Fly The Family-Friendly Skies With Qantas

28 February 2017

The ‘Flying Kangaroo’ is an icon most of us have grown up with, and now, Australia’s flagship carrier is transporting a new generation to far-flung destinations and interstate family gatherings.

To a child, flying in an airplane is an amazing and magical experience each and every time, full of excitement and anticipation for the journey ahead and the holiday waiting at the other end.

For parents, whether you are travelling with a babe in arms or the whole tribe in tow, flying interstate or overseas as a family presents its own unique set of challenges. There’s infants to settle, kids to keep entertained, and then there’s meals and toilet breaks to manage too.

Pre-order baby, toddler and child meals before you board. (Image: Qantas)

With Qantas’ commitment to safety and service, there are plenty of ways the Aussie airline assists families, right from the moment you book your flight. To keep the clan together, choose Advanced Seat Selection to ensure your family is seated together for the duration of your flight.

Infants (defined as children aged zero to two years) must have their own ticket for international flights, while children under the age of two, who are seated in an adult’s lap, can travel on their parents’ tickets on domestic services. Qantas also has limited bassinets for babies up to 11 kilograms available on select aircraft. Bassinets cannot be booked online, so ask your consultant to arrange one for you.

For added safety for kids aged four months to three years, you can bring a pre-approved car seat to use on the flight that will need to be shown to Qantas staff at the airport. There are also special seatbelts available for babies in laps.

Child, toddler and baby meals are available on board, which you can pre-order when booking your flight. Qantas provides a limited range of well-known brands of baby food, milk, baby bottles, cereal and rusks for infants under two years, however it’s recommended to bring your baby’s favourites on board with you.

Qantas has plenty of onboard amenities just for kids, from activity bags to Kid Zone inflight entertainment. (Image: Qantas)

Once you have planned and packed, eligible families can access Family Zones in select Qantas Club lounges (Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide, Canberra, Gold Coast and Melbourne) as well as the Sydney and Melbourne International Business Lounges. Family Zones are equipped with iMac computers, Sony Playstations, children’s furniture, toys and books. Some Family Zones also offer kid-friendly refreshments such as Joey Packs that include a small sandwich (cut into the shape of a kangaroo) and dried fruits as well as mini bar fridges where tots can select their own pop-top water bottle.

Ready to board? Take advantage of pre-boarding for families travelling with children to allow your kids to settle before the rest of the plane boards. Qantas has plenty of onboard entertainment for little travellers, from complimentary Joey Club kids’ activity bags with an activity book, colouring pencils and a luggage tag on domestic flights, plus a guessing game and mini Joey Club book on international flights.

Don’t forget to bring child-size and child–safe volume-limiting headphones, plus an airline headphone socket adapter, so your tots can watch the dedicated Kid Zone inflight entertainment on select aircraft (mum and dad might need to show the littlies how to use the in-seat controls). Qantas also screens up to eight family movies per month on international flights with in-seat screens, plus plenty of TV programs to choose from. See the latest family flicks and TV shows, play games and listen to music.

Lastly, consider booking a night flight for long-haul trips so kids can sleep, or pop children in their pyjamas with a favourite toy, and then settle in and relax.

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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling with Qantas.

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Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.