My First Flight

Flying is fun!
Flying in a plane is lots of fun. A plane ride is the start of a big adventure. A plane can take you to cool places like Science World, a beach, or even Disney Land! You can fly to visit your grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. There is a lot to see on a plane. Look out the window and down below you can see clouds and the tops of mountains. Cars and people look really small from the plane.

What to do on a plane
When you fly on a plane you can read a book, or play a game, or eat some snacks. On some flights we serveĀ passengers with juice and snacks on the plane. You can sleep on the plane too and when you wake up, you are ready to start your big adventure.

Bounce and bump
Sometimes the plane bounces in the air. It may feel a bit scary, but it’s OK. It’s like being in a boat that floats up and down in the water. When the plane starts to land your ears can feel funny but if you chew gum, or yawn, or suck on a candy, it goes away. When the plane lands you can feel a little bump then you know the plane ride is over.

Airports are fun!
Have you ever been to the airport? You have to go to the airport to fly on a plane. It’s a very busy place. There are big airports and little airports. Big airports have stores and restaurants just like the mall. There are lots of cars outside picking people up and dropping them off. A lot of people have bags and backpacks full of stuff for their trip. Sometimes you see pilots who fly the planes, or flight attendants wearing uniforms. Some people are hugging and saying hello. Some people are waving and saying goodbye. Some people are standing in lineups. A lot of people take pictures at the airport.

Parents
Taking your kids on their first flight may seem a little daunting. Don’t worry, there’s a lot you can do to reduce both you and your child’s anxiety about a first flight. Here are some simple tips to help you through this first flight experience.

Before Your Trip

Talk About It
Begin talking to your kids about your travel plans and the upcoming flight well ahead of time. Focus on the aspects that are new to your child. Listen and watch closely for any signs of concern. If your child seems hesitant don’t minimize it, ask about it. Attempt to address concerns as best you can long before your travel date. One of the ways to reduce your kid’s anxiety about a first airplane ride is to focus on the flight as just one small part of a much bigger, fun adventure.

Turbulence and Ear Squeeze
You should let your kids know about the possibility of air turbulence and ear squeeze. Tell them that this is a normal part of flying and nothing to be worried about. Ear squeeze can be minimized by giving your child a lollipop, or hard candy to suck on or gum to chew as the aircraft announces its descent to the airport. For smaller kids and toddlers, a sippy cup or a cup with a straw, will also help to ease ear squeeze. You can also encourage your child to yawn, as this is another method to help them equalize pressure.

Read Books
Visit the kids section at your local library, book store, or online. There are a number of excellent children’s books about first flights, airplanes, and airports. If you’re headed to a new destination, pick up some books about that place or about the places you will see and things you are going to do when you get there. Reading these books to your kids is a great way to reduce anxiety and encourage interest in flying.

Pretend Play
Children love to pretend so this is a great way to get them comfortable about what to expect on their first flight. Try lining up some chairs to make airplane seats, and act out how you should sit down and buckle up on a plane. With your child still seated, rock the chair from side to side, or up and down, and tell them that this is just like air turbulence – a normal part of flying. Build a pretend security checkpoint using a doorway as the metal detector and a cardboard box and towel as the conveyor belt and X-ray. Practice putting your childā€™s teddy bear or blanket through the x-ray and getting it back on the other side. Let your kids know about the possibility of a personal security “pat down”. Conduct the procedure on them, and then have them conduct a pat down on you to introduce them to the concept.

Travel Day

Before You Leave
Allow lots of extra time for you and your kids to get ready to leave for the airport. Nothing creates stress faster than running late for a flight. Ideally, you and your kids will arrive at the airport just ahead of the time specified by the airline in a calm, relaxed state. It’s wise to pack everything the night before and have your kid’s travel day clothing selected and set out ahead of time. Allowing your kids to choose one or two special playthings or snacks that they would like to take with them on the trip is a great way to give them a sense of control. However, make sure that whatever they choose meets with the security requirements at your local airport. You should also avoid games or toys that make noise, as these can create unwanted tension between you and other passengers. Remember that all children who travel must have their own ID, whether your are travelling abroad or in Canada. Make sure you don’t forget to bring the appropriate documents with you to the airport.

We’re Ready To Help
Our customer service agents and flight crew are always happy to assist you with your child’s first flight. When you make your booking, or arrive at the airport check-in counter at one of our bases, please let us know and we will go out of our way to make sure that both you and your son or daughter have a wonderful first-time flying experience with Pacific Coastal Airlines.