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60% of Aussie parents say domestic flights not good for under-1s; 45% say international flights are not suitable for under-5s

June 21, 2019 Insurance No Comments Email Email

Flying can sometimes take a toll on your comfort and wellbeing, depending on the distance – but how do young children fare on flights? http://www.stevecafeandcuisine.com/New data reveals that 60 per cent of Aussie parents believe under-1s are still too young to go on domestic flights with their parents, and 45 per cent think under-5s are too young to go on international flight holidays.

The findings come from a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1133 Australian parents who travel[1], commissioned by multi award-winning travel insurance specialist InsureandGo (insureandgo.com.au).[2] The survey asked parents: when thinking about a child’s comfort and wellbeing, at what age should children be before they can go on a domestic or international flight holiday with their parents?

How young is too young for a domestic flight holiday?

The survey reveals 70 per cent of respondents believe it is not suitable for babies under six months to travel on domestic flights. This is closely followed by 60 per cent of respondents who believe under-1s cannot travel comfortably on domestic flights. Not surprisingly, by the time children were five years of age, only a quarter (25 per cent) of parents think it is not suitable for them to fly domestically.

It seems the older parents are more cautious about young children travelling. More than 1 in 4 (27 per cent) parents aged 45-64 think kids should be five years or older before they can go on a domestic flight, compared with just 11 per cent of parents under 44 who believe this.

How young is too young for an international flight holiday?

Just over three-quarters (76 per cent) of parents believe international flights will not do well for the comfort and wellbeing of children under one, and 45 per cent think the same for those under 5 years of age. A very cautious 14 per cent of parents think children should be over 12 to go on an international flight holiday.

Again, older parents are more cautious about children travelling: 16 per cent aged 45-64 think under-12s are still not ready to go on international flight holidays, compared with just 5 per cent of parents under 45.

Spokesperson at InsureandGo, Jonathan Etkind, says: “A child’s health and wellbeing is particularly important when travelling – and to the overall enjoyment of your trip. Travelling overseas creates a risk to your child’s health that is not usually present. This can take the form of anything from infections and diseases that may be present in the country to which you’re travelling, to the pain children sometimes feel due to cabin pressure at the take-off and landing of your flight.[3] it’s important to ensure they are covered under a travel insurance policy, in case they unexpectedly fall ill.

“For instance, InsureandGo offers free cover to dependent children under 18 years of age[4], who travel with their parents. If you purchase a one of our Gold or Silver policies before your trip, you can be reimbursed if you need to cancel your holiday because of your child getting injured and suffering un unforeseen illness.[5]In addition, you can claim for any loss of luggage that contains your children’s belongings[6]. When flying, ensure to keep your children comfortable and entertained on flights, by packing extra snacks and thing to entertain them, such as colouring books.”

InsureandGo’s 6 tips for parents to keep their kids comfortable and entertained on flights:

  1. Encourage natural sleep. Getting a natural night’s sleep on flights can be a challenge, but bringing your child’s favourite bedtime toy or reading them a story can help. Try to discourage screen time during normal sleeping hours and limit your child’s screen time overall. For example, one movie for an international flight will keep them entertained and suggest activities such as colouring books once the movie is over.
  1. Consider booking overnight flights. Depending on your holiday destination, consider booking a flight that coincides with your child’s sleep routine. Most flights dim the lights during a night flight to reinforce sleeping patterns, so it’s likely your child will be asleep for a large part of the journey.
  1. Prevent travel sickness. Restlessness can result in travel sickness in children. Reduce the likelihood of this by encouraging a relaxing game and avoiding unnecessary head movements, by using pillows or a headrest. It also helps to avoid heavy meals during travel and fit in a light snack before the flight.
  1. Counteract cabin pressure. The effects of cabin pressure can be uncomfortable for many adults, and this pressure causes even more pain and discomfort for babies and kids, due to their narrower ear tubes. Counteract this by the usual remedies – encourage them to yawn, swallow or chew gum and sweets. Babies can be particularly affected, and breast or bottle feeding often does the trick.[7]
  1. Reserve bassinets where possible. Allow your baby to lie down comfortably in-flight by requesting a bassinet, which attaches to the front wall of each section in the aircraft. However, travelling with an infant doesn’t guarantee a bassinet on a flight, so make sure to request it during booking.
  1. Request the right meals. Some kids can be picky with their meals. If that’s the case, specify and food requirements or allergies when booking your flight to ensure they will be able to eat their meal.
Thinking about a child’s comfort and wellbeing, how old do you think a child should be before they can go away on a domestic flight with their parents? Percentage of respondents (%)
Newborn 13%
3-6 months 17%
7-11 months 10%
1-2 years 20%
3-4 years 11%
4-5 years 4%
5 years or older 25%

Thinking about a child’s comfort and wellbeing, how old do you think a child should be before they can go away on an international flight with their parents? Percentage of respondents (%)
Newborn 8%
3-6 months 9%
7-11 months 7%
1-2 years 15%
3-4 years 15%
5-6 years 12%
7-12 years 19%
Older than 12 years 14%

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