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The top 3 airlines for travelling with the family

Travelling with children is often stressful and not the most relaxing start to that dream holiday you have been looking forward to, therefore, I have put together my three favourite airlines for families, from priority boarding and baby air miles to children only lounges and specially created menus from celebrity chefs.

Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways is the first airline to provide in-flight nanny’s to keep your little ones entertained whilst you sit back and relax.  The ‘Flying nanny’ will liaise with parents and children to make flying a whole lot easier. Along with inflight entertainment, the nanny’s will partake in activities with the little ones to include magic tricks, origami, sock puppets, quizzes and much more. They will also introduce children to the exciting collectable Etihad characters — Zoe the bee, Jamool the camel, Kundai the lion, and Boo the panda — who accompany them on their trip.

Etihad Airways employs an ‘all female’ fleet, all nannies are trained at England’s prestigious nanny – training school, Norland College in Bath. Here they study child psychology, sociology and child development – it’s safe to say, your children will be in good hands.


Emirates offer ‘Sky Surfers’ which is a ‘frequent flier club’ for children ages 2 – 16, kids have access to the same benefits as ‘Sky rewards’ (the adult frequent flyer programme) where miles can be collected, seats upgraded or exchanged for music, books, sporting and culture events and more. Many of my client’s children travel as frequently as adults, I think this is a great reward for the children constantly ‘in the air’.


Emirates also has an on board entertainment system, children can choose from hundreds of channels, interactive games and my favourite, Disney classics. Along with ‘ICE’ emirates also provide a colourful goodie bag with soft cuddly toys, story books, colouring books and puzzles, child size headsets (essential) and all the daily childcare products such as wet wipes, bibs, teething rings etc.

Kids aged 2-11 also pay 50% of an adult fare and being a Sky Surfer is the coolest way to travel if you are a young child – you even get your own ‘badge’.

Gulf Air

Gulf Air offer ‘Sky Nanny’ along with the compulsory priority check in and forever essential items needed whilst travelling with youngsters, guests are privy to their very own nanny and it’s free. The nannies are not one per child but will be there throughout the flight to ensure parents get that much needed break during a long flight and provide a watchful eye over the little ones.

All Gulf Air nannies are specially trained for inflight services, and help from embarkment to organising suitable dining times and dietary requirements, entertainment from colouring to game playing. Parents, sit back and put your feet up, this is your holiday, time to relax.

Holly McQueen is Sales Manager for Indigo Lodges.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this list. I will be checking for these airlines when I fly. I like that Emirates offer Sky Surfers. It’s great that a child can also earn points. I have not researched but, but is Emirates the only airline that you know offers a kid reward point program?

  2. Thank you for good information, as I plan to travel with my family in two months. I just wonder whether there are good airlines in Europe or US that offer good services for families. The above mentioned airlines are all from the Middle East, and I am curious that there can be some others as well.

  3. I don’t particularly agree with Gulf Air beyond the nanny; but doesn’t it say something fascinating that all 3 are Gulf Carriers? For all the criticism they sometimes receive, they remain (very often) way ahead in terms of service.

  4. We have been fortunate to have travelled on all 3 airlines. Emirates tops the list for us in terms of entertainment and their kid’s flier club some of which we have been able to redeem for attractions such as Wild Wadi. I must note however that the most we have had off for child fare is £80, so will be interested to find out how to get 50% off.

    We had 3 flights with Etihad this year, it should have been 4 but they denied us boarding our last leg of our flight home. So as much as service was top notch on the 3 flights. This has put me off. Also we did experience or see flight nanny at any time.

    Gulf Air – the flight nanny was very active and visible on Gulf Air. Outside of that, there isn’t much else.

  5. Etihad for loosing luggage in Abu Dhabi . Or a cancelled flight.No doubt one of the cheapest but fail customer service.And worst airport.Gates looks like tunnels of toilets.

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