My kids have one thing in common in their short (but impressive) flying history. My children have had their first international flight via Emirates. In both cases, we had other options and Emirates was not the cheapest one. However, we chose to fly Emirates and I have never regretted the decision.
Here are my 5 reasons for doing so.
1. Free Premium Seat Selection
If you are travelling with a lap infant, Emirates allows you to select bassinet seats for free. You can reserve these seats as soon as you make your bookings. Sometimes, seats are auto-assigned as well. Further, all passengers travelling on the same reservation (i.e. same PNR) get this privilege.
These seats are usually available for $15-$35 per person. Thus, if you are a family of four, you can save as much as $140!
2. Priority Boarding
If you are travelling with small kids, Emirates lets you use the business-class boarding channel. Therefore you do not need to be part of those serpentine queues that get formed in Economy.
Further, at Dubai airport, families with small kids usually get priority during check-in and also during immigration. I am a big fan of Smart Gates at Dubai Airport but sadly, kids are not allowed to use them.
3. Meal Options
The default meal for a child at Emirates is ‘Children Meal’. However, you can choose an adult meal for a child as well. There is an array of special meals to choose from – likely to satisfy even the most picky kid.
Here is a trick which I often use when travelling with family. If you choose any of the special meals, you are likely to be served before the catering carts roll out.
For infants, Emirates provides some yummy packaged food. I still remember on his first flight, my elder one refused to eat mashed bananas and preferred Emirates food instead.
3. Yay Toys and Activity Books
One of the surest way to engage a child (and keep them quiet) is through a surprise gift. Emirates brings this on quite early, almost as soon as the boarding is complete. Usually, there are different toys for infants and elder kids. In some flights, I have seen different toys for boys and girls. On good days, the cabin crew might even let your kid choose the toys they want.
It is important to stress here that the gesture matters more than the value of the presents.
4. Entertainment Options
Emirates’ ICE (Information, Communication, Entertainment) has been widely regarded as one of the best out there. In fact, Emirates has won World’s Best Inflight Entertainment award for the 14th year in a row at the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2018.
The screens are one of the biggest in Economy class (don’t even get me started about Business class screens, they are huge!). And there is a whole lot of child-friendly entertainment to choose from. In fact, there are dedicated sections for superheroes and Disney. Further, there are some interesting games and puzzles.
5. Family Pooling
I have written before about the benefits of family pooling. In simple words, unless you travel 10 times a year, it is likely you will not earn enough miles for a redemption. However, if you pool miles with your family, you can achieve your redemption goals faster.
Emirates lets you pool up to 100% of your miles in your Family Pool.
These perks mentioned above are hardly new. Most airlines around the world offer some of them. However, Emirates brings them all together and combine it with friendly service.