Summer is a time to pack up the kids and head out on adventures around the globe visiting families, friends, and new places. Traveling with children is challenging with potential distractions at baggage, security lines, and maneuvering through hundreds of other travelers. How can you assist in making guest's experiences less stressful? You have the opportunity to set the tone by providing the first and last memorable experiences of their trip! Here are some tips for helping families take off and land successfully this summer:
1. Know your airport family-friendly amenities like art shows, walking paths, and play areas and share this information with passengers.
2. Make sure displays, merchandising, and seating are “stroller friendly.”
3. Be aware that families traveling with small children may need extra assistance in making purchases – be patient.
4. Know your offerings. Be sure to point out age-appropriate items to make in-flight travel easier – pacifiers, chewing gum, to-go items, and cups with lids and straws to take on the plane.
5. Be aware. If families are looking rushed or stressed, ask how you can help. Sometimes helping them find a gate or a destination can be the difference between a successful trip and a disaster.
6. Know where the nearest restrooms are located. Helping someone find a changing table, family-friendly restroom, or nursing station can eliminate much stress.
7. Be sure to direct families to information kiosks where volunteers are waiting to share information about airport activities and events – comfort-dog stations, live music, art exhibits, or special events that may be happening that day.
8. Kids love trains! If your airport has a tram, be sure to remind harried parents that they can ride as much as they want for free – there’s cool stuff to see at airports!
While traveling with kids and all their gear can be stressful, it’s also an opportunity for the airport community to recognize parents' challenges, anticipate children’s needs, and put best-practices into play. Passenger experience and customer service do not have an age limit! Enjoy your summer while helping guests of all ages enjoy theirs.