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Putting the fun into flying with kids is not a new mission for Qatar Airways. At just 21, they might be one of the world’s youngest airlines, but their fresh approach to family air travel sets a standard quite a few long haul veterans could definitely learn from.
The brand new Oryx Kids Club for two to 11 year olds is a perfect example. It’s a simple idea, but Qatar Airways have clearly paid a lot more attention to the details, listened to what younger passengers feel about long haul, and come up with a concept designed to engage, entertain and involve kids before, during and after every flight.
Every kid needs a hero, so just to make sure all bases are covered, Oryx Kids Club gives them five: Orry and Orah the handsome Oryx, along with three cuddly companions: Kamil the camel, Faaiz the falcon and Farah the desert fox.
If young UK flyers aren’t immediately familiar with these iconic desert dwellers, they soon will be. Not only do all five feature in everything from meal boxes to in-flight activity packs, but they’ll also be making frequent appearances in life-size (and then some) form at Hamad International Airport (HIA).
A great distraction for kids in that tricky to fun-up space between check-in and boarding and a welcome break for the regular entertainers AKA parents.
Every hero has a backstory and these legends are no exception. With tales as engaging as their looks, it’s only natural that kids will quickly choose a favourite. Qatar Airways have thought of that too, so every child registering for the Oryx Kids Club can pick their best-loved character and they’ll receive a complimentary, cute and cuddle-size version for company, in-flight, and beyond.
Keeping kids relaxed within their own comfort zone has always been a priority for Qatar Airways, so you’ll find the Oryx Kids Club theme worked into just about every aspect of your long-haul flight.
Even the newly designed range of nutritious and tasty children’s meals are served with a slice of Orry, Orah and the rest of the team, and who hasn’t longed for some heroic help in that area at one time or another?
Long-haul activity packs are another exciting element from Oryx. Carefully planned to keep kids entertained throughout their entire journey, every one is packed with fun stuff to do, games that inspire young imaginations, and puzzles to keep older kids occupied from take-off to touch down.
Kids who fly without a fuss are true heroes and Qatar Airways recognise their valiant effort in all sorts of ways, big and small. But now every young flyer gets to enjoy appreciation in real terms thanks to the Oryx Kids Loyalty Programme. Every child registered with Oryx Kids Club can earn Qmiles. They’re like air miles, only kids’ rewards and benefits are a lot more fun.
Plus, there’s the added bonus of being able to build up Qpoints which automatically upgrade loyal little flyers to higher tiers and even bigger rewards. The Oryx Kids Loyalty Programme is designed for young passengers, but parents play a vital part in managing their children’s account: another fun way to get everyone involved in planning travel together as a family.
Oryx Kids Club is brand new, but Qatar Airways’ family-friendly tradition is well established, and couldn’t be more obvious at the airline’s hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha.
Dedicated areas for families and play space for kids are features of the airline’s Entertainment Nodes in HIA. Qatar Airways Duty Free Bumble Tree Store even manages to make boring shopping into an adventure.
And the airport’s Al Mourjan Lounge not only has a fantastic Formula 1 Simulator in its play zone, it has a family games room and a nursery for babies and toddlers. Qatar Airways are also expert in caring for children travelling alone, so you can breathe easy knowing your little solo flyer is in a completely safe environment, right down to an exclusive Qatar Airways Unaccompanied Minor Lounge. Of course, priority check-in and boarding, along with constant supervision, are all part of the service too.
When Qatar Airways promise in-flight entertainment, they come good on over 4000 options: this is probably why their service manages to sweep up so many awards, year after year.
It’s called Oryx One and offers several dedicated kids’ channels like Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Baraaem and Jeem, as well as a great selection of family movies from new releases to those favourites everyone’s happy to watch again and again.