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To either go Premium Economy or Business or not go at all?

(42 Posts)
KenAdams Thu 01-Nov-12 14:07:19

DD is 6 months and we want to go to visit family who live a 24 hour flight away (well, two 12 hour flights).

We want to go before she's 2 so we don't have to pay for her ticket, but I'm not sure we will be able to get through the flights if we go economy as DH is very tall anyway so we usually get seats with some sort of extra legroom and I think he might just feel ill being cooped up and having a baby on his lap for part of the flight.

I don't know if we would even get a bassinette if she was 18 months plus either so she would be on our laps (although I might be wrong about that).

Would it be more trouble than its worth flying economy all that way and should we just save up and upgrade, or would you just pay the cheapest and grin and bear it?

We would have to save up for the trip, we can't just afford to go on a whim.

blueberryboybait Thu 01-Nov-12 14:13:10

We flew to Australia when DD1 was 18mo and I was 28w pregnant, we saved up and flew business (DH also managed to get a companion fare from Emirates) She did get a bassinet as she was quite a small 18mo, she only slept in it a bit but it was very handy for putting all her stuff in during the flight if she was on our laps. If you go economy and you could buy your DD a seat, then she would have somewhere to sit and it may be cheaper than premium/business class for 2.

oldraver Thu 01-Nov-12 14:14:22

I would either buy her a seat in economy or go go Business/premium

ScaryFakeNails Thu 01-Nov-12 14:14:28

It depends how much extra it is and how much harder for you to save for.

I think realistically economy isn't exactly a hardship. Have you/your DH done the flight before? How did you find it?

My DH is tall, when we do long haul as a family I do often stick him in premium economy or he sits by the emergency exits. I like a seat at the back where its safe.

I don't know much about the basinette.

GruesomewhereInCanada Thu 01-Nov-12 14:15:27

You might find that if you travel in PE or business you'll have to pay a percentage for DD in any event. We're looking at flying Upper Class with Virgin when we fly back to the UK next September. IIRC they want 10% for DS.

Personally, I would try and get as much room as possible.

Sirzy Thu 01-Nov-12 14:17:13

Surely it would work out cheaper and comfier to buy her a seat?

Graciescotland Thu 01-Nov-12 14:19:23

Where is it that your family live? I travelled on a cuddle couch with my then nearly 2 year old via Auckland with air New Zealand, it was def. worth the upgrade fee.

Also flew Iceland air's business class recently for the same price as a BA economy fare, definitely worth the detour!

I travelled a lot when DS was under two and I've found that if there is a spare seat on the plane the cabin crew will work hard to see you get it. This may be because DS is ultracute and lovely till I tried to strap him to my lap and anyone sitting beside us would then leap at the chance to be moved to another seat.

mumblechum1 Thu 01-Nov-12 14:19:25

Yup. We never fly economy for anything over 2 hours, after the last time when about 5 babies were screeching through the whole flight, and the food was a plastic wrapped sandwich.

I know you can still hear screechy babies in some planes but if you go BA long haul you'll be upstairs so it's lovely and quiet.

Flatbread Thu 01-Nov-12 14:19:38

I think premium economy is a waste, but business is worth it. If you shop around, you can get great deals on business class.

I would not do that kind of travel in economy, unless you were taking a nice break between the two long haul flights

mumblechum1 Thu 01-Nov-12 14:20:06

blush Just seen you have a baby.


<<shuffles off>>

KenAdams Thu 01-Nov-12 14:23:51

I've done it before and it's not a fun flight.

There would be a 10% fee for her.

The costs are more for 3 economy seats than 2 PE, but less than for 2 Business. That's based on fares for next year as the ones for the year after obviously aren't available yet.

The other way to do it is to try and upgrade at the airport which is usually cheaper, but don't know if an airline would be reluctant to sell me an upgrade with a baby?

KenAdams Thu 01-Nov-12 14:25:14

Mumble grin

KenAdams Thu 01-Nov-12 14:27:14

They live in Sydney.

HazleNutt Thu 01-Nov-12 14:39:42

If you can afford it and won't have to live on bread and water for the next year, then of course go business. 2x12 hour flight in economy is torture, baby or not.

NumericalMum Thu 01-Nov-12 14:45:41

My experience of flying with a nearly 2 year old for a 12 hour flight with no seat for her was something like hell. Every other time with her having a seat or being a small baby was fine. I would say go PE or get 3 seats. You won't regret it!

MarshaBrady Thu 01-Nov-12 14:47:22

We bought ds1 a seat when he was 13 months, glad we did. Hell otherwise.

GruesomewhereInCanada Thu 01-Nov-12 14:47:22

I did Economy to Singapore once. 13 hours. Never again. I hate how they always make you walk through business class when you get off, so you can see how spacious and serene it was, compared to the mess in economy.

I now have a 7 hour rule. Anything more than that and I'm not getting on unless I can turn left or go upstairs.

Dial A Flight and Trailfinders have been good for us at getting great companion fares in the past. Singapore Airlines are great but can be really pricey. Etihad are very good too, if you're willing to hub through Dubai.

cornflowers Thu 01-Nov-12 14:51:03

I've done those flights a few times with small dc and it can be pretty vile, but it is only 24 hours. Agree that premium economy is a waste, business much better. However, if you will need to save up for business class, I'd advise you not to bother. The extra few thousand would no doubt come in handy elsewhere.
Try to find an unpopular flight, that is, one leaving at an anti-social time, for example, or on a Friday the 13th, or from Gatwick as opposed to Heathrow, as these flights will tend to have spare seats on them. In several cases I've managed to get a spare seat for a dc under 2 without having to pay for them. As you'll almost inevitably get bulkhead seats anyway by virtue of travelling with an infant, the issue re yr dh's height is unlikely to be a massive issue. There are also a number of sites that display seating plans for various airlines and highlight the best seats with respect to legroom etc.
Obviously, the flight will be more comfortable in business class, but the true determining factor will be how happy your dd is, and this is unlikely to be improved by an upgrade.
From experience: Don't travel if dd is unwell, has a bad cold etc, change your flights. Wrap up a few small toys/ presents for her to open at opportune moments. Take along an iPad or similar with her favourite programmes or DVDs installed. Bring along food she will want to eat if she's a fussy eater.

Mosman Thu 01-Nov-12 14:53:25

We flew over to Australia with a two year old in the summer and it really wasn't that bad at, I would have been gutted to have spent all that extra money. It's 24 hours of your life and everyone sleeps for a decent chunk of it, DS had 8 hours, just grin and bear it I'd say.

Stiffybyng Thu 01-Nov-12 14:56:06

I would say own seat. We recently did a 2.5 hour return flight. On the way out, she had the middle seat and it was perfectly OK. On the way back, the flight was rammed, she was on our laps, and it was hell.

WileyRoadRunner Thu 01-Nov-12 14:59:02

mumble that was the funniest thing on AIBU since forever.


mumblechum1 Thu 01-Nov-12 15:12:32

Wiley the shame blush

Beksybob Thu 01-Nov-12 15:16:03

My sister came over from Australia with her 18 month old. She was lucky enough to have a spare seat next to her. She was unlucky enough that her daughter wouldn't sit in it and insisted on sitting on sis's knee the whole way!

FreudiansSlipper Thu 01-Nov-12 15:27:37

i flew with ds a few times before he was 2 once to la when he was 9 months old that was premium economy (virgin) then last year to australia (he was 4 so got his own seat) by economy (emirates) the emirates flight was much better but you need to be on the an A380 plane in economy you get more room and service is great

jsut be very organised i found it ok (by myself with ds) and the stop off is only a few hours which is enough i rather get there quicker than stop over night somewhere

FreudiansSlipper Thu 01-Nov-12 15:29:41

save the money for when you get there australia is very expensive and take what you need you can not get cheap clothes there

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