emirates also provides milk formulas and bottles on board, and is able to warm up your food and milk bottles should you require as well.
Infants and kids’ in-flight entertainment: Emirates’s recently-improved version of its Fly with Me collection and Lonely Planet Kids activity kit bags ensure your child is sufficiently entertained with plush toys, puzzles, and games. These play kits also vary in their content so as to cater to children of different ages, including infants. For example, infants up to two years old will receive a vibrating plush, while children of older ages receive activity bags with travel books and creative crafts. In addition, Emirates’ in-flight entertainment system, ice, also offers over 100 kids channels, thus ensuring there is no dull moment for your child throughout the flight!
Unaccompanied Minors Service: Emirates’ Unaccompanied Minors Service for children traveling alone is definitely one that is noteworthy. Right from the get-go, Emirates provides a specialist team member to guide your child through the check-in and departure processes, right until he or she boards the plane. At Emirates’ Dubai hub, dedicated lounges with games and entertainment facilities, snacks and drinks, and even children’s bathrooms are available to keep your young safe and engaged before takeoff. You can thus rest assured your child is in good hands throughout this solo flight experience. Upon arrival at the destination, a team member will also be present to direct your child through the arrival procedures and right until your child is handed off to a verified parent or guardian.
Air New Zealand
While Air New Zealand provides kid- and family-friendly amenities, one key point to note is that the availability of these amenities differs according to aircraft types.
Infants and kids’ seating arrangement: Baby bassinets are only available on Air New Zealand’s Boeing 777-200, 777-300, and 787-9. Additionally, only the above-mentioned international aircraft and Air New Zealand’s A320 domestic aircraft are able to accommodate carry-on collapsible strollers.
An interesting feature of Air New Zealand’s 777 and 787-9 aircraft is the Economy Skycouch, which allows your row of Economy seats to be transformed into a couch after takeoff, thus giving your family and kids more space for maximum comfort. The airline’s Skycouch Infant Harness and Belt also allow infants to remain lying down when the plane is cruising, while the Skycouch Infant Pod provides a safe collapsible sleep space for your child.
Unaccompanied minors: Follow your child through his or her solo-flying journey with Air New Zealand’s Airband—a special wristband that sends text message updates to nominated parents or guardians during various checkpoints of your child’s journey (e.g. when boarding the plane, when the plane has landed). Air New Zealand stays accountable with this innovative device by ensuring you are able to keep track of your child’s flight journey and safety.
Known for its representative Flying Nanny service, Etihad Airways definitely does not fall behind when it comes to providing quality kid- and family-friendly services.
Infants and kids’ in-flight care amenities: Having an experienced Flying Nanny with you and your family surely allows you to feel more at ease when flying with your child. Etihad’s team of nannies is exceptionally trained in various aspects of childcare, from paediatric first aid to conducting activities specially-designed to keep even the most highly-energetic children occupied. The Flying Nanny is able to provide assistance throughout the flight, from staggering meals so one parent can eat while the other watches the child, to even relieving you of your childcare duties so you can have some time to yourself. The best part: all these come at no extra cost!
Fun fact: Etihad’s Flying Nannies undergo their training at Norland College, an established institution that has supplied childcare providers to celebrities and even royalty like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!
Infants and kids’ in-flight entertainment: By now, you can also expect it to be given that airlines will be equipped with dedicated entertainment channels for your little ones. For Etihad, it has the E-BOX—an in-flight entertainment system that provides kids’ movies, television programmes, music, and games. Young flyers will also be given a children’s activity pack called Etihad Explorers, containing colouring books, games, and puzzles.
In addition to providing in-flight nanny service, Gulf Air’s Sky Nannies go the extra mile to provide assistance for you and your family even on the ground.
Infants and kids’ care amenities: Gulf Air’s Sky Nannies are ready to provide you with a range of on-the-ground services between 6:30pm to 2am every day at its Bahrain hub. Upon arrival at the departure gate, your assigned Sky Nanny will kindly be on hand to escort you to your seat and help you settle your child in. On top of arranging convenient meal times and serving as another watchful eye for your child, your Sky Nanny even goes down to the practical details like advising your child on landing procedures and how to clear ears to avoid pressure pains. If you’ve forgotten to pack a childcare essential, fear not as Gulf Air is stocked up on nappies and other baby supplies like wipes, bibs, and baby powder, which you can request through your Sky Nanny.
On top of providing basic kid- and family-friendly amenities, Air France boasts of an exemplary in-flight entertainment service for young flyers.
Infants and kids’ in-flight entertainment: Like other airlines, Air France provides games kits for children and infant comfort kits for little ones between 0 and 24 months. Parents are advised to download the Air France Kids app, a complementary application to your child’s games kit, which allows your child to bring drawings to life in 3D. What makes Air France’s kids’ in-flight entertainment system stand out are programmes such as Mind—designed to help children and parents relax during the flight. It was crafted from Eline Snel’s best-selling audio book, Sitting Still Like a Frog, which teaches kids about mindfulness meditation. If you want to liven things up, Air France has a magician for long-haul flights, ready to perform magic tricks to entertain your little ones. For the curious child, Air France has a webpage—questionsinthesky.com—which provides answers to almost 100 questions your child may have about flying (e.g. what do pilots eat). No longer do you have to worry about a chatty child bombarding you with questions throughout your flight!
Unaccompanied minors: You can also accompany your child virtually every step of the way through the Air France app, which provides real-time tracking of your child’s status, including a photo to show when he or she has landed safely. At Paris-Charles de Gaulle Terminal 2EL, a designated lounge and play area is set aside for your child to rest and have fun while waiting to takeoff, with facilities like a library and even Sony PS4 terminals for older children and teenagers.
When it comes to kids’ in-flight meals, one can only think of Lufthansa and its highly-commendable kids’ menu.
Infants and kids’ meals: Lufthansa’s menu for kids has gone through a rigorous tasting process involving a children’s jury who directly chose dishes made by renowned chef Alexander Herrmann. There is no better way to find out what kind of food entices a child than having a child pick out those dishes. Not only are Lufthansa’s kids’ meals visually attractive to children, the dishes are also sufficiently nutritious, and even come with adorable names like Rice Pudding Mouse and Dragon Feet, making meal time on board so much more exciting for your little ones.
For EVA Air, its popular Hello Kitty- and Sanrio-themed aircrafts are already attractive for young flyers. These Hello Kitty and Sanrio Family Jets also make mealtimes more enticing for you and your family by serving meals in themed lunch boxes, bottles, and cutlery. You and your child can make yourselves comfortable by nestling into the Sanrio character-themed pillows and headrest. Baby bassinets are also readily available for your child, and for in-flight entertainment, goodie bags stuffed with Sanrio character sheets, toys, and games are provided.
Featured photo credit: Emirates