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Flying With Kids on United? You’ll Want to Ask For This Children’s Travel Kit

Family Travel Airports + Flying
by Nickolaus Hines Jun 4, 2024

There are few challenges like keeping a child occupied during a flight. Even the most easy going child will likely need multiple distractions to stay entertained on a flight of any real distance, and parents can only carry so many activities onboard with them. On certain United flights, one thing can be added to the arsenal of toys without taking up bag space: the airline’s Children’s Travel Kit created in partnership with Sesame Workshop.

United planes started carrying the kits in 2023 following United’s announcement of its “Chief Trash Officer,” Oscar the Grouch, done to promote the use of sustainable airline fuel that’s made with waste materials. The activity book has coloring pages, mazes, connect-the-dots, and more featuring Oscar, and the puzzle is Oscar-themed as well. A sensory calming strip with a textured surface for anxious kiddos is also included (the first United States-based carrier to offer one).

It may sound like a small amenity, but then again, myself and other parents already know that something as simple as a piece of painter’s tape can easily kill time in the air. Not every flight is outfitted with the kits (United says to ask the flight attendant) so it’s not something to rely on 100 percent of the time. United’s other features to help families travel easier, like free kids’ meals and a family seating policy, are though.

As someone who has a daughter on track for 20 flights before two, I’m always on the hunt for in-flight distractions and carry things like a Buddha Board with me wherever we go. Most “travel hacks” are nothing more than pointing out things that should be common sense. This tip, however, is something that I’ll be asking my United crew about flight after flight.

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