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Long haul flight with 16 month old

(12 Posts)
MrsDoolittle Tue 05-Jul-05 13:05:42

Okay, everyone keep saying to me "You must be excited" but I'm not.
At the end of August myself, dh and dd will be away for a month. We are flying to LA, then to Seattle for a wedding, two days later flying back to LA to go on to NZ. Three weeks later we are flying back from Auckland with a 2 hour stop-over in LA.
I guess this should be the trip of a life time but I just find myself getting stressed everytime I think about flying with a toddler.
I don't know if it's because before I met dh I did loads of globe trotting on my own and I remember flights with tired whinging children close by. Poor parents, and now I am going to be one of them!

MrsDoolittle Tue 05-Jul-05 13:07:19

Anyway, my point was
Does anyone have any tips to make this an easier and reduce this hideous sense of foreboding?

sinclair Tue 05-Jul-05 14:14:57

Ooh Mrs D lucky you! You will have a great time and clever you to do it before the little 'un takes a (paying) seat.

We fly a lot to Canada, kids older now, but suggest you book bulkhead seats with a skycot/seat. BA always saw us right on this, but I think others are now cottoning on. With the little seat you strap them in like in the car and hopefully they sleep...that's the theory. Sure you will have heard this too, but give them a drink taking off and landing - helps with the ears popping thing. And if you don't already have one, buy the cheapest 'travel' pushchair (our £20 Mothercare own brand lasted 2 kids and over 3 years - utter bargain) and insist on stowing it in the overhead locker - you are off all the quicker and you won't lose your stroller (it does happen!) Take loads of photos and enjoy....

MrsDoolittle Tue 05-Jul-05 14:20:57

Thank you sinclair! I forgot to add that I will be about 12 weeks pregnant too!

What do you mean about the skyseat? We were told that at 16 months dd would be too big for one. We have already reserved (hopefully) the two seats at the back of the plane. Are they bulkhead seats?
Dh also has a prosthetic left knee you see.
I have got a nice maclaren pushchair easy and light, but you suggest I go get a really cheap one?

MeerkatsUnite Tue 05-Jul-05 17:23:33

Which airline are you using?. Depending on the carrier you can actually go on line and choose your seat. BA have this facility.

Bulkhead seats are the centre row in the first row of the economy section of the aircraft.

Would suggest you change her nappy/pull up before you board and take full advantage of the early boarding offered. Take all the food and drink she likes for the journey and do not rely on the airline to provide. Children's meals are not served much earlier than the meals for the adults.

Fill in all the visa waiver forms (you will need to complete one for each member of your party) and the customs form well ahead of arrival into LA.

Are you flying to Seattle the same day of arrival into LA?. If so you need to ensure that you have enough time to deposit the luggage on the transfer carousel at LAX when you exit customs; you need to ask before you place your bags on there; tell them your flight number (if by the time you get to this point there is less than 90 minutes to go before your next flight, you will have to take the suitcases yourself to the other terminal). Have had to do this myself so am forwarning you.

If you are flying out the same day from a different terminal you need to be precisely certain where you are headed as LAX airport is quite spread out. If it happens to be the American Airlines terminal 4 though its only a short walk from T3 to there. BTW the departures level there is on the upper level.

It'll be okay and you will be fine (if somewhat knackered!) but adequate forward planning will make things go more smoothly.

MrsDoolittle Tue 05-Jul-05 21:16:03

Thank you so much for your help. I have organised the seats at the back of the plane where there are just two together. We are flying Air NZ and then Air Alaska to Seattle.
However,as you point out the transfer time worries me we fly into LA at 19.30 and out to Seattle at 21.28, also we have been advised that should there be a delay from Heathrow and we miss the flight we will have to pay for the overnight stay.
I have suggested that maybe it would be better to change the flights but dh is insistent we should do it all in one go. I am afraid I am not convinced

MeerkatsUnite Wed 06-Jul-05 07:32:57

Hi MrsDoolittle,

Hmmm, well it may be possible but you are also looking at the distinct possibility of missing your connecting flight also. I do not wish to worry you unduly (that is not the intention at all) but you will need to know exactly where you are heading once you have gone through immigration and start waiting for the bags to come off.

Also your seats into LAX are at the back of the aircraft thus taking even more time to disembark. The inbound flight may make up some time; any time saved will help.

Forward planning here is essential (cannot emphasise this enough); you need to know exactly what terminal this airline flies from (if you google in Los Angeles airport the first website indicated gives you the info you need). Print off a map of the airport as well. LAX terminals follow the shape of the letter U (the bottom end of the U being T3 which is International arrivals). You cannot afford to get lost in this airport especially LAX if you are making a connecting flight. We have managed to make connecting flights there primarily by forward planning and keeping our wits about us.

Will certainly think of you when I go there myself in a few weeks!.

MeerkatsUnite Wed 06-Jul-05 07:37:03

Mrs D

According to LAX's website Air New Zealand fly into terminal 2; Alaskan Airlines leave from Terminal 3 (that's the next terminal along). You should be able to walk it. The white pillars outside the terminal indicate the terminal number.
Please look at the website itself and familiarise yourself with the airport layout!!!.

Good luck!!!

MrsDoolittle Wed 06-Jul-05 15:40:48

Thank you so much for your help MeerkatsUnite, thsi is really helpful information.

I was thinking last night - Do you think I could bring the car seat on the plane and put dd in it to sleep?
It might be worth asking to change the flight until the following morning.

handlemecarefully Wed 06-Jul-05 15:44:11

Mrs D - you're pregnant again? Congratulations!!!

MrsDoolittle Wed 06-Jul-05 15:54:13

Thanks HMC

sinclair Wed 06-Jul-05 17:21:52

Not all airlines do the carseat option, BA do but not sure about the carriers you are using. If they say your Dd is too big then that suggests to me that they only offer the 'skycot' for littlies. In which case you are hoping for empty plane so you can spread yourselves out a bit! Don't think you'll get any food or toys for DD as technically she isn't booked into a seat - airline will tell you that tho. The pushchair thing is about how small it folds up - have a look at the travel strollers and compare to what you already have. Think Maclaren folds up quite small doesn't it?

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