Luckily for my friend Amanda, she had a MUCH better flying experience on British Airways then she did on a recent flight to Mexico, where her infant son almost lost his finger. I have VERY fond memories of flying BA pre-kids, and I’m delighted to see how family-friendly they appear to be. The travel with infant section of their website is extensive, and they even appear to offer a discounted fare for children! Crazy! I’m so happy that Amanda shared her story of flying British Airways with a baby, as we can all use some good flying-with-kids stories these days!
Travelling British Airways from Toronto to Heathrow, with a 5-year-old and a 23-month-old…
Armed with a bag full of snacks and toys, both mum and dad were more than a little stressed about a cross-Atlantic overnight flight. But we needn’t have been, flying with British Airways. From online check-in to picking up our pram and baggage, it really was a good experience. Sure we had a couple of meltdowns and sure we had to do a couple of walks around the plane, but this trip has made me less afraid of future travelling.
Pre-booking and online check-in…
British airways allows parents travelling with an infant to prebook seats, this ensured we were seated together and could pre-book the bulkhead with cot.
Online infant passport info cannot be completed until 24 hours before the flight, but online check-in 24 hours before was simple.
Paying Children are allowed the same Baggage allowance as adults, but single cases must not exceed 51lbs. We thought that we could get away with 2 suitcases slightly heavier and had to redistribute the weight. Infants are allowed a foldable pram and nappy bag.
Cot and seats…
Now the cot. A simple tray folds down in front of the bulkhead seats and you have the choice of a bassinet or a seat for an infant. This is great when the little ones falls asleep, freeing up mum and dad to have dinner. The bulk head seats also had a space for the kids to play.
2 channels of kids movies and TV kept my 5-year-old entertained. Both kids also received a Paddington Bear backpack with activity kit.
Children’s meal. I have a picky eater, so the kids meal was perfect. Three sandwich selections, chicken nuggets , vegetables, rice, fruit, cheese, bread, yogurt, Ribena and a bag of Cadbury’s Buttons. There was so much food left over, my infant enjoyed some too! I was seriously impressed with the attention given to kids meals
The flight attendants were helpful and friendly, especially setting up the infant area. Not one complaint!
I’d fly British Airways again and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the airline.
Isn’t it nice to hear of a good experience of flying with young children! And no need to hand out candies to your fellow passengers. Save that room in your carry-on for stuff for yourselves and your kids.
LOVE THIS!!! I have tried to play it cool, but in reality wrangling a 5 month old and a 3 year old for a very LONG day of travel has started to stress me out a little. Knowing that someone had a good experience on BA makes me feel so much better. Fingers crossed I have the same experience flying out of Seattle to Heathrow and onto Zurich!
Every parent faces challenges flying with kids on a long flight. But as someone who has experienced unexpected turbulence in an aircraft, I might think twice about allowing children to be seatbelt-free for extended periods.
I agree that BA does a pretty good job for flying families!
Great point, Dave – thanks for stopping by!
So we flew with BA a few times when our son was an infant….they were the only airline to not allow us to use our own car seat during take off and landing. Always thought that was odd. Otherwise, BA has the best food (for coach class anyway) and very friendly. Especially in the UK, I felt that kids on planes were more tolerated.
I love this article, what a great resource for first time parents traveling with their kids! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to read more!
This is a great article. My son is a very active 13m old, and we’re about to go on our first trip. We have enough air miles saved to go business class and i was just wondering if it’s still worth getting bulkhead? I’m nervous!!
With business you’ll have a lot of legroom – personally the bulkhead seats are tough for me since I like having the seat in front for storage, but others feel better with the extra space. Let us know how it goes! Don’t be nervous, just be prepared for anything!!
I’m wondering if you’d be interested to hear more of my recent experience of flying with British Airways?
My daughter was born in October 2014 and I flew with her, on my own, from Sydney to London when she was nine weeks old (BA16, 8 December 2014). Despite reserving a bassinet seat eight weeks in advance of travel, when the time came to distribute the bassinets and child seats around the cabin, the crew served me last and told me there were no more bassinets left as not enough had been stocked on-board. As a parent flying solo with such a new baby, my only alternative was a child seat (as pictured above in this post, and unsuitable for such a small infant. BA also states these are only suitable for older babies on their website) or to hold her in my lap for the entire journey.
Furthermore, the crew offered me no in-flight assistance, repeatedly failed to serve me meals, and I even had to take my daughter to the toilet with me as there was nowhere else to put her.
All BA has offered me in compensation is 30 GBP, which I find extremely insulting. I’m at my wit’s end, liaising with their PR company on Twitter, so really hope you might be able to add some weight to my argument?
Email and Twitter details provided – would love to discuss further if this is something you think your readers should be aware of, as I wouldn’t wish anyone else to experience this.
Many thanks, Jo
I am flying for the first time with my infant who is 20 months. No where can I find if he is aloud a suitcase or if I have to pay for him to have one.
Hi Alix! What airline are you flying? If you’ve paid for your baby’s seat he will get a baggage allotment. If he is a lap infant, airline policies vary on allowing carry-ons or diaper bags.
Flew with my 3 month old with British Airways from Bangkok to London return March/May 2017. Had a bassinet seat booked both ways. On way out, no ‘skycots’ or ‘recliners’ had been loaded onto the plane – 0 available for anyone sitting anywhere. (I’d booked with BA specifically because they seemed well reviewed as good for babies.) BA Crew Manager apologised sent in a complaint which was followed up by an email response to me – resulting in only a written apology. On return flight, all that was available to anyone sitting anywhere were recliners. The Stewardess apologised and said she’d heard of this happening often recently. I didn’t bother with a complaint this time – I won’t fly with them again. So, if you are checking into which airline is best for long-haul with babies/toddlers – I wouldn’t presume to rely on BA having any baby seats even if you have a bassinet seat and are first on the plane…
Thanks, Chris. So sorry that happened to you!
I also flew BA with a 9 week old from LA to London in business class and they did not have a bassinet or child seat to offer me despite having notified them at the time of booking.
I am going again with my now 12 month old but this time alone, and I am terrified of it happening again.