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Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

Old Feb 10th 2011, 6:55 pm
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Default Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

Ok so I have a fair bit of experience of several of the main transatlantic routes and have flown with pretty much all of the major carriers. But our move there in a few months will be the first time we will have flown with a child (toddler age). I must admit I'm not a huge fan of the US carriers and I tend to lean towards Virgin Atlantic rather than BA.

I've started looking into who we might use when we move. Our flight costs will be reimbursed as part of of our moving expenses and we will have to book them. I'm assuming given the financial climate we'll be in cattle class (at a push Premium Economy or similar) but on the plus side our toddler will have his own seat even though he will be under 2. We won't be looking to take a car seat on board. At first glance Virgin Atlantic do look attractive as they will provide some kind of special infant/child seat on all of their aircraft.

Does anyone have any experience/tips they'd like to share?

Thanks
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 9:35 pm
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

Originally Posted by suburbanmum View Post
Ok so I have a fair bit of experience of several of the main transatlantic routes and have flown with pretty much all of the major carriers. But our move there in a few months will be the first time we will have flown with a child (toddler age). I must admit I'm not a huge fan of the US carriers and I tend to lean towards Virgin Atlantic rather than BA.

I've started looking into who we might use when we move. Our flight costs will be reimbursed as part of of our moving expenses and we will have to book them. I'm assuming given the financial climate we'll be in cattle class (at a push Premium Economy or similar) but on the plus side our toddler will have his own seat even though he will be under 2. We won't be looking to take a car seat on board. At first glance Virgin Atlantic do look attractive as they will provide some kind of special infant/child seat on all of their aircraft.

Does anyone have any experience/tips they'd like to share?

Thanks
I always fly BA due to soooooo many kids and families flying Virgin Atlantic (My fiance lives in Orlando) with the virgin holiday deals so I stay clear of them. I collect lots of airmiles aswell so that makes things cheaper

I would stick to BA personally and my fiance's experience of Virgin was not great. NEVER had a problem with BA so i just stick with them, always a great flight and never been late once (touch wood, im flying out on Sunday lol)

Just my experience
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

We've had great luck with BA when flying with kids. Last flight was with AerLingus and they were really nice too.
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 11:42 pm
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

We flew over BA Premium Economy with our 4 children (9, 7, 5 and 18 months) and it was a good experience.
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 11:47 pm
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

BA are pretty good with kids. They also if the flight isn't completely full, pretty decent about overages with weight limit or having stuff as excess baggage.
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 12:32 am
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

We've just booked one-way flights with Virgin for our move to Boston, taking a 2 year old in upper class, it's covered by wife's relocation, so probably won't make any new friends on that flight.

Despite recent goings-on with strikes and T5 I still rate BA and flew transatlantic with our daughter last year and they were good. Fly a lot of domestic flights with her too and can't really fault them.
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 12:39 am
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

Originally Posted by philbrown901 View Post
We've just booked one-way flights with Virgin for our move to Boston, taking a 2 year old in upper class, it's covered by wife's relocation, so probably won't make any new friends on that flight.
Not that it matters as you aren't paying, but return flights are often cheaper than single one way flights
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 8:08 am
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

Originally Posted by philbrown901 View Post
We've just booked one-way flights with Virgin for our move to Boston, taking a 2 year old in upper class, it's covered by wife's relocation, so probably won't make any new friends on that flight.
Lol, well the seat's been paid for so your 2-year old is fully entitled to it, regardless of what others in the cabin think.

I dislike BA for various reasons (both short haul and international) but that's just my experience. Clearly I'm alone on this one!
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

I'm not a fan of BA either....no culture of customer service in the company.

Virgin are decent, but have slipped a lot in the past 7-8 years.

If you are flying to LA, Air New Zealand are a good option and they have really stepped up their customer service recently.

My experience with the American carriers has not been good and I will NEVER fly United Airlines again, I'd rather walk!! Delta are the best of the bunch in my experience.
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 10:17 am
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

I fly BA rather exclusively, but have managed to get status which means I can sidestep a lot of the crap I had to endure when I was in cattle class. I gave up on Virgin nearly a decade ago after a horrendous experience with a flight attendants. BA has not pissed me off to that level yet but we'll see.

What I've found, however, is that your experience really depends on the crew you'll have. Some flight attendants will do absolutely everything physically possible to avoid ever making eye contact with you should you have kids. They simply want to stay as far away from you as possible. Some will be professional (but not necessarily helpful) and some really go out of their way to help you out, play with your kids if you need to go to the bathroom, or come by and distract them with a toy or a game or something. I can't say I've found any noticeable pattern--it's just sort of random.
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 10:27 am
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

couldn't agree more....it's all about the people
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 2:21 pm
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

I'm probably alone on this one, but we've flown both Virgin and AA and I honestly couldn't fault either. I've never done BA so can't comment. If you're lucky, the wee one will hopefully sleep most of the way as I know mine did when they were younger. Good luck with the move and booking the flights!!!
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

Have two children, oldest now 8 - have flown every year to UK in coach from new born onwards. My input would be:

Avoid
  • Delta/KLM from JFK
  • Any narrow body flight (e.g. US Airways 757 PHL - LHR)

OK
  • Continental

Recommend
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • British Airways

Combination of material things - getting the right meals, giving them backpacks - and attention - one time there was bad turbulence and the inevitable happened on Virgin, and the attendants were great.
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

We'll be flying with the Sproutette for the first time in August when she's be 7 months old, Boston to Frankfurt via LHR with BA. Luckily we'll be in Club (thanks again, Chase!) and have already pre-booked seats next to bassinet positions (including upstairs on the 747 on the way back!). Having lounge access we opted for a longer layover at LHR rather than feel rushed/stressed. We'll be trying everything we can to keep this trip as calm/relaxed as possible.
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Old Feb 11th 2011, 5:29 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Best transatlantic carrier when traveling with kids

Here are some tips for flying long-haul with children:

http://www.eflighttickets.com/airlin...and-babies.php

Some other tips here:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/groups/long-haul-flying

(I have to admit to giving my kids Phenergan on long-haul flights from Singapore-London and vice-versa when they were young.....it worked like a charm!)

Last edited by Englishmum; Feb 11th 2011 at 5:39 pm.
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