During our recent bucket list trip to Dubai, Max and I flew from Dallas, Texas to Dubai direct with Emirates. I worried about a 15 hour flight with a toddler and how things would go, but it was really easy and very successful. Emirates is an excellent airline to fly with children and I’m excited to share a few tips for flying Emirates with a toddler. After more than 30 hours with Emirates in one week, we’re ready to give you the inside scoop on travel with a baby.
Tips for Flying Emirates with a Toddler
Tickets for infants traveling on the parent’s lap or in a bassinet are discounted from the full adult fare.
Infants less than 7 days old will be allowed on board only in the case of travel for emergency medical reasons (in incubators) or if the mother is traveling on compassionate grounds.
Children between 6‑36 months may travel on board in car seats as long as a separate seat is purchased for the child. Car seats can be used at any stage of the flight, including take‑off and landing. The car seat must be the forward‑facing type only and one that can be secured to the seat by the use of the lap seatbelt and does not require a shoulder harness (3‑point seatbelt) as for car vehicles. Airport Services will approve the infant car seat for use on board at check‑in.
Most toddler car seats have a 3-point seatbelt so it’s really important to check the rules before arriving at the airport. You will most likely need to check the car seat. There is no additional fee to check it so I’d recommend going that route anyway. Max was much more comfortable traveling in the airplane seat than in a car seat. It gave him room to lay down and sleep during the flight.
Tickets for children traveling in a separate seat are also discounted from the full adult fare.
Emirates does make sure you board before other passengers to give you more time to settle in. Just listen for the announcement when it’s time for you to board, and you’ll be on your way with ease.
You can carry an infant younger than 2 years old on your lap. An Emirates flight attendant will give you a special seat belt extension.
If you’re flying with a child older than 2, you’ll need to buy a child’s fare and the child will have his or her own seat.
If you’re bringing your own child safety belt or seat (known as a child restraint device or CRD), it must have a label to show that it’s approved for use in an aircraft.
If you bring a car seat on your flight, the check‑in staff will verify that it carries a label showing that it’s approved for use on an aircraft and review the instructions for use.
If your car seat doesn’t meet one of these safety standards, you can check it with your other baggage.
This is the most important of our tips for flying Emirates with a toddler.
Emirates will, most times, take your stroller at the desk before you board the plane and you will not get it back until baggage. It is not always given back to you at the gate!
You can pick up a complimentary stroller near check-in desks in Emirates Terminal 3 and make your way through the airport with ease.
When it’s time to board, just drop it at the stroller park at the boarding gate.
Strollers are regularly sanitized with a long-lasting disinfectant spray to keep your little ones safe.
When you arrive at your destination, you can pick up a stroller to help you get to baggage. It can be a long walk to customs and baggage so I’d highly recommend finding a stroller as soon as you get off the plane.
Emirates make sure young flyers from ages 2 to 12 years old have tasty and healthy meals. Max was given his meal well before I received mine to ensure he was taken care of first. This small detail is super important when traveling with kids. It’s helpful to get them fed and settled so parents can also enjoy their meal.
For younger babies, you can choose from a range of baby meals. They are all organic and choices include veggie moussaka with lentils and yummy prunes.
If you prefer to bring your own meals, Emirates’ cabin crew can help you with food and bottle warming. They also have milk formula and baby bottles on board if you need them.
With over 130 channels in 40 languages dedicated to children’s content, I’m certain you will find something for your kids to enjoy on Emirates flights. They can watch their favorites from Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, or discover new ones in 50 Disney classics along with the latest family films.
They can also go on a quest or beat their highest scores in up to 100 games. Additionally, there are plenty of music options and a moving map that lets young adventurers follow their journey in real time. You can even follow along on the external cameras for a pilot’s view of take-off and landing.
I’d highly suggest packing a comfortable pair of wireless, kid-sized headphones so your child can enjoy all the entertainment without disrupting other passengers. Our favorites are the Untangled Pro Bluetooth Kids Headphones from LilGadgets. They do an amazing job of canceling out the surrounding noises while still being super soft and comfortable for extended use. They are wireless so you don’t need to worry about your toddler getting tangled up or unplugging every time your child wants to move around in the seat. The Untangled Pro also includes the LilGadgets SharePort® so can kids share in the fun. That makes it way easier for me to listen in and participate in games.
The little extras go a long way on Emirates as well.
Some of our favorite toddler-friendly gifts on Emirates were a plushy toy and a fluffy blanket on the flight to Dubai and then a backpack filled with activity sheets and stickers on the way home.
So save room in your carry-on because Emirates has great gifts to share with you.