Flying with kids is a phenomenon that can prove stressful on its own and in all reality sometimes it can get seriously frustrating for the parent or guardian of that child or ward.
Some airlines do not take this into consideration and most times it ends up with the passenger deciding not to fly that airline again for a simple thing as not showing being shown enough care.
When you board a plane with a child, people are usually unhappy and avoid sitting close to you, if it’s a free seater as practiced by some Nigerian airlines, people will seat so far away from you, you will feel stigmatized as no one wants to sit next to you, no one wants you behind them, no one really wants you in front of them either.
Emirates Airline has seen this and has configured its in-flight entertainment to accommodate kids with the use of its ‘Fly with Me Animal toys’ to keep the minors company and calm onboard the aircraft and relieve some of the strain and tension the parent might go through.
Towards the end of last year, the Dubai-based carrier launched these set of ‘Fly with Me Animal toys’, which made their debut on board the Emirates flight as soon as it was launched for use.
The set of toys included, Lewis the Lion from Africa, Peek U the Panda from China, Enrico the Monkey from Latin America, and Leila the Camel from the Middle East. It is hoped that four new Fly with Me Animals will be introduced every six months.
These newest range of Fly with Me Animal toys were made for infants and toddlers while the Fly with Me Lonely Planet activity was specially designed for those aged between six(6) and twelve(12) years old.
These toys are available on board, ahead of the upcoming holiday season. Emirates’ young flyers have got lots to benefit, as Emirates is out to make their trip a memorable one, given that young travellers are one of the most important customers of the brand. These toys are made available to kids at the kids play area at both First Class and Business Class lounges in Dubai.
Emirates’ Fly with Me Animals is a replacement of the popular Fly with Me Monsters for both entertaining and educational purposes. The animals were designed with unique features – The Travel Buddy which comes with a plastic toggle allowing the toy to be hung in the car, on a pram or in the cot; the Carry Buddy, a dual purpose toy and blanket; as well as the Magnetic Sketcher for young ones to express themselves creatively.
The beauty of these toys is that they come with extra features in it for children’s play time. These toys in the pictures below, have blankets in them for cuddling babies. However, infants and toddlers when playing with these toys as though they were babies will have something to cuddle their babies while keeping them entertained. Also, parents can make use of this blankets to cuddle their new-born babies.
The toy is soft in nature like a teddy bear, appearing in various shapes and colours as it will appeal to children, with eyes, ears, hands and legs. It’s lovely to behold. Its soft nature will endear children to want to play with. It’s not harmful either. The blanket located inside is equally soft enough for baby use, thus playing up an added advantage.
Apart from these toys, the airline does a lot to keep travelling long distance with kids stress-free.
A recent study, conducted by US News Travel, reveals that Dubai-based Emirates one of the coveted Top 5 Airlines for Families, as short listed by US Travel.
As any parent with kids below 12 (or even in their teens, for that matter) will tell you, flying with children is not an exercise they enjoy. It’s exhausting no doubt, but that’s the least of their troubles.
The factors that would cause kids severe discomfort on an aircraft are much from the cabin pressure that makes your little one shriek from ear pain to the uninterrupted hours of being glued to one’s seat that makes even the slightly grown-up go wild with frustration, not to mention the irritated looks from other passengers and airline crew.
Emirates however has a policy of “Families come first,” as while on the ground, it provides parents with free baby strollers to ferry their infants at the airport, Terminal 3, or the T3 as it is better known – exclusive hub of the Emirates in Dubai – offers special play areas for even kids flying Economy class, as well as wired games consoles and play areas for kids (and grown-ups) flying Business and First class.
In the air, bassinets and baby formula are standard, while the airline’s ever friendly crew also provide toys, special kids’ meals and goodie bags with a smile. On long-haul flights and in Business and First class, a member of the crew will even offer to click a Polaroid picture of your happy kids on the flight, and give you a copy for keeps.
The Emirates in-flight entertainment (ICE) has a special section for kids, complete with cartoons and movies, while for kids who ‘frequent fliers’, they can even start racking up miles with Emirates Skysurfer program. Young jet-setters can put their miles toward everything from future flights to Magrudy’s Book Store gift certificates to Wild Wadi Water Park tickets in Dubai.
The airline also allows unaccompanied minors (between ages 5 and 12) to travel on its flights, providing separate check-in facilities on departure, with dedicated Emirates staff to accompany them to the aircraft. It’s special policy for taking best care of the little ones means that unaccompanied minors and young passengers are always boarded before other passengers so that the cabin crew can seat them and stow their hand baggage. On arrival, an Emirates employee meets all unaccompanied children at the aircraft door and helps them through formalities before handing them over to their designated guardian.