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Parents Ditch Qantas & Jetstar When Flying With Kids

July 8, 2017 Aviation No Comments Email Email

Travel Agents say uncertainty around travel accessories prompts holiday-making parents to book with ‘family-friendly’ airlines. 

Major international carriers like Etihad and Singapore Airlines could reap the rewards of fresh bookings from parents disgruntled with Qantas and Jetstarover uncertainty as to whether they will or won’t allow child travel accessories on flights. Accessories like PlanePal, Fly Tots Bed Box and Fly Legs Up have become popular ‘parental lifesavers’ meaning children can more easily get comfortable and sleep on long-haul flights.

Do Qantas and Jetstar now prefer screaming kids to sleeping angels?

Restrictions on travel accessories from the Australian airlines are forcing parents to choose alternatives that have approved the devices for the comfort of children and families as well as fellow travellers. Parents have taken to social media and travel agents to voice their concerns. “Not flying Qantas then”expressed one frustrated Mum, “Not cool Qantas!” said another.

“We have been inundated with messages from families frustrated with Australian airlines Qantas & Jetstar. Many are choosing other global airlines that do permit devices that make travel enjoyable for children, parents and fellow passengers,” says PlanePal founder and director Samantha Cardone.

Parents are confused by the inconsistency between policy and experience. Qantas and Jetstar say such devices are on their prohibited items lists yet their policy leaves a giant question mark stating, ultimately, it is the cabin crew who can decide to permit the use of these items.

In sharp contrast, carriers that officially approve PlanePal are gaining valuable reputations as ‘family-friendly’ airlines. These include:

  • Singapore Airlines
  • Etihad
  • Air France
  • Lufthansa
  • Alliance Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines

As a frequent-flying mum or three, Cardone knows the benefit of travelling with family-friendly airlines.

We are thrilled many major international carriers accept PlanePals like Air France, Etihad & Lufthansa. Singapore Airlines is a real stand out. Their commitment to improving family travel is really admirable and we have found that customers will choose Singapore Air over other airlines who have yet to approve our product.” 

Like the airlines, Cardone says safety is paramount.

“We are a family-run business – started for families – and safety is PlanePal’s number one priority. Our product is specifically designed to deflate in less than 5 seconds. PlanePals can be quickly stowed during taxi, take-off and landing, in case of emergency or for access to seats and aisles. We strongly recommend the inflatable travel cushion only be used in window seats or the middle seats of centre seat banks. We also advise our customers to only inflate a Planepal once seatbelt signs are turned off, and seatbelts are of course always recommended throughout the flight. Safety always comes first.” 

Travel Agent Stephanie Gasking of Travel-S says several of her family clients who love PlanePal are flying with alternative airlines to the ‘flying kangaroo’ as a result of the confusion over allowing inflatable feet rests for kids.  One family has now decided to fly Fiji Air over Qantas expressly because of the policy.

“In the past few months families have realised what an amazing option they have and are always keen to know which airlines they can use the Planepal on. Knowing that an airline supports use of the PlanePal directly influences our clients’ decisions on who to fly with,” says Stephanie.

For increasing numbers of parents worldwide, travel accessories such as PlanePal are now must-haves for flying with children. It is not surprising that parents are showing their preference for family-friendly carriers in their bookings. The added comfort means families (and all other passengers on board) can enjoy the journey and arrive ready to make the most of their destinations.

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