To fly with a baby?(122 Posts)
We have to move abroad for DP's work early next year. His company will pay for us to go over in Dec to do house hunting. But we have a young baby and i'm not sure about the 7 hour flight.
Is it unreasonable on the baby and other passengers? Baby will be 3 months. Would flying business class make any difference?
If you get a choice of who to fly with, try for Air New Zealand, they are GREAT with families. You can book a sky couch at the airport for an additional £100 and I've had two friends who have been in half empty flights and they bumped up families rather than single travelers as they had the room I and we're incredibly forward thinking by ascertaining if the families are comfortable, everyone else will have an easier flight to.
I flew on my own back to LA this summer with 3.5yr and 7mo olds...not looking forward to doing the same again in jan when DD will be 14months!
It really pisses me off when people say that its selfish for families to be in business. Its PUBLIC TRANSPORT! If they can afford the ticket, they can fly. If you want to dictate your travel conditions then charter your own plane.
Cant afford to? Oh dear, then you will just have to suck up the fact that other people, babies and children included, have as much right to be there as you do, so remove your head from your arse and deal with it!
I had someone be very ungracious when I was in business with my ?11? I think yr old one time. DHs company booked the flight and accidentally put both kids in business and DH and I in steerage. The flight was overbooked and kids aren't allowed to fly unaccompanied in business on that airline so the workaround was to have one parent in business, one in economy and split the kids. We decided to have me and DS#1 in business because I had never flown business (he had for work several times) and he would better remember it than his 7 yr old brother.
OMG the sneers we got from this one guy, he was an ass anyway. He was a tour guide for a trip and didn't want to sit with them so kept going back and forth sorting them out while people were trying to board and barging past people and swanned around like the big important guy he apparently was.
So DS and I are sat apart and the attendant asked if anyone wanted to move. There were only about 12 business seats, noone wanted to and that was fine, DS was old enough to sit by himself for five hours. One of the seats was next to an elderly chap who had had knee surgery and needed the aisle, he was sweet but couldn't realistically move even though he offered. The other seat was next to pompous ass. So guess where I put DS. I said "he has plenty to occupy himself, he should be easy and quiet. Suddenly pompous ass decided that a window seat wasn't the worst thing ever and moved next to knee surgery guy, creating the biggest fuss EVAH. Pretty much everyone in business class put earplugs/headphones on and slept anyway so I'm not sure why the seat made a difference.
Anyway, my (sorry,very long winded point) is that some people will be pompous asses. Doesn't mean you are in the wrong and should have made different choices.
Not read everything but to answer 3 months sounds easy peasy. I did 5 months and then every 6-9 months after that and age 2 was a bloody nightmare in comparison! Just take a change of clothes for yourself. DC was sick all over me as we landed after feeding hourly on the flight. Was lovely :-/
Of course you should fly business/first/upper/whatever the call this part of the cabin where you don't feel like a canned sardine. Business class is not the same as a "quiet zone" or "child free".
Yes, I would not be exactly thrilled either if I had to go straight to office, like I often do, and your baby kept me up the whole night, but that's life and babies cry. How is it more fair to impose this on a lot larger number of passengers, who might have obligations the next day as well? Fine because they paid less?
Business class is for those who can pay for it - anyone. And as already has been pointed out is not actually called business class by most airlines.
An aeroplane is a vehicle of public transport. And if on business or not, that means there will be other members of public who you may or may not like close to you. If you dont like it get a private jet. (though I dont think its unreasonale to expect a certain level of politeness and consideration from others on your public flight).
I also know plenty of people who dont get to fly business on a transatlantic flights (shocking but another story), so they will be in economy so they should have to put up with the "screaming baby".
We flew economy with DS at 3.5 months. No bassinet. Hideous. Squashed in, getting out to change was horrific, huge queues for the loo.
First at 8 months, he was a bit more challenging but the conditions were so much better.
Solo economy at 11months with a bassinet. That was okay because I had the space with the bassinet and being on the end of a row.
Solo economy, we paid for a seat for him, at 15 months. I'm not flying til he's 3 or 4. Conditions were fine but he just didn't want to be confined and the staff were do unhelpful it was unbelievable. Air Austral, they don't go to Washington!
We have just come back off holiday with our 5 children.
Our 9 year old and 6 year old was easy peasy just read books watch tv etc we have 9 months old twins who where pure angels not a peep out of them!!
My 20 months old dd was fine going out but on the way back she wasn't well and whimpered a lot (no cryin or anything) I was trying everything to settle her.
The man 2 seats behind stood up and said "will you shut that brat up" I lost my temper and told him where to go and the stewardess told me off and moved the man so he wasn't bothered by my dd anymore!!
I would like to mention that it was a Thomas cook flight with loads of kids more noises than my dd.
I was so angry, it's hard flying with children when you have morons like that on board!
bbface - i have also had that experience of loud at the back of the bus teens in London (i used to teach in a secondary school in south east London and have to get the bus to work full of pupils <shudder> ). But, my point (not made very clearly) was that it is everywhere, not just exclusive to London. And i have lived all my life in London, west, south and east - never ventured north tho - but moved out last July, altho my family & friends are still there and i can't drive so London buses are still my mode of transport. Apologies for being touchy, i do get pissed off with London bashing.
Anyway, i digress. Thank you for all the advice. I didn't realise it was going to turn into a thread separating economy from business, as i said earlier, it never occurred to me that those in business had different rights to those in economy. I am going to read the sales blurb for business and see what it offers. I presumed it said things like, leg room, service, drinks, not child free as one of the selling points. I think if they don't stipulate child free then a baby has equal right to be there as in economy. Also people in economy may have meetings/work or be on honeymoon, holiday so i really don't see why disturbing one is okay and not the other. As i said if it was a blanket 'don't travel' then i'd get it.
If it were me, i would find it easier to distract myself with all the benefits of business than i would if i was squashed in economy AND there was a grizzling baby.
When I fly business class I am flying for work and I do have to work during the flight. Noise cancelling headphones don't block out wailing babies...I would be very pissed off to have a baby screaming in business class.
Should say she slept practically the whole way and was fine when awake.
I would totally do business for the lounge, forgotten about that, we get lounge use because we have Amex and it was BRILL for the kids, made flying a ton easier. It isn't that I have a 'fuckyouverymuch' attitude to the other business travellers, but their need is no greater than yours, their money isn't worth more. If baby is crying then you will probably want to get up and walk around anyway and you can do that in either cabin. Do you have a ring sling? It was invaluable for travelling for us.
When work was paying for flights we always flew Virgin, they were fabulous with the kids and the attendants kept asking to hold the baby.
ITA with whomever said to make sure your baby is hungry before take off and feed feed feed. My kids had reflux and they always slept better in their car seats because they were much more upright.
We flew 5 hours with a 6 month old when we moved countries for DH's work.
Not really like you have a choice is it.
Btw slightly worried about the prospect of flying long haul with a mobile 6m for half term soon. It's a difficult age on a plane IME .didnt do long flights with DS until he was 4+. When she was 5w we flew back 10 h from US and she just slept in her skycot and ate 3 times. The horrible noise big planes make that keeps me awake even in business put her sound a sleep like white notice I guess!
We emigrated when DD was 3months and DS was 3yrs, upgraded to business for the flight out. I don't think it made much difference to DD to be honest, she was still on my lap most of the time, but was nice having more room and MUCH BETTER FOOD for the rest of us. There were two other emigrating families in business too.
Btw which airline doesn't allow babies/ kids in business? Never heard of that and have used many different ones.
Yes I guess the business class is the old name and it's been rebranded now but that's what people mostly still call it .depends what route you fly it's full of other people though nowadays...
We flew longhaul with a 3 month old and a 4.5yr old and the 3 month old was very easy. He had his own seat (with his regular carseat in it but facing the other way) and I had him on my lap nursing for take off and landing. Three month old babies generally like to be held a lot and really don't need much entertaining other than you and so it was bliss for him, both parents, lots of attention. Feed any time ears hurt or pop and the pressure equalises.
Only problem was he puked a LOT taking off and landing. All over me. We had to buy clothes at one of our connections because I didn't pack enough spares.
Some people were a bit mardy because he was loud. So I said to an attendant in a loud voice "I'm sorry he is loud but at least he isn't crying!" and she replied that he was doing great and they settled down.
Business class is just an old fashioned name that has stuck. Many of those business folk will at some point take their own children business class. The airlines don't care who is in the seat as long as they get paid. To say you don't want to annoy the business class folk but that economy can just suck it up is crap. My just turned 1 yr old had a paid business class seat, money is money and the airlines don't care. Saying that for a 7ish hour flight especially through the day and if you can get basinettes then economy or premium economy isn't so bad.
It doesn't generally seem to be called business class, as it happens - for example BA have "Club World" or "Club Europe". There's been a very deliberate move on the part of the airlines to distance the class-between-Economy-and-First from being a specifically business-oriented offering.
And at the same time a lot of companies are making their employees fly Economy or Premium Economy rather than Club for business flights.
If an airline feels that demand patterns are such that (a) they can fill their aircraft without accepting babies/small children in Club and (b) having a guaranteed child-free space is something business passengers will pay for, then the airline is at perfect liberty to launch such a service - just as most theatres/operas have a minimum age policy, and plenty of swish restaurants discourage or forbid small children. But only one airline appears to have done anything of the kind, so it isn't something that their market research is telling them their customers see as a significant problem and presumably there is more business in maintaining a family-friendly policy.
Another one here recommending the ba business class! The middle seats that form their own enclosed little cubicle are great with kids in general and the end of the row with the skycot on the wall is fab . We always do business if we can on long haul due to my health problems and ba has been very childfriendly . What ever class you are in you should make sure your kids behave . Also babies and toddlers do sometimes cry that's a fact of life . Flying is public transport and you can't expect to have a perfect quiet journey when there are other people around . Ofcourse I prefer to not to listen other people's kids wailing either in an ideal world .Business class is a silly name it's not just for business men it's for anyone who can pay for it and doesn't want to do first which has usually ridiculous prices !
ps DH says now that if there's a baby crying in business class, his first reaction is "Not my kid. Excellent. More wine please." whereas before he had kids it was "Bloody children!"
I also really recommend BA. Even though I've said I will never fly with them again about 10 times now, the layout of their business class really works with kids, because you get the two "middle seats" with the bassinet in front of you. Dont request the upper deck as that is where you are likely to find the genuine business passengers, and also not much space for pacing up and down if you need to.
Cathay is great generally, but they have a herringbone layout (known as "the coffins") which make travelling with a baby harder.
I would book a night flight if the baby will be 3 mo by then as sleep patterns will (hopefully) have changed by the time you fly so the all day sleeping likely to be a thing of the past.
To be fair, unless the baby is by nature a non-stop screamer, they are unlikely to really kick off on the plane- usually you find the white noise zonks them out.
Spuddy, as a Londoner my experience of buses (which is a lot!) is groups of teens in the back playing their music whilst everyone else sits there quietly. If you are a Londoner, and use the buses, then you will know this is true and the attitude of them is fairly similar to some of the posters on this thread suggesting you do not give the other passengers another thought and just concentrate on yourself and your baby. Seriously, no need to get all London cheesy patriot-y on me. makes me wonder whether you are indeed a Londoner or were in your yoof but now moved out. Because that level of touchiness is not the trait of a Londoner!
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