Virgin Australia becomes first airline to allow children's sleeping devices on flights

Devices like this will now be allowed on Virgin Australia flights.
Devices like this will now be allowed on Virgin Australia flights. Photo: Jet Kids

In a backflip sure to be welcomed by parents, Virgin Australia has announced it will now allow children's sleeping devices on planes, after previously banning them.

The airline is the only one in Australia that will allow the devices - Plane Pal, Fly Tot and JetKids Bedbox - to be used on board, following a safety assessment.

Kid sleeping aids such as bed boxes, leg hammocks and inflatable cushions are still not allowed on other carriers including Qantas, Jetstar and Air New Zealand, due to safety concerns.

In a statement, the airline said the devices would only be permitted in a window seat or in the middle seat of a centre block and must be included as part of the 7kg carry-on baggage allocation. They are not allowed in Exit Rows.

"We know that travelling with kids can be a stressful experience and we want to make it as smooth as possible for the families that fly with us," Virgin Australia General Manager Inflight Experience Tash Tobias said.

"We recognise the importance of your kids getting some extra rest on a flight as it can make a world of difference when you arrive at your destination.

"These popular comfort items have been reviewed by our team of safety experts against our high safety standards and we're pleased to say that we've been able to give the seal of approval to three of the most popular items."

Tigerair, a wholly owned subsidiary of Virgin Australia, is carrying out its own assessment of the sleeping aid devices.

Earlier this year, Australia's major airlines added the sleeping devises to their Dangerous Goods and other prohibited items lists citing safety concerns. The decision angered parents who often rely on the devises to ensure their children sleep on long-haul flights.

It's understood some airlines are currently reviewing their policies that could mean more good news for parents.