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Airlines

Airlines made Plane and Simple

Taking to the skies is no easy feat especially when little ones are concerned. Being prepared and sticking to some simple survival tactics given on our travelling by plane page will certainly help, but knowing what to expect from your airline will also help you plan for your journey.

Most airlines claim to have become more family friendly and on first inspection you might think this to be true. No doubt, children's entertainment on the seat back TV is a blessing for those with toddlers and on board goody bags are great too, but those travelling with babies and younger toddlers will find it hard to appreciate these and may beg to differ with the airlines point of view.
Firstly, there is the whole fiasco with trying to book the bassinette on the bulkhead seats. Many airlines simply won't allow you to pre-book these seats, so if this is the case for you, get to the airport super early and make sure you bag these seats. The loos on the planes are tiny, which makes nappy changing with a baby over the age of 1 year a real challenge. Finally, some of the budget airlines have introduced a priority boarding booking fee for UK departures so you'll have to pay to get on board first.

Amongst the least family friendly airlines is American Airlines, who do not have any services for families with children- not even children's meal. Having said all this, some airlines have taken the needs of families with young children seriously and addressed them directly. Among the best of these are Gulf Air, which have introduced a Sky Nanny Service across all classes, Singapore Airlines, which do allow you to pre-book your skycot and have emergency supplies at hand and finally British Airways who have bottle and food warming services as well as Skycots and priority boarding.

Below is an outline of the services available on the most popular airlines. If you have travelled with any of the airlines featured here, we would love to hear from you and find out how you got on. Read others experiences and tell us your own.

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  Airtours

  • Baby bassinette (prebookable).
  • Infant seat belts for babies sitting on adult's lap.
  • Children's meals available on request.
  click for Airtours

  American Airlines

  • Own car seats allowed on board if a seat is purchased.
  • No infant or child seatbelts are available.
  • Priortity boarding for families with young children.
  click for American Airlines

  Air France

  • Dedicated Planete Bleue family assistants
  • Priority boarding.
  • Special events and entertainment at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Paris Orly airports during major holiday periods.
  • On board bottle warming and baby food warming facilities
  • Skycots
  • Onboard games, gifts and toys
  • Children's inflight entertainment
  • Inflatable height-enhancement cushions are given to the smallest children on request.
  click for Air France

  Air Canada

  • Small umbrella type stroller can be taken on board.
  • Own car seats allowed on board if a seat is purchased.
  • No infant or child seatbelts are available. Children weighing 20lbs to 40lbs must be secured in forward facing restraint device.
  • Infant and childrens meals available- must be prebooked.
  • Will store baby milk and medications in the cooler
  click for Air Canada

  British Airways

  • Priority boarding
  • Family checkin available 24 hours before departure via ba.com.
  • Kids meals available (pre-order)
  • Small umbrella type stroller can be taken upto the aircraft door.
  • Skycots (request in advance, though not necessarily confirmed) and Britax infant seat for 6 months to 2 years (allocated onboard)
  • Own car seats allowed on board (not rear facing) if a seat is purchased for infants aged 6 months to 23 months.
  • On board bottle warming and baby food warming facilities
  • Feed kids first policy
  • Skyfliers activity packs
  • Children's inflight entertainment
  • In flight games
  click for British Airways

  BMI

  • Priority boarding
  • Advance seat allocation
  • Kid's goody packs
  • Teddy bear for under 3 years
  • Basinets for babies less that 10lbs
  • On board bottle warming facilities
  • Emergency nappy supplies
  click for BMI

  Britannia Airways
  now known as ThompsonFly

  • Priortity Boarding
  • Sky cots (allocated on board)
  • Children's meals. (must be pre-ordered)
  click for Britannia Airways (ThompsonFly)

  Continential Airlines

  • Bassinets available for babies weighing less than 22lbs (request in advance – although not necessarily confirmed).
  • Baby food available.
  click for Continental Airlines

  Easyjet

  • NO bassinets!
  • Carseats not allowed on board.
  • Toddlers over two charged the full adult rate.
  • Prepay priority boarding
  click for Easyjet

  Emirates Airlines

  • Bassinet for babies upto 11 kg (pre-bookable)
  • Priority Boarding
  • Free stroller service at Dubai Airport
  • Own car seats allowed on board if a seat is purchased for infants aged 6 months to 36 months
  • Children's Meal (Must be pre-ordered)
  • Baby Food available
  • On board bottle warming and baby food warming facilities
  • Children's inflight entertainment
  • Interactive games.
  click for Emirates

  Gulf Air

  • Dedicated Sky Nanny service
  • Priority boarding
  • Bassinets for babies upto 1 year. (request in advance, but not guaranteed).
  • Kids meals (must be pre-ordered).
  • Emergency Nappy supplies.
  • Games and toys
  • Children's inflight entertainment
  click for Gulf Air

  Jet Airways

  • Childrens Meal (must be prebooked)
  • Bassinettes (prebookable).
  click for Jet Airways

  KLM

  • Junior jetset service
  • Special children meals
  • Baby food available
  • Emergency nappy supplies
  • Activity packs
  • Small strollers allowed on board.
  • Bassinets for babies weighing less than 9 kg. (Request in advance, but not guaranteed).
  • Own car seats allowed on board if a seat is purchased.
  click for KLM

  Monarch Airines

  • On board bottle warming and baby food warming facilities
  • Bassinette for infants under 6 months
  • Own car seats allowed on board if a seat is purchased. (babies 6 months to 3 years).
  click for Monarch

  Quantas Airlines

  • Bassinettes for babies under 25 Ilbs. (prebookable)
  • Own car seats allowed on board if a seat is purchased. (babies 6 months to 3 years, but must be approved first)
  • Emergency supplies.
  • Baby food (pre-order)
  • Kid’s Meals (pre-order)
  • Goody bag
  • Priority Boarding
  click for Quantas

  Ryanair

  • Can not purchase seats for infants (under 2)
  • Infants must sit on adults lap. Infant belts are available.
  • No car seats allowed on board
  • Buggies may be carried free of charge up to the aircrafts doors.
  • Carseats and Travel cots must come within the adult's luggage allowance and is subject to a £5 baggage fee per item.
  click for Ryanair

  Singapore Airlines

  • Bassinettes for babies under 14kg (requestable, but not guaranteed).
  • Baby Food (pre order)
  • Children's Meals (pre-order)
  • Emergency nappy supplies
  • Own car seats allowed on board if a seat is purchased. (babies 6 months to 3 years, but must be approved first).
  • Meet and greet service
  click for Singapore Airlines

  United Airlines

  • Bassinettes for babies under 6 months (requestable, but not guaranteed).
  • On board bottle warming and baby food warming facilities
  • Emergency nappy supplies
  • Own car seats allowed on board if a seat is purchased.
  click for United Airlines

  Virgin Atlantic

  • Skycots available for babies under 1 year old ( pre requestable)
  • Infant Care chair available if additional seat is purchased (prebookable).
  • Kids Meals (must be pre-ordered)
  • Baby food
  • Emergency nappy supplies
  • Children's inflight entertainment
  • Games Console
  • Goody bag
  click for Virgin Atlantic

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