traveling with a newbornWe’ve flown many different airlines since having kids. Our experiences flying with kids have ranged from extraordinarily good to get-me-out-of-here-as-fast-as-possible. One of our consistent favorite airlines to fly with kids is German-based Lufthansa. Between their routes and those of Star Alliance partner airlines, you can travel almost anywhere in the world, often without too much advance planning. There are good reasons for Lufthansa ranking #7 worldwide and #1 in Europe for 2017. Why is Lufthansa our favorite airline? Let me count the ways:
- Real priority boarding for families – especially important if you’re traveling with a newborn or young infant. We walked up to the gate (past the hoards of people in line) when boarding began and were some of the first on the plane – even before first and business classes. Check out these other sanity-saving airport hacks. And make sure to get your baby a passport well in advance.
- You can use your car seat on Lufthansa. Unlike some European carriers, they never tried to dissuade me from installing a rear facing car seat even if it meant less recline for the row in front. The true family pre-boarding allows plenty of time to install the car seat and even make harness adjustments if necessary. Lufthansa flight attendants have even offered help with car seat installation if I needed it. So bring your baby on board Lufthansa! Wondering just how to manage bringing a car seat when you travel? Get allll the details here.
- Lufthansa meals for kids are actually pretty decent! On our recent flight the kids received chicken tenders (pre-sliced, fortunately for mom and dad), mac & cheese and steamed carrots for their hot dish. Their dinner also came with a roll, pasta salad topped with cucumber slices, crackers and cheese, fresh fruit and jello. There were so many choices that even picky kids can find a few foods to keep them full and happy for a long flight.
- Lufthansa inflight entertainment offers a great selection of kids movies. They seem to have an agreement with Dreamworks, so our kids watched “Trolls” and “Sing” on repeat for 12 hours. The touch screen entertainment system also has a USB port, so when the kids wanted to switch to the Fire tablets we could plug in to avoid battery drain.
- Lufthansa’s in-flight service is always frequent and friendly. Your international flight will start with the crew visiting each child to bring an age-appropriate activity and even a snack! Our kids each got a bag of gummy airplanes, and (almost) 3yo Shoshana got a sticker kit while 5yo Jacob received a simple board game (complete with cardboard airplanes for him to assemble, which was a great activity for him on its own). During the flight it felt like we were offered food or beverages every hour. Even during the middle of the night, the crew quietly came through every hour or two with trays of water cups.
- Lufthansa’s frequent flyer award ticket inventory through United is usually quite generous. We rack up tons of United miles through our MileagePlus Explorer card and can almost always redeem them for Lufthansa (or another primo carrier) on routes we like to travel. We all know that travel with kids is expensive even if it’s great in so many other ways, so knocking out the huge cost of four plane tickets is key for our ability to pursue international travel with kids.
Pro tip: You can score up to 65,000 United miles when you open a MileagePlus Explorer card. What does that get you? A lot! United allows both stop-overs and open jaws on their roundtrip award tickets, so we were able to fly from LA to Paris, Paris to Dubrovnik and Zagreb back to LA all for only 60,000 miles each.