Negotiating a busy airport can be frustrating enough on your own, but factor in a pack of over-excited offspring and making it from front door to seat on plane may seem just an impossible dream. Don’t panic… keep calm and carry on reading our top 10 ways to ensure the kids are always happy at Birmingham Airport.
1) Meet and greet parking: Kids love travelling on the airport transfer bus from our APH-owned car park at Birmingham Airport, but using one of our meet and greet services will pay big dividends when it comes to staving off tiredness later on. Simply drive straight to the airport and let one of our chauffeurs park your car while you head to the check-in desks.
Kids will love… Sidestepping airport transfer buses will put you ahead of the hordes and cut the child-unfriendly time spent queuing at the check-in desk. Use this advantage to secure the best seats in restaurants, lounges and play areas. It’ll only cost a few more pounds, too.
Book your meet and greet here
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2) Airport hotel: Start the holiday early by swerving the pre-dawn dash to the airport with a stop-over at our favourite hotel for families, the Holiday Inn Express Birmingham NEC. With family rooms, on-site restaurant, free breakfast and free Wi-Fi for the kids to devour, it’s the perfect solution for a fun and relaxing start to the kids’ trip.
Kids will love… Swapping the early morning slog to the terminal for a comfortable bed just minutes away from the airport will boost the your kids’ mood and help promote a stress-free progression from hotel to plane. They’ll also love the 32” flat-screen TV and Great Room Restaurant where they can grab a pizza 24 hours a day, or enjoy a range of snacks and dishes. We’ve plenty of other hotels on offer, too. Simply take a look below.
Browse and book Birmingham Airport hotels here
3) Pack a pound for pushchairs: Travelling with young kids? Dragging tired toddlers through a teeming terminal as you return from your hols won’t make for a great finale. Luckily for you – and the small price of a £1 returnable deposit – Birmingham Airport offers pushchairs from where you get off the plane to help your journey through to the baggage hall where you can collect your own buggy.
Kids will love… Avoiding the miserable slog from the plane to the baggage hall will work wonders for your kids’ mood – not to mention your sanity. It’s a simple fix that’ll bring big returns.
Get your keyring-mounted £1 token and always be prepared
4) Express Lane Security: A must-use facility for in-the-know parents as they attempt to herd their brood through the terminal with a minimum of tantrum-related stress. New passport procedures look set to make passing through security even more time-consuming this summer, so don’t ignore Birmingham Airport’s Express Lane Security option to fast-track the queues. It’s simple and costs just £3 per person.
Kids will love… Standing still and behaving aren’t usually traits associated with normal healthy kids, so bypassing queues will help prevent you having to dispense a ‘hypothetical clip round the ear’ by minimising the amount of mischief-making time spent in tedious queues. Book online and show your barcode to gain entry on your arrival at security.
Book your Express Lane tickets, here
5) Pick the right restaurant: Don’t make the mistake of choosing a restaurant that appeals to you, a moment’s pleasure on the palate’s likely to leave a bitter taste as howling kids savage you for the lack of burgers and chips on the menu. Head straight for Burger King – available both before and after security – and you’ll also be in control of timings and not left nervously waiting for your food to arrive as departure time looms dangerously close.
Kids will love it… It might not be what the doctor ordered but trip-happy kids will love the selection of burgers or snacks of chicken nuggets, chilli bites or onion rings. 5.00am-08.00pm daily.
Download the Burger King app for exclusive deals…
Apple Store app here – Google Play app here
6) Free Wi-Fi: Flight delayed? Don’t panic – it’s time to mobilize your mobile devices. With free Wi-Fi available throughout the airport, they’ll be able to munch as much data as it takes to blissfully while away any delay.
Kids will love it… It could be their last chance to connect to social media for several hours, so the free data connection will prove a priceless distraction as they feast on Facebook – and leave you well alone. Just log on from anywhere within the airport terminal.
Data details: Free and unlimited.
7) Mobile device charging: Finding yourself stranded in the departure lounge with a child’s mobile device out of power is not a happy place to be. Save the day and dodge disaster by heading straight to the airside Dixons Travel store in the departure lounge. Once there, you’ll be able to lock the device in a charge box and give it a rapid blast of juice to resuscitate their connection to vital social networks.
Kids will love it… The kids will appreciate not having to report you to Childline for neglect and you’ll be able to reap the reward in the terminal and on the plane as they spend the entire journey in a mobile device-induced coma.
How much: Charging a device costs £1.50 for 30 minutes, or £2.00 for 50minutes. Charging takes place in a secure locker.
8) Aircraft Viewing Area: There’s nothing like a bit of plane spotting to keep the kids occupied, so heading to the free viewing area at Birmingham Airport is a great way to while away the time before you fly. Located in Car Park 5, the viewing area provides picnic benches and a great view of the runway.
Kids will love it… Whether it’s a jet blasting down the runway as it takes to the skies, or watching another glide gracefully back to terra firma, the comings and goings of a busy airport make compelling viewing for all.
9) Sky Zone: If you’re travelling with kids, ensure you pay a visit to Birmingham Airport’s Sky Zone. It’s packed with interactive games and displays, free drawing programmes, inflatable domes, mirror tents and loads more. Sky Zone’s open all year round but during the summer holidays, games are led by the Sky Side Crew and Zoom, Birmingham Airport’s very own mascot.
Kids will love it… A great distraction from the boredom of waiting for flights to be called and a welcome retreat from the crowds, kids will be totally at home in the Sky Zone.
Where: Airside, near Costa Coffee and WH Smiths.
10) Airport lounge: It’s not just adults who feel the stress of negotiating a busy terminal; oppressive noise and crowds are just as likely to hit the kids. Ease anxiety levels for you and the children by booking space in the relaxing haven of calm provided by one of Birmingham Airport’s terminal lounges. Book ahead for the No.1 Lounge and kids 2-11 get in for free and adults get a discount. Click the booking link below for full price list and benefits.
Kids will love it… With food, drink and somewhere to use their mobile devices in peace, an airport lounge makes the perfect environment for kids. Don’t forget to use the free charging points to top up phones and tablets, too.
Book your lounge here