From our first flight with a 11 week old to countless more, our family learnt very quickly that every airline has its own set of rules and perks, making the whole thing a maze of do’s and don’ts, with policies varying.
As a ex Emirates flight attendant and family travel blogger, who yes, has flown Emirates with a baby, I thought a guide might help others too. I keep an eye on the airline industry and update regularly.
Emirates stands out as a comfort champ in air travel. They’re not just a top airline globally but also ace the art of taking care of our little travelers.
This guide? It’s your go-to to understand the ins and outs of flying with Emirates, especially when dealing with that tricky infant baggage allowance.
Emirates Ticketing and Travel Guidelines for Children
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When traveling with the youngest ones (0–1-year-olds), consider holding them on your lap or reserving a bassinet for their comfort. Make sure to secure the bassinet in advance—they tend to get booked up quickly.
Note that infants under a week old usually aren’t allowed to fly unless there’s a medical emergency or for compassionate reasons. Be prepared with all necessary documents if such a situation arises.
For toddlers aged 6 months to 3 years, having a car seat can be a game-changer. They’re welcome to have their seat but remember, the car seat must be forward-facing and securely fastened with a lap seatbelt.
Now, for the smart 2–11-year-old bunch, they can get tickets at 10% of the adult fare if they’re occupying their own seat. Note that the Unaccompanied Minor service doesn’t offer discounted ‘child’ tickets; it’s priced at the full adult fare.
Contact the local Emirates office or helpline to arrange the Unaccompanied Minor service.
Lastly, kids aged 5–11 flying alone in a different cabin class are treated as unaccompanied minors, paying full adult fare. However, if they’re traveling with a 16+-year-old in the same cabin class, exceptions can be made upon parental approval.
Infant Baggage Allowance on Emirates
Emirates gets that when you’re traveling with a baby, extra allowances are a must! Let’s break down the rules for your little one’s gear:
Baby Stuff in the Cabin:
It should weigh less than 5 kg (around 11 lbs) and fit within 55 x 38 x 20 cm (22 x 15 x 8 in). Plus, you’re welcome to bring a carry-cot or collapsible stroller onboard too!
If there’s no room, they’re happy to check it for you at no cost.
Infant’s Checked Stuff:
Now, for checked bags, you get an extra piece just for your baby’s gear. You can check this one at no extra charge, but it shouldn’t weigh more than 10 kg (22 lbs).
Quick heads up: this rule changes for flights to and from the Americas and Africa. For these specific routes, you can carry a cabin bag weighing up to 5 kg (11 lbs) and within 22 x 15 x 8 inches (55 x 38 x 20 cm).
But here’s the catch: no extra checked luggage allowance for these journeys. But this doesn’t include Car seats or strollers – see about these extras below.
Policies and Specifications of Bassinets, Strollers, and Car-Seats in Emirates Baggage Allowance
Alright, let’s talk specifics – from bassinets to strollers and car seats!
Bassinets: These cozy nests for littles are designed for tiny tots up to two years, weighing about 11 kg (approximately 24.2 lbs). While they aren’t guaranteed, in First Class, they’re about 25 in x 11 in, while in Business and Economy, they’re a bit larger at 29.5 in x 13 in x 5 in.
It’s best to call the airlines in advance to confirm availability for your specific flight. Remember that bassinets aren’t available for child-fare seats.
Strollers: You can bring yours along for free, but if the plane’s packed, it might need to go in the hold. Dubai Airport has complimentary baby strollers at Terminal 3’s family check-in. Twin strollers are available too.
Car Seats: To bring one onboard to use, it must have the safety label stamped – like US FMVSS No. 213, Canadian CMVSS, ECE R44 European standards, German aircraft approval, or AS/NZS 1754 Australian/New Zealand standards. You must have a seat purchased to use it .For babies under 10 kg, rear or forward-facing seats are acceptable, but after 10 kg, only forward-facing seats are allowed.
Otherwise, it’ll need to be checked with your baggage.
Other Baby Essentials that You Can and CanNot Carry On-board the Emirates
Emirates prioritizes safety and comfort for all passengers, especially the little ones. Understanding what’s allowed and what’s restricted onboard is crucial for a smooth journey.
Sleep Devices designed for leg rests, such as Bedbox, Fly Legs-up, and FLY-Tot, unfortunately, aren’t permitted on Emirates flights. While these items can be carried as part of your regular hand luggage, they should remain stowed throughout the flight.
Similarly, ride-on suitcases like Trunki, Zinc Flyte, Kiddee Case, FOME, and Jetkids are allowed on board but must be stored in overhead lockers and not used as leg rests or seat extensions.
For sleep aids, only the CoziGo (Fly Babee) is approved for use on Emirates flights. It can be attached to baby bassinets in Economy, Premium Economy, and Business Class, but you’ll need to reserve a bassinet in advance.
However, please note that Emirates doesn’t provide the CoziGo, so you’ll need to bring your own.
On the other hand, sleepers like Cocoonababy, Flyebaby, SkyBaby, TravelSnug, MonkeyGo, BedBox, and Kooshy Kids aren’t permitted on board Emirates flights. Be mindful of these guidelines when preparing for your journey!
Emirates Onboard Facilities for Infants and Kids
Emirates works hard to make flying with kids a breeze. They’ve got plenty of perks to keep parents and little ones happy throughout the journey.
For nursing moms, they offer privacy with blankets if you prefer and like all airlines breastfeeding is allowed at your seat. When it’s diaper/nappy changing time, the bathrooms have handy changing tables, along with a kit stocked with essentials like nappy cream, bibs, and wipes. They’ll even help you out with extra diapers if needed.
When it comes to mealtime, Emirates has options! You can tailor meals to suit your kid’s taste, and they’ve got special baby meals, including formula and bottles, ready on request.
Got your own baby food? No problem! They’ll warm it up for you. Plus, they have prepared formula made from whey to ensure your little one’s nutrition is covered.
Entertainment-wise, they’ve got an impressive lineup—up to 150 channels in 40 languages! Kids’ favorites like CBeebies, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon are on tap. And they offer more than just screen time; Emirates has puzzles, coloring sheets, recipes, and other activities to keep the kiddos engaged.
As a cherry on top, they give away cool take-home toys and bags inspired by travel and different cultures. From soft toys to puzzles, these goodies ensure the journey is fun and memorable for the little adventurers!
Tips for Flying Emirates with Infants
Flying with infants is both exciting as well as challenging. But with a world-class airline like Emirates, the journey can become more manageable, provided you familiarize yourself with all the rules and policies.
Here’s a checklist of unique tips tailored for parents traveling with infants on Emirates:
- Book Early for Bassinet Availability: Emirates offers bassinets for infants up to two years old. While not guaranteed, booking early increases your chances of securing one for added comfort.
- Request a Baby Kit: Contact Emirates in advance to request a baby kit. These kits often include essentials like diapers, wipes, and other items to make the journey more convenient for both parents and infants.
- Pack Extra Supplies: Be sure to pack more diapers, formula, and baby wipes than you think you’ll need. Emirates flights are equipped with changing tables, but having extra supplies ensures you’re prepared for unexpected situations.
- Coordinate with Cabin Crew: The cabin crew on Emirates flights is known for their exceptional service. Whether it’s for an extra blanket or installing the car seat, don’t hesitate to communicate your needs or concerns with them—they are there to assist you.
- Comfortable Clothing for the Baby: Dress your infant in comfortable layers. Airplane cabins can have varying temperatures, so having layers allows you to adjust accordingly. Pack warm clothes and an extra pair of socks just in case it gets cold.
- Follow Emirates Baggage Policies: Familiarize yourself with Emirates’ baggage policies for infants, including allowances for carry-on items and checked luggage. This ensures a smooth check-in process.
- Optimize Feedings During Takeoff and Landing: To help with ear discomfort during changes in cabin pressure, consider feeding your baby during takeoff and landing. This can help alleviate any ear-popping sensations. If you have questions, know that the cabin crew is equipped to help you out.
- Bring Familiar Items: Bring along a beloved blanket, book, or toy that comforts your baby. Familiar things can really help ease them into a new place. But here’s a tip: avoid small toys or teethers that can easily get lost or tossed during a tantrum. Retrieving them mid-flight? That’s a hassle you can do without!
- Plan for Sleep: If your infant has a specific sleep routine, try to align your flight time with their nap or sleep schedule. A well-rested baby is likely to be more content during the journey.
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