Top tips to keep kids happy on board a flight – from Emirates cabin crew member

Half term is fast approaching and many families are planning their first trips abroad many months after being confined in the UK for an extended period.

With travel appearing to be picking up, leading airline Emirates has put together a selection of top tips to help families planning to fly with babies or young children.

Expert advice comes from Cabin Crew Member Laura Hannah from Ayrshire, Scotland, who has worked for Emirates for more than six years.

Here are the 32-year-old’s guidelines for a hassle-free travel experience:

When booking flights

Don’t opt ​​for a late night departure or an overnight flight because you think kids will sleep through the night. You can’t be with all the excitement and noise, and you’ll be doubly exhausted.



Emirates cabin attendant Laura Hannah is greeted by her two young nephews

Try to schedule a flight to fit between meals or naps, as this can help reduce the risk of public tantrums. Also, try to ensure a child gets a good night’s sleep on morning flights to avoid experiencing sleep deprivation on the plane.

Choose your seats wisely

Choose bulkhead seats – these don’t have a seat in front so nobody can lean back into your area, giving your kids more room to play.

Consider the benefits of sitting closer to the bathrooms. This makes toilet trips with children much more convenient, and the back third of the plane tends to be less occupied on flights that aren’t full.

Before boarding

Security can be confusing for children as they load their special items onto the conveyor belt and need to be separated from their parents to go through the scanner. Try to explain in advance what to expect.

Be the first or last to board the plane

While many airlines offer families priority boarding, some parents even prefer to board last to minimize time spent on the plane. Alternatively, if you have multiple children or a lot of carry-on luggage, you can reduce the stress of trying to sort through lots of bags and toddlers with everyone watching as you board first and take time to settle into your seats

On board

Allow your children to enjoy the inflight entertainment. By licensing your kids to watch more TV or movies than usual, it will seem like a treat and give you time to unwind and relax.

The cabin crew is ready to make the flight as comfortable as possible. They can help warm bottles, keep baby food chilled, provide activities for kids, save meals until the right time, and maybe even sneak a glass of wine over to you after your kids finally fall asleep.

After the landing

If you don’t have a connecting flight or are in a hurry, you should take your time disembarking. You won’t miss a valuable toy if you’re not in a hurry to pack everything, and both you and your kids may be tired and not working at their best

Most airports have family lanes for those traveling with children. See them, they can save you a very long wait.

Dealing with jet lag

This can be slow, frustrating, and exhausting, but adjusting to the local time zone can help by exposing your kids as much sunlight as possible during the day to regulate the brain’s melatonin production and reduce screen time during “sleep hours.” . Avoid late nap times and make sure meals are as regular as possible.



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Flying is great fun, but it can be overwhelming for parents and confusing for young children. They may not respond well to the noise, the crowds, the waiting, or the rules.

Try to explain what to expect as much in advance as possible and be extra patient with them while being nice to yourself. If they’ve been watching more TV than you normally would like, be thankful for the quiet time.

If they got you rid of snacks, be glad they aren’t hungry. Flying with children can be tricky, but it can also be fun, and it’s always worth it when you get to your destination.

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