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Old 01-19-2010, 05:40 PM   #1
susiesk
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Kids first time flying..Do they do anything special

Hi there! My family and I will be taking our first trip to WDW in June. My kids have never flown before, and are so excited (esspecially my DD(14)). We are flying Airtran and I was wondering if they do anything special for first-timers like show them the cockpit or give them wing pins or anything?
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:12 PM   #2
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Sadly, post 9/11, the days of inviting kids up to see the cockpit are over. Although I'm not familiar with AirTran, I can tell you that the airlines that used to give pins (Delta, American) do not do it anymore. Airline travel has become no more special than taking a bus.

I think it's up to you to make your kids' experience special. Find out if AirTran offers anything like snacks or headphones or movie service so that you have what you need to be able to take advantage of those things. If you can, bring a US map (again, I don't know if AirTran provides a magazine, the way the bigger carriers do) so that your kids can attempt to make sense of what they are seeing out of the window and track the trip.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:49 PM   #3
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That's a good idea about bringing a map along. Hopefully we have a nice clear day and not a bunch of clouds covering everything up
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleeps View Post
Sadly, post 9/11, the days of inviting kids up to see the cockpit are over.
UA cockpit crew invite children and families on a large number of my UA flights during boarding or after the flight. Those days are not over on certain carriers. Some carriers do still do wings or certificates, just like some carriers still have cockpit crew who send some of us personal thank yous for our business.

I tend to be a supporter of 'make your own magic' but I have seen many crew at UA make magic for others.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:18 PM   #5
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AA gives out certificates for first timers....you just have to alert the agent or flight attendant.

"To boost customer experience, Flight Service began issuing the certificates to commemorate the first flight for children or young adults. The certificates include the date, flight number, departure and destination cities, and are signed by the pilot and flight attendants.

"We are honored when customers choose American Airlines for their first air travel experience," said Lauri Curtis, Vice President - Onboard Service. "This is a fun way to acknowledge new flyers by giving them a keepsake to remember their first flight."

Last edited by happiestgrl; 01-19-2010 at 09:21 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:24 PM   #6
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You can still visit the pilots before the flight departs. Let the flight attendant know as soon as you step on board that you would like the kids to visit the cockpit.

A good crew will turn on all the lights and might let the kids sit in on one of the pilot seats. Have your camera ready.

Also, ask the flight attendant if they have any wings.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susiesk View Post
Hi there! My family and I will be taking our first trip to WDW in June. My kids have never flown before, and are so excited (esspecially my DD(14)). We are flying Airtran and I was wondering if they do anything special for first-timers like show them the cockpit or give them wing pins or anything?
When we flew Northwest last Spring, DS9 really wanted to see the cockpit. I asked a FA and she told us to hang out in our seats as the other passengers were leaving, then she came and told us to go on in, the pilots were ready. I was as excited as he was to see!
Unfortunately, at the last minute, DS was very overwhelmed with the FA's standing in a row and the pilots looking at him, he was immediately terrified and refused to go in to peek!
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:11 PM   #8
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My son has been invited twice to visit the cockpit. Both since '07. Even got pictures of one of the times!

But it seemed sort of based on the FAs just catching his eye and him smiling and saying hello...not a first-timer thing. If it was important to us to have him visit the cockpit, I'd smile big and ask about it as you're entering the plane. Then just have one parent there so you're not clogging up the front of the plane. The pictures of DS were taken by DH because I took the carryons back and found our seats for us.

Southwest has a packet that they like to give out. In our case it was given because DS was unhappy with the things I had brought, and they decided to help out by giving it to him. It came with a pair of wings. No pins on the wing, though, just a sticky back, so if the kids get those and put them on, don't expect them to even have them halfway through the flight! We've lost both sets of wings of DS's before we got to our destination.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:13 PM   #9
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Interesting responses; good experiences across a variety of airlines.

I said on another thread that it seems to be the fad here to be against airlines, and this shows that airlines and their employees are not quite as bad as some like to make them out to be.

Either that, or a lot more of you have been flying in the parallel universe with us!
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:12 AM   #10
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I think it is often possible. I have seen it happen on a number of flights by a number of airlines (but have never flown Air Tran). Sadly, I have also seen a parent throw a fit when a child could not see the cockpit.

My advice is to go in hoping for the best but with no expectations. Ask nicely and see where that leasds you, but realize that there may be very legitimate reasons for not allowing you in the cockpit or giving you wings also (possibly as simple as the spwecific airline does not allow others in the cockpit and they are out of wings) so if you get a no just accept it graciously and move on to making your own magic.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:17 AM   #11
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SW flight attendants gave my daughter the sticky wings and on our trip last May they handed out coloring books & crayons to all the children.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bavaria View Post
Interesting responses; good experiences across a variety of airlines.

I said on another thread that it seems to be the fad here to be against airlines, and this shows that airlines and their employees are not quite as bad as some like to make them out to be.

Either that, or a lot more of you have been flying in the parallel universe with us!
I just think sometimes people are too expecting or demanding. As the one person posted, the child was going to be allowed in the flight deck AFTER others had deplaned. This person was excited to even have the chance, so had no problems waiting. And they are to be commended for actually understanding they were trying to make it fun for the child! LOL, sounds like the FA's and flight crew made it 'too' special all lined up and stuff to let them in, and kinda overwhelmed the child

I think too many times now, people dont understand why they should have to wait, not just for something like this but for other stuff. The FA's and flight crew have a job to do. I'm sure most of them really like when people are happy and excited to be flying and get joy out of just seeing a child experiencing their first flight ever!
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:13 PM   #13
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You will not be invited to visit the cockpit but if you ask I almost guarantee they will allow you to go up!!! Pilots still love their jobs and love showing people the cockpit. Just 2 days ago I flew from SJU-PHL and as it was my first time on a US Airways Airbus 330-300 I went up to visit the cockpit. I chatted with the pilots for a bit, asked a few questions about our route, etc. If you get a really nice captain and they are not too busy they will let you sit in the captains seat, take photos, whatever.

I've never been denied a cockpit visit when I ask. This includes flights on US, Delta, United.

Just don't be too shy to ask!!

Cockpit visit returning from my trip to Antarctica....who ever said penguins can't fly!?!
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:27 PM   #14
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DD's first flight was in Nov on Airtran. I asked the flight attendant if they still did wing pins, and she said they didn't have any, and to ask on the flight back. The flight back, we asked and they looked and didn't find any. However, the FA gave her an extra snack as compensation
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:31 PM   #15
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You will not be invited to visit the cockpit
That is opposite of our experiences. We have never asked. DS was invited, both times, by the flight crew as we boarded the plane with big "we enjoy flying" smiles on our faces and DS said hello to them.
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