Whether you’re travelling with a new baby and need to weigh up which airlines offer car seats or buggy allowances or whether flight timings and luggage allowance are more important for you, here’s our helpful guide so you can compare exactly which components are most important for you when selecting your flights back home! 

British Airways

Destinations
Daily flights from both AUH and DXB to LHR

Departure/Arrival Times
AUH to LHR flights at 01.45 – 06.25 (787) or DXB 01.10 – 05.55 and 09.20 – 14.15 either 747 or 777 aircraft.
(Includes a range of Qatar Airways code shares)

Ticketing

  • Fare classes (points and charges) – World Traveller (standard economy) and Premium Economy. Avios points vary on ticket classing lowest to flexible and Executive Club status; 3403 Avios on a flex ticket
  • Child (<12 years) – 60-80% of adult fare
  • Infant (<2 years) – 10% of adult fare
  • Unaccompanied Minors – BA has ended its UM policy for under 12’s.  Children 12 to 16 years can travel with an over 16.

Seat reservations

  • First, Executive Club Gold & Silver free seat reservation; Executive Club Bronze/One World Ruby free from 7 days before flight.
  • Economy; Flex Plus includes seat reservation, Plus is free reservation from 48 hours before.
  • A parent with a lap infant is given a reserved seat for free, along with everyone in their booking up to 9 people.
  • A Basic economy, hand luggage (on shorthair services) ticket or other tickets before the free window are charged.
  • From 24 hours out seating opens to everyone for online check-in.
  • £20/€24/$30 long haul World Traveller Standard Seats one way
  • £18/€22/$27 World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy)
  • £50/€60/$75 long haul extra leg room seats subject to safety requirements
  • £62/€74/$93 long haul Club World (Business)

Onboard family experience

  • Meal Option – Order kids meals online more than 24 hours in advance.  They do have some tinned baby food but recommend you bring this with you. Note they can warm bottles but cannot sterilise bottles.
  • Baby Bassinets – Can be reserved in advance. Two styles available on most flights; a lay flat bassinet and bouncer type seat.  Maximum weight 13kg
  • In-flight entertainment – Skyflyers Kid Zone which includes CBeebies and Disney Classics.  Parental lock feature available.
  • Wi-Fi & Power – Planned for all 787 planes but not available at time of writing
  • Kids Packs – Skyflyers packs are available for kids aged 2-5 years old and a separate pack for over 6’s

Luggage

  • Base allowances – World Traveller 1 x 23kg bag. All other classes 2 x 23kg
  • Hand luggage allowance – 1 additional cabin bag (Up to 56cm x 45cm x 25cm/22in x 18in x 10in.). Plus 1 handbag/laptop bag (Up to 40cm x 30cm x 15cm/16in x 12in x 6in.). Add 1 cabin bag for infant items required during the flight
  • Car seat allowance
  • Extra infant allowances – Infants are allowed a piece of luggage same as adult piece allowances, plus car seat and full collapsible stroller. Strollers with maximum dimensions of 117cm x 38cm x 38cm when the pushchair is collapsed may be taken to the aircraft door

Loyalty & Lounges

  • Loyalty scheme – Children can join the Executive Club and earn Avios points and tier miles.  Up to 6 people living in the same household can pool household points.  Each person retains tier miles but Avios points all go to the Head of Household. They can be spent on the household or you can add family & friends.
  • Lounge access – All UK airports have lounges for Club World (business class) or silver and above frequent flyers.   Departing from DXB you can use the Galleries Lounge in Concourse

Virgin Atlantic

Destinations

Daily flight DXB to LHR

Departure/Arrival Times
A330 service 11.00 – 15.55

Ticketing

  • Fare classes (points and charges) – Economy or Premium Economy (changes AED310) or premium economy
  • Child (<12 years) – 75% of adult fare
  • Infant (<2 years) – 10% of adult fare
  • Unaccompanied Minors – Available to children aged 6 to 11 years old.  You must purchase a full-fare ticket.  Minors aged 12 to 17 can use the service though its not a requirement.

Seat reservations

  • Economy seats are free to reserve 24 hours in advance or if you have a Y or B class ticket from 331 days.  Otherwise from £30/$45 per person.
  • They will attempt to sit families together free of charge, no child under 12 will be seated without an adult
  • Flying Club – Free for Gold, Silver 14 days in advance and Red 72 hours in advance
  • Exit Row £50/$70 one way if you pass safety requirements (free to Gold Flying Club)
  • Extra leg room £40/$55 one way (free to Gold Flying Club)
  • Premium Economy and Upper Class are always free to reserve from 331 days in advance

Onboard family experience

  • Meal Option – Kids meals can be ordered in advance for children aged 12 months old to 12 years.
  • Baby Bassinets – In flight cots can be provided in advance you must ring to book and there only a limited number.  Dimensions vary by aircraft – the DXB route is 11kg or max length 76cm.
  • In-flight entertainment – Inflight entertainment includes movies and TV shows for kids. Flight lock mode for parents available.
  • Wi-Fi & Power – For purchase starting from 5GBP for 40MB
  • Kids Packs – A KiD pack handed out to all junior passengers at the gate

Luggage

  • Base allowances –   1 piece up to 23kg. Premium economy 2 pieces
  • Hand luggage allowance – 1 piece up to 10kg + 1 personal item.  For lap infants, you can add an additional 6kg
  • Car seat allowance – Car seats can be bought on board if you have booked a child ticket website has approved details
  • Extra infant allowances – One extra 23kg piece, plus one fully collapsible stroller and car seat in addition to your luggage allowances

Loyalty & Lounges

  • Loyalty scheme – Children can join the Flying Club but you must register under 12’s through service centre can’t be done online.  Only Gold Card holders can pool their children’s family points.
  • Lounge access – Clubhouses are available to Upper Class and Gold Flying Club members in Heathrow and Gatwick.  DXB customers can use the Marhaba Lounge

Emirates

Destinations
DXB to Birmingham, Glasgow, London (LHR & LGW), Manchester, Newcastle

Departure/Arrival Times
A380 Daily to London 14.15 – 18.40;  07.45 – 12.15, 15.45 -20.15, 2.30 – 7.05; 11.30 – 16.10, 9.40 – 14.25.
See also Qantas code shares

Ticketing

  • Fare classes (points and charges) – Economy Flex (300AED cancel fee  / 250AED change fee – 2100 miles). Flex Plus (no change fees – 3000 miles)
  • Child (<12 years) – 75% of adult fare
  • Infant (<2 years)– 10% of adult fare
  • Unaccompanied Minors – Children aged 5 to 15 years can use their unaccompanied minors service, you must pay the full adult far for under 12’s. You can also use this service if travelling in a different cabin.

Seat reservations

  • There’s no charge for seat selection if you’re travelling in Business Class or First Class, or in Economy Class on a Flex or Flex Plus fare
  • If you’re travelling in Economy Class on a Special or Saver fare, you’ll need to pay for Advance Seat Reservation or wait for48 hours before when online check in opens.  Medium haul to UK is $25
  • Travelling with an infant, you and any family members on the same ticket are exempt from advance seat reservation charge. They will ‘try’ to place children under 13 with an adult but not guaranteed
  • Classic Rewards and Cash & Miles booking customers must pay the seat reservation fee
  • Qantas Silver Members are now exempt from charge on codeshare Emirates operated flights, as are any tickets purchased before 3 October 2016

Onboard family experience

  • Meal Option – Can pre-order kids meals for 2-12 year olds. Infant food is available on board for those under 2.  They advise they can’t heat all container types for infant food but can provide you with formula and bottles.
  • Baby Bassinets – Bassinets must be requested when making the booking or call the booking office.  They also provide baby essentials on board such as nappies, bibs, wipes.
  • In-flight entertainment – ICE in seat entertainment one of the most comprehensive you’ll find with over 2500 choices. 80 channels are dedicated to kids entertainment
  • Wi-Fi & Power – In seat Fee Wi-Fi and power sockets
  • Kids Packs – Kids packs are now partnered with Lonely Planet.  They also provide young travellers with collectable “Fly with Me” Animals

Luggage

  • Base allowances – A standard fare will get you 30kg while a flex fare gives you a 35kg allowance
  • Hand luggage allowance – 1 piece max. 7kg. For an infant, you can add 5kg of onboard hand luggage and IF space is available, a collapsible stroller
  • Car seat allowance – An approved forward facing 5-point infant car seat may be used if a full child’s fare is paid for a seat and it meets requirements by Airport Services at check-in.  Rear facing seats with a 2-point harness are not permitted.
  • Extra infant allowances – Customers with infants are permitted one carry-cot or one fully collapsible stroller into the cabin if there is room, however, if they need to be checked will not count against your luggage allowance.  Infants receive an additional 10kg checked allowance

Loyalty & Lounges

  • Loyalty scheme – Children from 2-16 can join Skywards Skysurfers which earn Skyward miles at the same rate as adults.  They are entitled to tier points too so can move up to Silver & Gold just like adults. You can monitor by linking to a parents account but they cannot be pooled.
  • Lounge access – Dedicated lounges in Dubai and all UK airports

Etihad

Destinations
AUH to London (LHR), Edinburgh, Manchester

Departure/Arrival Times
Daily flights AUH to LHR 8.10 – 13.00, 13.50 – 18.45, 02.35 – 07.35

Ticketing

  • Fare classes (points and charges) – 3 Economy ticket classes: The Economy saver (non-refundable; change of date 320AED;  miles 1705). Economy Classic (refund 340AED / change 220AED; 2557 miles). Economy Flex (change or refund no fee; 3409 miles)
  • Child (<12 years) – 75% of adult fare
  • Infant (<2 years) – 10% of the fare plus taxes
  • Unaccompanied Minors – Children aged 5-12 can fly as unaccompanied minors on an adult fare.  From 12 to 16 years they can travel alone on an adult fare but you can add the unaccompanied minors fee for USD100. You will need to complete and submit an UM form after booking.  Note restrictions if flying with partner airline or connecting

Seat reservations

  • No charge made to reserve seats though you may need to do so through their call centre if you do not have an online booking or have booked through partner rewards.
  • Extra leg room charges starting from £15 / US$25 / AU$30

Onboard family experience

  • Meal Option – A child’s meal can be ordered for 2 to 12-year-olds. Infants only have baby meals available.  Milk or meals can be heated on board.
  • Baby Bassinets – Bassinets are available for infants below 10 months old and less than 10kg. They’re allocated on a first come, first served basis so book early
  • In-flight entertainment – E box inflight entertainment system with dedicated kids selection.
  • Wi-Fi & Power – Wi-Fi is available to purchase. Prices start at $5 for 30 minutes. In-seat power sockets now on all aircrafts
  • Kids Packs – Kids packs provided on board for children over 3 – they have not been updated in many years. They also offer a flying nanny service – but don’t hold your breath, few of our mums have reported any service here beyond what you’d ordinarily expect.

Luggage

  • Base allowances – Economy fares 2 pieces 23kg
  • Hand luggage allowance – 1 piece up to 7kg plus personal items. Infants you can add an extra 5kg
  • Car seat allowance – Children 6-36 months can use a car seat if a child’s ticket is purchased. It must be preapproved and fall within the US, UK, Australia, German or Canadian safety standards. Certain harnesses as listed on their website also permitted.
  • Extra infant allowances –  Infants you can add one additional piece up to 23kg. Specifics cannot be found on what infant items can be brought on in addition but our mums report no problem with checking strollers, car seats, bassinets in addition to the piece allowance.

Loyalty & Lounges

  • Loyalty scheme – Children can be enrolled in the Etihad Guest program as part of a Family Membership where up to eight family guests can be joined. 100% of points earned by family members are aggregated to the Family Heads account, along with any bonus miles earned.  Each family member personally keeps their tier miles and can be promoted to silver and gold same as adults.
  • Lounge access – Lounge access applies to those flying only on business class tickets or with Silver or above Etihad Guest membership.  Lounges in AUH, LHR and MAN.

Qantas

Destinations
DXB to LHR

Departure/Arrival Times
A380 02.15 – 06.55, 09.10 – 14.10
(There are also Emirates codeshares)

Ticketing

  • Fare classes (points and charges) – 3 Economy ticket classes (3,400 miles): Sale (cancel 500AED / change 400AED). Saver (Cancel 300AED / Change 250AED). Flex (refund and change permitted). Also offer Premium Economy 4250 miles
  • Child (<12 years) – 75% of adult fare
  • Infant (<2 years) – 10% of adult fare
  • Unaccompanied Minors – Available to children 5 to 11 years old. An additional supervision fee of $90AUD is applied. 12-15 years old by request only.

Seat reservations

Seat reservation is complimentary for:

  • Travelling internationally in Economy on a Saver or Flex fare
  • Travelling internationally in First, Business or Premium Economy cabins
  • Platinum One, Platinum, Gold or Silver Frequent Flyers or equivalent OneWorld and Emirates Skywards Frequent Flyers
  • On the same booking and travelling with any of the above mentioned travellers
  • Checking in within 24 hours of departure

There is only a charge made to Reserve on Economy SALE tickets $35AUD; Extra leg room seats $90AUD

Onboard family experience

  • Meal Option – Infant meals can be pre-ordered for children up to 11 months.  Toddler meals are available for 12-23 months old infants.  From 2 years old you can preorder a child’s meal.
  • Baby Bassinets  Bassinets available on board – dimensions 71Lx31Wx26H and have a weight limit of 16kg. They are limited so must be booked in advance.
  • In-flight entertainment – In-flight entertainment has a Kids Zone with up to 8 family movies and TV shows
  • Wi-Fi & Power  No in-flight Wi-Fi at this time. Power outlets available in first, business and premium economy only.
  • Kids Packs – Joey Club kids entertainment kit provided aimed at kids 3-6 years old.

Luggage

  • Base allowances – 30kg (42kg members) / 40kg (52kg members)
  • Hand luggage allowance – 2 x 115cm (45in) bags or 1 x 115cm (45in) bag plus 1 x 185cm (73in) non-rigid garment bag up to 7kg and small personal item like hand bag or lap top
  • Car seat allowance – For each infant up to 3 infant items can be added up to 32kgs each, these items include collapsible stroller, bassinet and car seat/capsule
  • Extra infant allowances – A child seat should be booked 7 days in advance and pre-approval given.  Flights Dubai to London must comply with  European Safety Standard requirements of United Nations ECE Regulation 44 (UN/ECE 44)

Loyalty & Lounges

  • Loyalty scheme – No age limit on joining.  Those aged 3-10 will be sent a  Joey Club Passport.  Family points transfers are permitted with relatives as described int their rules
  • Lounge access – Qantas Club members can access the Emirates Business lounge in Dubai and the American Airlines Admiral Club lounges in London

Read more: If you’re looking for brilliant tips to bring your cost of travel down, see the insiders guide with our article:

How to save on your flights back home