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Would I be crazy to fly London to NY and then Florida with 3 kids on my own?

(8 Posts)
IlanaK Tue 30-Nov-10 22:01:30

Planing a trip to visit family in Florida next December (booking in the next month hence asking now!) and I want to go for 4 weeks. DH probably can't take this long off work. So I would need to go one direction on my own. I have three children who would be aged 10, 7, and 3. We would have a lot of luggage if we are going for so long. We would fly into NY and then transfer to internal fight to Ft Lauderdale. The thought of it is very daunting.

Anyone done it?

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 01-Dec-10 07:15:29

I have done similar re a same day internal transfer in the US. I would personally avoid doing the above at all costs anyway unless you have at least 2.5 hours between flights (you would arrive into one terminal and likely depart from another. Weather considerations are another factor here).

As for NYC airports I would seriously consider avoiding JFK altogether and using Newark instead.

Also you will be limited on the amount of baggage; usually with economy class passengers for instance it is one suitcase per person. Would not therefore take a load of luggage with you (you'd be charged for extra bags as well).

Was wondering whether you have considered flying into Miami instead?. Virgin and BA both fly there so it may be possible for your relations therefore to collect you from there (Miami not being too far away from Fort Lauderdale; think its about 20/30 minutes away).

Also cost of internal flights within the US can be v expensive overall (with no discount on fares for the children).

IlanaK Wed 01-Dec-10 07:42:19

Miami airport is a zoo. I was avoiding it at all costs after previous experiences! Ft Lauderdale airport is very close to where they live so convenient.

When I say a lot of baggage, I meant more than one or two suitcases. I imagine we will have 3. A lot for me to manage on my own!

I knew about needing lots of transfer time. Hadn't thought about the weather though. Would we actually have to go outside???

alfabetty Wed 01-Dec-10 07:49:06

I travel long haul on my own with my 2DCs, but only direct flights. Hauling 3 tired children around a terminal while you wait for your connection could be tough.

Could you not use Miami but pay for lounge passes? That doesn't help with immigration etc, but it provides some respite while you wait to board?

mummytime Wed 01-Dec-10 08:11:29

Why not look into another US airport to do a transfer from? (Charlotte comes up on search sites or Atlanta or MSP.) I would book it all with one carrier, eg. KLM as it looks cheaper.
Make sure suitcases have wheels, the oldest can cart their own. Mine have from 8+, if you are an organised sergeant major it is no hassle.

raisinbran Wed 01-Dec-10 08:21:23

Yes I have done it a few times although only into Newark and with 2 kids, at the time my boys were 10 and 5. Its not ideal but I thought it worth it rather than pay the expensive direct flights. My boys like to feel very grown up looking for the suitcases and helping load on to a trolley. There are porters there for a fee which can speed things up too. You just get the airbus( monorail) found to teh next terminal.From my experience there has always been plenty of airport staff at Newark wearing red jackets ready help.

Check in on line for your second flight before leaving the uk and time it so you can get a meal or a snack at the food court to kill a bit of time. Take their Ds lite or other things that keep them amused.

You will have been through US immigration by the time you get to Ft Lauderdale so it will be much quicker getting out a as it's a domestic flight.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 01-Dec-10 08:24:02

Hi Ilana,

Miami airport is indeed a zoo (and that is indeed an understatement) but it may actually be the lesser of two evils here; at least you would arrive into FL from the UK. You basically have two choices; either flying into Miami or taking a chance on flying into a New York airport and catching a same day connecting flight. I will stand corrected on this but I have never seen any lounges for pax to pay to enter in the style of the Holodeck lounge at Gatwick.

Weather is a consideration as it can get bitterly cold in NYC in December thus causing travel delays. You would probably not need to go outside at Newark but you would certainly need to change terminals and go through security again.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 01-Dec-10 08:33:23

If you did a transfer the bags would be automatically ticketed through to For Lauderdale so you would only have to pick up the luggage at the initial destination and put them onto the transfer carousel. At Newark that particular carousel is well signposted.

Charlotte is worth considering if you could get a second flight from there into Fort Lauderdale. TBH I would avoid the Northeast corridor altogether to fly into in December.

Would certainly suggest you compare costs between the direct flight to Miami and other routings involving a transfer. As previously mentioned internal flight costs within the US can be steep.

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