Now we have actually only used one airline to Florida in the 10 years+ we have been going and that’s Virgin Atlantic.
Now they are good at what they do – theres no doubt about it, the service, the planes, the amenities, the food & drinks…
but more so since having children we have noticed at how AWESOME they are when travelling with babies & small children!
Don’t get me wrong i’m not saying Virgin are the only airline we will EVER use; we wouldn’t hesitate travelling with anyone else – along as they got us there safe thats all that really matters right HOWEVER an airline that is so well equipped and understanding when travelling with a baby/toddler for me at this moment in our lives is worth every single penny and why change something that isn’t broken !!?
For small babies…Virgin have sky cots that you can prebook – they are very limited and your child may NOT even fit in them so do bare that in mind – Harper nor Zac would’ve fit in them at 10/11 months old to be honest so i didn’t even bother reserving one to be fair – they are more use for newborns or smaller babies for sure; those that would be in them for longer in my opinion (both mine were quite big babies (Zac was a lump and Harper very long!) and wouldn’t have wanted to lay down much in any event). They do have the measurements on their website should you want to check them out before you commit to reserving a sky cot but do not just turn up at the airport and expect one; you MUST prebook.
and another small snack but it was certainly better than nothing. They are happy to warm up any milk you require too which is fab!
Now for the bit that puts Virgin above the rest in my opinion…. the baggage !!
Now you take a child on a long haul flight (in fact ANY flight!) and you are going to take pretty much everything but the kitchen sink right…. well if you were to travel with an infant under 2 years of age and you HAVEN’T booked them a seat then Virgin will very kindly not only let you take a pushchair AND a carseat in ADDITION to a 6kg hand baggage, a bag with any baby food in AND a 23kg suitcase !!!! How amazing is that – you haven’t even paid for them seat !!!
If you were to travel with a child (2+) then they would allow you to take all of the above BUT you would be able to take another 4kg in hand baggage making it a whopping 10kg!!
Now do you see why we wouldn’t fly with anyone else whilst the children are small! Its a no brainer! Also the fact of the free snacks (served ice lollys, pretzels etc), free drinks, free food is just amazing !!
Just to compare things heres a couple other airlines and their child baggage allowances:
one airline ‘travelling with a baby’ statement is probably the most vague and the most confusing to be fair as their baggage allowances are different depending on whether or not you book a package holiday or a flight only. The same airline states that if you want to take a car seat in addition to the pushchair AND their (a lot smaller than Virgin’s!) baggage allowance then you can but you will be charged – it is easier to say its 2 out of the 3 that they allow NOT all 3.
Another airline states a child under the age of 2 (not paying for a seat) may bring three of the following items free of charge: 10kg baggage allowance, a stroller/pushchair, a travel cot or a car seat (checked in to the hold) but again the baggage allowance is somewhat reduced compared to Virgin. The same airline basically says too that if an Infant has booked and paid for a seat, unlike Virgin where their hand baggage actually increases if you buy a seat (and quite rightly if you ask me!) they actually reduce their hand baggage allowance which is odd i feel… they reduce it to 6kg?!
Now another thing to bare in mind too is that the smaller charter airlines did used to charge for drinks/snacks and even meals although that has recently changed as when we were looking at Thomas Cook last year from last May (2015) the included (very kindly!) food on long haul flights. I would highly recommend taking snacks and drinks with you but if you run out – the last thing you want to be doing is paying (they could even run out too to be fair!!)
I do think (and i think the facts above speak for themselves!) in that when travelling with a baby there is only ONE airline you ought to fly with 100%.
At this moment in time… there is no one i would rather fly with.
Keep up the good work Virgin !!
Hope this helps & speak to you all soon !
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