Since having Jetlag & Mayhem (Miss Jetlag will be double digits next year!) so many interesting travel products have come on to the market. Some indispensable (pre-made formula in a carton, genius!) to rather annoying (the Trunki). And we are all on the hunt for the jewel in the crown – how to get your children comfortably to sleep on a plane.
Inflatable flight pillows, came on the market around 5 years ago. These genius contraptions are essentially large pillows that fit in the footwell of an economy airline seat and inflate to the height of the seat. Aimed at the 7 and under market, they can create a larger space (aka a 1st class bed) for toddlers and beyond to stretch out on and hopefully fall asleep.
I had previously tested out the Fly-Tot and this time, Jetlag & Mayhem put the cheaper version, the 1st Class Kid, through its paces. At 9 and 6, I thought that my two would be beyond the use of a flight cushion but they were very excited to use it. We tested out it out on 3 different longhaul flights. The first didn’t last long as we had an emergency landing and had to return to Singapore. The next two flights were 12+ hours and the flight cushion was extremely helpful.
How does it work?
Although 1st Class Kid recommends you use the air valve above the seat, I think it’s easier to inflate the cushion yourself. Also, unlike the Fly-Tot, there’s no need for a pump, which also takes up prime real estate in your hand-luggage. The removable inflatation/deflation valve has a one-way valve that keeps air from exiting while you’re pausing to take a breath. There’s a bit of a nack to it but once you’ve got going, it takes at 3 to 5 minutes to inflate. Take care not to overinflate or you may find it doesn’t sit properly in the space between the chairs.
To deflate, you unscrew the big deflation valve counter-clockwise and it deflates in seconds.
Is it legal to use?
We flew with British Airways and Singapore Airlines and had no problems. Check the 1st Class Kid FAQ to see an updated list of which airlines will allow the pillow. You can’t use it in an exit row and they don’t advise for Air NZ, Qantas, United and Air France
How do I carry the 1st Class Kid pillow?
One of the things I like this pillow is how portable it is. Once the air is out, the pillow folds up small and can be stowed in any backpack, carry-on case.
Should I buy one?
I really think you should. This is one piece of very helpful kit which will make flying much more comfortable for your little ones. Be mindful when you use it. I believe it’s inconsiderate to inflate when either myself or my child has a stranger sitting next to them and they have to clamber over it. We have used it seated in a 3 next to the window so it was very easy to put in front of the middle seat for my kids to share.
You can purchase a 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow from Kid On The Move for SGD $49 (they also deliver internationally).