Flying Qatar Airways with kids – the long haul

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Qatar Airways is a Middle Eastern airline based out of Hamed Airport in Doha, Qatar. Qatar Airways was formed in 1993, and it flies to more than 150 international destinations across Africa, Central Asia, Europe, the Far East, South Asia, the Middle East, North America, South America, and Oceania. We recently had a Qatar Airways flight from Melbourne to Madrid and then from Belgrade to Melbourne, flying Qatar Airways with kids.

Flying Qatar Airways with kids
Airbus A320 in Belgrade Serbia.

Our girls, Willow and Marley, are 11 and 8 years old. Flying Qatar Airways, our girls, would certainly put the Oryx One on-demand in-flight entertainment system to the test. But more on that later!

Qatar was an obvious choice for us flying from Melbourne with the flight time is 14 hours from Melbourne To Doha and then 7 hours from Doha to Madrid. 5.5 hours from Belgrade to Doha and 13.5 from Doha to Melbourne. This was a significant drop in the amount of time we would spend on planes and airports, as our last trip was 38 hours in transit. Flying Qatar Airways with kids, we went on three different aeroplanes: The Boeing 777, The Boeing Dreamliner 787 and an Airbus A320.

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Willow at Hamed International Airport in Doha

Qatar Airways has short stopovers at Hamad International Airport, Doha. This moves you and your kids quickly to your destination, which we love. We experienced a transit time of under 2 hours in both directions. This is great when flying with kids because it cuts the downtime you spend in the airport. Downtime can be a killer if you transit through airports that don’t have child-friendly facilities and for long periods of time.

Hamad International Airport Family facilities:

  • Parents rooms
  • Family Toilets
  • 5 activity areas offering wifi, Apple Mac stations and interactive art

After you have booked your Qatar Airways flight, the company’s website makes it easy for you to log on with your booking reference and select seating and meal options for kids and adults. Just remember: If you don’t order a Qatar Airways kids meal, your children won’t get one of the excellent Qatar kids packs.

Flying Qatar Airways with kids
The girls sleep comfortably on the 777 from Melbourne to Doha.

The 777’s configuration is a 3-4-3 model: 3 seats by the window, 4 seats across the middle, and 3 seats on the other window. The 777 in Economy class is the best I have ever been on. It just seems spacious for an economy class. The seats were amazingly comfortable and spacious for economy class, and they were great for sleeping in. Being a family of four, we were seated in the centre section of the plane.

The armrests were adjustable between seats, giving the adults more room and letting the kids sleep easily by resting their shoulders on you.  If you are flying Qatar Airways with infants and babies, request a bassinet at the bulkhead seats. This will give you some room to let bub sit down or have a little area to sit if they can. I suggest that the adults flying Qatar sit on the aisle. This allows you to stretch your legs out more.

 Flying Qatar Airways with kids is easy with Oryx One.

Now, the Oryx One on-demand in-flight entertainment system has up to 3,000 options, including the latest blockbuster movies, music, games and the map channel I love so much that tells you the time to destination. Like all long-haul airlines, you get a screen in the back seat. Seeing an airline with a dedicated channel for young kids was refreshing. The Qatar Kids channel contained movies, TV, music and games. There were dedicated Star Wars, Avengers and Disney channels. Put it this way, it was enough to keep our kids entertained when they were not asleep or playing with the Qatar Airways kids packs, which is a really hard to do with our two.

Now, the Oryx One on-demand in-flight entertainment system has up to 3,000 options, including the latest blockbuster movies, music, games and the map channel that I love so much that tells you the time to destination. Like all long-haul airlines, you each get an individual screen in the back of your seat. Seeing an airline with a dedicated channel for young kids was refreshing.

The Qatar Kids channel contained movies, TV shows, music, and games. There were dedicated Star Wars, Avengers, and Disney channels. Put this way; it was enough to keep our kids entertained when they were not asleep or playing with the Qatar Airways kid’s packs, which is a tough thing to do with our two.

The kid’s packs in Qatar consisted of two different types. There was a Monopoly pack and a Game of Life pack to keep the kids entertained. Both the girls loved these, and they got used to them.

The Monopoly pack contained

  • activity book –  word puzzle, dot to dot, memory game, odd one out and much more
  • ruler
  • dry eraser pencils
  • sticker money
  • grey lead pencil with a rubber

The Game of Life pack contained

  • Sticker boards game
  • A spinning wheel for the game of life
  • Activity book – word games, puzzles, math games, etch-a-sketch pad
  • pencils
⇒You might also like our article on Tips for long flights with kids 
 
Flying Qatar Airways with kids
The Monopoly kids pack on Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways child meal was excellent!

Qatar Airways with kids
Kids’ meal on Qatar Airways
Flying Qatar Airways with kids

The kid’s food on the flights was delivered by the smiling staff before the commencement of mealtime for the adults. The Qatar Airways kid’s meal was delivered in a great Monopoly-styled lunch/dinner box. We kept two lunch boxes to use when we got home (We used one of the boxes to hold breakables in our luggage while travelling around Europe, which was fantastic). The boxes came in red and green. They were placed in front of the girls, open with food on both sides. Both the girls are severely fussy eaters, and meals on planes stress me out, but I think Qatar Airlines has thought this through. All their meals had something they would like and needed in them.

The chicken nuggets and hot dogs came with some vegetables. The pasta dish was a really good size, with only a small amount of veggies on the side. The meals also came with fresh fruit, a bread roll or croissant, a yoghurt, a yummy dessert, and a juice box or water. What exactly came out of the box depended on the time the meal was being served.

I think with one lunch, they even had a small packet of chips, which they loved. If there was something they did not want to have straight away, the cabin crew were more than happy to take it and keep it for us if it was not something I could keep on the backs of the chair.

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What else makes Flying Qatar Airways with kids so good?

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Flying Qatar Airways with kids

Flying with kids of any age can be an absolute nightmare at times. The cabin crew were magnificent on the way over and back. They could not have been more welcoming and efficient on the flight, which was more evident when Marley got a bloody nose. The cabin crew were on it straight away, and as it progressed into the longest nosebleed ever, their professionalism absolutely shone on a worried and stressed mum. Once the bleeding stopped, they constantly checked on us, and Marley even brought her a drink and a small treat to get her calm again. They did not forget her sister and bought her the same, so there were no arguments.

The amenities pack is brilliant. You are given a face wipe when you get on the plane, but the little pack is a winner in my eyes. There is a little face mask that the girls loved, some socks, earplugs, and a little toothbrush with some paste, which made Mum very happy. The toothbrush really came in handy after the nosebleeds as well for Marley. We didn’t use the socks from our packs until later in the trip, when we mysteriously lost a pair!

The blankets and pillows just seemed fluffier and firmer than the ones I had used in the past. The blankets seemed larger and covered more of us and the girls. At one point, we also asked for another pillow as Marley was lying on me, and I was slightly uncomfortable. It was not a problem to get us another one.

Flying Qatar with kids was a great choice

Flying Qatar Airways with kids
The Girls enjoying their Qatar Dreamliner flight

All in all flying with kids on Qatar was a very pleasurable experience. As we have said, the in-flight entertainment was first-rate, the food was excellent and plentiful, and the chairs were comfortable, especially on the 777. I was, in all honesty, not so impressed with the comfort of the 787 Dreamliner seats. They were more of a budget- short-haul standard. We had to fly for 7 hours on the Dreamliner, which I would not call a short haul. The Dreamliner is excellent for reducing noise and making you feel like you are not even on a plane.

It has ambient blue windows that set a peaceful tone for the flight. The Dreamliner is configured 3-3-3 for seating. This meant the girls all sat on the window side, and I sat in the centre of the plane. The Airbus A320 had a seat configuration of 3-3. Once again, the three girls sat on one side, and I sat across the aisle. The Airbus was the smallest plane we went on, but the seats were still more comfortable than those of the 787 Dreamliner. We found Qatar’s service, meals, and entertainment to be standardised across the fleet at a very high standard.

Flying Qatar with babies

Family Travel Tip: Don’t forget if you are travelling with babies to reserve your bassinet for the bulkhead seats that are available. If your child is under 18 months they can sit on your lap or fly in the bassinet. For more information, our good friend Keri at Our Globetrotters discusses this on her site. You can read her Qatar Airways Family Flying Review article

Wyld Family Travel will have no hesitation in flying Qatar Airways with kids again. Maybe for the first time, ever I may choose Qatar over a cheaper rival to the same destination because we were that impressed with Qatar Airways.

We hoped you enjoyed this article from Wyld Family Travel. We have  2 more articles for your reading enjoyment. Click on the images to be taken to the article.


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16 thoughts on “Flying Qatar Airways with kids – the long haul”

  1. Great tips. As a new traveling mom, it’s always good to read about airlines doing a good job accommodating children. Parents rooms are a must, I can imagine the ones at Doha must be nice!

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  2. So, can I sign up to be a kid next I’m on Qatar? I would love those games and chicken nuggets…I just saying!

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  3. I always travel with Qatar Airways when I go to Asia. Their services are great and before I had enough Qpoints to access their lounge. It’s was awesome to take a shower between my two flights and these awesome food…

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  4. Looks like you had a great flying experience with them- or can make such a difference to your holiday! Those kids packs and meals look awesome.

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  5. Look at those kids! They do look happy! That’s what shows that Qatar gives the best service.

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  6. Qatar airways is known for their remarkable service. I am glad you had a great time flying with them.

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  7. Sounds good! I don’t have any kids but this seems like a great airlines to fly with kids. Will need to let all my mother friends know.

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  8. Great tips. Its difficult to travel in long haul flights with kids. They tend to get cranky to be seated in the same place for a long time. But with all those entertainment, games & kids meals the situation is manageable to a great extent I guess!

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  9. Great tips and this is a very helpful blog for those who are going to fly for the first time with Qatar Airways. Thanks 🙂

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  10. Great tips for keeping kids entertained on a long flight. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  11. I’ve heard a lot about Qatar Airways. However, I myself have not traveled on QA. I also know they offer a lot for kids too. For me to travel on QA is like Calgary to the USA to Doha to Delhi and back which is like 32-hour journey. From Calgary, I can go to Europe and Delhi in like 19 hours. Therefore, I can’t fly on QA, even if I want to. But I am happy that you guys enjoyed the trip.

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  12. Haven’t travelled yet in Qatar airways. But my friends tell me it is amazing. And your post shows that too. Really good amenities. Next surely will prefer Qatar airways.

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  13. This airline is really sweet, totally love all the little toys that they have to keep the kids busy. 🙂

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  14. Having recently travelled with my niece and nephew we know exactly had hard it can be – I love the entertainment sytems you have mentioned, that alone could keep them interested for an hour or so and the kiddies meals look great.

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    • Hi Tamason. They didn’t have kids meals in the places we stayed but they would be a fantastic idea! The places we stayed just had very basic meals that both the girls could eat. Thanks so much for leaving a comment.

      Reply
  15. I’ve heard great things about Qatar airways. I love how they give the kids special packs to help get them through the long haul, it’s those little things that make or break a company for parents.

    Reply

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