First time flying with children? Be not afraid

January 31, 2020

We get it. Flying can be stressful when you’re running to the boarding gate, hand luggage flying wildly behind you. With kids at your ankles, it can be even more challenging. 

Don’t let the fear of flying for the first time with children keep you from a holiday in Zanzibar or from a weekend trip to Durban to visit granny. Here are several ways to keep the kids busy and calm on the flight, and some things you can do before your departure to ease the pain. 

What’s in the bag? 


Planning is king before a flight with your children. Stock your carry-on luggage with entertaining games and activities that will keep little minds and hands busy. 

Pack books, crayons, a colouring-in book and activity books. Does your child have a favourite reader with pop-ups and felt animals inside? Pack it! 

If your children are of school-going age, take some homework along and help them complete a few tasks mid-air. As a reward for completing their assignments, have a few of their favourite movies, musical soundtracks or audiobooks ready on your phone, laptop or tablet. Make a mental note to pack their headphones, too.

Image: Unsplash

Food, glorious food 

We sell food on our flights, including treats for your child to nibble on. In your bag, however, pack your child’s favourite snacks. More than one child in tow? Slip snacks into individual snack bags with name tags.

Pack empty water bottles for you and your little one. When you’re through security at the airport, fill them with water. Drinking water from a bottle in the plane reduces the risk of spilling.

Image: Unsplash

Do not forget the comfort items!

We repeat, make sure you pack your child’s comfort items. Stash blankie, teddy, baby’s bottle, pacifier, or any other favourite item in your bag and have it ready.

Our flights are generally short, but if you’re flying during the usual nap-time slot, it’s worthwhile bringing along a travel pillow for your child so they can sleep when they want and won’t wake with a start every time their head drops sleepily. 

Carry a jersey or jacket in your hand luggage to keep your child warm when the cabin temperature drops during the flight. Clothing that can easily be taken off or put on is important here. If your child is still being potty trained, keep some nappies in your bag and have your child wear one during the flight.

Where are you seated?

Try to book your flights as early as possible, in a part of the plane where you know your child will have a little more space to move. Scan our flight layout when booking and make the best choice for you and your family. 

Are YOU ready for this flight? 

You can’t avoid every challenge of flying with children, but preparation includes being ready and relaxed. Rest before the flight, eat, stay hydrated and pack a treat for yourself, too. Happy flying!

Image: Unsplash
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