London Heathrow Goes from Least to Most Family-Friendly Hub in 18 Months
A family looks at the interactive giant globe set up in the departure lounge in Terminal 4 at Heathrow Airport in July 2012. / Heathrow Airport
As competition increases for a growing number of travelers, airlines and hubs are looking to differentiate themselves with superior food, local culture, and family-friendly services. Those that build the reputation now will be guaranteed a larger share of future family travel.
London Heathrow Airport was considered the least family-friendly airport in the UK in 2012. But recent improvements including new play areas and a family lounge led it to being named the most family-friendly airport in the Europe today.
Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, was named the best for families in a new study released by travel site Skyscanner. The study focused on families with children younger than 4 years old and ran from June to September 2013.
Thirty-five family travel experts and bloggers from Spain, Italy, Russia, and Germany judged Europe’s 20 largest airports on their baby-changing facilities, security levels, and food options. It also considered the general check-in process.
According to Skyscanner, the top 10 airports for families in Europe are as follows:
- London Heathrow
- Zurich and Vienna
- Munich and Frankfurt
- London Gatwick
- Moscow Sheremetyevo
- Paris Charles de Gaulle
Airlines are also kickstarting initiatives to attract and cater to traveling families.
Etihad made news last month when it introduced “Flying Nannies” to entertain children onboard, Lufthansa recently introduced dedicated family check-in areas at Frankfurt and Munich, and Japan Airlines started saving seats for breast-feeding mothers on its Honolulu-bound flights.