The most common question I get asked is ‘how do you get your kids to sleep on the plane’. Well I’ve tried everything from having my kids sleep on the floor of the aircraft (great until you get told off by cabin crew) to ‘sedating’ them with phenergan (yup it works but it’s not for everyone). I recently came across a new invention that I wish I’d had 5 years ago. Parents, behold the Fly-Tot, an inflatable cushion.
What does it do?
Essentially the Fly-Tot is a giant cushion that fits perfectly in the footwell between the aircraft seats. This means your kids can stretch their legs out and get comfy. Younger kids can even lay flat.
How does it work?
In addition to the cushion, you receive a pump. It took me about 2 minutes to inflate it and I deflated it by hand. As soon as it was inflated we all stretched our legs out on it.
As the Fly-Tot has not been officially approved by the FAA, I was slightly concerned that once an air steward clocked it, I would have to remove it. However, nobody on our Virgin Atlantic flight seemed in the slightest bit bothered by it.
Would I recommend it?
If your kids are aged 6 and under, absolutely! I think it would really work best for those kids who are 1 to 5 years old. as they can actually stretch out and lay flat on it. For my 6 year old, her legs are already slightly too long so she stretched out on it withe her legs slightly folded up.
The Fly Tot does take up all the space in the footwell (it has been designed for use on standard economy seats). I was happy to use it as my family of 3 were sat in a bank of 3 seats. However, if there had been someone sat beside us, I wouldn’t inflate it next to them as I would feel it was a slight invasion of their space and of course difficult for them to get out to access the toilet.
What are the downsides?
The only slight downside for me is the weight and size of the Fly-Tot. I normally take a backpack as my carry on but in order to accommodate the Fly-Tot I chose to take a wheelie suitcase onboard. Not a big deal for me as my kids are old enough that I don’t have to push buggy etc but something to take into consideration if you’ve got smaller kids.
Bear in mind that the Fly-Tot has been made for a standard economy seat and not the bulkhead.
Jetlag & Mayhem’s Tips For Using The Fly-Tot
- Have a dummy run at home so you know what you’re doing
- Remove all the items you need from the seatback pocket as one it is inflated, you won’t be able to access it.
- Be considerate – don’t inflate if you will be blocking someone’s exit to the aisle
- There is a bit of a squeaky noise on inflating. I decided to subtly inflate it during take off using the noise of the engine and cover of darkness!
Where do I buy one?
The Fly-Tot costs USD $49 and can be shipped to most places. You can purchase directly from their website.
I truly applaud the two mums behind the concept of the Fly-Tot as they really have made longhaul flying with kids a better place!
Disclaimer: Jetlag & Mayhem is not affiliated in any way to Fly-Tot nor paid for this review. We were sent one to test out and this is all my own opinion.