Image credit: Flickr
Okay, this is something we all definitely love doing – going on a holiday! Seeing new sights, eating yummy food, and taking in fresh experiences, and those things (probably with the exception of eating yummy food) are what we want our kids to experience as well.
One of the first steps that we’ll take after deciding on where to travel to is choosing an airline to fly there on! There’s always a chance that your kids, or someone else’s kids will be acting out on the flight, and for those long-haul flights, it can be both mentally and physically draining.
Sometimes, situations that make baby into a bawling mess can’t be avoided (e.g. air pressure, a gassy tummy), but there are airlines that are trained and equipped to help you handle a bit of that strain.
We’ve come up with a list of 5 baby and kid friendly airlines that give your little ones the VIP treatment through baby kits, meals, diapers, and even feeding bottles!
Here they are in alphabetical order:
Image credit: Cathay Pacific
1. Cathay Pacific
One of the more low-key but established airlines, Cathay provides the essentials to care for babies. A bassinet can be requested for when you’re buying your tickets – it can hold up to a weight of 12kg, but they’ve stated on their website that infants 6 months and above might feel uncomfortable sitting in it.
Breastfeeding is allowed for all phases of flight, and the use of electric breast pumps is allowed after the announcement that electronic devices are able to be switched on. Each of their aircrafts also has at least 2 bathrooms with changing tables in them.
Due to hygiene reasons, they won’t be able to reheat or chill your personal food items. However, if you wish to warm up your milk, they’ll be happy to provide a container of hot water!
To refrigerate your expressed milk, remember to bring a cool bag or vacuum flask and ask the flight attendants to help store them.
For parents with from 3 to 6 years old, they’ll provide a fun little kids pack filled with activity books and games for them to entertain themselves with.
Click here for more info on travelling with children on Cathay Pacific.
Image credit: Emirates
First things first, parents with infants and toddlers will get to skip the long queues to check-in – they have a dedicated family check-in desk just for you! This friendly gesture extends to boarding as well, allowing your family to get settled in on the plane first.
Bassinets (that can hold up to a weight of 11kg) and baby kits with wet wipes and nappies, can be requested. The bathrooms onboard are equipped with changing tables, and their flight staff are usually helpful towards parents with infants and toddlers.
For infants younger than 2 years, they can sit on your lap with a special seatbelt extension that’ll be given to you. For those who are above 2 years, you’ll have to get a child’s fare for them and they’ll have their own seat, or you can bring a baby car seat that fits their .
You’ll also enjoy an extra 10kg as check-in baggage, regardless of cabin class, and a 5kg carry-on/cabin baggage for your inflight infant necessities. If there’s space onboard the plane, you can also stow a collapsible stroller with you – however, if there’s no space, your stroller will have to be checked-in.
Infants and toddlers can snuggle a soft-toy to sleep, and when they’re awake, they’ll get some colouring pencils for a colouring book! For older kids, kids packs can be requested for them, containing fun and educational materials with activities and games, and maybe even a travel journal for them to fill!
Click here for more info on travelling with children on Emirates.
Image credit: Etihad Airways
3. Etihad Airways
Etihad’s a bit more pricey, but the service they provide for families is top-notch. The service that stands out the most is their Flying Nanny – these staff have been specially trained in Norland College (a United Kingdoms approved childcare college) to understand child psychology, and help keep kids entertained on flights!
These nannies have activity packs on hand, and know how to do arts & crafts and origami, hand puppets, face-painting, and even magic tricks! They’ll help you out the best they can in order to give you a better holiday experience.
Baby bassinets can be requested for during booking, and is on a first-come, first-served basis. They can hold a weight of up to 10kg and are for little ones who are younger than 10 months old.
Baby and child meals should also be requested for during booking or 24 hours before departure, or your child won’t be able to enjoy their colourful meals!
Click here for more info on travelling with children on Etihad Airways.
Image credit: Qantas Airways
4. Qantas Airways
They’ve been in the air since 1920, and they’re a reliable and experienced airline. Their family-friendly services are also reliable, starting with pre-boarding – families with young children get to board first and settle down.
Infants (under 2 years) have no carry-on baggage allowance, so you can bring their food and nappies in addition to your own carry-on baggage allowance. Children (2 years and above) have the same carry-on baggage allowance as adults.
If a bassinet is required, you should notify them when booking your tickets as they’re subject to availability. Their bassinets can hold up to 11kg in weight.
For older kids (3-6 years), Qantas has a special Joey Club kids kit that’ll keep them entertained! They have Etch-a-Sketch and an activity booklet, and on selected international flights, children can get exclusive Joey Club socks too!
For food options, meals for your children should be requested for when making your booking. While their flights have a range of baby food, you should bring your own baby food that you know your little one will enjoy.
Click here for more info on travelling with children on Qantas.
Image credit: Singapore Airlines
5. Singapore Airlines
Our very own Singapore Airlines does pretty good in the family-friendly department, with lots of offerings for babies, toddlers, and young children. You’ll get priority boarding with your young children to help you settle in before the other passengers get onboard.
The inflight staff are also trained to help you and your children out – they know how to carry and tend to your babies to give you a much needed break. A bassinet can also be requested for when booking your tickets, and it can support up to 14kg of weight (though their bassinet sizes and weight limits vary by aircraft).
Baby amenities such as disposable bibs, feeding bottles, and wet wipes are available, but they recommend you to bring your own as they’re limited in supply and may not be the ones that baby is used to.
For your own amenities, infant food, and breastmilk, you can bring up to a total of 6kg – that’s in addition to your own 7kg free baggage allowance! The plane’s chillers have limited space and their temperature isn’t able to be controlled, so please put your breastmilk in a small cooler bag with ice packs to help with keeping it chill.
Travel packs are also available for children under 12, with their themes and items changing every 4 months. Inflight entertainment gives your older children the opportunity to have multiplayer games with other kids on board, and even has a language learning program to teach simple words and phrases of the country you’re flying to.
During meals, your children will be served first, and if they need your help to be fed, one parent will be served first and the other later. Baby and children meals are pretty healthy, with lower sugar content and for those between 1 to 2 years old, they even provide a post-weaning meal that’s easy to chew and digest!
Click here for more info on travelling with children on Singapore Airlines.
Recommended read: Toddler Learning: Is It Time for ABCs and 123s?
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