Travelling through the airport with young children can be stressful. Instead of being excited for your holiday, you find yourself focused on keeping the kids in check. To make sure your journey through the airport as a family is as seamless as can be, we’ve put together all the information you need!
When do I need to be at the airport?
When you’re travelling with young children, we recommend arriving at the airport early to ensure a stress-free experience. You won’t be rushed to find your carpark spot, you’ll have plenty of time to get the kids through security and you can make the most of the facilities in the departure lounge.
Generally, check-in for long haul flights (between 6-12 hours) will open approximately 4 hours before departure. For short haul services (between 2-6 hours), desks will normally open 2 to 3 hours before departure. Your airline can confirm precise check-in opening times.
Where should I park?
Travelling by car is the easiest way to get your kids from house to airport, hassle-free.
Car Parks 1, 2 & 3 are a 2-minute walk from the terminal building, making it convenient to transport your toddlers.
Valet parking is a great option if you also have a lot of luggage. Simply park in the Valet car park next to the terminal building and report to the Valet Parking reception cabin.
Visit our parking page for more options.
What should I eat?
Our restaurants are delighted to welcome children and most have special menus and colouring packs for entertainment.
- Giraffe’s kid’s menu offers food from all around the world, while Factory Bar and Kitchen offers and extensive food and drinks menu which include kids, breakfast, sharers and a range of quality mains. If you’re in a hurry, download the Grab app to pre-order food from both of these restaurants. Your dish will be ready for pick up at each restaurant when you arrive.
- Family-friendly Wetherspoon does a children’s menu for £4.25, including a drink, fruity snack and doodle entertainment.
- If you don’t have enough time for a sit-down meal, grab a tasty sandwich from one of the many cafés, like Pret a Manger and Costa.
Don’t forget to stock up on plane sweets and snacks at Boots or WHSmith.
- Make your airport journey fun - We've created a children’s airport guide and colouring pack to make travelling through the airport fun. With lots of pictures and tick boxes for every part of the story, children can tick off various things they see along the way.
- Visit the aircraft viewing area - If you park in Car Park 5 and have plenty of time before your flight, head to the free viewing area to do some plane spotting with the kids. Signposts will direct you to the airfield perimeter fence and you can watch the planes take off and land right in front of you…that’s one way to get the kids excited for their holiday!
- Use FlightSmart - Get real time flight updates to your Twitter account with our FlightSmart service. Simply tweet your flight number to @flyBHX on the day of travel to see gate numbers, check-in opening times and live updates about any cancellations or delays.
- Check in online - If you check in online before you arrive at the airport and have your boarding pass ready, all you’ll need to do is drop off any checked bags at the relevant airline ‘bag-drop’ area. Then you’re ready to go through to the departure lounge!
- Prepare for security - Everyone needs to be scanned going through Security, so walking children need to go through the Archway Metal Detector (AMD) individually. Pushchairs must be pushed though the AMD. Bags must be removed from the buggy and put through the scanner separately, and the baby must be carried through. Medicines or special diet foods (over 100ml) in hand luggage should be carried with a Doctor's letter or prescription explaining their necessity.
- Use our Express Lane - To make life a little easier for you and the kids, our Express Lane is a separate security lane to fast track your experience. You can pre-book online or pay at the entrance... under 5s go for free!
- Pre-order World Duty Free - If you want to enjoy the offers at duty free, you can shop online before you travel and reserve duty free items to collect in store before departure.
- Use our pushchairs - When you land back in Birmingham, you’ll want to get your tired tots home as quickly as possible. With a refundable £1 deposit, you can use our pushchairs to help with your journey to the baggage hall.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take baby milk through Security?
Baby milk and baby food can be taken in hand luggage through Security, but do make the security officer aware you are carrying this.
Baby milk and other essentials can be pre-ordered online for collection at the Boots in our departure lounge if you’d rather not carry it through security. This must be pre-ordered at least 5 days in advance.
Can I take food such as sandwiches, crisps, chocolates and biscuits through security in my hand baggage?
Foods or powders should be packed into hold baggage where possible. Although these items are permitted in hand luggage, they can obstruct images on the x-ray machine, or may be mistaken for suspicious items, so putting them in the hold will help reduce the need for additional checks.
Do you have baby changing facilities?
There are baby changing rooms located throughout the terminal for you to change nappies or feed your baby. Most of these are located near to the toilets.
Can I keep my pushchair after check-in?
After check-in tags your pushchair for travel, you may keep it until your departure gate, where the handling agent will take it from you for loading.
Do you have any activities for older children?
Visit skyzoneonline, our digital platform designed for older children, providing interactive fun before you get to the Airport or during your visit.
Is there free WiFi at the Airport?
Wherever you are within the terminal, you can connect to free WIFI for half hour slots. Just login and your details will be saved for future visits.