how to cope with flight delays when traveling with children

How to Cope with Flight Delays when Traveling with Children

Being stranded in an airport is quite difficult for an adult, let alone a kid who’s not familiar with the notion of PATIENCE or standing still for a few minutes. You’ll have to stretch your imagination to a maximum and be as creative as you can in such a situation in order to keep your children busy and entertained for the duration of the delay.

However, if you’re lucky enough to be in an airport with a KIDS-ZONE AREA, than you may consider that your delay might be somewhat ENJOYABLE, at least for your children. There are several airports in America where you can find such areas. We decided to present some of them below.

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) has two play zones that cater for the curiosity and energy of the little ones. One of them is Aviation Play Station which is located in Terminal D and features interactive displays that introduce kids to the world of aviation. Children will be thrilled to get inside a jumbo jet and act as passengers or even crew members. The second area, Ready For Takeoff, has a jumbo jet as well as a control tower and a tug. Kids have the possibility of acting as pilots, passengers, drivers or air traffic controllers.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) has three playground areas. Two are called Children’s Play Areas. One of them is located in D12 and the other one, Aquafina Junior Flyer’s Club (B12, C14) features a foam-soft car, kid-friendly activities, as well as a seating area for you to rest. You’ll also find a McDonald’s Play Area in Terminal D near Gate D30 where your kids will have plenty of games to try.

Boston Logan International (BOS) has three children’s areas, i.e. Kidport. They are located in Terminal A, by Gate A18 and at Terminal C at the departure level. They feature educational exhibits such as airplane sculpture for climbing, a baggage-claim slide, an area for tiny tiny ones, as well as and the hand-painted walls of sky and clouds create a sense of flying.

You’ll find three Kids’ Spots in San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Two of them are located in Terminal 2 – Boarding Area near Gate 54A and 58B, respectively. The other one is in Terminal 3 – Boarding Area F, near Gate 87 A. These areas are also equipped with interactive exploration devices featuring weather related exhibits from The Exploratorium of San Francisco. Kids’ Spots are also provided with crawling equipment which will certainly keep your little ones busy.

Nevertheless, in case you happen to deal with a flight that has been delayed after boarding, here is what you may try:

  • Ask the staff on the plane if your children are allowed to walk or, better, play on the jet way. They’re more than likely to agree. Be sure that they prefer this to tantrums.
  • If age allows, play games that require the imagination and creativity of your kid. You can try “I spy” or “Animal Alphabet” or any other game that you usually play in the car. Carma Haley Shoemaker has compiled a nice selection of games that will keep your kids busy and which you may try.
  • Stick to inventing and re-creating games and try to avoid keeping your kids in their seats with candies or fizzy drinks or anything similar. You’ll end up having just a few minutes of serenity and a ton of time of pain and turmoil. Sugar will certainly ask for its lion’s share.
  • Do not let your children know that you’re disappointed, embittered or even exasperated. Negative feelings are contagious and your kids will grab them in an instant. Just stop getting bored, interact with your children and make time fly if the plane hasn’t taken off yet.