Emirates Makes Flying Fun For Kids and Families

Emirates Airlines gives children and families the First Class treatment; no matter what class they fly.

The charmingly named Tinkerbelle Economy Class Experience has everything a child needs to feel at ease in the air.  (And their parents too.)

Emirates provides a luxurious experience in the sky.  Anyone who has enjoyed their First Class suites knows that they can positively ruin you for flying any other way.

While they are cooking up something amazing for their new A380s and 777s (which they’ve only teased us with hints of so far), Emirates has just announced that they will be expanding their services for youngsters—and with good reason.

The carrier reports that they carried 2.3 million children on their flights last year.

As summer approaches, the airline expects to host a high volume of families flying for their holidays. It is preparing for all those little passengers by coordinating some special treats.

  • Complimentary baby strollers and changing tables are available at Emirates’ dedicated Terminal 3 at Dubai Airport.
  • Separate dedicated play areas at Emirates’ exclusive lounges—where the kiddies will find a selection of toys waiting for them.
  • Families travelling with young children receive priority boarding.
  • Onboard, there are dedicated children’s channels on Emirates’ ICE entertainment system, including an array of cartoons, interactive games, special podcasts fit for children, and a selection of CDs.
Emirates Fly With Me Monsters 1li
Emirates Fly With Me Monsters, Image Emirates Press Office

Emirates has more than 60 children’s movies on ICE, including the entire Harry Potter series, a section dedicated to Disney classic movies, and over 20 dedicated children’s television channels including CBeebies, Disney Junior, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.  The music selection includes One Direction, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.

Here are some of the other perks kids travelling with Emirates can expect to find onboard:

  • In-Flight meals specially made for children (2-12 years) and also for babies.
  • A children’s magazine called Fly With Me Monster–My Monster Magazine
  • Fly with Me Monster toys with blankets, Sketchers and seatbelt critters
  • Brightly coloured children’s headsets
  • Quicksilver wallets, travel journals, backpacks, cooler bags, story books and eye masks
  • Skysurfers membership with Emirates Skywards

Also important: Emirates makes special provisions for children’s safety onboard. The airline offers bassinets to passengers (on advance request) and has belt extenders for children flying as lap children.  It’s still far from the ideal of airlines providing belts designed for little passengers as a standard product offering, but it’s a start. Emirates allows parents to use seat belts approved for tots by the regulatory authorities.  They also encourage parents to book a seat capable of holding a forward-facing child carrier, which is a safer alternative than trying to carry a small child on your lap.

“We go to great lengths to entertain and occupy children with products and services that are constantly being updated and enhanced,” says Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Centre. “ We know keeping the young ones happy is a key part of ensuring a smooth and enjoyable travelling experience for the whole family so investment in this area is very important.”

For an airline to demonstrate that they want children to feel at ease flying with them and to offer a complement of In-Flight products for kids is a smart business strategy–especially during the holiday season when more families travel.

It’s good to see airlines focus on making children happy.

We often talk about the Passenger Experience (#PaxEx) in the context of adults.  It’s true that more adults fly than children. But if travel is stressful for grown-ups, it is often much more so for children.

We complain about the noise and fuss children make in the cabin.  We discuss child-free cabins which will allow business persons to work and rest.  Entertaining kids, making their travel experience a positive one, can help to make the trip less stressful for them. That’s not just good for kids but everyone onboard.

Other airlines also focus on ensuring there’s something special on board to entertain children.  I think of Etihad’s Nanny service and Asiana’s recent introduction of magician’s onboard, just to name two.

Etihad Nannies:

Asiana live entertainment:

Asiana brings some magic to the cabin. Image Asiana Airlines
Asiana brings some magic to the cabin. Image Asiana Airlines

The only problem I saw with the Asiana entertainment product was that it relies on flight attendants to do an awful lot of tasks; in addition to their critical cabin safety and core cabin services duties.

 

Our first flight is an experience is one we remember for a lifetime.  Smart airlines who focus on making this first experience pleasant will win future loyal flyers too.

Improving the passenger experience should not be limited to luxury flyers, or the business people, or tourists alone.  It needs to consider everyone who wants to fly and needs special accommodation—that includes our children.

What else could airlines do to make flying better for the little ones (and their adult companions)?  Go on.  Don’t be shy.  Share below:

 

Featured Image: Emirates Fly With Me Monsters, via Emirates Press Office

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