The Wiggles and I are best friends from way back and Qantas edged in to best friend territory after our three flights to the U.S with BJ. I’ve been through a lot with both of these Australian icons so I couldn’t wait to show my support yesterday when they combined forces to launch the “Joey Club”, a new Qantas initiative for little flyers. (I’ll share more about our BFF status at the end of the blog)
The Qantas representative announcing the program summed up my feeling towards flying, “happy kids equal happy Mum and Dad.” So true. Once that plane door is armed and the emergency demonstration starts all parents know that they are about to experience the true meaning of the words, long-haul.
Keeping kids entertained and happy in-flight is in the best interests of everyone on the aircraft. Any added benefits for kids will definitely be welcomed by parents and fellow passengers.
From June 2015, all new Australian-based Frequent Flyer members between the age of three and ten years old will receive a special Joey Club kit when they join the program. To celebrate the launch of Joey Club, Qantas is waiving the normal joining fee of $89.50. To join, visit qantas.com/kids until 31 December 2015.
Keep in mind, even if you only fly occasionally it is worth joining the frequent flyer program. Each time I shop I swipe my Everyday Rewards card at Woolworths and it is amazing how quickly our points are accumulating. Hawaii here we come!
Joey Club initiatives include:
• A Qantas Joey Club novelty passport for new Australian-based Frequent Flyer members (aged 3-10 years old) where they can record details of their flight. AJ couldn’t wait to get her hands on this so I think it may be popular with kids over 10 too.
• Special dedicated kids menus in domestic lounges, including made to order sandwiches in animal shapes, fresh fruit and snacks such as popcorn and sultanas.
• Children’s inflight entertainment has been boosted with a dedicated children’s movie channel with 21 hours of content (with latest releases screening on board shortly after their cinema release, as will happen with the upcoming Frozen 2) and a dedicated TV channel with 28 hours of TV shows, with The Wiggles and Peppa Pig the most popular. At home we discourage our kids from watching too much tv but I’m all for it if it makes for a happy, quiet flight.
The Joey Club comes on top of existing family friendly services offered by Qantas, including dedicated kids zones across the Qantas domestic and international lounge network complete with iMac computers, children’s furniture, toys and books. A new Family Zone has also opened in the recently refurbished Los Angeles Business Lounge. Personally I’ve never travelled business class long-haul but I’m more than happy to check out the LAX business lounge in the future.
Other existing family friendly initiatives include:
• Infant meals (up to 2 years of age) – provide a range of top brand baby food, milk, baby bottles, cereals and rusks
• Kids meals in-flight (over 2 years of age)
• Priority family boarding (staff on hand at the boarding gate ready to collect the stroller and to further assist with pre-boarding the aircraft)
• Additional Baggage Allowance* (include a collapsible stroller or push-chair, collapsible cot or bassinet; or car seat or baby capsule (*may vary according to destination – see qantas.com)
Qantas’ Frequent Flyer Program also offers Family Transfers
This is not a sponsored post. We are big fans of Qantas and this stems from their awesome crews who have made our flights memorable and more pleasant. BJ does not find flying comfortable. For someone who wants to be on-the-go constantly, sitting still for 15 hours is testing (for us all). If you would like to read more about our experience flying Qantas you can read it here. I have also written a blog with my tips for flying in general including the availability of an upper body torso harness for those that find sitting unassisted difficult. You can read it here.
I know you are dying to know all about my relationship with the Wiggles. In truth it was a little one-sided. You see the Wiggles were my best friend when BJ was little. Every day he fought going in his standing frame but when I would pop on a Wiggles video (yes, it was the video era) he was happy for the hour and his therapy was done. It gave me time to hang out the washing, get dressed and even have a cuppa, if I was lucky. It was my time out.
They provided motivation with their puzzles, books, cds and clothing. BJ loved it all and I loved the joy it brought him. Our first concert was at Macquarie University where the original band members all studied. We then followed them around Sydney to halls and RSL clubs. We sat on the floor because it was long before the days when they were popular enough for big venues with chairs.
So yesterday it was exciting to see the new line up because the Wiggles were in our home daily and part of our lives for a very long time. I missed yelling out, “Wake up Jeff” (it is now “Wake up Lachy”) but I still found myself singing and doing the actions to “Hot Potato.” I am sure AJ would have liked to have had the ground open up and swallow her embarrassing mother but who can help but get their Wiggle on. It is infectious.
Are your kids fan of the Wiggles or another group? What motivates them? How do you find flying with your child?
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