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Flying Singapore Airlines with an infant – how did I find it?

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A few weeks ago we published a review of Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy – you can see that article here.

Whilst this may not be relevant for everyone, we do know that there are many readers with families so I thought I would follow up with an article specifically on the experience of flying Singapore Airlines with a 10-month old baby.

Flying Singapore Airlines with an infant - how did we find it?

Booking an infant with Singapore Airlines

The general online booking process for Singapore Airlines was very straightforward and as my daughter is under two, we could book her as an ‘on lap’ infant without an issue. I was pleased to find out that if you are travelling with an infant on Singapore Airlines, regardless of your cabin, you can select your own seats in advance.

Once you’ve added an infant to the online booking, seat selection opens up and you can take your pick. This meant we knew we were booked into bassinet rows from the get-go which was very reassuring. You can also add infant meals to the booking and although they are just little pots of Cow and Gate baby food, it was one less thing to pack.

I found the ‘Travelling with Children’ page on Singapore Airline’s website very clear and easy to understand. Having spent ages trying to find and understand the infant baggage policies for other airlines, this was refreshing.

Luggage

The infant / child luggage policies on most airlines these days are actually very considerate, and Singapore Airlines was no exception. If you are travelling with an infant, you can take:

  • An additional piece of hand luggage up to 6kg
  • A checked bag of up to 10kg
  • A fully collapsible pushchair
  • A car seat
  • As much milk as your infant will need for the journey (provided it doesn’t exceed 6 kgs)

Car seats and prams are bagged up and after check-in, you are asked to take them to oversized luggage. We’ve had a few experiences of oversized luggage taking longer than expected so do give yourself plenty of time when checking in with a child.

If you want to hang onto the pushchair in the airport, the check-in staff will tag it. You keep it with you in the airport, hand it over on the jetbridge and then pick it up from the baggage carousel with the rest of your luggage.

It’s worth noting two things if you check-in your pushchair. If you are connecting onto another flight, you don’t get the pushchair back in between flights so you may want to bring a baby carrier if you have a long stopover. That said, Singapore Changi airport has some great little pushchairs suitable for bigger babies and toddlers. They were plentiful but quite tucked away, so if you can’t find any I’d ask an airport employee where the pushchairs are.

Flying Singapore Airlines with an infant - how did we find it?
Changi Airport pushchairs

The second thing to note is that at Heathrow, pushchairs and car seats were unloaded separately with fragile luggage and deposited in a separate spot behind the carousel.

We’ve done 10 flights now with our baby and Heathrow was the only airport to do this, so I thought it would be worth mentioning. Don’t do as we did and wait until all the luggage had been collected before discovering the pushchair had been there all along! OK, there are signs on the carousel but if you are in the wrong spot and exhausted after a long flight, you could easily miss them.

Alternatively, if you have one of the very portable small pushchairs that can fold into a bag (such as the Babyzen YOYO), you can bring these into the cabin as hand luggage. However, we didn’t do this so I can’t tell you exactly how this works.

Boarding with babies

Those travelling with infants in any class are invited to board at the same time as Business Class. This is a godsend as departure lounges can be a particularly challenging place to entertain a small person.

It allowed us to unload our various bags, toys, books, blankets etc and settle ourselves before the rest of the Premium Economy cabin arrived. I’m sure they were still disheartened to realise they were sitting a row away from a very chatty 10 month old for 12 hours, but at least we didn’t get in their way.

Onboard

The staff were so welcoming when we boarded and very sweet to our daughter. We were asked if we wanted to use the bassinet, which we did, so after take off and as soon as the seatbelt light was off, one of the members of the cabin crew arrived to set it up for us.

The bassinets measure 768mm (L) x 298mm (W) x 158mm (H) and can hold up to 14kg. Whilst the weight capacity is fairly hefty, for the average baby over about 10 months it’s a squeeze lengthways, particularly as it was lined with a blanket for comfort.

Flying Singapore Airlines with an infant - how did we find it?

Our daughter is on the small side of average and she could fit in the bassinet but without much room to spare. It’s worth noting that 159mm height is pretty shallow so you do need to keep an eye out if your child is able to sit up solo.

There are Velcro flaps that restrain the baby lying down but these didn’t stop our daughter making a bid for freedom at one point when I was half asleep. You also have to take your baby out of the bassinet if the seatbelt light is switched on for turbulence. And yes, the cabin crew do come and check. Despite these challenges, our daughter appeared very comfortable and took several long naps in the bassinet so it more than served its purpose.

The bassinet row is situated in the bulkhead, so there was plenty of legroom. We were lucky to have the full 4-seat row to ourselves so set up a play area on the ground with all our daughter’s toys which she enjoyed exploring. The seatbelt was a particular favourite and kept her entertained for ages.

Flying Singapore Airlines with an infant - how did we find it?

For our daughter’s meals, we simply told a crew member when we wanted it and they warmed up the pots and brought them over. There was a choice of three flavours and there seemed to be a few extra pots if she got really hungry. I would still recommend bringing a lot of snacks and a water beaker.

Service onboard

The crew remained helpful and thoughtful throughout each of our four Singapore Airlines flights.  When boarding on the return leg to London, one of the crew pointed out that as we were on an A380, there was ‘dead’ space at the front of premium economy and back of economy which we could use if we needed to let the baby crawl about (or in reality, take her when overtiredness resulted in a very vocal meltdown).

Despite knowing my way around an airplane, this wouldn’t have immediately occurred to me,and it was incredibly helpful. The team were always kind to our daughter, stopping to say hello to her and play peekaboo and they made us feel like they enjoyed having her onboard.

Conclusion

A 13 hour flight with a 10-month-old is never going to be the most relaxing flight you take, but it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. We were prepared with several outfit changes, all the toys and more baby snacks than I thought a grown man could consume which helped, but it was the consideration of the cabin crew that really made the difference.

Whilst many of their actions were reflective of an experienced crew, they still made us feel like our family was welcome on board, as opposed to an inconvenience. This contributed to making us feel relaxed, which in turn made our daughter more relaxed.

If you are thinking about booking a flight with Singapore Airlines, you see their current offers here.

Comments (35)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • GM says:

    Don’t have a child, but this review reminds me of why the HfP are some of my absolute favourite ones, and especially when compared to a certain other points site. Much more representative of what the average traveller might encounter, and with some VERY handy tips!

  • PAL says:

    Great review Sinead, helpful

  • Martin says:

    My top tip would be to give your pushchair a good once-over before leaving the airport – we’ve come off three flights where ours was damaged in transit. On all three occasions, the outsourced baggage tracer used by BA and easyJet sorted it out in a day or two with just some emailed photos of the damage. I think the retail value of the spare parts we’ve received are probably more than what we paid for the second hand Bugaboo in the first place!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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