BedBox and the Airlines
The BedBox is primarily a premium ride-on suitcase with carry-on dimensions. In addition to be the coolest ride-on suitcase ever made, it has a very smart and patented feature, enabling it to be used as a seat extender. On long haul flights, children will eventually become tired and need their sleep. This feature is the solution that transforms a nightmare flight into a comfortable experience.
When traveling by air, you will most likely meet similar procedures whether you fly with an airline from the US or from Europe or Asia. Although there are slight variations, the regulations are in fact quite similar. The main reason for this is because most regulations are based on the works of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization). ICAO works towards harmonized standards and procedures globally.
One of the most important elements when designing the BedBox was for it to conform to these standard guidelines and recommended practices.
Quite often, we get enquiries about which airlines that approves the use of the BedBox onboard their aircrafts. The BedBox has already been safety assessed and approved by many airlines. However, before your travel, we suggest that you contact us for advice regarding the airline you are flying with.
The reason why some airlines are not currently allowing the BedBox onboard, can be e.g. due to local procedures or unsuitable interior. In addition, there are also many airlines that don’t have a specific policy regarding comfort devices such as the BedBox. In all cases, the final decision will always rest with the crew, and should be respected.
With the increasingly number of comfort devices available today, we can understand that some airlines have different policies towards this. They are simply overwhelmed by people requesting a formal approval for different kind of comfort devices brought on board. This ranges from different kind of travel pillows and inflatable supports to lithium battery powered equipment etc. .
We at JetKids are working with different airlines and membership organizations in order to obtain a more universal approach to different kind of comfort devices on the market, including the BedBox. Our experience is that airlines that has been in doubt, and reached out to us for a sample along with some more in-depth information, quickly understands the many benefits of its use, and changes their policy to allow its use. We can all agree that the alternative on a long haul flight with kids is not always pleasant.
On long haul flights, whether we like it or not, children will eventually become tired and will need their sleep. And as we all know, the pre-BedBox-era saw children sleeping in various positions onboard aircrafts, like e.g across seat rows (or even on the floor in front of the seat!). Sleeping across a seat row has been a widely been accepted solution during the cruise portion of the flight, and does not cause conflict with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices as long as the child is seated properly when/if the seat belt sign is turned on.
However, this is not an optimum solution in case of unexpected turbulence as standard seat belt design does not allow a child to lay across the seats whilst using the seat belt. Using the BedBox properly will allow a resting position along the longitudinal axis of the airplane, enabling use of the aircraft seat belt. This, in combination with a secured BedBox will give better protection towards unexpected turbulence in addition to a more comfortable resting position which does not require an extra seat.
In case of an expected period of turbulence (seat belt sign ON), the BedBox will be easy to stow away under the seat in front, and should not be used. This is the same general limitation which applies to most items onboard, and also many of the baby bassinets currently available in the industry.
Using the BedBox
On a regular economy class seat, normal use of the BedBox will not be affected by the recline of the seat in front. The platform height is so low and close to the rotation/hinge point of the backrest. And unlike heavy cabin trolleys, laptops and many other items in an aircraft cabin, the BedBox can easily be secured in place in front of a seat for additional security. This, along with the factors below, are some examples of considerations we have taken into account during our development of the BedBox:
- Making a stylish & aviation-inspired ride-on suitcase for children
- Not using any inflatable parts/pillows
- Avoiding wear or tear to aircraft interior
- Setting out guidelines for recommended seating positions, which ensures aisles and exits are not blocked
- Making it easy and quick to stow away whenever needed
- Making a practical comfort product, with safety benefits
- Make it possible to, and also encourage, using the seat belt at all times. Even when sleeping
A Game Changer
It is also worth mentioning the situation seen on many haul flights, with many restless passengers walking up and down or standing in the aisle. If a child gets overtired and not able to sleep, it is quite common to allow them out in the aisles and adding to the total number of passengers there. From an airline and safety point of view, this is not ideal for several reasons, and especially not in a situation of turbulence, where the need to stow away the heavy cabin trolleys arises.
The feedback we have from frequent flying families is that the BedBox has been a game changer. Children are now having sleep during a long flight. Another positive effect likely seen, is the contribution to a reduction of children sleeping on the floor, as well as an improvement to the overall well-being of surrounding passengers and crew.
The BedBox has been developed with inputs from pilots, aircraft engineers, cabin crew, travellers, parents and of course the kids. We love traveling with kids, and we want all families to have a comfortable, safe and enjoyable travel experience.
Other important elements for a successful flight
Even though sleep is a key factor when traveling far with kids, another important element is nutrition. Plan ahead, drink and eat well before and during the flight. And remember to bring some entertainment. The BedBox will still be the perfect travel companion and carry-on suitcase for your child. It will fit perfectly either under the seat in front or in the overhead bin.
Into The Future
We are actively working on getting universal guidelines for comfort devices such as the BedBox, and have decided to join IATA as a strategic partner. IATA is the biggest airline membership organization, and represents more than 270 airlines globally. In addition, we have a new product on our drawing table, that we know many of you will appreciate. This is still top secret but we are so excited to tell you more soon! 🙂