CRAWLEY, England – British Airways has revealed that more families than ever are choosing to fly from Gatwick airport as they jet off on holiday this year.
The airline has already seen a ten per cent increase in family bookings compared to last year and the trend is set to continue through the summer.
In July and August, British Airways will serve around 7,000 child meals on its long haul and European flights from Gatwick, and cabin crew will give out over 26,000 special Paddington Bear Skyflyer packs to keep its young customers entertained.
Florida is the number one destination for British Airways from Gatwick during the school holidays, offering 14 flights a week to the Sunshine State, with daily flights to Tampa and Orlando.
Parents travelling with children can benefit from family check-in and the chance to choose seats together free of charge 24 hours before departure.
On long haul flights children also have their own television channels as well as a choice of family movies on the in flight entertainment system.
Gatwick is the only UK airport to join a new Family Friendly scheme, launched by the Family and Parenting Institute, which aims to make the UK more family friendly.
Over the past 18 months, the airport has rolled out a number of family friendly initiatives to help take the stress out of travel for families, particularly those with young children in tow.
In Spring 2010, Gatwick became the only UK airport to create separate security lanes – “Assistance lanes” – to give families travelling with young children in buggies extra help through security after checking-in.
Earlier this year, it also created dedicated “kids zones” in the departure lounges of both terminals for children aged between 0-5 years to enable parents and guardians to relax while their children are kept entertained.
Stewart Wingate, Chief Executive of Gatwick Airport, said: “Millions of families choose to travel through Gatwick airport every year. We realise that travelling with children can be stressful, so we’re going out of our way to make their journey through the airport more enjoyable. That’s why we’re proud to be supporting the Family Friendly scheme.”
The second most popular long haul holiday hot spot for British Airways customers is Barbados and there are still some family holidays in Barbados available there and many other destinations from Gatwick, including many with free night offers and kids stay free.
British Airways has also introduced the family favourite destination of Malaga to its Gatwick schedule, moving the service from Heathrow and almost doubling frequency to 27 flights a week.