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The nation’s favourite airline advises giving your child some pre-flight training in the living room!

Pre-flight living room training, visiting the flight deck, choosing the most child-friendly seat and other great tips for families about to travel on an plane with young children.

Parents love the idea of taking their kids on memorable holidays abroad but often think: “if only we could miss out some of the stress of travelling on an aeroplane to get to our destination”.

Recognising this, British Airways has drawn up a list of top tips for travelling with children. Following such tips should make flying on an aeroplane an enjoyable part of the adventure of going on holiday.

It is also worth noting that how you get to the airport will also have an effect on the family’s stress levels prior to boarding – why not take advantage of Gatwick airport parking to reduce the hassle of getting to the airport? Airport Parking company,, offer thousands of deals to help you save money and make the experience of flying less stressful.

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 - Travel discounts on Heathrow Airport Parking, Airport Hotels and more.

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