Two major airlines ban children's sleeping devices on flights

Children on aeroplane

Flying with kids is already a trying task – but parents’ patience will be tested even further after two airlines ban devices that help get children to sleep on long-haul flights

Tears, tantrums and turbulence are a staple part of any parent's holiday – so why, you might ask, would somebody want to make our trips worse?

Sleep aids, such as inflatable cubes, bed boxes and leg hammocks, provide (much-needed) relief for parents on planes by making in-flight sleep easier for babies and children, and they've become something of a must-have item on long-haul flights in particular. Many parents have come to rely on them for giving their kids a better chance of sleep when flying – and themselves and their fellow passengers a better chance of a peaceful journey.

But according to two major airlines, these devices are “dangerous” and have been banned on those airlines to “ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers”.

Qantas and Jetstar, who share a ‘dangerous goods policy’, claim they “impede access to seats and aisles, damage aircraft seats and block access to emergency equipment".

Child using a JetKids Bed Box

Popular products, such as the JetKids BedBox and the Plane Pal (an inflatable cube), have already been banned – but the airlines have hinted that more gadgets could be added to the prohibited list.

The policy states that the list “is not exhaustive, and the decision to permit use of a particular device rests with the cabin crew onboard” – so even if the airline has approved an item, the crew on the day can still say no.

And these aren't the first airlines to ban some sleeping devices, either – the BedBox is already prohibited on Emirates, Air France and Thai.

Unsurprisingly, many parents are aghast at the announcement and have headed to Facebook to air their grievances.

Tamsin Sykes wrote: “It’s so ridiculous. We just flew with Qantas to Europe and there were no issues whatsoever. The staff even commented on how well my toddler slept during the flight as he was able to lay down properly. Not impressed with Qantas at all.”

And Jessica Jones wrote: “This is so disappointing. I thought airlines would want to do everything in their power to ensure that babies would sleep."

The announcement came only weeks after tablets were banned from cabin luggage on some flights into the US and UK for security reasons – parents were just getting used to the 'no tablets for toddlers' rule when the airlines made this latest announcement.

But although it might feel like all hope of a pleasant flight is lost, don't throw in the towel on far-flung holidays just yet. Remember: sleeping devices may have been banned, but drinks trolley gin hasn't.