These days flying is the way to go (for very far travel that is)! And in some cases the only way. But which airline do you choose? When it came to this decision we went with Emirates. Going from Miami to Dubai is a 15+ hour flight and not one you want to take on an airline that has limited entertainment options and sub-par seating.
We chose Emirates because we simply wanted to have the best possible experience on a very long flight with two young children (and 3 when when the youngest came along) that we could possibly get. It was a good choice!
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We of course had two car seats (one forward facing and one backward facing), the latter we were able to stow in overheard during take off and landings then use through the rest of the flight. There are restrictions for car seats saying it must be forward facing to be used for the flight. Luckily there is this little way around that rule.
Note: On one flight we were told that we were unable to use the carseat at all! This made things VERY difficult and that flight was incredibly hard for us (thanks annoying steward).
This airline is very accommodating to children. They provide meals specific to children – chicken strips, cookies, fresh fruit, etc. and when you need milk or a bottle rinsed you simply ask for assistance or head to the back where they put things together and ask one of the flight attendants.
In addition to food for children they also provide free entertainment. There is a TV on the back of each chair and the channels and movies provided have a nice array of children’s options. Disney’s “Cars” was watched several times on our row. Before takeoff the steward(ess) comes by with a children’s sized headset and in a sealed bag a soft green blanky with a blue little fuzzy monster as well as a bag with an etch-a-sketch type drawing board and toothbrush. For free. For those under 2 they provide a couple baby food jars and a little zip seal baggie with wipes, diaper bags, a changing pad, and a spoon. Also for free. The younger aged kids can also get the drawing board and blanky.
Note: Kids free gear for the flight changes regularly so you don’t end up with the same things over and over.
As for the adults, a headset is provided with a pouch that contains wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, and sleeping mask. Once everyone is seated they come around with warm cloths for you to freshen up with (also provided at the end of the flight). Two meals and a snack were provided. Chicken, bread roll, fruit, scrambled eggs, fish, pizza, these are some items I remember being available. All were Halal. In the seat was a little pillow and a sealed beige blanket. Both were not the highest quality (since we flew economy) but were of decent enough quality to make things more comfortable.
Staff was pleasant and did their best to meet the expectations of the passengers on board. It did not seem like a 14 or so hour flight. The service and accommodations are sufficient enough to make time move a little quicker. Sleeping is difficult if you aren’t prone to doing it sitting up (like me), but it is still possible to catch a few hours rest. One neat feature I noticed what that there were little pinholes all over on a strip on the ceiling on each side of the plane. When the lights dim there are purple lights that turn on by the overhead bins and when the lights turn “off” the purple goes away but those pinholes are illuminated from behind and look like the stars. Very pretty and a neat feature to see on a plane!
For my own personal experience, I left the plane with sore and swollen legs (so dress comfortably!). The flight felt relatively quick as well although we were often busy with our two children. They did not have any problems with their ears. Although, our toddler soaked his diaper and both did not want to eat much and would rather have run around the plane instead of sitting still for most of the fight (they were buckled into their car seats). Luckily there were no temper tantrums, just a few small fusses that blew over relatively quick.
Read my Tips on Surviving an International Flight with Kids HERE.
I am not looking forward to do that flight again purely because it is long, uncomfortable, and no one wants to be on a plane that long! But, I would fly Emirates again. And be sure to get the miles from it as well!
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