Family airport delays - how to cope

19 January 2015 10:50

More flights into and out of the UK were delayed last summer, new figures show

More flights into and out of the UK were delayed last summer, new figures show

More holidaymakers jetting out of the UK last summer found their plane delayed, new figures show.

The Civil Aviation Authority says 71% of charter flights to and from 10 large British airports were on time between July and September last year. That's a drop from the 79% that kept to schedule in 2013.

The average length of the delay was also longer last year - 18 minutes, compared to 16 minutes before.

It was no better for people on scheduled flights - just 75% were on time last year, while airports managed 80% the year before. The average delay for them went up to 14 minutes from 12 minutes.

The figures showed families off to Orlando, Florida, in the US suffered the longest delays on average, 31.9 minutes.The figures are a reminder of the importance of travel insurance.

That conjures up an image of stressed parents trying to keep their tired kids occupied while keeping an ear out for further information on their flight.

So how can you keep the children happy while trapped in an airport for an unspecified length of time? How to stay entertained when flights are delayed

• Check out the airport thoroughly for family lounges and play areas, many provide them knowing children need something to do while they're waiting for a flight.

• Comics, colouring or puzzle books in your hand luggage can be a life-saver at this moment - if you haven't brought them with you, pick some up from the newsagent at the terminal

• Perhaps check out the food joints for a relaxing adult drink or snack while securing entertainment for the kids via colouring items you can take with you when you've finished.

From planes to passengers, there's plenty to look at in an airport so you shouldn't be short of options. Maybe even give out sweets as prizes.

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