1. Do you need a transfer and change planes? If yes, how long do you have between flights? How big is the transfer airport?
Check the gates of your arrival and new departure – if you have enough time to catch your next plane. On the airport website find the map of the airport and try to calculate the time you need for transit. Some airport websites also have calculated time already; you just need to check it. According to the time needed, decide, if this is suitable and manageable for you (and especially your child) to handle.
2. Check the time of departure and time of transit.
Do you like to travel during the day and you entertain your child or do you like to travel at evenings, so your child will, hopefully, take a nap during the flight? Happy child is a happy mom and a happy mom is a happy child! Choose the way of travelling that suite you most.
The cheaper air tickets are usually connected with longer travel, more transit time (sometimes even an overnight stay). Therefore, the price is not always the decision factor. In addition, the amount of your patience and nerves is :-).
5. Are you travelling with two different airlines?
There is a big possibility, that you will have to collect your baggage at the transit. That means, you and your children have to go to exit, with for your luggage to be unboard. Take the luggage (and lids), go one floor up, go to check in, do all the process again, go to passport and security control and hopefully get back to the right gate, ready for your next flight. Still excited? 🙂 Advice – check if you are booking a flight with two different airlines included in the ticket. Call the airlines, call the airport, and ask the agent…try to find this information before. Even of you choose that kind of connection, it will save you a lot of energy if you know this in front and you plan a little bit longer transfer time.
3. You are slower with children! Is there a possibility to rent a complimentary stroller at the airport?
When choosing a transit airport, there are also a few things I am always checking.
- Does the airport have the possibility to rent a stroller, buggy or a pushchair for the babies?
- Is there a playground within the terminal?
- Is there a family priority line (to be honest, so far I have not seen an airport with family priority line when checking in!!!! Here is still a LOT of room for improvement at the airports).
- Is there a family priority boarding (most airlines and airports offer that).
- Is there a baby room or family toilet? What is its clean less and how big is the room?
- Is there approach to the gates with NO stairs? Strollers and stairs is the problem, also dragging your sleeping children, weighting 20kg and more and your hand luggage could be exhausting. The best way is to get board on through so called »fingers«.
- Is there a complimentary drink station at the airport? (Airports in Germany usually have one that is a great thing – a cup of tea or cup of coffee on the go for you… and then you can easily find refreshments for children.
- Electricity plug-ins – where they are, are they easily accessible, ets… (You need it for breast pumps, phone, or camera….)
4. Check the airline with which you are traveling with.
Find the information, how do they treat families and children. The services for young travellers differ a lot, so choose also the airline that is convenient and family friendly.