Longhaul with Singapore Airlines London - Singapore - Auckland with 21 month old

(16 Posts)
lgmum2b Thu 27-Sep-12 18:03:32

Hi,
We are travelling in Nov with our 21 month old and it will be her first flight.
12 hours followed by a 10 hour stop over in Singapore and then another 11 hours onto Auckland.

We leave at lunchtime which I thought was a good idea giving her long enough to be active and the new interest in her surroundings to wear off so that even if she was a little over excited and missed her afternoon nap by the evening she would hopefully go to sleep.

Has anyone flown Singapore Airlines with a toddler recently?
I'm after advice about:
- how to keep my little 21 month girl entertained specific toys would be great(will be taking ipad, iphones, fav stuffed toys, colouring books and crayons, blankets)
- Whcih meal option is best suited as there are a few in the childrens category to choose from
- How helpful were the crew?
- How do you get clean sterilised water on board or do we have to give them bottled water? Is this readily available on demand?
- How many outfit changes recommended?
- Any additional helpful and encouraging advice.

Thankfully she gave up her formula two weeks ago so I no longer have to pack any and worry about cleaning bottles en route etc but I am worrying about her drinking water as she has only ever had bolied and cooled tap water so far and there is mixed advice about giving under 3's bottled water.

Thanks so much.

OK, my first suggestion would be if you can change you flight to the night flight out of London you would be better off doing that. If not be prepared for lots of walking up and down the aisles. Have you booked your child their own seat? At 11 months DS was too big for the bassinet so if you can stretch to a seat then please do this.

Children's meals are usually something like bangers and mash with fruit, roll, juice and may be cheese and biscuits or crisps. I would definitely take a supply of food and drink that she will eat. You may need to buy all of this airside though given the liquid restrictions pre-security.

Singapore airlines are good crewe but don't expect them to hold baby for you - they will however keep your food hot until you are able to eat it.

The cabin crewe will give you boiling water. But it is boiling water - what do you need it for as you say you have given up formula?

A couple of changes of clothes. More nappies than you think you will need as well as wipes

sashh Sat 29-Sep-12 05:14:23

Are you spending 10 hours in the airport? There is a hotel in the airport, you can book rooms for a few hours. There is also a swimming pool and a sauna. There are loads of shops and eating places.

You can also get a bus to the shopping area, Orchard Rd, but might not be that easy with a lo.

I've never flown with Singapore but not heard bad things.

TheExpatWife Sat 29-Sep-12 05:30:53

I don't usually rely on aeroplane food for my children, esp long haul. They may eat bits of the meal, but they may not and it is a long time to be without a proper meal.

You can take easy to eat things that your daughter will like - sandwiches, dry cereal and ask for milk or yoghurt on the plane, biscuits, rice cakes. Then airside I buy Evian (double check but I recall that is low sodium so OK for u3's) to take on board. You can restock in Singapore or refill from the water fountains in the airport. Take a roll-along cabin suitcase with it all in, plus the wipes, nappies and change of clothes (incl for yourself - a clean t-shirt works wonders).

I always take too many toys on the plane - stickers, crayons, and the in-flight TV usually does the trick.

Ten hours in Changi might be a bit of a challenge, but you can get the bus in to town, it takes less than half an hour and a walk around the Marina and to see the Merlion is nice. A cab should cost less than $30 if you don't want to hang around. Or the Botanic Gardens - head for the Jacob Ballas children's garden which has a small cafe and water play area for small children. Pack a couple of muslins for on the plane and/or to dry off after the water fountains, it is not cold so you do not need to wrap up when wet!

HollyMadison Sat 29-Sep-12 06:33:34

It's quite a difficult age to travel with unless your DD is happy to sit still and watch tv. I second changing your flight so you have a night flight out of London so she'll sleep most of the way to SG.

I've done that trip with an 8 month old and it was tough. If it was me I would go straight on to Akld (so stop for only an hour or 2). Although there is loads to do in SG and it's easy to get around, I just think it would be so tiring for you as I doubt you'll sleep on the flight and so a day in between flights might just be too hard.

I can't remember the weight limit for Singapore bassinets but it's usually around 11kg. Even if she is not too heavy the bassinets are not very long and she may not want to be in one when she's awake. I would book a seat for her at that age.

I second taking food. I have travelled a bit recently with my 19 month old and security have never worried about the food I am bringing on for him even though it is not baby food eg I bring pasta and mini tomatoes as I know he will eat these. I've also had no problem bringing his drink bottles full of water. If you did have to tip the water out you can get boiled water from Starbucks on the other side so I wouldn't worry about the water issue. Tap water is fine in SG.

Good luck!

I've done London to Singapore 6 times in the past 4 years and dd2 is now 4 so I'm sure I must have done it at that age! Singapore airlines is the best airline I have traveled with with children. The meals are fantastic for kids, normally pasta and lots of snacks stuff like raisins and there are normally fruit bowls available throughout the flight so you can help yourselves. Water on the flight is bottled so don't worry about the boiled cooled stuff, filtered or spring will be fine. Make sure she has her own seat as that long your lap will kill you both.

As for the layover, there is no way I would travel to the city 40 minutes each way in cab or bus... Head for the east coast 10 minutes away, take a walk along the front to blow away the cobwebs and stretch your legs. If its raining, a soft play such as polliwogs on the east coast (depending on the time of day of course) will make sure your lo sleeps on the next flight. I think you need to get out of the airport and into fresh air and the correct daylight for the time to help with jetlag.....

lgmum2b Sat 29-Sep-12 21:05:02

Hi Guys,
Thanks so much for all your suggestions.
We've chosen the 10 hour stopover in Singapore to be in a transit hotel to break up the journey and give her a good run around should she want it or just crash out.
We have booked her own seat so hopefully will be more comfortable.

Thanks for the food suggestions will definitely pack mini sandwiches, rice cakes etc.
Great suggestions on what to do in Singapore but as we are in transit we won't be leaving the airport.

I'm seriously considering changing the flight now, will look into it.
But what are thoughts about breaking the journey up and keeping the transit option versus just going with the normal 45 min turnaround and effectively flying for 24 hours straight?

IwanttoflyonA380 Sat 29-Sep-12 22:14:57

Just a little thing. I am flying to nz in early 2013. Been looking at nz customs flight. You are not allowed to bring crayons into nz so only buy cheap ones and declare them for customs you may have to throw them. Our dds are 11 and 7 and we are hoping to do a 10hr stop as I have arthritis and having a break I think will be best for my health. I think being traped in a seat because you don't want to wake your dd or you are trying to get her to sleep may increase you risk of dvt.

Sounds like you have a good plan. If you are in a transit hotel, take swimming costumes and a plastic bag for wet stuff in your hand luggage.... They will provide towels.

TheExpatWife Sun 30-Sep-12 01:58:35

The ten hour layover is a tricky one. If I were doing a ten hour layover I'd time it so we were awake and out and about (it is effectively a whole day in Singapore and I'd treat it as a day for sightseeing, even into the evening it is easy to potter around as everything is lit up and warm), then sleeping on the plane as much as possible. If you are planning to hang around Changi, I would go for a short layover and as butterflies says, pack swimmers for a quick dip in the pool during the refuelling stop.

Changi is a nice airport, but ten hours of hanging around it won't be great - I'd be thinking I could almost be in NZ by now...! And if you sleep in the transit hotel you'll spend the next flight leg awake, which isn't ideal.

I have done the short and long layover (pre DC) and would either spend a couple of days in Spore to have a proper break (even two days/one night works well and means you fly at night) or press straight on to arrive in NZ quicker.

arghhhmiddleage Sun 30-Sep-12 02:11:59

I've done Singapore Airlines to Australia on my own. They were great, it was as comfortable as a flight that long in economy can be. Food was good and there was constant supply of soft drinks and ice cream throughout. The cabin staff were lovely so I would imagine they would cope well with kids.

I had several hours at Changi. If you have a transit hotel and can get some rest it will be fine. I didn't, and did get a bit bored after a shower, a potter around the shops and a trip on the monorail around the airport. You can also get a free bus tour around town from the airport.

bran Sun 30-Sep-12 02:46:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

soapnuts Sun 30-Sep-12 04:30:22

totally second the option of bringing her car seat - but I think (could be wrong) that it might have to be a forward facing one - check with the airline.

One more little thing about Changi airport - when you're getting the next flight don't stock up on liquids (especially water) as you have to go through security again directly before you get on the flight so won't be able to bring it through. (some liquids like toiletries/duty free etc are fine as they will put them into a sealed bag for you but I've never managed to get this done with water). There is usually a small place to get a few bottles right at the gate and Sing airlines are v good at giving you plenty.

Sing air are usually lovely - especially when travelling with kids.

HollyMadison Sun 30-Sep-12 06:01:28

Re the transit, my ideal would be an hour and a half to 2 hours. Enough time to run around and have a shower/swim (and also allowing for the possible delay of your first flight). But then I'd want to get on my way so as not to prolong the whole journey. That's my ideal with a toddler anyway!

You know what, you could probably fill 10 hours in Changi airport anyway, there are swimming pools, butterfly gardens, cinemas, playgrounds etc. The free bus tours sound good too http://www.changiairport.com/in-transit/fun-for-the-kids

Re transit. Just get there. By the time you are in Singapore you will jut want to be at your destination so personally, I would keep going as quickly as possible.

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