At Plane Pal safety comes first. We have always said that the safety of our children and all those on board a plane, bus or train is paramount. It is always at the forefront of our minds.
This week airlines Qantas and Jetstar released an update banning all kids travel beds listing them under “prohibited in-flight items." You can see the statement here.
Qantas have lumped together travel comfort products that perform a similar function but are inherently different. Each travel product poses different risks. For example, Plane Pal does not attach to the seat nor does it impede the recline of the seat in front.
The single issue that they raise that relates to Plane Pal is that it COULD block access to the row/aisle for passengers or limit access to the life vest.
There are several issues with this assertion:
1. Qantas has failed to acknowledge that our product when in the foot well, during cruising, poses the same risks as that of hand luggage. Qantas (and all other airlines) expressly allow hand luggage to sit in the footwell during cruising. Unlike hand luggage however, Plane Pal can be deflated in under 5 seconds.
2. Plane Pal is always to be used in the window seat or centre seats of the middle block, therefore not blocking in or impeding other passengers.
Qantas did not approach Plane Pal or conduct a specific review of the Plane Pal product (to our knowledge). If they had done so these issues would have been easily resolved.
In contrast, Singapore Air have released official approval for travel beds for kids and outlined a safe use policy on their website. You can view it here.
We are working with Virgin Australia to help them review our product.
Air NZ have also banned Plane Pal for undisclosed “safety reasons.” However, their Sky Couch performs the exact same function except for 2 worrying differences.
1. Every image on their official website shows passengers not wearing seat belts.
2. You can’t deflate or remove it easily in case of an emergency. This impedes access to the life jackets.
For images displaying this please click here.
Many customers have asked why we are not Aviation Authority approved. We have approached the governing bodies both here in Australia (CASA) and abroad (UK, NZ) and been advised that this type of product doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction. It is up to each airline to approve or decline the use of an item that a passenger wishes to take on board.
Singapore Airlines have shown that when used under instruction these products are safe. As a mother of 3, I know that 3 sleeping, belted in children are far safer on a flight than 3 overtired children wanting to roam up and down the aisles and climbing all over the seats.
On a personal note I would like to thank all the families here in Australia and abroad who have supported Plane Pal. Your response to Qantas’s announcement has been incredible. Thanks for the love!
Founder of Plane Pal,