At some or the other point of time, we all have gone through an experience where a co-passenger’s infant created a pandemic during the flight. We have made all sorts of expressions of giving empty smirks to glowering back at the kid and her mother and ultimately complaining to the staff. We have done it all. The actual reason for a crying baby is not because they love annoying people but their ears hurt due to pressure. The child also becomes cranky because they don’t get a place to do their play and are made to sit in one place in a certain position.
Travelling with infant is a challenging task and thus this issue is being sincerely addressed by various airlines to ease your travel. So if you are a new mother and looking for a peaceful flight with your infant, there are various airlines such as Emirates, Air France, that make the journey a happy one.
Few Pointers to Consider While Choosing the Best Airline to Fly With Your Kid:
1) Infant Charge
The infant charge is a certain percentage of the adult charge and varies greatly in different airlines, can be up to 20%. In most of the airlines, an infant below 2 years, is required to sit on adult’s lap. Whereas in some airlines they let you buy an additional seat for the infant and the prices are hiked from full adult charges to some percentage charge.
2) Priority boarding
There are airlines that let you do pre-boarding before the rest of the passengers. This makes it easier for parents to settle down easily with their infants and get a suitable seat. This also generally allows parents with an infant less than 2 years to sit together on adjacent seats, creating less discomfort for other passengers.
You need to check whether bassinet, stroller, and car seat facilities are provided by the airline. Also look for facilities such as toys, solutions, baby diapers, in the airline you choose. On certain airlines, the crew members can even prepare and warm the baby foods.
4) Not Allowed
The airlines such as Air Asia and Malaysian Airlines do not allow infants in the plane and in certain classes of the plane.
Best International Airlines to Travel With an Infant Are:
1) Emirates Airlines
The Emirates is one of the most happening airlines and provide all sorts of infants friendly amenities. They let you pre board the plane and provide baby food pouches. To distract the children, they provide attractive stuffed toys, colorful headphones, and more than 60 children movies. The airline also has exclusive play zones for kids and provides strollers on Dubai Airport. If your child is between 6-36 months old, he/she can travel in car seats as well. They also let you book bassinet for free.
2) Etihad Airways
Etihad has a specialized crew called Flying Nannies on almost all long hauls, to take care of the babies. They make various baby food recipes, make a bassinet for the infants and entertain them with toys, puppets, magic tricks, and art. Exclusive nutritive meals are served as well as bottle-warming service is also available.
3) Asiana Airlines
The Asiana Airline makes distraction very entertaining. They provide Happy Mom service on all long distance international flights. They involve costume shows, magic shows and indulge in creative activities like face painting, baking, etc with the kids on flights longer than 3 hours of journey. These crew members take special care of the comfort of the expectant and new-mothers while pre-boarding and de-boarding the plane. They also give free bassinet facility.
4) Virgin Atlantic Airways
Virgin provides special infant seats outfitted with all the necessary equipment to set up in any seat on board, in any cabin. They have a special kid-menu and age appropriate creative activities for kids. They have an amazing control system regulated by parents themselves to ensure that the kids watch kid-friendly entertainment shows.
5) Air France
The airline provides bassinet facility on long haul flights in Economy, Premium and Business cabins. They have specially curated activity packs and meals for kids. You can also order baby solutions and biscuits at least before 48 hours of departure. They also have coloring books for kids and various games. On long hauls, a small stroller or a pram can be taken on board without any additional charges.
6) British Airways
The airline provides a pre-boarding facility, in-flight entertainment packs with parental control. The parents can carry a stroller and one car seat on long hauls. The parents can also book carrycots, free of charge on long flights. The airline has basic kids meal menu but parents can carry packed baby food items and other necessary items in a handbag, included in the allowance.
The airline allows a free baggage allowance on Business and Premium class bookings. A car seat or pram can be carried free of cost on long journeys. Baby cots are also available on longer flights on prior reservation, depending on the ticket. The cabin crew can warm the baby solutions on request, however, the supply of baby meal is limited in-flight. They also allow infant families to pre-board.
So before traveling, make an informed decision regarding the facilities provided by various airlines and the one which matches your purpose of travel and preferences.
On a lighter note, since babies on airplanes has always been a humorous topic given the fact that they are “so quiet” while flying, I will suggest to keep the above-mentioned points in mind and make the journey comfortable not only for you and your baby but also for your fellow passengers.
So fly safe, take the baby and go!!