Flying With Kids Made Easy (ish)
Flying with kids isn’t easy. The airport queues, the early starts, the sheer amount of stuff that you have to carry around – frankly just coordinating everyone to be moving in the same direction (I have 3 kids) is enough to get my blood pressure rocketing. And then there’s the onboard part where it’s guaranteed that someone will spill juice within 5 minutes of take-off. Well luckily for us, there are services in Dubai that can help make flying SO much easier. From being whisked to the front of every queue to dedicated lounges, early bird airport offers to lovely little treats, prepare yourself for smoother air travel with your kiddos.
Operated by dnata as part of the Emirates Group, the Marhaba ‘meet and great’ services include a huge range of options to suit all budgets and travellers (whether you’re flying solo or dragging a gaggle of kids behind you). But it’s their recently launched Elite option which I was most excited about, particularly when flying alone with my brood and with a lingering flu bug hanging over us all. From a chauffeur driven pick up (including car-seats) to a personal welcome on arrival at the terminal, porter services to help with luggage (poor porter, we still haven’t mastered the art of traveling light…) to buggy transport and – the best bit – NO NEED TO QUEUE anywhere, I can’t recommend this service enough. I arrived, escorted, at the departure gate far less frazzled than usual and with no lost iPads for a change, having eaten a lovely snack and read a magazine as the kids lounged all over the lounge. The Elite service isn’t cheap but it’s absolutely worth it if you’re a mama traveling with kids alone. With flu. Or in fact anytime you just need an extra pair of hands or two. And Marhaba offer other packages too if budget doesn’t allow.
Early Birds Have More Fun
Launched by Dubai Airports in collaboration with Emirates Leisure Retail, there’s now EVERY reason to arrive at the airport early (husband, do you hear? This means not running to the gate while our names are being called…). Get up to 25% off everything from F&B at outlets including Giraffe World Kitchen and Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck plus discounts on spa services (quick neck & shoulder massage, mama?) and more AND the chance to win a grand prize (holiday to the Maldives anyone?) simply by downloading vouchers and signing up via this link – too easy! Treat the kids to a family meal before your flight (they never eat that airline food anyway) and avoid the mad rush through the airport – it’s a win/win.
Don’t judge me but on arrival back in Dubai I’m quite partial to perusing the duty free store for a lovely bottle of something to bring home. But doing this with kids? A big fat no. Le Clos, owned by MMI, offers a boutique range of hand-picked wines and spirits plus a concierge-style delivery service where your purchases are delivered to you when you land in Dubai. Perfect! They also offer personalised bottle engraving if you’re buying a gift on your way home or want to treat the husband after weeks apart over the summer – and all without needing to take the kids in-store. Genius.
Featured Image by Denis Moskvinov/istockphoto