With the summer holidays approaching and families starting to think about flying home or to a new destination, it’s worth remembering some basic steps to make flying more pleasant for you, your children and your fellow flyers. To make the holiday planning and journey even more enjoyable, British Airways is running a special sale until 10 April 2016.

To make the holiday planning and journey even more enjoyable, British Airways is offering discounted fares across all cabins from Bahrain to London, Europe and North America with travel valid until 30 November 2016.

Paolo De Renzis, Head of Middle East, Africa and Central Asia Sales for British Airways, who has been flying with his three children since they were very young, says being in a confined space with a noisy youngster can be awkward for parents and disturbing to fellow flyers. Often you can avoid this with just a bit of planning and taking a few simple steps to ensure your child is as relaxed, occupied and comfortable as possible.

“Most children are naturally quite excited about flying. The trick is to harness that interest, without them getting over-excited, while ensuring they don’t become fretful in an unfamiliar environment,” says Paolo and suggests the following ways to ease your journey:

  • A happy flight starts online before you leave for the airport. Sites like britishairways.com have comprehensive details of paperwork required for traveling with minors, so you can plan ahead. You can also order children’s meals online, better still get them to help you. You can also reserve equipment such as bassinets for infants. There’s plenty of information about family travel at http://www.britishairways.com/en-ae/information/family-travel
  • Take advantage of all the concessions offered to families, such as being allowed to take strollers to the door of the aircraft when boarding. Families also get priority when boarding and you can wait until other passengers have disembarked before doing so with your family.
  • Understand air-pressure: the pressurisation in passenger aircraft is likely to be your child’s main source of discomfort. During ascent and descent, giving the child food or drink will trigger their swallowing reflex, which will help their ears equalise.
  • Most parents have a good idea of which foods make their kids overactive and tetchy, but in general, avoid sweet treats of ones that have artificial colourants when travelling. Chewy snacks like dried fruit will help with pressurising their ears while limiting the spikes in blood-sugar that can result in tantrums. While it’s good to keep the child hydrated, don’t overdo it as this can result in nappy-changes and trips to the toilet
  • Pack favourite, familiar snacks for the kids, to supplement to meals served on board.
  • Keeping the child occupied is obviously crucial if he or she is awake. One tried-and-tested trick is to gift-wrap treasured toys and present them when the child gets bored. It may also be good time to buy some new toys and ration them out during the flight. This is probably one time to avoid toys like Lego blocks as they can fall in hard-to-reach places.
  • Mobile devices can be a benefit for parents and although many families ration children’s use of tablets, a long-haul flight might justify a little leeway. Headphones are useful tools for movies, music, apps and games, but crayons and paper are always favourites.
  • Generally, it’s better to not seat kids on the aisle, as they may bump passing trolleys, which have hard edges and hot water.
  • Don’t over-pack. You have to carry it all. You’ll need the basics – wipes, nappies, sanitisers and so on – but if you child is small you’ll need to carry him or her as well.

Finally, says Paolo, remember that the aircrew are your allies and it’s in their interests to ensure that you and your family have an enjoyable flight, so don’t be reluctant to ask for help.

Return fares start from as little as *BHD 256 from Bahrain to the UK and Europe and *BHD 318 to the USA and Canada across the World Traveller cabins. A full timetable of British Airways‘ flights to London and beyond is available online here where customers can find the lowest fares and book, pay and check-in online for their flights.