As thousands of Australian families prepare to jet off on their summer holidays, is it possible to prepare kids, and yourself, for a long flight that's stress-free and kid-friendly? Here's some simple and effective pre-planning tips for in-flight enjoyment from the very people who take to our skies daily.
British Airways has prepared – with help from its crew – a list of top tips for travelling with children. Over 1.5 million children fly with British Airways each year, and during the peak school holiday period alone the airline flies half a million young travellers.
Senior first officer and mother of two, Carley Lear, says: “Many pilots, including myself, fell in love with flying at a very young age so we are usually pleased to share our enthusiasm with kids who want to learn more. Children of all ages are very welcome to come to the BA flight deck to meet the pilots. The best time is after landing when passengers are disembarking. We sometimes have stickers and postcards for children and will be more than happy to talk about flying and what all the controls and buttons on the flight deck do. Budding young pilots of the future can also ask their pilot to sign their junior flight log-book which they can get from the cabin crew for free during the flight.”
Father of two and senior cabin crew member, Justin Cox adds: “As a parent I understand that travelling with kids can at first seem like a daunting prospect, but it really needn’t be. After my 12 years as BA cabin crew I have found that flying can be made more comfortable and even fun for kids by following a few simple pointers.”
British Airways prides itself on the levels of customer service it offers to families and children. On long-haul flights the airline has a special child friendly menu, which parents can book free of charge in advance. Children are also given entertainment packs as they take their seats.
The airline will also help to arrange seats in advance of check-in opening to ensure families can sit together on their holidays.