Our Globetrotters are reviewing 30 of the world’s leading international airlines for their family-friendliness. Our reviews cover the airline’s policies and service offerings that the average family will deal with when flying standard economy class. For more details on the Globetrotters reviews and ratings referenced, please see the lead article.
Rounding out the Skytrax top 10 for 2014 (*They dropped to 12th in 2015 and back to 10th in 2016) is Lufthansa, the German giant and only the second European entrant. So how do they stack up again the fierce Asian and Middle East competition?
Base: Frankfurt, Germany
Alliances: Star Alliance
Skytrax Rating 2016: 10
JACDEC Safety Rating 2017: 12
Lufthansa Pregnancy Policy
Uncomplicated pregnancies can fly up to the 36th week without a medical certificate, however, it’s recommended that expectant mothers carry a physicians letter from the 28th week (multiple pregnancies must carry a letter from the 28th week). Beyond the 36th week or any pregnancy with complications must get a certificate from Medical Operations Centre before travelling dated note more than 72 hours before stating medically fit to fly.
Specific restrictions on newborns could not be found but general practice is that airlines will not accept a child within 7 days of delivery for health reasons.
Infants (under 2 years)
An infant fare is charged at 10% of the regular fare. Only one infant under two may be seated on laps, if you have a second child with you, you can book a child’s ticket and bring an appropriate restraining device on board with you.
Baby food is available on board but supplies are limited, they recommend you take your own. They have hot water available on board for bottle making, as well as a supply of spare nappies.
Your stroller can be kept with you until boarding and will be returned immediately after landing.
Lufthansa Baby Bassinets
Their entire long-haul fleet is fitted with baby cots. They are suitable for babies up to 14kg and 83cm in length. The numbers on each aircraft are limited so you are advised to book at least 48 hours in advance. A seat reservation fee may apply depending on your ticket type.
Children (2-11 years)
On almost all routes children’s fares will be charged at 75% of the regular fare. They recommend you reserve your seats together at the time of booking, or if you have not done so, check-in on line 23 hours before you flight to try and sit together.
Before you fly, you can download the “Take-Off” app by Lufthansa – a free app for kids that will guide your children through the airport experience and includes six free games. This offering is quite unique – even if you are flying with another airline I can recommend downloading this in preparing your children to fly.
Families with small children are offered pre-boarding and flight attendants can help with seating, stowing baggage and fastening of seat belts. During the flight, there are entertainment packs for kids and soft toys. Their in-flight entertainment systems includes special programming for children.
At Frankfurt and Munich airports there are now dedicated check-in areas for families. You will be given a Family Pilot brochure which gives location details at the airport for family services including change units, family-friendly restaurants and play areas. They also offer a free stroller services at Frankfurt airport if you would like to check your stroller all the way.
If you are lucky enough to be stopping via one of the business lounges, they have a young passengers play corner and cinema. Additionally, children flying in Business or First are given a JetFriends amenities kit, providing all sorts of things for little travelers including kids toothbrush, ear plugs, socks and toys.
Children between 5 and 11 years old may travel unaccompanied using their UM service. This service can be requested by parents of children aged 12 to 17 years old. Children will be given a small yellow shoulder bag to carry which should be with them and visible throughout the journey and includes their travel documents.
Tickets cannot be booked online, they must be booked through a Lufthansa Service Centre, travel agency or at the airport ticket desk.
If travelling with a partner airline they recommend you check the UM rules directly with that airline as they may differ.
Infants are entitled to one piece of luggage weighing up to 23kg – this is the same for children and adults travelling in economy. In addition authorized child seats, Moses baskets and pushchairs/buggies may be taken – if they do not fit on board they will be stowed.
On certain routes operating the piece system, 2 bags of 23kg may be carried by children and adults (Brazil 32kg). The infants limit remains at 23kg.
Frequent Flyer Programs
Children and teens aged 2 to 17 should join the JetFriends Club, which automatically enrols them into the Miles & More frequent flyer program. They benefit from being part of the Star Alliance program for earning and spending miles, however, I could not find any evidence of being able to pool family miles using the Miles & More program.
The Globetrotters View
The Lufthansa website is one of the more user friendly I have come across. I wasn’t expecting much having only ever flown with them as a solo adult, but I have been surprised and a little excited reading about Lufthansa’s family friendly options – they are definitely an airline I will be keeping in mind for my long distance travel needs as they very much have the family flyer front of mind in their service offering.
Star Alliance has always disappointed me, however, in terms of their family rewards. If you are based in a location that uses several Star Alliance airlines you might eventually get enough reward points to pay for long distance travel but without family pooling this makes it hard work. That said, their JetFriends club looks great with lots of added interactive extras for kids even when you’re not flying.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page should be used as a guide only. It has been gathered from public sources and correct at the time of going to print (May 2015). Please consult the airlines own website before booking any family travel with this airline. This review is not an endorsement of Lufthansa’s services and I am in no way affiliated with the airline.
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Have you flown pregnant or with infants/children on Lufthansa? Do you have a review or advice to share with travelling families?
Don’t forget to check out our advice pages on Preparing Children for Flying and Getting Through the Flight
© Our Globetrotters
“Take-off” graphic courtesy Lufthansa