London Heathrow has received an award for innovation at Mumsnet’s Family Friendly Awards, hosted by deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg.
Heathrow was awarded the prize for the airport’s recently introduced ‘Stay & Play’ areas for families traveling with small children.
The area features slides, tunnels and soft foam shapes that are designed to keep children entertained. ‘Stay & Play’ also conduct craft activities, colouring and storytelling sessions for Heathrow’s smallest passengers in every terminal.
Traveling with children can be challenging and stressful, and Heathrow’s ‘Stay and Play’ areas are the latest addition in a series of initiatives designed for the families to get the best possible start on their holiday. The other initiatives include:
Family lanes in security – Heathrow’s family lanes are hosted by staff, specially trained in helping parents and children through the formalities of security.
Family events – which includes arts and craft sessions and visits from popular children’s characters, such as Dora the Explorer
Family bays in car parks closest to the terminal entrance
Kids-eat-free deals in restaurants during school holidays
Pre-ordering of baby milk and baby food at www.heathrow.com/boutique
Baby-change areas and comfortable areas for breastfeeding
Family toilets that are big enough for parent, child and bags
The latest ‘Stay and Play’ areas are available in every terminal from 6.00 am to 9.00 pm. At least one airport staff member will be in charge of the area, guiding the children for trouble-free fun as they play.
Carol Stokes, Heathrow’s head of passenger experience, said: ‘Air travel can sometimes feel long and tedious for small children. Our play areas are designed to allow children to burn off some energy before they have to sit still on a flight, and create a holiday atmosphere in the airport for families.’