Larks At the Airport: Queues, Forgetting A Phone & Tantrums

Virgin Check-In, Heathrow T3

I realised our flight to Hong Kong wasn’t going to be smooth sailing when I checked my e-ticket and realised my travel agent had forgotten to reserve seats for our return journey.  With less than 10 hours till the flight, I furiously tried to check in online with zero luck. After endless combinations of e-ticket no/Virgin ref number/name, the answer was a constant ‘computer says no’.

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An Actual Study On The Top 10 Toys To Take On A Plane

Sir Robert - Lego

A friend of mine is in charge of cabin maintenance (yes she’s the one responsible for your broken seatback TV).  She recently sent me an article featuring ‘the top 10 toys take on a plane’.  Her first comment was would I promise never to take no. 2, playdoh, which is course causes a major headache for her department. 

The list intrigued me as it was developed following a British Airways study.  Professor Robert Winston (Mr Mega Mustache) ran the social experiment placing 30 youngsters on a flight with a selection of toys for two hours.  These kids aged 2-10 were observed by Robert and a team of educational psychologists.  Apparently these kids don’t need iPads or TVs.  Oh no.  What they need are the following:

  1. Loom Bands
  2. Playdoh
  3. Lego
  4. Top Trumps
  5. Uno
  6. Usborne Activity Cards
  7. Magnetic Travel Game
  8. Aquadoodle
  9. Finger Puppets
  10. Stickerbook

Now I can’t deny that all above aren’t great ideas, many of which I often cite in my own top 10.  I recently brought a pack of Loom Bands for my 5 year old to play with on a shorthaul flight and that went down a treat (perhaps not so much with the clean up crew scurrying around to pick up multi-coloured bands).  I love the idea of the suggestion of Lego but seems like it’s best saved if your beloved child is flying in business class, as per Professor Winston’s pic below (seriously, who has the room to lug around a box of lego in hand luggage?)

So whilst I say a huge thanks to Professor Winston for providing us with some great ideas (minus the playdoh for my friend), I would say that these are IN ADDITION TO an iPad/iPhone/Seatback TV.  I don’t know who these kids are that they found to do this experiment but mine certainly wouldn’t be contented to play with Uno, Aquadoodle and Finger Puppets for two hours.  Or maybe I should test this theory out on my upcoming 12 hour flight to Hong Kong (solo with Mesdames Jetlag & Mayhem)?  Perhaps not. 

What these psychologists are failing to realise is that parents are doing their utmost for a quiet life on a plane.  When you see a noisy child on a plane, trust me the parents aren’t sitting back grinning in delight that the entire cabin is being disturbed.

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Travel Game Review: Hats On (World Version)

Justine & Daisy (in her train driver hat)

My friend Justine and I share a love of all things ordnance survey, geography and travel. On a recent sunny day in London (yes I know, it happens), I took the girls to meet her in the lovely Coram’s Fields. She announced she had a gift for me and it turned out to be the best travel game ever.

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Tips On Traveling On The London Underground With Kids

Lollipop Bribery At Charing Cross Station

Did you know that the London Underground is the oldest underground passenger railway in the world? Unfortunately the Victorians weren’t prancing around with enormous Bugaboos and schlepping small children across London.  Which means that it wasn’t built with the family traveller in mind.  However, London is an expensive city so if you want to make the most of it, you will need to get on the Tube.

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Ladies & Gentlemen.. The World Airline Awards!

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 1.58.08 PM

The Oscars of the airline world have been announced with good old Cathay Pacific winning World’s Best Airline.  I am a regular flyer with Cathay and am just a teeny tiny bit surprised that there isn’t a better airline out there.  Don’t get me wrong, the service level is top notch and the planes are usually very clean.

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