Top tips for flying with children
- While your priority will obviously be getting to your destination in one piece, do also consider the comfort and happiness of your fellow passengers. Don’t allow your child to kick the seat in front of him, or stand on his seat and annoy the person sitting behind him.
- Consider booking a seat for your child regardless of age. Even though children under the age of two can fly free if they sit in your lap, consider the realities of this option before making this budget move.
- Try to book flights that will fit into your baby's routine. Flying at night is a great idea for long-haul journeys.
- Encourage your kids to have good play and run around before any flight – even if it’s in the airport. This way they’ll burn up extra energy and be able to sit for a longer period of time.
- Consider feeding your child before you get on the plane - the meal service won’t start for some time after take-off and chances are he won’t like the food anyway.
- Take your children to the toilet before you board the plane as you will have to remain seated while the plane taxis and takes off.
- Explain you have a child when you book. Pre-book everything you can, note down any reference numbers given.
- Ask if you can get a seat with extra legroom – while airlines won’t seat parents caring for children at emergency exits (when you sit in these seats you have to agree to help other passengers in an emergency), the bulkhead seats do offer a little more space.
- Prepare for delays. Have everything you’ll need if you get stuck somewhere for a couple of extra hours.
- Ask if the airline has a play-area at the airport. Some airlines, such as British Airways and American Airlines have play-areas in their lounges – it’s worth asking about these when you check-in.
- Don’t sedate your kids: sedatives can have the reverse effect on children and this is not something you want to discover on a 12 hour flight. Cool camomile tea in a sipper-cup is a good natural alternative.
- Organise individual nappy and wipe packs, so when you need to tackle a dirty bottom in a tiny bathroom, you don’t need to drag more equipment with you than absolutely necessary.
- Once you’ve taken off, ask the flight attendant if there are any empty rows where you could move to give yourself a little extra space.
- Consider labelling your child – name, address, contact phone numbers, flight details and destination – so that if you do become separated in the airport, he can be returned to you.
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