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How not to travel long haul

(24 Posts)
fuzzywuzzy Mon 14-Mar-05 21:16:12

We've all (me dp and two dd's under two yes yes I am nuts), returned from a marvellous trip to Dubai, where my eldest sister in law and her darling children catered to our every whim, or rather dd1's every whim (she's (dd1)going through the sweet angel into munster phase ).
On the way back I foolishly booked an early morning flight, BA apparently only fly paper plane type flights to Dubai, and on the way back dp and I were separated (not by a lot he was behind me in the middle seat, I was at the bulk head with a sky cot) but it was enough.
So dd1 decides from the offset that only my lap will do, poor dd2 is plunked unceremoniously in the bassinet as soon as feasible..... About an hour into the flight dd1 decides to throw a paddy!!! However the child firmly maintains her position on my lap, so I have to sit with a screaming toddler on my lap whilst dd1 screams herself out, I don't know why she was screaming did she want milk no (she hurled the bottle away narrowly missing the woman besides me), chocolate (she doesn't usually get it but I was desperate I tell you), however the munster hurls that away too and ups the tempo several notches and whenever she catches anyone’s eyes. I sit thus for about five minutes whilst dd1 screams and screams from the comfort of my now completely numb lap. Luckily the woman beside me is a mother too and studiously ignores us, I am soo tired and upset that had any passenger dared complain to me I would have handed dd1 over to them to quieten...nobody dared approach except a lovely air stewardess who offered me milk for the baby....The child then spends the entire 6 hour flight not budging from my lap, I have to feed dd2 whilst also balancing dd1 on my lap. I dare not try and coax her off my lap in case it triggers another hissy fit!!!!
Fast forward to passport control, and once again dd1 decides that now is a good time to lose her temper.... I left her screaming and lying on the floor at the passport counter only to be sent back by a stern and embarrassed dp, we managed to get to the baggage area with a caterwauling dd1 stuffed under my arm....

The lesson from this sorry tale??? If you fly long haul with two under two, ensure both adults are seated together, that one child has her/his own seat (damn the expense), book a night time flight (we did this going and it was much much easier ie no tantrums......
If all else fails repeat it's just a phase it's just a phase it's just a phase.............
I need another holiday

nappybaglady Mon 14-Mar-05 21:57:21

Oh No - you must have arrived home totally frazzled. Glad you had a nice hol.

Will think of your story when I'm doing my first long haul in a few weeks. Keeping my fingers crossed.

lunavix Mon 14-Mar-05 21:59:08

Oh bless

I'd have dumped her on DH's lap...

handlemecarefully Mon 14-Mar-05 22:05:08

I always suspected that long haul flights with lo's might be a bit like you described - so have been avoiding until toddler and baby are a little older.

eidsvold Mon 14-Mar-05 22:25:09

HMC - we have been lucky the flights we have done out to Aus with dd1 - although they were night flights but she just settles down and heads off to sleep whether it is a day or night flight. She also had her own seat the second time when she was almost 2. As I was very pregnant there was not a lot of room on my lap

Fuzzy - your flight was my fear for dd1 when we flew out to aus when she was 8 months old. But again we were incredibly lucky - she just slept. I think she are amazingly patient. I think I would have lost it was dp when he insisted I go back and get dd - I would have told him to go and get her and would have walked off leaving him to it. WHat right did he have to be embarrassed when you are left to deal with both dds and he is not helping. Can't imagine why BA did not seat you together - I think I would have insisted on that.

WHen is your next holiday ? I think dp owes you a spa day to recover......

fuzzywuzzy Tue 15-Mar-05 07:40:51

To be fair dp had dd2 in a baby carrier when we went through the passport counter. But yes I felt like slapping him on several occasions during the flight when I turned to ask him for something only to be confronted with him absorbed in the inflight entertainment with headphones firmly plugged in .
The worst thing was this really glamourous looking woman who was seated behind dp and every time I turned around she was looking at me, whenever she spotted me she nudged her (completely uninterested) boyfriend excitedly. In the end I gave up politely ignoring her and glared at her at least it stopped her.

The plane we were on was really small, a couple with a child were seated beside me and the steward said dp was not allowed to be seated near the exit with a toddler on his lap (there were three seats near both exits, and three in the middle basically 9 seats in a row).
Next time (gawd I'm a glutton for punishment) I will insist on being seated together at the bulkhead area, we booked the flight ages in advance and I did specifically ask, next time I will chase it up to ensure my request have been listened to.
Bizarrely whilst I was going through this less than perfect flight home I kept thinking I better share this on MN as someone somewhere may learn from my experience and save thmeselves the misery....

hazlinh Tue 15-Mar-05 08:09:57

thanks fuzz..poor you...i think i will go on holidays on my own now!!

alux Tue 15-Mar-05 08:27:36

I once observed a poor woman travelling with a toddler and a baby on a transAtlantic flight. When one child stopped fussing, the other started. Nothing too dramatic but by the end of a 9 hour flight, the poor woman looked like she ought to be institutionalised.

I made my decision there and then that if I had 2 small children, dh would go on one flight with one child and I would go on a second flight the with the other.

ladymuck Tue 15-Mar-05 08:37:53

I am stunned that the mother beside you didn't offer to swap seats with your dh....

handlemecarefully Tue 15-Mar-05 08:44:20

lol at hazlinh and her solo holiday plans

webmum Tue 15-Mar-05 20:54:13

WE're just about to fly to Dubai as well, with baby and 4yo, hopefully it wont be as bad as yours....we're flyingEmirates though, which is supposed to be better than BA, and have prebooked just about evrything we could, so fingers crossed, everything will be ok.

all my sympathy though, men are just useless eh!

Chandra Tue 15-Mar-05 21:04:31

)Oh Fuzzy what a nightmare! DS is 25m but he has been already in 2 long haul and about 5 short trips and it's not becoming easier (quite the contrary!!!). The only thing I have noticed is that everytime I'm less embarrassed about his tantrums. I just appologise in advance, say he has not sleep properly and then DS makes a demo of what I have just said. If it helps, I used to hate women with screaming children in planes so I supose that it's just my time to pay back the misery.

foxinsocks Tue 15-Mar-05 21:07:32

Poor you fuzzy wuzzy! Dh and I flew to South Africa a few years ago and dd (then 2) was an angel but ds (1) was the child from hell. It was a 12 hour flight and he wailed the whole way there - now that's not an exaggeration - he never stopped. He probably slept for 10 minutes in every hour but for the other 50 minutes, he screamed blue murder. It was an overnight flight so he woke up every other (sleeping) baby on the plane, the stewardesses gave up on us, 2 passengers tried to help but gave up when he screamed even louder as they picked him up. I don't know what happened but he absolutely hated it.

We tried to drug him on the way back. It worked for 3 hours and then he woke up refreshed and screamed the other 9 hours. When we landed the air stewardesses gave sweets to all the children who had been well behaved and our kids were deliberately missed out

I'm trying to make you feel better really because believe me, if they are going to scream, a daytime flight is better than a nighttime one!! I'm impressed you're even thinking about a next time. We still have not got back on a plane!

Frizbe Tue 15-Mar-05 23:04:35

ARGH and we're off on our 1st transatlantic flight at the weekend....fingers x'd its not as bad as most of yours, will let you know how we get on!

handlemecarefully Wed 16-Mar-05 08:42:53

foxinsocks that stewardess was pure evil to miss your children out when it came to sweets allocation.

She also ought to have given you and dh / dp a few miniatures of gin / whisky to take with you

ghosty Wed 16-Mar-05 09:22:13

Oh God!
In 3.5 months time I am travelling from NZ to the UK ON MY OWN with my two children (DS will be 5.5 years and DD will be 16 months) ....
That is a 12 hour flight from Auckland to Singapore, a 2 hour stop in Singapore and then another 12 hour flight from Singapore to London ...
I am not worried about DS (Singapore Airlines have those seat back tv screens and Nintendo games) .... but DD, on the other hand, is another kettle of fish! Luckily I have bought a seat for her so we will have some space but I can tell you that although I am very excited about coming home I am dreading the flights.
Fuzzywuzzy, your trip sounds awful .... hope you recover soon!

handlemecarefully Wed 16-Mar-05 11:06:08


I am not particularly religious, but I will be praying for you ....

handlemecarefully Wed 16-Mar-05 11:06:27

albert Wed 16-Mar-05 11:20:14

I flew to Brazil from Denmark with DS when he was 26 months. I'm telling you, the amount of times I walked up and down the cabin with him I may as well have walked instead of taking the 'plane!
Glad you had a good holiday though Fuzzywuzzy despite the return journey - good job it wasn't like that on the way out otherwise you'd have ruined your holiday imagining the forthcoming return trip!

fuzzywuzzy Wed 16-Mar-05 17:29:49

I've flown longhaul with one baby and that was fine, but with two under two and being seated seperately it was horrible.
Webmum I wouldn't worry, I flew Emirates last time, dd was about 10 months at the time and we had no problems whatsoever it was wonderful, the air stewardess took dd to visit the pilot whilst I fell asleep.
Foxinsox I have noticed on occasion that some babies do cry right the way through a flight I always put it down to the pressure and their fragile ears (do not ask for scientific backing on this I don't have any).
Thanx for sharing your less than perfect stories ladies, at least I feel less of a freak now, and yes I am thinking about going again, we've only recently been in a position to take annual holidays and I so look forward to it....

dawnie1 Wed 16-Mar-05 17:41:14

OMG, next Thursday I am flying with my 18month, very active DD to Goa, a 9 hour flight. Our only other experience of flying was a horrendous 2 hour flight to Majorca so I am seriously dreading it. Was going to use Phernigan (sp?) for sedation but have been seriously advised against its use in under 2's so thats definately a no goer. I have already checked out the archived messages here about long haul trave; and have taken note. I might just down the bottle of phernigan myself

eidsvold Wed 16-Mar-05 21:39:51

I think the one thing I told myself was that dd would be crying as she was uncomfortable or in pain with her ears not adjusting etc.... SO anyone who was annoyed at a baby expressing their upset or discomfort in the only way they know how was not worth worrying about. I also figured I would never see these people again, their opinions did not matter and unless they were trying to be helpful or symapthetic otherwise they could go jump. Easy to say and think but hard when you can feel the stares boring into your back.

I just remembered when we flew our last leg from Singapore to the Uk one trip - a guy was seated in the third seat of the bulkhead, took one look at dd1 and immediately called for a steward and demanded another seat. He was Not sitting next to a baby. Funnily enough the only other spare seat was at the back of the plane near the toilets. He had that one, only to have a mother take her screaming child up there so she could rock and walk around that small area to soothe them. As well as two babies in the middle area in sky cots. Made me laugh when I went to the loo as dd1 was sound asleep in her sky cot where she stayed asleep the whole flight. Funnily enough though the seat next to us was good enough for landing so he could get off the plane quicker!! He did like look hell though - no sleep for him.

alux Thu 17-Mar-05 17:03:38

big eidsvold. Have a look at the back of a Benadryl (Benylin) bottle. See if under 2's can take it. It helps with sleep - even with adults. Also, try feeding a baby at take off or landing give a toddler a lolly to suck as it will prevent pain from air pressure.

Frizbe Wed 06-Apr-05 23:14:24

Just to update you all, we have been on four planes in the last two weeks and 3 of them were fab, with the 4th one dd (17mths) was just a little techy, but not too bad!
We did 10hrs to LAs Vegas = dd fine all the way and thank gawd I requested the kids meal for her, as she scoffed everything put in front of her! wow!
1 hr to Phoenix = fine awake n chatty
3.5hrs ish to Florida = Slept for most of it fine!
and then the overnight trek back to the uk, where upon dd decided sleep wasn't for her (WHY ME!) and she was going to kick the off duty airstewardess in the seat in front of us in the back for most of the way home (Sorry once again girls)who was very understanding, bless her....only one major overtired screaming fit, where upon Calpol was administered and dd dropped off for 1.5hrs, which was more sleep than I managed! so all in all a good trip, so don't dispair ladies it might not be that bad.

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