Flying with children need not be a nightmare – that’s the message from Jetstar as thousands of families prepare to take to the skies for holidays.
Australia’s low-fare airline Jetstar estimates nearly five per cent of existing domestic are first-time flyers whilst 10 per cent of their international summer holiday customers will be first-time overseas travellers.
Jetstar Group General Manager Commercial Mr Bruce Buchanan said Jetstar recognised the need to make it easy for families flying for first time.
“We’re thrilled that so many families choose to experience their first flight with Jetstar and we do everything we can to make it a smooth experience,” says Mr Buchanan.
“Many families are making it easy before they even depart for the airport, by utilising the simple on-line Web Check-In facility at home. This means families travelling with Jetstar spend less time in line and are able to relax before hopping on the plane.”
Forward planning is the key to a successful family holiday according to experienced Jetstar Cabin Manager and mother-of-one Ms Merryn McCrae.
“I would advise parents to prepare, prepare, prepare your family if it is the first time you’re travelling by plane,” says Ms McCrae. “The Jetstar cabin crew is experienced in dealing with children and families flying for the first time. The best thing to do for your children is to ask cabin crew if you need assistance.”
Dr Harry Zehnwirth, a paediatrician with more than 20 years experience and father-of-four, recommends visiting a doctor in the lead up to your trip.
“Make an appointment to see your GP or paediatrician in the week before your flight, especially if your child has recently been unwell,” says Dr Zehnwirth.
“Protecting your children’s ears during a flight is important during take off and landing.
“Children find it more difficult on airplanes to adjust to the changes in cabin pressure. During takeoff and landing older children could suck on a piece of apple or a hard lolly to relieve pressure in the ears. Infants will benefit from a bottle or dummy.
“It is also important for your children to feel comfortable and at ease with travelling prior to taking your flight. Prepare for everything from medicines to their favourite toys, and your travel experience can be much more rewarding.”
For parents heading interstate or overseas with their children for the first time, Jetstar recommends following these easy steps to ensure your holiday fun starts in the air.
Jetstar’s six tips for preparing the whole family for a plane flight:
· Avoid naps prior to the flight – encourage kids to sleep on the plane
· Explain to your children what to expect at the airport and on the plane
· Dress your child in layers of comfortable clothing to allow for changes in temperature
· Pre-select your seat at the time of booking online at Jetstar.com or prior to the flight so you can choose the best seats
· Use Jetstar’s Web Check-In 24-hours prior to departure, it allows you more time to relax before the flight takes off
· Pack light – the fewer pieces of luggage to look after the better
Jetstar has five tips for managing infants and young children while you’re up in the air:
· Pack extra nappies and a spare set of clothes for each child
· Take along their favourite toys and books and bring them out gradually, saving some for later in the flight
· Bring along little gifts and use them as rewards for good behaviour
· Make sure they eat and drink on the plane
· Wait until the end to disembark to avoid feeling rushed
Q & A: Travelling with children on Jetstar
Do infants fly for free?
Yes, infants (children under two years of age) travel for free with Jetstar on both Domestic and International flights. An infant is required to be seated with a parent/guardian in the same seat during travel. A child two years of age or above requires his or her own seat.
What is the baggage allowance for children with a seat on Jetstar?
For both domestic and international economy passengers, the allowance is 20 kilograms of checked luggage and 7 kilograms of carry on luggage per passenger. StarClass passengers have a 30 kilogram checked luggage allowance.
How much does it cost to check-in pushers, strollers and car seats?
All pushers, strollers and special car seats are able to be checked-in for free.
Are baby/toddler meals available on Jetstar?
No specific baby/toddler meals are offered but passengers are able to bring their own food on-board.
Will Jetstar cabin crew heat up baby bottles?
Where do you dispose nappies?
A change table is located in each toilet. The bins in the toilet are recommended for nappy disposal.
Does Jetstar have child activity packs?
Activity packs can be purchased on Jetstar Domestic and Trans Tasman flights for AUD $6 and on long-haul services kids packs can be purchased on Jetstar for AUD $7.