Early flight advice

(13 Posts)
ctrlaltdel Sun 02-Mar-14 17:19:44

We (DH, me, DD(4) and DS(2)) are on an early flight from Gatwick in a few weeks time. We are staying overnight at one of the airport hotels then getting the transfer bus in the morning.

I've not done flying/airports with small children before (especially with DH who is nit a morning person!) so any advice on how much time to leave or how to make the journey as stress free as possible would be really appreciated?

ctrlaltdel Sun 02-Mar-14 17:20:13

*not a morning person

ctrlaltdel Sun 02-Mar-14 17:23:12

Meant to add - it's only a short-haul European flight

youbethemummylion Sun 02-Mar-14 17:30:01

When we did a VERY early flight with a 4 yr old we backed his clothes/toothbrush etc in our hand luggage. Carried him from bed to shuttle bus and through most of the airport he didnt really come around properly until we were past security then we got him dressed/washed/breakfast whilst waiting for plane. Found this far easier than trying to manhandle a sleepy child into clothes at 3 in the morning. I am not a morning person either but with a plan of who is responsible for what we get buy without really speaking

youbethemummylion Sun 02-Mar-14 17:31:14

For an hour or so until I am more able to hold polite conversation.

MillyMollyMama Tue 04-Mar-14 16:15:22

You will need to check in at least 2 hours before the flight so you need to find out how long the journey is between the hotel and the North or South terminal. I would get there in really good time as you may have to queue for check in and security which could be a whinge time, from DH too! Once through all of this you could either encourage the children to have a nap or, if they are awake, maybe check out a coffee shop. Take some books/games for amusement and perhaps a favourite toy each. Not sure if you can see planes landing or taking off, but this might amuse the DCs for a bit too.

Don't lug too much around in your hand luggage. Put as much as you can in the hold. If the children have had to wake up too early for them, I think it is really difficult to get them engaged with the holiday, but I would try and explain all about airports and how exciting it all is!

ctrlaltdel Wed 05-Mar-14 08:38:48

Thank you for the replies. I think I will let the children sleep in their clothes at the hotel the night before & keep a spare pair of clothes in hand luggage. I think we'd struggle to carry both of them and all our luggage though!

DS is an early riser anyway so I think he'll be really excited at the airport but hopefully fall asleep on the plane?! DH is still not convinced by how early we have to be at the airport and would rather have an extra 30 mins sleep at the hotel - I think he may be as grumbly as the children on the day...

Coveredinweetabix Thu 13-Mar-14 21:07:56

Who are you flying with? Some airlines, including Thomson, allow you to check in the night before so our routine is DP drops me, the DC & all the luggage at the hotel & goes and parks whilst I check in, then he comes back & finds us &, once the DC are in their PJs, we head off to check in & leave everything other than hand luggage and pushchair with them, back to the hotel & sleep. In the morning, DP and I shower & dress & leave the DC in their PJs. Go & get tag for the pushchair & go through security. Once through security, get DC into clothes and grab some breakfast.

ctrlaltdel Fri 14-Mar-14 23:04:31

That's a great idea unfortunately the check in only opens from midnight (slightly ridiculous time I think) so it would defeat the point of an early night at the hotel if one of us was waiting up to check in all the bags...

FairyPenguin Fri 14-Mar-14 23:17:33

We've done night before check in at Gatwick too. It opens a lot earlier than midnight. If you are flying with BA or Thomas Cook then this is definitely available, and with other airlines. I think it's called Sundown Checkin.

FairyPenguin Fri 14-Mar-14 23:22:07

Here it is: http://www.gatwickairport.com/at-the-airport/flying-out/check-in/day-before-check-in/

FairyPenguin Fri 14-Mar-14 23:24:41

We've been there around 6pm before, with pushchair and all hand luggage, then they issued us with all tags and boarding passes. In the morning we then went straight to security. Saves so much time and you won't have to stress about getting there early or managing luggage.

ctrlaltdel Sat 15-Mar-14 07:18:17

It's a charter flight and the ticket we have definitely says check in from midnight- otherwise it would've been a great idea and saved us (potentially) loads of hassle....

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