Travel tips for parents taking their kids with them through airports

The Associated Press
Thursday December 27, 2001

SAN JOSE — Increased airport security has been difficult for parents, but for children, the waiting in long lines can be interminable. 

And as thousands of families stand in the hours-long lines caused by the increased security at airports, children become more and more restless, and parents, more and more frustrated. 

But there are a few survival tools parents can pack to make family trips during the busy season less of a hassle. 

“Ply them with food and games,” said Kiki Kapany of Menlo Park. She recently flew out of San Jose’s airport with a number of children. She and two other adult relatives took turns standing in line and taking the children to the bathroom and for walks around the airport. 

Amanda Prail of Livermore traveled with her husband Andrew Means and their 1-year-old daughter Briallen Means and nearly missed a recent flight to San Diego because of the increased security. To keep Briallen amused, they attempted stunts with her stroller. 

While mother Kimberly Johnson of Pleasanton gritted her teeth in the long lines, her 10-year-old daughter Jaina kept from complaining.  

But other parents weren’t so lucky, as babies cried and children whined at San Jose’s airport. 

Sue Chimsky, a San Jose travel consultant, has organized holiday trips for a number of Bay Area families, and the airport lines and ensuing boredom are their biggest dread, she said. 

“Some people are opting to just rent cars for the long weekend,” she told the San Jose Mercury News. 

That could also be stressful as more people taking the same option clog highways. But traffic seems to be small potatoes compared to airport challenges. 

“It’s very inconvenient,” Johnson said. 

To make waiting for a flight smoother, the Mercury News suggests making sure all ticket information is updated before arriving at the airport; premixing baby formula to prevent any anthrax scares; packing only what’s necessary and avoiding sharp objects; and bringing coloring books, crayons, a favorite toy, snacks and a drink for kids.