Emirates with a baby: flying Emirates with an infant

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On our recent flights from Dublin to Tokyo via Dubai we flew Emirates economy with our baby, J, who was 10 months old at the time. From our pre-flight dealings to the onboard experience here’s the lowdown on our Emirates flights with a baby or lap infant in tow!

Preflight

Emirates infant fare, bassinets and pre-flight seat selection

Lap infant or own seat: only front facing car seats are permitted on Emirates flights and infants who have their own seat are not allocated bassinet seats (although they can be purchased at an additional cost).

We opted to take J as a lap infant as we prefer a bassinet row and we needed to bring his rear-facing car seat for car journeys.

Fare: Lap infants are charged 10% of an adult fare.

Bassinet availability: bassinets are available in Emirates economy cabins and their location varies depending on the aircraft.

Seat selection: after purchasing our flights online we rang the Emirates helpline and booked our bassinet seats with the agent on the phone.

We were able to book the most basic economy fare as travelling with an infant meant seat selection was complimentary and the baggage allowance was the same.

Emirates flying with a baby tip: Although J is reaching the maximum size for some of the airline bassinets we still find the bassinet row invaluable for both the extra space and the lack of seats in front meaning no one can recline which would be difficult to manage when holding a baby.

Infant Baggage

Baggage: infants are allowed one cabin bag weighing up to 5kg for in-flight necessities as well as one fully collapsible stroller or a carrycot as a carry on item providing there is cabin space available.

We took a baby bag as J’s cabin piece and we took his stroller, a cabin friendly BabyZen Yoyo, as our second piece.

Checked baggage: The infant checked baggage allowance depends on whether the luggage allowance for the fare is based on a weight allowance or a piece concept

Piece concept: flights from Canada, North America, Central America, South America and Africa. Infants are permitted one extra piece of checked baggage up to 23 kilograms.

Weight concept: our luggage allowance for our flights to Tokyo was based on the weight concept (we had 30kg each). We were permitted an extra 10kg for an infant.

Emirates flying with a baby tip: we priced additional checked luggage and it was expensive so we stuck to the basic limits which we found generous.

We were thankful for the generous luggage allowance for our three month trip!

 

Check-in

Having checked in online, we dropped our bags at the Emirates counter in Dublin and took our car seat to the oversized baggage counter.

Emirates flying with a baby tip: we always use a car seat cover to protect our car seat in the hold.

Boarding

Passengers with infants are called to board after priority passengers (first/business class and Emirates frequent flyers). It was invaluable having an extra few minutes to store our luggage and settle J before general boarding began.

On Board

As we had a connecting flight through Dubai we flew on both a Boeing 777-300ER and an Airbus A380-800/Dreamliner.

Nap time!

Dublin to Dubai (Boeing 777-300ER)

We flew on a two-class Boeing 777 from Dublin to Dubai. The aircraft has three sets of bassinet rows in economy which are located in rows 8, 23 and 37.

We chose row 37 as they are behind the galley rather than the bathrooms which are located in front of row 23. Row 8 is our preferred choice but it wasn’t available when we reserved and didn’t open up before we flew.

  • Seat width and legroom: The bassinet seats had a little extra legroom but this came at the expense of seat width: the tray table is stored in the arm of the seat reducing the seat width. The armrests are also fixed. We’re not especially wide but the seats were uncomfortably narrow and, from what we could see across our row, all the adult passengers were finding it a tight fit.
  • Seat location: The back cabin of the plane was really noisy and the galley was extremely busy throughout the duration of the flight. This may have been in part due to a run on the bar when the entertainment system and the ability to switch off personal lights failed but the cabin was bright, chaotic and not enjoyable. It was also difficult to walk around with the baby for a break as there wasn’t really anywhere to go. The aisles were busy and the galley crowded so we stuck to our seat outside of toilet breaks.
  • The bassinet: At 10 months we weren’t expecting J to fit in the bassinet but the 777 bassinet was generously portioned and he fit comfortably in terms of length, width and weight. He spent a few hours napping in the bassinet and another little while sitting up playing while we made sure he didn’t try and escape! The bassinet was also great for storing toys, making bottles and generally just having a little extra storage when we weren’t using it for J.
J in the 777 bassinet

Dubai to Tokyo (Airbus A380-800/Dreamliner)

We flew on a two deck, three class Airbus A380 between Dubai and Tokyo. The aircraft has four sets of bassinet rows in economy which are located around rows 46, 54, 67 and 82. We chose the middle of row 46 as these seats are located at the front of the lower deck and are nestled behind the stairs leading to the upper deck with first and business class seating.

We were fortunate to have the four middle seats to ourselves and the crew were kind enough to let us know before take off that we could utilise the four seats.

  • Seat width and legroom: The bassinet seats had significant extra legroom and, although still slightly narrower, were much more comfortable. The two middle seats of the four seater had movable armrests.

  • Seat location: what a difference a flight makes! The front row of the A380 is nestled under the stairs and the toilets are located a good distance in front. There is lots of space to walk around the stairs whenever you need a walk. The front cabin was very quiet and, given it was a night flight, most of the cabin slept for the majority of the flight. We were lucky that J joined them for 7 of the 10 hours it took to get to Tokyo!
The A380 has some pacing space!
  • The bassinet: The A380 bassinet was smaller than the Boeing 777 bassinet we’d used on the first flight and it was too tight a squeeze for J. He is quite a tall baby and was too long for the bassinet on the A380. Thankfully, as we had 4 seats, Dave was able to keep J comfortable and he slept for 7 hours.
The A380 bassinet

Baby Food and Drinks

The crew offered us Ella’s Kitchen pouches for J but we didn’t use them as the flavours weren’t suitable for his diet. We also had our own Ella’s Kitchen pouches and the crew were happy to heat them whenever we needed.

As J was only ten months when we flew we took our own sterile water and he didn’t have anything to drink on board.

 

Changing Facilities

There was a changing table in one of the four bathrooms beside our seat on the A380 and in the bathroom beside us on the Boeing 777.

Take off, landing and turbulence

J was given a seat belt extension which attached to the standard seatbelt and was required to use it during take-off, landing and any time the seat belt sign came on.

Special treats

J was given a children gift bag on both flights and it included a little animal themed backpack, stickers and teddies. He was delighted to have some extra toys and still loves his little lion backpack!

The lion backpack!
A cuddly toy and blanket
The baby pack is great for bathroom breaks

Overall

With pre-boarding, bassinet rows and complimentary seat selection, Emirates offers excellent service for those travelling with babies and lap infants. We much preferred the A380 to our flight on the Boeing 777 due to the slightly wider seats and having room to walk around with J when we needed a break.

The crew were really friendly and did everything they could to help on both flights and always had a huge smile and a friendly interaction with J whenever he was awake.

Thankfully, J was a star on both legs of the trip and he got lots of compliments from the crew with one describing him as the best baby she’d had on board. Who knows how long that will continue but for now he’s a pleasure to travel with!

42 thoughts on “Emirates with a baby: flying Emirates with an infant”

  1. Hi Elaine,
    The above has been so helpful, thank you! I was wondering if you could clarify the car seat and stroller allowance for me. On the A380 can I take both (car seat in the hold and collapsable stroller in the cabin) and are they included in the price of the ticket, or would I need to purchase extra baggage for the car seat?
    Thanks,
    Alison

    Reply
  2. Hi, we’re flying with emirates in august, and have booked the seats with bassinet icons on them, do we need to book the bassinet as well, or is it enough just booking the seat? First time flying with an infant for us, so we’re not sure what to expect

    Reply
    • Hi Siri

      I’ve only ever booked the bassinet seat (with the symbol). I didn’t call Emirates before any of the flights and there was a bassinet available on board.
      Elaine

      Reply
  3. Hi
    i just want to check and ask
    do you pay extra for the bassinet?
    am intending to fly with a 3 month old from Johannesburg to Australia

    Reply
  4. Hi Elaine,
    Thank you so much for the article. I am planning to travel next month to Dubai to meet my parents with a 6 month old and this article was super helpful.

    Reply
  5. Hi Elaine,

    Question, how did you find the entertainment screen positioning in that row? I’m a bit concerned it’s annoying to watch because it’s set on a lower level than normal seats screens. Would you happen to have a picture of that?

    Thanks !

    Reply
    • Hi Sal

      I don’t recall it being annoying. We usually bring our own movies so might not have noticed either way! It popped out of the arm of the seat and had to be stowed for take off and landing.

      Elaine

      Reply
  6. Hi Elaine,

    My husband, 3 year old daughter, infant son and myself will be traveling on the A380 to Dubai. Is it better to sit in the middle 4 bulkhead seats or the ones on the sides (3 seats) They both have bassinets. I am thinking the middle seats have more room? Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Reply
    • Hi Jenny

      I’d probably go for the window ones if you were going to fill the 3 seats. We chose the middle as it was just J, my husband and I and we wanted aisle access – we’ve just had another so I’d opt for the 3 at the window next time if it’s available!

      Elaine

      Reply
  7. Hey thanks found this super helpful, am flying with a 10 month old in August that’s formula fed…were u able to take boiled water on board or could the plane provide?

    Reply
  8. Hi Elain,
    We are travelling from Munich to Dubai with your baby who will be 10 months old in Nov.
    We travel on both A380 and Boeing 777. Could you please advice which area would be less noisy and comfortable in both the flights? At the moment I can see almost all the bassinet seats to be available.
    Thank,
    Mona.

    Reply
  9. Hi Elaine

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. We are flying to Dubai from South Africa next month and then again from Dubai to Prague a week later via emirates.

    I have a 10 month old who is formula fed. I have been trying to find out what the policy is regarding taking liquids for her bottles. Example she drinks 150ml every 4 hours. I know the limit is 100ml. Ideally I would like to take 3 bottles (150ml each) prepped with sterilized water wit on board so that I can just mix with formula when she needs it. Do you perhaps have any idea of this would be allow or would I be restricted?

    Reply
    • Hi Christelle

      We’ve never had any issue with baby items including liquids. We’ve taken flasks of hot and cold sterilised water on most flights – often they will run a swab over the top of the flask. It’s been fine with the exception of Bristol in the UK.

      Elaine

      Reply
  10. Hi Elaine,

    I will be travelling with my 1 year old baby in October to Rome via Dubai in both the flights Boeing 777 and Airbus 380.
    I have booked bassinet seats. Do i have to call emirates and request for bassinet in advance or do they provide me on their own?
    My baby, I and my husband will be travelling so which seats should be more comfortable?
    Last query , can i carry baby food, fruits and milk with me during flight?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Hi Meenakshi

      We were able to reserve bassinet seats online and Emirates had the actual bassinets onboard – we didn’t have to ask. I liked the 4 seater at the front of the place, especially on the A380 where you have space to walk around.

      Baby food and milk are usually fine to take through at most airports (it’s usually specified on the security page of the airport website) but we didn’t have any issue in Rome or Dubai. I’m not sure about fruits but I’m sure they’re ok to consume in flight – I guess I’m thinking of places like Canada and Australia where you can’t bring in fruit.

      Elaine

      Reply
  11. Hi, i am travelling with my 11month old baby from Accra to Abidjan, does she need to have a passport or the birth certificate and weighing card is enough

    Reply
  12. Hi Elaine

    Thanks for creating this. It is so helpful as the information is quite ambiguous on the emirates webpage.

    We have a silver cross pram that allows for the car seat to mount the wheels and we are confused about how to transport it on emirates as it would be ideal to have the wheels and car seat as a 2in1 rather than a stroller and a car seat. Do you have any recommendations on how we could achieve this successfully?

    Thanks

    Alora

    Reply
    • Hi Alora

      I’m not sure they have specific requirements on buggy type as long as it’s collapsible. We attached the car seat to our Babyzen and when J was under a year and handed it over at the gate so I’m not sure they would mind that there is no buggy component. I would recommend a bag for your car seat and maybe something to protect the stroller frame in transit.

      Elaine

      Reply
  13. Hi Elaine I am travelling with Emirates next month with my 5 month old from NZ to Dublin and this information has been great thank you! I have a query regarding the bassinet seats in the three seater section. I have been given a bassinet seat 43B and as I’m flying solo with her do you know will they place passengers in A and C or keep them empty? I think it will be difficult for me to settle baby if I have to keep moving someone to get out to the aisle etc.. Also I am breastfeeding and I think being squashed between two strangers will be especially hard and uncomfortable to deal with! We will be flying Boeing 777 and Airbus A380. TIA

    Reply
    • Hi Carrie

      They do fill the seats if the plane is full or something purchases the seat for extra legroom. On our 4 flights we had 2 flights where we had the seats to ourselves, one where we shared a four seat with one other passenger and one where all 4 seats were full in the middle bassinet row (Dublin to Dubai). I think the bassinet aligns to the middle seat and that’s why you were allocated it.

      If you have a middle seat on the Dublin/Dubai 777, I would probably consider changing – maybe see if you can get an aisle seat with bassinet in the middle 4 seater. The seats are really narrow. The A380 is more spacious and you might have more luck with an empty seat.

      Hope that helps and the flight goes well.

      Elaine

      Reply
  14. Hi Elaine, such an informative article. When you booked the bassinet seats was that through an Emirates agent (which is stated in your article) or online? If online was that done when check in opened which is 48 hours in advance or did you pay the seat selection fee in order to book in advance? Not sure at what point or how I need to make the bassinet request. Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Vicki

      They were available at the time of booking and there is no extra charge when travelling with an infant.

      We changed our seats online before our return flights so I’m trying to recall if there was a reason we had to call – I’ll check with Dave as he has a way better memory than I do!!

      Elaine

      Reply
  15. Hi,
    It was very helpful, thank you so much .I have few questions if you can please help me,my son is year old now,I don’t need bassinet. But I need stroller,can we take child in stroller till boarding? At check in they don’t allow you to take liquids then how you took sterile water on board?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hi Rehab

      I think the rule is you can take the stroller to the door as long as it is collapsible. It’s dependent on the airport you are landing in whether the stroller will be at the airplane or on the baggage carousel so make sure to plan for that. We have a stroller that meets cabin size requirements so we bring ours on board and it’s ready to go when we land.

      Reply
  16. Hi.. Thank you for ur article.

    My baby is formula fed.. Is there any restriction that we are allowed to take water only this much ounce.. I am planning to carry flask with me but it is huge flask.. is that ok taking big flask..?

    Reply
    • Hi Tara

      We’ve never had any issues taking a flask for our little ones. Explain to security that you need it to make bottles and there shouldn’t be any issue.

      Elaine

      Reply
  17. Hi, we are travelling Manchester to Dubai with our 8 week old baby am I allowed to check in the pram frame as one item and the carry cot part as item 2?
    We don’t have a stroller that all folds together as he is too young for that at the moment

    Reply
  18. Hi Elaine,
    I have an Emirates flight from London to India with a 8 hr Layover at Dubai. I am travelling alone with my 10 months old baby. Can I get my stroller back at the layover time in Dubai? Mine doesn’t fit in an airplane cabin. And can you suggest an airplane cabin stroller for me

    Reply
    • Hi Sana

      It’s usually hit and miss if you get it at the airplane door or the baggage carousel at the end of your flight so I’m not sure what the chances are on a layover. Emirates have strollers to borrow in Dubai but they were a bit of a walk from the airplane. We have a Babyzen and the GB Pockit – I love the Babyzen and also use it as our main stroller but the GB Pockit folds tiny and is much less expensive.

      Elaine

      Reply

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