Before I had children I was lucky enough to do quite a bit of international travel (sadly I’ve been grounded since then). Many of those flights were on Emirates, and I always had a good experience with their planes, food, and friendly staff. Exploring the Dubai airport was also a highlight of course!
I haven’t yet had the opportunity to travel overseas with my kids, despite my three-year-old daughter being desperate to go on an airplane. We often read books about planes and chat about what she would do on such a long flight. To this day she doesn’t believe me that there are no beds on a plane!
If I did have to choose an airline to travel with my kids, it would be Emirates. Even before our family was invited to attend a media briefing and special screening of The Jungle Bunch movie with Emirates, I had seen them in action with families on my trips before. I knew that Emirates offers pre-boarding when traveling with kids (and now that I have kids I realize just how great this must be) and the free use of strollers at the Dubai International Airport (essential for tired little legs and parents who have hardly slept to help them navigate through to their next flight). I had also seen all those happy kiddies being handed little packs when they’re settling on the flight to help keep them entertained (and I now realize just how handy these are).
Fouad Caunhye, Emirates Regional Manager, Southern Africa, was just one of the friendly faces that greeted us at the press event. Can you believe that Emirates won the World’s Best Inflight Entertainment System award for the 13th year in a row? If you have little ones you’ll know that distraction is key, and so having an amazing 2500 channels of on-demand entertainment with 90 exclusively dedicated to kids is quite a drawcard.
Flying to over 80 different countries straight out of Durban is a big deal, cutting down on significant travel hours when you’re traveling with children. If you’re a parent you will know that food is the next important distraction. There is a special menu available on Emirates for kids between two and 12 (even served on a colorful tray), and a snack box of treats to help pass the time too. Onboard baby meals are also available so even the smallest passengers are taken care of.
Each child flying will also receive a Fly With Me Animal toy. Amy was gifted with a fluffy Travel Buddy Eagle called Eric who can clip onto her bag, as well as a matching Carry Buddy Eagle who has a soft little blue blanket inside to cuddle. Young adults can look forward to a Lonely Planet inspired kid’s pack which includes a travel journal, a magazine with puzzles and activities as well as a coloring book and eye mask.
I’ve experienced Emirates hospitality first hand, and always enjoyed hearing how many different countries were represented on each flight with the cabin crew. It truly is an international crew with 135 nationalities represented and over 60 different languages spoken.
Have you traveled with your kiddies before? What have your experiences been? Any tips or tricks you’d like to share with us?