Virgin Atlantic cabin crew have revealed some of their insider secrets to help parents battle the boredom of little ones whilst on board.
Air travel can be exhausting at the best of times, but add in tired and over excited children, a lone parent - usually mum- and hours confined to a cabin and it can be anthing but a pleasant experience. Now Virgin Atlantic cabin crew have offered Mums Like Us their advice in this ultimate survival guide.
Nick Parker, Head of Middle East, Africa and India at Virgin Atlantic commented: “With countless families travelling with us every day, we understand the difficulties parents face trying to keep children entertained. We do a lot to make the journey as easy and enjoyable as possible for our customers. This includes showing kids their favourite TV shows, serving children’s meals and handing out special kid packs to help give parents a little break on board.”
Explore your airport
Dubai International Airport and Heathrow Airport have family areas equipped with amazing soft play areas and games rooms available for free, so you can let the kids enjoy themselves whilst you sit back with a well-deserved cuppa! If you’re looking for a pre-flight chill out destination, it might be worth upgrading to Upper Class as our Virgin Atlantic Clubhouses and partner lounges provide the perfect place to relax and enjoy some first class cuisine while your children can enjoy the play area.
Grab a goody bag
When you board your flight, pick up one of our special goody bags filled with treats for your kids to explore. Inside they will find a special eye mask with a variety of fun designs - including Kanye West style shutter shades - warm socks for cold toes, and a special pen and Lonely Planet Travel Journal for doodling about their exotic adventures.
Take advantage of our special on-board meals for children by ordering one online 48-hours in advance. We make sure to treat your little ones for good behaviour and offer them ice cream, jam sandwiches, fresh fruit and dinosaur pasta to add some fun to in-flight mealtimes. However, we would also say it’s a good idea to come armed with plenty of healthy nibbles and tasty treats to ward off mid-flight tantrums.
Get to know other parents on the flight and offer to sit all of the children together, giving the adults an opportunity to chat to new friends and the kids a way of avoiding boredom by playing together. Everyone is a winner!
Tune out while they tune in
With Virgin Atlantic’s ‘gate to gate’ inflight entertainment, you don’t even have to wait until the plane takes off to get your little ones immersed in endless episodes of ‘Peppa Pig.’ Simply sit down and plug in. There’s a lot available to keep them entertained, with over 45hrs of Family entertainment on-board including Movies, TV, Audio and Games. Why not surprise your kids with exciting new headphones on the day of the flight? That way they can’t wait to use them!
Change of clothes
What to wear on a flight is a dilemma that we all face – do we opt for fluffy boots or flip flops? Our suggestion is to pack your bag with a couple of changes for your kids, such as some comfy pyjamas to help them sleep on night flights or new summer clothes to get them excited and battle drowsiness when they land.
Nothing passes the time on a flight like a good 40 winks. As well as blankets and eye masks for your older ones, we have specially designed in-flight cots for tiny tots, which you can pre-book free of charge. We know that familiarity is often important, so you can also bring your child’s own car seat as long as it meets safety regulations.
Take a stroll amongst the clouds
It is easy to get restless on long flights, particularly for toddlers who are used to running around! When it is safe to do so, take your kids for a small walk up to the aircraft tail so that they can stretch their legs and have a change of scenery from their seats. Our cabin crew love making new friends; encourage your kids to chat to the crew and they could receive one of our special packets of Love Hearts, or even be given some to hand out to other customers!
It is always a great idea to have a few tricks up your sleeve for when the kids inevitably start to get cranky. Pop into a £1 shop prior to the flight for some tactical toys for when the tantrums hit and bring them out at hour intervals, keeping your kids on their toes and excited. Most importantly, don’t forget to bring some sweeties for the trawl through immigration and luggage collection at the end!
Relax, you’re not alone!
Don’t forget that cabin crew will be on hand throughout your flight, so whatever you need, don’t hesitate to ask.
For more information on flying with children please visit http://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/travel-information/special-flight-requirements/flying-with-children.html