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Published Apr 07, 2022

For families – particularly those with young children – arriving at the airport for a flight can be quite daunting.

And given the restrictions on overseas travel we’ve seen in recent years, many people may be planning to travel overseas with wee ones for the very first time.

However, as scary as it might seem, it need not be a stressful experience.

Here we take a look at some of the steps you can take to ensure your journey through the airport is as smooth, and hassle-free, as possible.

Hand luggage rules explained: Items you can and can't take through security

Early bird catches the, flight?

Arriving in good time (early, but not too early) is quite simply the best way to ensure your journey goes smoothly.

We’d suggest you arrive at the airport at least two hours before departure, although different airlines open check-in at different times, and you can check out our full list of opening times here.

Don’t leave it to the last minute and risk running late.

Still not sure how you’re getting to the airport? Check out our transport links page here and car parking options here.

When should I arrive at Edinburgh Airport for my flight?

Failing to prepare is preparing to… you know the script

We’re sure it goes without saying but preparation is always important.

That means boarding passes are printed or on a device, essentials are packed, and you’re all ready for security.

Best double checking with your airline for how many bags you’re allowed, and give our website pages on what is and isn’t allowed in hand luggage a final once-over (you can find it here).

Note – pushchairs, prams and buggies are all allowed through security, however you may need to lift your child out so it can be properly searched.

Use any queues to your advantage

This might sound strange but bear with us.

While waiting in line get yourself and the kids ready for security. Belts, jackets, electronics and liquids go in the tray, so start prepping while in the queue so you’re not having to do it all at the last minute.

Trust us, this makes a world of difference when you get to the front of the line.

We've also got a dedicated family lane you can take advantage of to ensure your journey is as smooth as possible.

Five top tips for airport Security: The best ways to ensure a stress-free experience

Got everything you need?

So you’re through security but still faced with that nagging feeling you’ve forgotten something?

Don’t sweat. In the event you have left something behind (nappies, baby milk, etc) you can grab any last minute essentials at the shops through security.

This is also a great place to pick up a snack or a quick bite to eat before boarding.

Washrooms, and baby changing facilities can be found throughout departures, however there is also a dedicated family washroom at gate 21, and this is perfect for keeping everyone together.

We welcome breastfeeding throughout the terminal, but for those who want a bit of privacy we have also got a lockable nursing room near gate 21.

Don’t be late to the gate

You’ll be surprised at how many people wait until their flight is boarding before dashing to their gate. With a family that dash could easily become a whole lot more stressful.

Your best bet is to keep a close eye on the screens for your gate information, while listing out for any announcements, and as soon as the gate is announced start making your way there.

Check out your check-in desk opening times at Edinburgh Airport

Boarding? It’s plane sailing

Once you’ve arrived at the gate it’s simply a case of waiting to board, and you’re good to go.

Boarding typically starts around 40 minutes before departure. Many airlines let families get on the plane first, and if you have a buggy or pram this will be taken by a member of staff as you are ready to board.

Piece of cake.