The people near row 34 of our flight must’ve felt cursed: two babies in the same row. We were in the outside set of seats on the left side of the plane, and a woman with her little boy was in the middle bank of seats. And he was clearly not happy – lots of howling from that little guy.
No matter what the passengers thought, the Lufthansa flight attendants didn’t break a sweat over it. Several different flight attendants visited him, even bearing a gift of a stuffed crane (Lufthansa’s mascot, whose name is Lou … and yes, Anneka got one, as well). The other just tried to calm the boy by making funny faces and noises to amuse him. They stopped by to fuss over Anneka, too, of course. She was already pretty chill after boarding. She let out a few squeaks and yells, but of the more happy variety.
And yeah, the little boy calmed down a bit. About 30 minutes after takeoff, the flight attendants put bassinets on the bulkheads for both babies. They loaded it up with three pillows, attached a little canopy and just let the parents pop them in for a nap.
Anneka and her little buddy snoozed for a well more than 5 hours of the flight. We also had a bit of luck on the first flight because we didn’t have anyone in the third seat with us.
In addition to the bassinets, Lufthansa also has on-board baby food for anyone who might run low or get it confiscated by security.
On the way back, our flight attendant was less familiar with the bassinet: She only put in one pillow instead of enough to cover the entire floor (she probably didn’t realize that it’s fairly hard plastic). Not a big deal – it was a day flight, and Sarah and I didn’t really need our pillows.
Still, the crew on the second flight was just as sweet and welcoming with Anneka as the first crew; apparently, Lufthansa has a great reputation welcoming kids of all ages, so I shouldn’t be surprised.
Now, let’s swing back to the booking process: It was easy to get us booked with an infant online. But there wasn’t a bassinet option. For this, you’ll need to contact Lufthansa by phone. I spoke with an agent who arranged it for us. Sure enough, there were no glitches at all on either flight.
If you’re taking a long international flight with a baby, I’d highly recommend contacting your airline about a bassinet.
Now, there are few things you should know about the bassinets: You’ll need to be seated in a bulkhead row to get one. That may mean you’ll get charged extra, but it will be negligible and worth the price.
Since you’re in a bulkhead seat, that means that your tray table and video monitor will retract into your armrest. That means you won’t be able to lift it up – you’ll have to keep an eye on the baby’s head while holding them because that armrest is pretty hard. In some cases, the bassinet can also interfere with retracting the armrest or video monitor.
Another thing: Aircraft type matters. These days, many more airlines are trying to fly narrow-body airliners from North America to Europe. Avoid them – widebody aircraft give you extra headroom that can make dealing with your little people a bit easier. If you haven’t been in a 747, 777 or 787 before, you’ll be astounded by how much higher their ceilings are than a 737, A320 or even 757.
Lufthansa doesn’t skimp on narrow-body aircraft for intercontinental flights: We flew the latest version of the 747, which was excellent. But they also fly Airbus the A380 and A340, which will give you all the room you need, too.
Between the bassinets, baby food and flight attendants, it seems that Lufthansais a great option for anyone traveling with a baby. If your destination is somewhere Lufthansa flies, you can be sure that you’ll have a good experience with them.
Be sure to read my review of the 747-8i itself.