Unaccompanied children flying on Air NZ planes will soon be issued with electronic wristbands that will trigger text messages to caregivers through their journey.

On arrival to check-in, children flying alone between the ages of five and 11 will receive a wristband embedded with a microchip that can be scanned at key stages of the journey to trigger text notifications.

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Airline general manager for customer experience Carrie Hurihanganui said the Airband was a great example of airlines investing in technology to enhance customer experience.

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"This is the first time this type of technology has been used by an airline anywhere in the world for the purpose of providing caregivers greater peace of mind when their child is travelling alone."

Hurihanganui said Air New Zealand had been trialing the technology over recent months and so far has received positive feedback from parents and guardians.

The Air New Zealand 'Airband' service is being offered as complimentary until February next year.
The Air New Zealand 'Airband' service is being offered as complimentary until February next year.

"We know that having your child travel on their own can be a nervous time for both children and their guardians.

"While our staff have always taken great care of children travelling solo, we identified that there was an opportunity to enhance the experience for kids while at the same time giving caregivers further peace of mind and visibility of their journey," she said.

The airline's new service automatically applies to all children up to the age of 11 years, but those up to the age of 16 years can choose to opt in. Operating now, the scheme is free until February next year. After that it will cost $15 per child each flight. For international journeys, the service will cost $40.