Flying the Family Unfriendly Airports

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Flying the Family Unfriendly Airports

Crying kids, stressed parents and unhappy families may not be exactly typical of families flying from our nation’s airports, but  the scene is all too familiar.

And it’s not the families’ faults.

Skyscanner, the flight comparison site, asked 1000 family travelers what they thought about their airports, and, unsurprisingly, about two-thirds said airports are not family-friendly places, lacking facilities for families and doing nothing that caters to their needs.

Then Travel Daily News, a travel and tourism portal, noted that the stress caused by inadequate facilities affected the overall quality of the family vacation... even before the flying families got off the ground.

Chief complaints:

• Fifty-one percent of those responding said long lines “were the worst thing about the airport experience.”

• Lack of entertainment was the second most frequent complaint (29 percent), followed by long walks to the departure gate and lack of adequate food.

Mary Porter, Skyscanner PR manager, and mother of two, said that kids who have already endured long lines, delays, no entertainment “are prone to meltdowns by the time they board the aircraft, creating a negative family-travel experience before the trip begins.

A significant majority of family travelers (60%) asked for soft playing areas at airports and a place where children could watch TV or suitable movies.

The needs are pretty easy to fulfill and we wonder why airports haven’t caught on.

How difficult can it be to provide, say, a storyteller or a kids cafe and bar with complimentary beverages?

A secure play area with toys and books for kids under five would be a great help, according to many respondents, as would bottle-warming facilities.

The wonder is that it took a poll to highlight airport shortcomings.

All any airport manager would have to do is walk through his or her airport to get the picture of frustrated family travelers looking for help.