It’s the high life for some lucky Australian kids

I received the results of an interesting travel study this week – apparently 30% more children are travelling in premium cabins this year. Who are these kids, where are their parents and can they adopt me! #Please! More Australian kids than ever before are flying in the “pointy end” of the plane, according to latest findings from Cathay Pacific with a whopping increase, of 29.2% year on year to September 2016.

In fact, from all the countries in the world, Australian youngsters under the age of 12 feature in the top three to fly in First Class, top five for Business Class and top three for Premium Economy. Worldwide over 100,000 trips are taken each year by kids in Cathay Pacific’s premium cabins.

The most popular destinations for these young premium travellers this year are Hong Kong, London, Paris, Beijing and Tokyo.

Here’s where I confess that our boys (7 and 5) have enjoyed a few International flights at the front of the plane and at the time of booking I remembering thinking how very lucky they were. I’m pretty sure that I was in my early 30s before I got to try out this little luxury.

The highlight for our boys was the “transformer beds”… “seat goes up…seat goes down”…and for me having them sleep a full night without the usual armchair wiggles and wrestles with pillows and blankets. The fact that they could sleep well for the entire night was the main reason for us paying more for their seats.  We wanted the boys well rested on touchdown and ready to roll with the rest of our holiday.  

So what other things are different for little ones in premium cabins?

Travelling in Premium Economy, Business and First Class, children enjoy all the luxuries adults do (except alcohol of course). As one example, Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy, they have more space and comfort, with large soft pillows and blankets provided, wider sides with more recline and more leg room.

Many kids in Business Class will find the seat size more than enough to sleep and play. They can sit up when they want to use the table and recline at different levels to suit play and relaxation. Best of all, at bedtime the seat converts to that fully flat bed with cosey duvets, pillows and blankets available so they really can sleep like a baby…and this is exactly what my boys did…

There is also plenty of storage to keep toys, books and other things to keep the kids happy and entertained throughout their flight.

Kids will be kids

While some children enjoy fine dining on board (this is my kids…if lobster is on the menu they’ll order it!), others might prefer something suited to younger appetites which is why Cathay Pacific offers children the option of pre-booking popular dishes like mac and cheese, mini chicken burgers with coleslaw or penne bolognaise followed by jelly, fruit, ice cream or apple wedges.

Throughout the flight young, healthy appetites can be satisfied with snacks at any time including warm bowls of noodles, cookies, apples and even Hagen Daz ice cream.

“Kids will be kids,” said Richard Jones, Sales and Marketing Manager, Cathay Pacific Australia. “Not every child is going to eat a dish that features truffles, even if it has been created by one of the world’s leading chefs so it’s important we offer them a great choice of delicious and healthy food that they like and this kids’ menu is available in every part of the plane.”

Similarly it’s an egalitarian approach when it comes to entertainment. The children in the front of the plane enjoy the same wonderful programming whether they are in First, Business Premium Economy or Economy with the dedicated “Kids Channel” featuring the latest Hollywood animation and family-friendly movies like “Finding Dory” and Harry Potter, as well as major cartoon franchises including “Hello Kitty” and “Spongebob Squarepants.”

In addition to the fun kids’ backpack which includes Disney activity books and colouring pencils, those children in premium cabins also receive smart amenity kits which include a toothbrush, cosy socks and adjustable sleep masks.

Rewarding little flyers

The luxuries of flying with Cathay Pacific extend beyond the plane. Kids under the age of 11 can also enjoy time in Cathay Pacific’s luxurious First and Business Class lounges around the world as long as they are supervised by an adult. If a child is flying as an “unaccompanied minor”, the airline’s staff will help keep an eye on them at all times in the lounge.

Cathay Pacific values its loyal little jetsetters and children aged 12 and over are eligible to join the loyalty programme, Marco Polo Club.


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Have you travelled in premium seats with your children? How did you find it? Share your comments here. We’d love to hear from you!