Seven great tips for families flying with kids

The nation’s favourite airline advises giving your child some pre-flight training in the living room!
Visit the flight deck, pre-flight living room training, choosing the seat that is most child-friendly and a myriad of great tips for those families that are going to travel by air with younger tots in tow.

Parents love taking their children on unforgettable family holidays abroad but also think; if only it was possible to eliminate the stress while on the airplane before getting to our destination.

British Airways having recognized this has written up a number of travel tips for those boarding with children. These tips, when followed, should help to make it more enjoyable to fly on an airplane while going on holiday.

How you get to the airport also has a great deal of effect on the level of family stress before getting on board the plane. Gatwick parking could be a great alternative in reducing the stress level of getting to the airport. BOOKFHR.com, an airport parking company offers many deals to make the flying experience less stressful and to save you money.

Below are some of the best tips from the BA list.

• The nation’s favourite airline advises giving your child some pre-flight training in the living room! This involves sitting your child on the sofa at home with a cushion between you as a makeshift armrest so that they can get an idea of what it will be like on board.

• Taking a small compact travel pushchair can also be worthwhile; normal-sized pushchairs and strollers will usually have to be classified as hold luggage.

• The best time to rip open a treat such as a bag of sweets is when the plane is waiting to take off or when you are waiting to disembark – times when kids need fun distractions to stop boredom setting in.

• Even better than a bag of treats is the chance to visit the flight deck where the captain and his crew can show your kids the buttons, wheels and gadgets which make the aircraft tick. (A lesson which is fascinating for adults too!) The best time to take this tour is after landing.

• BA advises that if a family is flying to a region with a big time difference it will take about two days for young children to re-adjust their body clocks; this could mean an extra two days’ off school for lucky holidaying pupils!

Of course, BA’s list is not exhaustive; it is a good idea to ask other parents about their in-flight experiences of travelling with young children. There are also plenty of forums and articles out there in cyberspace about things to think about before you reach your departure lounge.

Things like…

• Trying to sit as near the front of the plane as possible. It is slightly quieter in front of the engines, there will be less people in front of you to annoy and you will be able to disembark – and have a tour of the flight deck – more quickly!

• Letting your children sit in the window seat. This will give them a great view of the re-fuelling trucks and baggage handlers on terra firm and the patchwork fields, tiny houses and fluffy clouds which can be glimpsed as the plane ascends. Sitting in a window seat will also reduce the danger of a kid dashing up and down the aisle when the seatbelt sign flashes off.

With a little planning, there is no reason why children’s earliest flying experiences shouldn’t be happy and positive ones. As BA senior first officer Carley Lear points out: “Many pilots, including myself, fell in love with flying at a very young age.”

Author: James Christie
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