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Ask your questions about airport facilities or security to Heathrow airport - £150 voucher to be won ANSWERS BACK

(198 Posts)
JustineBMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Mar-17 14:25:02

Answers are now back, you can find these here smile.

Being in an airport can be a challenging experience, especially if you’re with small children who just can’t wait to get to their destination. Ahead of the Easter break, when more families than ever are expected to fly abroad, Heathrow would like you to ask your most pressing questions for making a journey smoother for you and your family. Whether you have questions about airport facilities or activities, or you’d like to better understand security measures, Heathrow’s experts - Amanda and Nicola - would like to help answer your questions.

Here’s what Heathrow have to say: “We know travelling with children can come with its own challenges for busy parents, so we are dedicated to doing all we can to helping you plan and prepare for your journey. We have services like complimentary kids’ eat free meals and dedicated play areas to ensure both parents and children feel as excited as possible when they come through Heathrow.”

So, ask Amanda and Nicola your questions about airport facilities or security by posting them below by the 3rd April. We’ll then choose 20 questions for them to answer and post a link to their responses as soon as possible. All who post a question below will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £150 voucher (whether their question is chosen or not).

Here’s some more information on Amanda and Nicola:

Amanda West – Customer Operations Manager
“As part of her job , Amanda develops family-friendly services at Heathrow – including baby changing facilities, and dedicated play areas to keep your children busy ahead of boarding.”

Nicola Tibbles – Security Assurance Manager
“Nicola helps to manage the flow of passengers to ensure family journeys are as smooth as possible.”

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw!


Standard Insight T&Cs apply

goldangel Mon 27-Mar-17 16:05:29

Hello, In my experience young children can get quite fidgety in long queues. Do you have family lanes when going through security as well as possibly check in desks at Heathrow? If so up to what age can the children be to use those lanes? Thanks

MissCherryCakeyBun Mon 27-Mar-17 16:12:19

Would it be possible to have a colouring sheet or sticker sheet that explained in a fun way why you have to wait and take off shoes and put things through scanners so that children can understand what's happening?
Also please please consider what you can see when your at child / wheelchair height in airports it's incredibly boring and quite confusing. Get in a wheel chair and get yourself around they whole system and see how it is and what you can see. Also worth doing it with a buggy with one of those crying baby dolls they use for teenagers ? Would open up a lot of eyes to how hard it can be especially for those in wheelchairs with children.

wizzywig Mon 27-Mar-17 16:25:51

Free wifi please! (Unless of course you have it already). I didnt know kids ate free in heathrow. Is that all the restaurants?

NauticalDisaster Mon 27-Mar-17 16:58:26

When a lone parent is flying internationally with children how does security decide whether to check for correct paperwork, e.g. Letter from other parent approving travel.

I am hoping that all lone adults traveling with a child get questioned, this would put my mind at ease.

witchofzog Mon 27-Mar-17 18:20:09

I have never flown from Heathrow before so apologies if this is not relevant, but why at a lot of airports do you need to walk through duty free before reaching departures? I understand it is to maximise sales and impulse purchases but lots of glass perfume bottles, glass alcohol bottles and excited children with backpacks etc do not mix 😊 An option to avoid this or at least to walk through an area of duty free with non breakables would stop the mini heart attack caused by walking through this area with children who have limited spatial awareness and while trying to ensure you are careful too!

TinfoilHattie Mon 27-Mar-17 18:44:51

Last time I flew through Heathrow I had to remove my shoes and belt at security - does this rule apply to children too?

mellicauli Mon 27-Mar-17 18:48:56

Those new style body scanners..what kind of research has been done to show how safe they are on children?

BellaVida Mon 27-Mar-17 19:58:22

Going through security with 4 children is usually a very involved process of taking off shoes, removing tablets from bags and juggling multiple coats, teddies etc etc.

If my DH and I travel together, one goes first, then kids, then the other 'brings up the rear' so to speak.

Occasionally the scanner goes off for who-knows-what reason, which requires a hand scanner or pat down. At that point the kids and/or our belongings are separated from us and our valuables are also vulnerable.

Why do they not have a procedure to ensure this does not happen? A special lane with a safe 'holding area' with a staff member providing help would do the job.

CheeseEMouse Mon 27-Mar-17 20:11:22

Are there places to fill up toddler water bottles after security? Also are there any sort of soft play areas in the airport to run off energy before a long flight?


CheeseEMouse Mon 27-Mar-17 20:12:14

Ah. Noticed the point on play areas (!) But my question on water still stands!

RifRafia Mon 27-Mar-17 21:00:06

I think it would be a really could idea to have a small person sized projected cartoon character explaining the security requirements for little ones, as I imagine all of the uniforms and queues of stressed adults could be quite intimidating!

My question is, with the current laptop ban to some countries, can other devices still be used for games etc? There is only do long I can keep my six year old entertained with colouring and reading blush Sorry if it's obvious, just not read much on the guidance

pestov Mon 27-Mar-17 21:00:53

Why do you have to fold buggies but keep them with you on the bus from terminal 5 to the aircraft? With a small baby to juggle I found it very hard, and it felt really unsafe to have her on my lap

sharond101 Mon 27-Mar-17 21:34:14

It's such a long wait for children in airports and all they want to do is burn off steam. We have the option of flying from London Heathrow or London Luton. Is either more toddler friendly?

witwootoodleoo Mon 27-Mar-17 21:35:48

Hello. I wondered if you have considered having assistance dog relief areas in all terminals please? These are now standard in US airports (referred to service animal relief areas) and make it much easier for disabled passengers to fly with their assistance dogs e.g guide dogs and hearing dogs. At present your only option is to have your dog go to the toilet in the road outside the airport before checkin which is unsafe but also means your dog's last toilet opportunity is much earlier than it would be if there was an area after security. This is particularly problematic on long haul flights. Thank you smile

Pigeonpea Mon 27-Mar-17 21:49:42

Clear bags - are all bottles ok as long as they are 100ml or below and does it matter what's in them?

theresamustgo Mon 27-Mar-17 21:54:31

In Hamburg they have introduced free water dispensers airside. That is a great thing. Also have seen them in stuffy disembarking hall in Bergerac Could we have same here?

Maiyakat Mon 27-Mar-17 21:55:07

Is there any assistance for parents on their own with children when access to the plane is via steps? There was no assistance for me at another UK airport and it was difficult to manage all the hand luggage and a young child who was scared of the noise of the plane.

HamletsSister Mon 27-Mar-17 21:57:09

Is it possible to be more specific about queuing times? A countdown or something. Often kids don't mind if they know how long something is but indefinite lengths to waits are hard to explain.

Tartle Mon 27-Mar-17 21:57:11

I generally think departures is pretty smooth but why is arriving back at Heathrow so hellish?! Terrible queues at immigration and endless waits for bags in one of the most depressing baggage halls (t3!). I wish more thought was given to the first impression we make on arriving tourists.

mummytime Mon 27-Mar-17 21:59:52

It would be nice if you could be as helpful as Manchester for families with Special Needs. I'd quite happily warn you if we could get special consideration when travelling through the airport with my DD who has Aspergers. She is normally fine but can massively over react to a change to what she expects, such as not being able to find the rest of he family group after we'd been to the toilet.

ThreeFish Mon 27-Mar-17 22:13:41

When the random beep goes off on the body scanner, just because the child is the same height as me, does not mean he is not incredibly nervous that he has done something wrong. When he cried, a little empthay from the security people would have made the remainder of our journey more pleasant. Never mind the nerves in the days preceding our return. I understand the necessity, and that the security people are busy and pressurised, but not every child is NT or confident enough to take it all in their stride.

CopperPan Mon 27-Mar-17 22:29:22

My DS has autism and it would be really helpful to have additional support for his needs. There is some information about special assistance on the website but it feels geared towards physical disabilities. The crowds and noise are distressing for him, as well as the possibility of unexpected changes.

Anj123 Mon 27-Mar-17 22:35:09

When we were potty training our daughter, we had to wait in a very long queue to get through security, so long that my daughter needed to wee. Luckily we had a potty on us and she used it in the queue, and luckily I was with my husband who had to empty the potty in the toilet while we kept our place in the queue. It made me wonder how single parents travelling with young children would have managed? I guess some people might use travel potties but still not ideal. It was a long time ago now so maybe airport facilities have improved since then. Now my daughter is older we don't have that problem thankfully!

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Mon 27-Mar-17 22:35:56

Crochet hooks, wooden knitting needles, Knitpro knitting needles (see first pic), sewing needles and stitch rippers (see second pickets) - are any of these allowed in cabin luggage? I have heard conflicting stories and information.

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