Recent research for Thomas Cook found that parents get an average of just one hour of quality time with their kids per day, making holidays together more important than ever.

Most of us would agree that family holidays produce some of our most treasured memories. Yet the bookends to that precious week or fortnight away are often a source of stress, frustration and dissatisfaction.

Not being able to sit together on a flight is painful in every way, something I experienced myself last year when I ended up several rows back from my two children on an overnight journey – and spent most of it standing in the aisle or wedged on their two seats trying to help them sleep.

Of course, good agents can add value for their customers by flagging the need to secure seats in advance, and most airlines will try their best to seat families together where possible.

But if some are perceived to be profiteering by deliberately splitting families up, that does our entire industry a disservice. It is to be hoped that the CAA’s much-publicised investigation at least ensures there is transparency and consistency across the sector.

As we report in this family-themed edition, it is family bookings that are driving this summer’s outbound growth, so now more than ever we need to make sure this key market is looked after from start to finish.

It’s not rocket science to state that the companies that genuinely put those customers first will have the best chance of retaining their lucrative business in the years to come.