The number of Australians travelling overseas this holiday season is set to see an increase, as seen in statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics which reported that Australians travelling for holidays have grown 13 per cent on average every year since 2003, compared with just four per cent for business travel.
If you’re one of the many thousands of Australians planning to travel over December and January, and have visions of the frantic scramble and baggage when navigating the airport, Qatar Airways has provided some easy advice on preparing travellers for their holidays – ensuring fuss and stress is minimised at all costs.
Qatar Airways Country Manager for Australasia, Adam Radwanski says the key for navigating festive season travel is preparation, keeping calm and remembering what holidays are all about – fun and reward for a hard year completed. Here are his tips…
Tip 1) Travelling families
Arrive early for check in, or check in online beforehand to ensure you’re seated together. Qatar Airways offers advanced seat selection free of charge. Also, make the most of priority boarding for families with kids by being ready to go as soon as the boarding gate opens so you’ve got time to settle in with your family for the flight.
It is also important to explain the travel process to your children beforehand so they know what to expect. Let them know what to anticipate about the take-off and landing experience as well, and consider providing them with some gum, a sweet or a bottle of water to help ease ear pressure during this time.
Our littlest travellers get some really special treats onboard. Infants receive a sleepy-time Mr. Potato Head soft plush with an interactive eye mask to encourage positive sleep habits and endless peek-a-boo play, as well as a soft plush book. The toddlers can play with specially designed Mr Potato Head and the Hasbro educational gaming kits, fun-filled activity books, crayons, and be served fresh and wholesome meals in Mr. Potato Head and Monopoly-designed lunchboxes. Families with infants may request a bassinet prior to the flight date, subject to availability.
Waiting for a transit flight with children can be tiring, and Qatar Airways’ Hamad International Airport has designed their passenger terminals and lounges to accommodate for this. Each passenger terminal features activity nodes, which consist of televisions, Mac stations, Internet, interactive art pieces and family rooms to entertain and offer privacy and relaxation. The Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge even offers a foosball table, multiple Playstation consoles and an F1 racing simulator, which are perfect to keep older children and adults occupied before getting on board their next flight.
Read more about what you can expect for your little ones here when you fly with Qatar Airways: http://www.qatarairways.com/au/en/young-travellers.page.
Tip 2) Unaccompanied minors
If you’re planning for your child to travel alone; Qatar Airways provides an unaccompanied minor service. Your child will be received at the airport they depart from, taken care of during transit and of course while onboard their flights. Upon arrival at their destination, they will be handed over to the person designated by parents/guardians to receive the child.
Tip 3) Go prepared – pack for the flight
Don’t wait until you reach your destination to enjoy yourself – relax on the plane and arrive refreshed. Things that will help you rest, like neck pillows, eye masks, earplugs, and help you freshen up before arrival – like eye-drops and a toothbrush and paste are a good idea. Either plan or pre pack for the trip yourself, or take the hassle out of it and choose an airline that provides the in-flight extras for you. For example, Qatar Airways offers a Giorgio Armani amenity kit for Business Class passengers which includes an Armani Si fragrance for ladies, and the Aqua Di Gio fragrance for men, body lotion and other essentials to keep you comfortable such as socks, earplugs and for the ladies a lip balm and a hairbrush. Economy Class passengers also receive an amenity kit with earplugs, a toothbrush and an eye mask to make their journey more comfortable.
Tip 4) Food and beverages
Eat well on the flight and limit alcohol intake to avoid feeling dehydrated. Drink plenty of water. If you have dietary requirements, notify your carrier at least 24 hours before your flight to avoid disappointment. Qatar Airways provides First and Business Class passengers with an on-demand a la carte service, allowing passengers the flexibility to decide their own meal times that are in keeping with their personal body clock or schedule.
Qatar Airways’ inflight menus features flavours inspired by the regions it serves, and fresh local produce are often sourced for onboard catering. On the Sydney route for instance, the fresh fish is sourced from the Sydney Fish market. A wide variety of Australian cheeses are available onboard, and the cellars are well-stocked with classic Australian brands such as Elderton, Fox Creek, Hollick and Kangarilla Road.
The inflight catering team has spent months adapting and testing their specialty dishes for their customers, taking into account not only flavours and spices, but how the taste buds are altered at 30,000 feet.
Tip 5) Plan for time on board, and in transit
One of the best ways to enjoy a long-haul flight is to plan your inflight entertainment on-board in advance. Qatar Airways offers over 3,000 entertainment options, including latest movies, TV shows, documentaries or games. A good way to figure out what to do on your flight is to visit http://www.qatarairways.com/global/en/IFE/IFE_Homepage.page prior to your flight and check out what’s content may be of your interest. Our on-board entertainment planning tool will allow you to pre-plan what movies you could watch on each leg of your journey.
If you’re waiting to transit, Hamad International Airport is a haven of round-the-clock duty free shopping, first-rate lounges and amenities which include gyms, a swimming pool, spa, resting areas and much more. For First and Business Class customers, Hamad International Airport is home to some of the world’s largest airport lounges. Its award-winning lounges offer a luxurious experience that can rival any five-star boutique hotel – with a variety of spaces designed to suit the guest’s every need, to multiple dining options – perfect for the busy traveller.
With so many things to think about when setting sail on a holiday, it’s worth spending the time to research what airlines support you in a hassle free journey, such as Qatar Airways. At the end of the day, if you choose an airline that thinks about it all, the less elements you have to think of yourself and the sooner you’ll feel like your holiday has started.