Aer Lingus Family First service, certainly goes a long way to make families comfortable… so what exactly is on offer? We’ve gone through the fine print, asked at the desks and peeked behind the scenes at Dublin Airport to see how Aer Lingus look after their youngest passengers, and we think they do pretty well. Here are 6 things to note:
- EQUIPMENT – what can you bring?
You can check in one collapsible pram, plus one other of these items; car seat, travel cot, baby sling, free of charge. You can bring the buggy to the gate, but there are two things to note:
1.) If the push-chair/stroller is checked in at a check-in desk it will only be available on the baggage belt at your destination. If the push-chair/stroller is handed in at the boarding gate, it can be collected at the aircraft steps/collection point on arrival. BUT the collection points for prams will differ by destination. Due to safety requirements at some airports, it’s not always possible to collect prams at the aircraft door. Check with staff at check-in.
2.) If your pram collapses in more than two pieces, you should always collapse it for ground handling staff at the foot of the aircraft – and it follows that if you put the pram into the hold in several loose pieces it will come out that way too… two words PRAM BAG!
- Half Price Seat Selection and Half Price Checked Bags: For children traveling to European destinations they offer reductions on seat selection, which means you don’t have to worry about being forced to sit separately:)
- Equipment Delays or Damage
At Dublin Airport, Aer Lingus have partnered with The Stork Exchange so that passengers whose equipment doesn’t arrive, or arrives damaged are not overly inconvenienced. We provide replacement car seats and prams until the courier delivers equipment, at no cost to the passenger. If the equipment is damaged, Aer Lingus liability is limited under The Montreal Convention, which essentially means it will cover the cost if the equipment is damaged or destroyed. However, it is worth noting that Aer Lingus do not cover minor damage (eg. scratches, stains, soiling, dents or water damage). I cannot stress enough the importance of using adequate travel bags (bin liners are not adequate!) Make sure you keep receipts, boarding cards and tags for everything. Report damage within 7 days, but preferably at the Aer Lingus desk in the baggage hall. Unchecked cabin baggage is a different kettle of fish and Aer Lingus will only accept liability if it is due to their negligence.
- Bassinets are offered for long-haul flights only and they are subject to availability and require pre-booking. Something I learned from customer feedback is if you hit turbulence you are requested to take the baby out of the bassinet and strap him/her onto you until the seatbelt light is switched off. You may instead opt for purchasing a dedicated seat for the infant at the child rate and use an airline approved car seat if you have one. Infants with confirmed seats would not be able to also request bassinet seating.
- Under two’s must sit on the adult’s knee (restrained by an infant loop belt provided by Aer Lingus) and will be charged a flat rate of €20/£19 or equivalent per one way flight on all short-haul routes or 10% of the adult fare on flights from/to the USA.
- As part of the Family First service Aer Lingus allow you check in the ‘evening before’ (in Dublin) and pre-.boarding for babies and buggies, which could come in very handy and take a lot of stress away from passengers.