Flying to malaysia with kids

Initially one post, I couldn’t stop myself wittering on so have split this into two parts. Think of it as The Hobbit but less tedious (or more, depending on your outlook). The second part can be found here. Onwards, to read about our experience flying to Malaysia with kids.

Day one began at the Holiday Inn Express at Manchester Airport. Bright, clean, in fairly good condition, it did everything we needed (had beds, was clean, was reasonably priced, free wifi) and after a satisfactory cooked breakfast on comically-small plates, we got the shuttle bus to the airport (£3 pp, children free (but no separate seat, which they didn’t warn us about) and took about 5 minutes). Yesterday we got the train from Manchester to the airport (approx £3 per adult, with a family rail pass (£30)), then a black cab to the hotel, which took 10 minutes and cost £9.

A swift and friendly bag-check later, we proceeded through the LONG wait to be moaned at by a grumpy security agent. After the obligatory airport pleasures of visiting the toilets several times with a child who has decided, today specifically, to require more nappy changes than normal; a trip to a multinational coffee conglomerate for a hot drink and a doughy sandwich; and the heady feeling of confusion and panic when the departures board displays the gate late and you rally to the gate only to realise everyone is just sitting about waiting anyway, we were ready to fly. No complaints about the airport itself; plenty of places for coffee and food, though a shame that there’s nowhere to throw children that will both contain and entertain them.

Manchester to Dubai

Our journey to KL was two flights of roughly the same length, with the first departing on time at 2pm.

Shortly after take off, Emirates provided our two with a little blanket and a bag for it shaped like a soft toy, and some pencils and a colouring book which was a nice touch.

We got lunch when we got on the plane (children received sausage and mash with carrots and peas, bread, crumble, yoghurt, a nutrigrain, and some raisins. Adults had a choice of chicken curry or beef something or other, with some crumble, bread, and an orzo salad). Lunch was generally pretty good.

The first flight of our flying to Malaysia with kids was a breeze for the most part. The A380 was clean, roomy, never too warm or cold, and the crew were friendly and efficient. Younger child slept for a bit, older child did some colouring but mostly spent the 7 hours watching half a film then switching to another one (to only watch half and switch etc). After finding the on flight wifi too slow to use, I selected films from the superb selection (The Post (very good), Darkest Hour (ditto), and The Greatest Showman (good not great)).

Before getting off, we got some fairly bland sandwiches.  The children got their meals before all the adults, which was great to get them eating promptly.

Dubai Airport and Onward To Kuala Lumpur

Landing in Dubai at gone midnight, everyone was in fairly good spirits. The airport itself is spotlessly clean, and utterly enormous. We found the (superb) children’s area in Area B (large and empty when we visited), got a coffee and a snack, then panicked when the plane went from ‘no gate’ to ‘final call’ a full hour before it was due to take off.

We boarded, got more blandwiches, tried to sleep (varying degrees of success, with the children at the ‘successful’ end and me at the ‘total failure’ end). After watching Black Panther (good, diverse, full of good role models for younglings) and The Foreigner (solid 3 out of 5 with sad Jackie Chan and Pierce ‘Gerry Adams’ Brosnan) we had breakfast (waffles for the kids, omelette for adults) then disembarked.

Blearily, we made our way, via train, to the the most inept passport control process I’ve witnessed in some time. One person per 100 passengers seemed the ratio, and it was difficult to not join the hoards of tutters and sighers around us. One definite bonus though; good quality, free-to-use large baggage trolleys, perfect for bags and children.

So we are here! After months of planning, we have arrived in Malaysia. Flying to Malaysia with kids wasn’t so bad, really! Read the next part about getting to downtown KL and the Jalan Alor food market here.