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How do you manage the airport with one child, baggage and only 2 arms?

(14 Posts)
mamadadawahwah Sat 12-Mar-05 18:14:17

Travelling this summer alone with my ds. Worried how i am going to manoevre the trolley, him, his pushchair and everthing else!! Are there porters in most airports? anybody know how much you are supposed to tip them? What if they dont keep my pushchair on the plane, how will i manage to get off the plane with no pushchair? Anybody encountered this?

mamadadawahwah Sat 12-Mar-05 18:15:19

travelling via Gatwick connection by the way. What is it like, for child friendliness, anybody know?

Gem13 Sat 12-Mar-05 18:20:22

I've only flown with DH but they have always accepted the buggy at the gate and got it off at the other end by the steps/gate.

I know at least one person on here has travelled with 2 on her own so hopefully she'll be around next week to answer you. I haven't seen her so far.

LIZS Sat 12-Mar-05 18:20:49

How old is ds? Could you take a sling in case you don't get the pushchair back at the palne door ? If he's a bit older then would he ride on a luggage trolley and perhaps have his own little bag on wheels. Not sure about porter services but perhaps you could look at the websites of whichever ones you are passing through to see what services may be available to you.

You could also invest in a lightweight covertible bag to keep your hands free - we have one from Equator which is a holdall but also has proper padded rucksack straps and a zip-off smaller rucksack.

flashingnose Sat 12-Mar-05 18:22:03

Hand baggage in a rucksack and a suitcase with wheels, so you can push the pushchair with one hand and pull the suitcase with the other. A complete nightmare but possible. I've never had a problem with taking a small umbrella folding stroller on planes - if they can't accommodate it on board, they'll put it in the hold and bring it up to you when you disembark, especially if you're on your own.

HTH

LIZS Sat 12-Mar-05 18:22:46

You may have to walk a really long way at Gatwick, perhaps even changing terminal by a rail link , so be prepared, and we've only ever got the buggy back at Baggage Reclaim - sorry .

flashingnose Sat 12-Mar-05 18:24:42

If you're in any doubt, pre-book assistance with the airline - then they have to help you!

MaggieW Sat 12-Mar-05 18:26:58

Contact whoever you made your booking through and ask for special assistance. I had same prospect facing me going to NZ and with assistance it was a bit easier. They meet you at check in and escort you to the plane's door. Don't expect too much though, they won't carry much more than your documents, aren't allowed to lift luggage, aren't allowed to be alone with children, and can't push trolleys through customs on the return journey. However, another pair of hands is useful. When you return get a porter in the baggage area and they will lift your bags and get them to your transportation. You don't have to tip as they have a set price. Re your pushchair you will be able to take it to the door of the plane but they may not give it back to you when you land ie you may have to get it off the baggage carousel, which isn't a great deal of use when you're waiting to go through immigration with a wriggly child! However, don't hesitate to be pushy and ask to go through a less busy channel - we did this recently when arriving in Miami where we were warned it could take 2 hours to get through immigration. A very kind official took us through one of the (empty) US passports only queue.

Babblan Sat 12-Mar-05 18:44:42

Just a tip. Make sure that your pushchair is NOT tagged at the check-in desk, but at the gate! We have had to get ours at the Baggage Reclaim sooo
may times before we figured this one out! Luggage tagged (not just left) at the gate get a different sort of tag that enables baggage staff to find it and deliver it to the gate at your destination.

kama Sat 12-Mar-05 18:49:22

Message withdrawn

geekgrrl Sat 12-Mar-05 18:50:08

hiya, I have travelled with three little ones on planes by myself (not much fun to be honest). With just the one it'll be a breeze. You can push a pushchair and pull a pulley suitcase at the same time quite easily (try it at home so you're confident). Make sure your hand luggage is a backpack. Don't rely on any help - if you get it it's great but I hardly ever got any and one of my children even has obvious special needs, so don't hold your breath!
Make sure you pack lots of small snacks....

geekgrrl Sat 12-Mar-05 18:53:07

different airlines have different ways of dealing with pushchairs, some budget ones cannot give you the pushchair back at the airplane but only at baggage reclaim (yes nightmare - walking a mile carrying both a 1 yr old and a 3yr who can't walk, whilst making sure 5 yr old doesn't wander off...) Check before you book!!!!! It's something to do with their baggage handling contracts.

ladymuck Sun 13-Mar-05 07:56:20

I guess the big question is "How old is Ds?". I've travelled on my own with ds1 and ds2, but only once ds2 was over 1. Lightweight buggy and pullalong case seems to be the ideal, but especially at Gatwick be prepared to wait for the buggy (or kick up a huge fuss in advance to get it back, but don't be too disappointed if this doesn't work!

Good news for Gatwick - although it is huge there are tons of facilities including comfy chairs in baby rooms for feeding.

mamadadawahwah Sun 13-Mar-05 09:08:42

thanks all of you for responses. DS is 2 but weighs a ton and i cannot lift him and he pulls away (as they do) at earliest opportunity or lies on the floor and wont budge. I will try all your tips. Thanks for the back pack tip, will defo do that one. I have a really bad back and cant carry son at all. No i dont know how people travel alone with more than one toddler/baby/child.

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