Call for ‘family lines’ at Edinburgh Airport

Flying with children can be a stressful experience. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Flying with children can be a stressful experience. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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Airport bosses are being urged to introduce “bairns’ lanes” to help families get through security more quickly when jetting off on holiday.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith said the introduction of a dedicated family lane for stressed parents – which he saw working in Norway – would make life easier for everyone.

London Gatwick already offers a special assistance lane for families and Edinburgh has brought in special family lanes during very busy periods

Mr Smith has written to Edinburgh and other Scottish airports urging them all to bring in the lanes.

Mr Smith said: “I fly from Edinburgh nearly every week and I’ve seen first-hand how stressful it can be to go through security with a young family.

“We’ve all seen it – a harassed parent trying to manoeuvre a heavy buggy while keeping hold of a small child with one hand, getting the toiletries bag out with the other, and keeping an eye on all the boarding passes.

“I recently visited Oslo Gardermoen Airport in Norway, and saw for myself the simplicity and effectiveness of a dedicated family lane.

“It really speeds up the security process for solo travellers like myself, and it makes the process much easier for young children.”

He said Scotland should learn from Norway’s example, adding: “With the holiday season on the horizon, now would be a great time to start implementing these family-friendly options.”

Scottish travel writer Robin McKelvie backed the proposal. He said: “This is a brilliant idea. Anything that can ease the stress of travelling for wee ones and stressed parents is more than welcome.

“Although families ‘sneaking ahead’ may annoy the odd businessman, taking them out of the main line will ultimately make everyone’s life easier.”

A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “We talk to our passengers all the time and know they appreciate a bit of extra help and assistance when travelling. However with over 10 million people travelling through the airport last year we have to cater for all.

“We operate family lanes at various points throughout the year when we know there is demand for them. In the periods between, we are flexible in our approach and our staff are trained to help families with their specific needs. We think this is the best way to deliver the best service.”

Aberdeen said it did not currently provide dedicated security lanes for families. But a spokeswoman added: “Our staff are fully trained to recognise families.”