Moms want more from airlines
NEW YORK - With spring in full bloom many families are starting to plan for their big summer vacation. For air carriers, this means more child passengers during the summer months. However, a new survey from Fly.com has revealed that 72% of moms believe airlines do not always adequately cater to families traveling with children.
Recent policy changes by some airlines have not been perceived by moms as family friendly. According to the survey, 51% believe it is unacceptable for airlines to ban parents with elite status or tickets from bringing young children into first-class airport lounges; 30% did not like airline decisions to prevent children from sitting in certain seat rows, and an overwhelming 69% were unhappy about the elimination of pre-boarding for families traveling with little ones.
The survey also showed a clear consensus that flying with children is stressful - 68% of moms rate their level of stress as moderate to extreme. The leading cause of anxiety is fear that their child will disturb other passengers. In fact, moms were more concerned about their child disturbing others than they were about their child's physical and mental comfort during the flight.
So, with Mother's Day just around the corner, what is the best gift that airlines and airports can give their mommy passengers? According to survey respondents it is more child-friendly amenities. The top four requests were to have child play areas at airports, dedicated family security lanes, complimentary in-flight activity packs and appropriate in-flight entertainment programming.
"The airline industry has a lot to gain if it can better understand the needs of moms flying with young children," said Warren Chang, vice president and general manager, Fly.com. "With more tickets purchased per itinerary, it's a great opportunity for airlines to develop a loyal and lucrative passenger base. Just as business travelers appreciate targeted services to improve their flight experience, so does the traveling parent."
Other Survey Findings:
The majority of moms (65%) believe there is a negative stigma attached to flying with children
Many moms with young children have already flown more than 10 times with their child: 24% of moms with children age 5 and under, and 35% with children in elementary school
64% of moms will likely be flying with their child/children in 2013
The Fly.com survey questioned 884 mothers within the United States; each of whom had flown more than once with their child. All respondents were Travelzoo Inc. and Fly.com users.