London Luton Airport (LLA) is set for its busiest Christmas since 2019, with families jetting off to popular destinations such as Amsterdam, Budapest, and Sofia, to experience a festive break abroad or to visit loved ones.
With many families setting off on Christmas holidays, this weekend (23rd – 25th December), LLA is expected to welcome over 22,000 passengers on Christmas Day alone.
Overall, LLA will see up to 1 million passengers this December, which is a 170% increase on last year’s figures.
While Christmas is often the most joyous time of the year for many families, travelling with young children can often prove stressful.
Not surprisingly, almost half (45%) of families rely on treasured toys and comforters to keep the kids happy while travelling.
However, of those respondents, 49% say their child has lost their beloved toy while enroute, according to new research from London Luton Airport.
Sadly, over half (52%) of parents said that the loss of a child’s toy had derailed their holiday, and a third (33%) of those surveyed admitted if their child did lose their favourite teddy or toy, they would consider it irreplaceable.
Nearly half (47%) of parents will ask friends, family, or neighbours to help retrieve their child’s lost toy, but they’re also willing to go to extreme lengths by putting up posters (40%) and calling the police (35%).
To help families travelling with children this Christmas, the airport is offering free Teddy Tags, so that they can easily reunite young holidaymakers with their misplaced cuddly toys.
The tags will allow parents to include the teddy’s full name, flight number and contact details, so that any toy left behind can quickly be reuni-TED with their owner.
The research of 1,000 British parents of children aged 1 – 9 years old, commissioned by London Luton Airport found almost three in four (71%) think the festive period is the most challenging time of year to plan family trip due to keeping children entertained (67%).
Clare Armstrong, Head of Guest Experience at London Luton Airport said: “We understand that travelling during the Christmas period can be a taxing time for parents and losing a child’s toy can cause real upset.
“This year alone, we have collected approximately 200 toys, comforters and teddies that have been left behind by families and whilst we have happily been able to reunite some of these toys with their owners, it is always a difficult process.
“To make the travel experience as simple and easy as possible for families this Christmas we have launched our Teddy Tag scheme.
“The tag system means that it is now easier to reunite children with their favourite toys, taking the stress out of the process should a teddy get misplaced on the journey.”
The scheme will launch on 19th December, and Teddy Tags will be available to collect for free at security, check-in desks and at customer service points as part of London Luton Airport’s family friendly offering, which includes an airport-themed children’s area to help keep kids entertained.
The airport will also host a toy reunion page on its website (https://www.london-luton.co.uk/reunite-ted) with images of unclaimed teddies and toys alongside information of where they were found and how passengers can arrange to have them sent home.
33-year old Jo Christie whose little girl Meilia aged 7, lost her Teddy ‘Kaydog’, recently during a family holiday said: “I love the idea of the Teddy Tags and London Luton Airport’s commitment to returning lost toys.
“It really is a nightmare for parents to lose a cherished family toy at any time of year but especially at Christmas when the pressure is on for everything to be perfect.
“Kaydog represents our real dog that sadly passed away.
“The ashes are actually inside the locket around Kaydog’s neck. So she’s extra special to my little girl.
“We will definitely be picking up a Teddy Tag for Kaydog next time we travel as she does seem to have a habit of getting lost!”.