Thomson, the UK's largest airline, is introducing a range of facilities to cater for travelling families in a multi-million-pound refurbishment that will be rolled out over the next five years.
As part of its new child-friendly services, the airline has developed a range of unique seating concepts. These include a family booth that can seat up to six family members around a table – ideal for mutigenerational family groups, a growing travel demographic previously discussed in New Travel Tribes. Similarly, a seating pod designed for two people includes a drinks table, in-seat charging and mood lighting.
In-flight entertainment has also been updated and will offer new content designed specifically for families, such as a bedtime story channel. Meanwhile, an on-board kids' club will be manned by a specially trained crew member, who will entertain the children with arts, crafts and quizzes that relate to their travel destination.
Travel brands are creating new services and roles to make the travel experience as relaxed as possible for families and child-free passengers alike. United Arab Emirates airline Etihad has retrained around 500 of its cabin crew as 'flying nannies', who serve children their meals and offer activities such as origami and sock-puppet workshops. See Future Service: In-Transit Innovation for more.
Many hotels are also updating facilities to target families. The Martinhal in Portugal provides a dedicated children's breakfast area with arts and crafts, while the Castello di Casole in Tuscany offers pizza-making workshops. For more on family-friendly facilities, see Hip Family Hotels.