Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Airlines We Love: Singapore

In an ideal world we'd all travel in business class.  Every single flight we took (children or not) would be a calming, relaxing experience involving a spot of fine dining, a satisfying REM sleep and a decent movie in surround sound.

Back to earth with a jolt.  In this day and age, where flying with children nearly always means sloppy lasagne spilt on your lap, nothing at all that even closely resembles sleep and surround sound tears on take off and landing, all in the comfort of cattle class, the airline you fly with matters hugely.  And that's why I wanted to write about Singapore Airlines.

If you're in the lucky position of being able to choose which airline to fly your family with, this is an excellent option.  I have flown with Singapore Airlines with a newborn, a one year old and a two year old (not all at the same time thankfully).  Each time I've been impressed.

There are a few reasons they tick the children-in-the-air box:

1. Comfort.  Seats are comfy and there's decent leg room in economy class.
2. Service.  I think Singapore Airlines has some of the best in the air service.  I've noticed that my little boy can never resist a beautiful Singapore girl stewardess in her immaculate batik outfit.  Come to think of it, my husband quite likes them too...
3. Food.  Kids' meals are good and you can pre-order special children's meals up to 24 hours before you fly.  They are served before adults' meals, which surprisingly doesn't happen on all airlines.
4. Bassinets.  If you have a baby in tow make sure you pre-book a bulk-head seat with a bassinet.  I've found Sinagpore's bassinets to be some of the biggest going - I don't think I've bumped a baby's head once in one  of these.
5. Gift packs.  I've yet to find a child (or parent) who doesn't get excited by a freebie.  Child flyers all receive a little something special when they board.
6. Entertainment.  The inflight entertainment is very good.  Worried your five year old will spend the entire flight watching horror films?  You can request channels to be blocked before you fly.

And there's one final, and very good reason to love this airline.  Chances are, if you fly with Singapore, at some point you will be spending a decent length of time at Singapore's Changi Airport.  This has to be the most child-friendly airport on the globe.  Here are some of the things you can do:

1. Take a walk through the butterfly garden.
2. Have a shower in the transit hotel.
3. Play at the playground.
4. Hang out in the entertainment deck.
5. Watch a movie.
6. Look at the fish in the pond.
7. Visit the orchid garden.
8. Pop into the interactive art studio.

Transit?  It will never be a dirty word again.

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