Guess what I did once? I checked all of my baby’s diapers and changes of clothes in our luggage. On a 4 hour flight. Thankfully, a kind gentleman on our Air Canada plane saved the day by buying diapers during the stopover and sending them to me on the plane! Little did I know that Air Canada keeps necessities like this in airports for bad parents like me. (I still recommend taking your own though!) With so many families exploring the world, Air Canada is doing even more to enhance the experience of traveling with kids.
Family Check-in Counters and Air Canada Kids Menu: Bistro Junior
When you fly Air Canada with kids, there are now family travel check-in counters in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver. In addition, a new children’s menu (you pre-order for international flights and buy on board during North American flights). On our recent jaunt to Atlanta, my boys were super excited about the menu items.
Family Boarding on Air Canada
My husband always jokes with me that he is a 50K preferred flier and I have not reached that level yet. What zone are you in? He asks, knowing that I always board after he does. Well, not anymore!! Families with kids under 6 now receive early boarding after zone 2. When you are juggling diaper bags, little backpacks and strollers, being recognized makes a huge difference. As you know, I have advocated for traveling with babies and kids for over ten years, and when there is an airline that values this type of travel it makes all the difference.
Skyriders Loyalty Program
When I was a little girl on a surprise trip to Disney World I thought that life couldn’t possibly get any better. And then our pilot invited me into the cockpit to ‘drive the plane’. I was hooked on travel for life! Though this opportunity is no longer possible for kids, Air Canada has created the Skyriders kids loyalty program. Any child traveling on an international flight with Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge can now get their hands on fun new travel goodies like a tote bag with games, an activity book, a crayon kit, and more, on board. They can also pick up a special luggage tag at the Family Check-in counter at select airports, and can look forward to other gifts onboard domestic flights and select Air Canada Express flights.
Everyone always asks me about a guarantee that kids and parents will sit together. On a recent visit to Systems Operations Control (that was so cool it felt like CTU in Keifer Sutherland’s 24!!) I got the low-down. Children and parents are always seated together as long as you tell Air Canada that you are traveling with children. So… when you book online don’t be lazy about selecting their ages! Additionally, it’s always better to book directly with the airline. Sometimes, if you book through a 3rd party, the age information isn’t well-translated. In this case, you should also call Air Canada to verify the reservation and make sure they know the age of the kids.
Systems Operation Control touches and monitors every point of your trip – ensuring pilots, flight attendants, planes, passengers and baggage all get moved safely to where they are supposed to be. When your kids are on a school trip or the hockey team is flying for a game, there is even an extra level of attention paid, as the airline recognizes that there are usually far more young people than chaperones. It felt so comforting to see so many departments looking at weather, world events and flight paths!
It warmed my heart – pardon the pun – that their motto is to provide glowing-hearted hospitality to all customers. ‘The world needs more Canada right now.’ The world also needs more travel – to show us all that we are much more alike than different. Happy flying, friends.
In case you missed it, here’s my take on enjoying every second of the Maple Leaf Lounge with kids.
Disclosure: This post was not sponsored by Air Canada. I was hosted at SOC for a tour, and all observations are my own.