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Emirates Airline Review: Family Friendly Airline Review

Review by Carrie Bradley  – Flight from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne with an 11 month old and 3 year old

Our flight from Kuala Lumpur left at a respectable 3.30pm – our only day trip when flying long haul on this occasion. This flight was a lot shorter at only 8 hours, so we weren’t fazed at all.

We had all our travel toys packed and apps prepared, and had fed the girls lunch at the airport. We were given our pre-requested bassinet seats 17 D,E and F.  G was empty as the flight wasn’t completely full, so we could spread out a bit.

The Emirates go up between seats E and F on the A380 but and the B777-300 ER as pictured below.

B777-300ER armrests go up on E/F seats (Image: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)
Emirates Bassinet Seat on the B777
Emirates Bassinet Seat (Image: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

Emirates Bassinet Seat

Boarding was swift and we easily had ample space in the overhead lockers for all our belongings. When the cabin crew were released from their seats, a flight attendant came and installed the bassinet.

As she was doing so she asked with a stern authority baby M’s weight – because we don’t have scales at home I was unsure and let her know this, but explained to her that Baby M was under 1 and (at the time) the current Emirates website stated that bassinets were suitable for up to two years old but over 1’s may find it a bit of a squash; so I was confident she would fit.

I was rudely told that this was not the case, and that she must be able to lie flat. At which point I was asked to take her out of her lap belt  (the seat belt sign was still on for the passengers as we were still climbing altitude) and put her in the bassinet.

The flight attendant asked me to make sure her legs were flat, which any parent knows, is almost impossible to do with a wide awake baby, plus sleeping babies generally sleep in a frog-like position!

Thankfully baby M fitted in with no problem, but needless to say, my normal calm demeanour had been rattled by this particular crew members abrupt attitude.

I think that some training or a mention of this in training school would really benefit non-parent crew, because as ex-crew and as a parent I found this attitude wholly unacceptable.

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Emirates Bassinet Seat (Image: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

A point to note is now the guidelines on the Emirates website have changed and the information now reads “Whilst our bassinets are designed for babies up to two years old, we won’t be able to provide one if your baby doesn’t fit safely.” They have now removed the sentence about the baby needing to lie flat in the bassinet.

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Emirates child meal (Image: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

Emirates Kids’ Meal

The Emirates Child Meal is given out first with all the other special dietary meals. This is incredibly helpful as you can get the kids’ fed usually before your tray arrives.

As with most airlines, it can be a bit of a juggle when yours does arrive as if your kids are like mine, they like theirs removed as soon as they have finished. Often this cant be done as crew can’t contaminate the trolleys with the fresh food with a used tray – so you will need to wait a bit.

The child’s meal is usually a pasta or chicken type dish, with a juice,  desert, bread, soft cheese and fruit etc.

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Emirates in-flight goodies (Image: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

Emirates Kids’ Packs

I’m happy to say the rest of the flight went a lot smoother and the rest of the crew were lovely and very good with our two girls.

We were given a great kids’ pack consisting of a back pack, a book, eye shades, pen and activity book, soft toy and blanket, a child-size green headset (we used our own) and a few other goodies. (Read my latest post on the updated Emirates kids packs)

Baby Amenity Kit and Baby Meal

We were also handed a baby amenity kit – consisting of some baby wipes, a spoon, a bib and a bassinet liner. My 3 year old enjoyed her child meal, and my 11-month-old had food I brought for her in pouches – as she was too old for the pureed food offered by most airlines as a baby meal.

This was also supplemented by items from our trays too. The crew were happy to refill the girls’ bottles with milk and heat it up for my youngest.

After the service, the crew kindly took a photo of the girls wearing the iconic Emirates hat, and I could see they did this for all the children on board.

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(Image: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

Emirates Bassinet Seat and general seat information.

The bulkhead is where the bassinet is positioned, so as mentioned above, the armrests do not usually come up  – unless it is the E/F seat. The TV screen is stored down below between the seats. It is a good idea to get this out BEFORE you put the bassinet up, as it can be tricky to do otherwise.

The tray table is also in the arm rest. The head rest and seat pitch is adjustable but there is no foot rest. A blanket and pillow is normally placed on your seat ready to use.

Emirates inflight entertainment TV screen
(Image: Carrie Bradley/Flying With A Baby)

Inflight entertainment

There is a huge arrange of TV, Movies and games available on the system they call ICE. (Information, Communication and Entertainment) from baby and kids TV, games and movies, to absolutely loads of choice for adults – you will find it hard to be bored on a long flight! Headsets (both adult and kids) are provided free of charge.

The flight was a little turbulent, so about 3 hours into the flight, I ironically couldn’t use the bassinet nor my CoziGo, but M slept happily in my arms, and with an extra pillow we were all very comfortable.

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Importantly, remember if your stroller is in the hold, on Emirates it is NOT brought back to the airplane door. My BEST advice is do bring a compact travel stroller that can fit in the cabin due to long walks to connections or baggage reclaim. They do have red umbrella strollers at Dubai airport that you can borrow but they do not recline.


It’s tough to beat the sheer amount of facilities for kids on board an Emirates flight. The inflight entertainment system ‘ICE’ has a huge range of games, movies; plus a dedicated kids channel and the kids packs are vast with lots of goodies.

I hope it was just a blip with that particular crew member and the bassinet saga, but perhaps all non-parent crew with every airline need reminding that babies don’t generally sleep lying flat out.

I will definitely fly with Emirates again as they really do look after their younger passengers, and are very well equipped for long haul and ultra long haul flights. For full details of what Emirates policies are for flying with kids including baggage, car seats and more, see here.

Another good to know point is Emirates operate a  ‘Best Price Policy’ If you find a lower Emirates Economy Class fare for the same itinerary on another website with the same flight at least £5.00 cheaper, Emirates will refund the difference. To check out the latest fares on Emirates from the UK see here. (If you are flying from the USA , see here.)

Emirates Airline Review - how does this airline giant measure up when it comes to flying with kids? Find out in my review... #flyingwithababy #familytravel # airlinereviews

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Tuesday 14th of May 2019

Hi Carrie,

I am travelling with my 23 month old son next month to Dubai. I have decided to go with the lap child seat as he will be too big for the bassinet and he is very active so would not sit on a separate seat on his own. Emirates have given me the front row on the upper deck of an A380 as I will be travelling with a young child and to have the bassinet as an option.

Do you have any experience of travelling with a child on your lap? I guess if your child did not fit in the bassinet then she would have been on your lap for the journey?


Friday 17th of May 2019

Hi Yas, absolutely. We have been lucky and given a spare seat a few times which made it easier. The only issue with a bassinet row seat is that the arm rest does not go up (unless between the D/E) seat. If possible, I would look to move to another normal seat and ask when you check in if the staff can keep a spare seat next to you (unless that's impossible due to the flight being full) If you and your partner are flying with your baby you could change seats and go for and A and C seat or H & K seat and hope the middle seat between you is kept free. Worst case, someone will swap so not to separate you both, best case, a bonus seat fro free and baby can lie across you to sleep. Either way, you may find this post useful too.


Monday 17th of December 2018

Does emirates provide baby intertainment stuff like bag and goddies to every baby or just specific as I am going to travel with my 7 month baby


Friday 21st of December 2018

They provide to every baby subject to availability.


Wednesday 6th of June 2018

Hello, I am about to travel alone with my 7mo in a month to Europe and I am considering whether to book with British Airlines, which I have used before (way expensive but familiar and reliable) vs Emirates, which is cheaper (1K cheaper!) unknown and with a 12h overlay in Dubai where I have never been before. Can you please advise? Thank you!


Wednesday 6th of June 2018

Hi Maria - both are good airlines. As baby would fit in both airlines bassinets- I would look at flight time. Is the British Airways flight direct? Dubai airport is very large, busy but clean and has plenty of restaurants, shops etc. There is an airport hotel which you could book to stay in as 12 hours is a long place to stay in an airport with a little one.


Wednesday 7th of February 2018

This was very insightful! Thank you! Traveling for the first time on a long haul flight with my 19month old on Saturday. Did they by any chance provide your youngest with an activity pack to keep her entertained?


Wednesday 7th of February 2018

Hi, yes they did on both sectors.


Thursday 4th of January 2018

Thanks for sharing your experience, i found it really helpful as I'm traveling with my 20 months old son in Emirates in a week, i do have a question for u as u travelled with Emirates, what kind of milk did they gave for your toddler, i mean should i carry my own or will they provide for us. Thanks for your review and God bless u.


Monday 8th of January 2018

Hi Carol - my toddler was given full fat milk. They have limited amount on board as mostly they have those little mini packs with single serves. i would perhaps carry a small 1 pint with you and use ice cubes in a ziplock bag to keep cool on the way too/from the airport. The crew can always replenish the ice cubes onboard - or if they have space store it for you in their chiller in the galley.

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