For most parents surviving the flight is the most nerve wrecking part of traveling with kids. You’re worried your baby will cry the entire flight or you’re toddler will act up and all the passengers will be giving you death stares. So when an airline caters to families it’s an amazing feeling. Flying one of the best airlines for kids can make a big difference in your experience, especially when flying long haul with kids.
It’s no secret US Airlines aren’t the most catering to parents and I’ve always preferred to fly International Airlines when possible. We recently flew Qatar Airways with our kids to Thailand and WOW, l definitely plan on booking with them for as many of our future flights as possible. Why is Qatar Airways one of the best airlines for kids? Here’s our experience flying Qatar Airways with kids.
Child Airfare on Qatar Airways
How old can a baby fly on Qatar Airways? Infants starting at 8 days old can fly on Qatar Airways with no restrictions. If you need to fly with a baby less than 8 days you must provide a certificate from a qualified Pediatrician stating your child is fit to travel and it’s necessary to fly.
Like many international airlines with child fares, Qatar Airways provides a discount on airfare for children aged 2-11 years old. The discount ranges from 10%-50% off the adult fare but varies by route.
Qatar Airways Baggage Allowance for Lap Infants
Each lap infant is allowed to check a car seat or stroller free of charge. In addition Qatar Airways carry-on allowance for infants is 1 bag up to10kg (22lb) or 50x37x25cm (20x15x10in). Learn how to pack light with kids here.
The Airport Experience on Qatar Airways with Kids
Strollers at Doha Airport
Like most airlines you can check this item free of charge even if traveling with an lap infant. However Qatar Airways goes above and beyond by providing loaner strollers to parents free of charge to get through the airport whether you checked one or not! This is why they are one of the best airlines for kids.
Toddler and Infant Entertainment
Getting to the airport with plenty of time to spare or have a long layover? Qatar Airways has play areas in their terminal at the airport to help pass the time for your little ones. At their hub in Doha they have full on activity nodes which include a small play area, tv area, and computers equipped with free internet. Their hub also has family restrooms and parents rooms that are equipped with bottle warmers and changing tables. There was also a playground at their terminal in Singapore.
Priority Boarding Believe it or not a lot of airlines (READ US airlines) no longer offer priority boarding for families. Although I don’t always recommend boarding early with kids (especially toddlers) there are reasons to and it’s nice that they still offer this option. For more information on what amenities Qatar Airways provides at airports for those traveling with kids click here.
In Flight Experience on Qatar Airways with Kids
Infant Supplies Provided on Qatar Airways
What Qatar Airways provides for infants is why they are one of the best airlines for kids! Each infant gets a small toy, diaper bag (2 diapers, 4 wipes, baby lotion, and baby powder), baby meal, and toys. I have never been on an airline that provides this much for an unpaid lap child. The diapers would have definitely came in handy that one time I lost my older daughters diaper bag when she was 15 months old right before we boarded an 8 hour flight.
Bassinet on the Plane
Qatar Airways does provide a bassinet on the plane for infants. Just call the airline after booking your flight to request a bassinet on the plane. The restrictions to use the bassinet on the plane are that your child must not exceed 24lbs and must be 24 months and under. Flying first class with kids? Bassinets aren’t available in first class on Qatar Airways Airbus 380.
Qatar Airways Food for Infants
I remember my first long haul flight with eldest daughter on Delta Airlines and when they served our meal I asked for something for her to eat. The flight attendant rudely told me they don’t give meals to lap infants. She was 15 months and I understand I didn’t pay full price (you pay 10% of the adult fare for international flights) but it was a 9hr flight and even a snack would have been nice.The designated baby meal on Qatar Airways is pureed jarred food but when the flight attendants served our meals they always asked if I wanted something extra for daughter, a yogurt, croissant, etc. It wasn’t a full meal but at 11 months she doesn’t eat that much anyway.
Infant Entertainment on Qatar Airways
They also provide some infant entertainment by giving out plush toys on each flight. Each flight has a different toy but here are the three toys we were offered on our routes.
Toddler Entertainment on Qatar Airways
Before take-off each child is given an entertainment pack. This includes games, something to color, etc. This is one of the game packs my eldest was given, she had different ones on each route. Here are some tips for flying with toddlers.
Qatar Airways Food for Kids
Qatar also offers a child meal option. The meal comes in it’s own lunch box and is catered to kids. On our 4 flights the meals varied a bit but consisted of sandwiches, mac & cheese, pasta with chicken, fruit, chips, cookies, cake, and juice. There was definitely more junk food than I’d like but it’s not an every day occurrence so I didn’t stress about it.
Like most long haul flights everyone has a personal television. Qatar Airways has a kids section with tons of age appropriate options. The headphones they provide are over the ear which are much better for young kids. You will have to manage yourself the volume at which your child has the sound but if you don’t have your own volume controlled kids headphones these are a great alternative unlike the in-ear headphones some airlines provide.
For more information on what Qatar Airways provides to young travelers click here. Our experience on Qatar Airways with kids was amazing. The food, entertainment, and genuine willingness to help with the kids from the flight attendants makes me want to fly with them everywhere possible.
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