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Longhaul to Oz

(24 Posts)
Dinnage Wed 05-Oct-11 13:16:40

We are taking our (then to be) 21 month old to Australia in Jan and are concerned about his sleeping arrangements! He will be too long and heavy for the basinet that they offer and we can't afford a seat for him. I have read that the bulk head seats are the best option as they offer a place for him to sleep on the floor? If so will the airline have anything for him to sleep on or do we need to find some kind of travel cot, small enough to fit in this gap but bigger enough for him! Any ideas???? We are flying with Qantas on the airbus 380, but when I went online to look at the seating plan the bulk head seats say they have less leg room! Any info and idea's on making his trip more comfortable are MOST welcome!
Many thanks!

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 05-Oct-11 14:26:15

The aircrew won't let your son sleep on the floor at all due to risk of turbulence.

Have you spoken to Qantas about this issue; they may well be able to suggest an alternative (I have a feeling they will suggest that you pay for a seat).

Any chance at all of buying him his own seat; he's going to end up on your lap for the duration otherwise. He will be on your lap for taxi, take off and landing anyway. I would in any event take a small and thus portable bean bag style pillow for his use.

DorisVinyard Wed 05-Oct-11 15:09:15

Do you have to go? I have travelled to Australia a lot with very young children and this is not something I would contemplate. Attila is correct in that your child will not be allowed to sleep on the floor.

AutumnFalls Sun 09-Oct-11 04:47:16

You may be on my flight! I am also travelling in January with an 18 month odl DS. I really recommend talking to QANTAS, they are open 24 hours a day. They will not let him sleep on the floor, so really if at all you can stretch to a seat for him you really should. Can you imagine holding a baby on your lap for 24 hours Nightmare!

AutumnFalls Sun 09-Oct-11 04:52:07

Also, I booked my trip Saturday morning. Afterwards I went to try and do seat selection (which you have to pay extra for now) and there were no bulkhead or bassinet seats available on my flight. So I have booked the baby an aisle seat so we can get out if required. Worth noting too, if you DO buy your baby a seat he will need a pre-approved car or booster seat or other restraint. (You can tell I have just been doing all of this now!). QANTAS want to pre-approve it 24 hours before, or they suggest a CARES system. I have just bought the one below from this site. Mothercare were quoting 79 pounds for the same thing.

I have been horrified at how expensive things got for this trip. QANTAS now make you pay for everything extra. My original quote for the two of us went from 2100 pounds to 2700 pounds very quickly. Singapore Air might be cheaper on the whole, if you want to consider them? They are great with babies too, and their bassinets have a higher weight capacity, although not sure about the length.

have a good trip!

savoycabbage Sun 09-Oct-11 06:46:49

You are going to have to buy a seat or you aren't going to be able to manage. It's not an easy thing to do in the first place. I have never managed to get a bulk head seat since they changed the system.

In the good old days you booked your seat when you got to the airport so if you got there an hour or two before the desk opened you got a good seat. Now you can choose your seats when you book so people have booked a year in advance.

Georgimama Sun 09-Oct-11 06:50:34

Have the bassinet anyway - they are pretty big and should be big enough to accommodate him. Even if he won't go in it they are useful as a repository for all the baby crap you need to have to hand. But otherwise he will have to go on your lap (are you travelling with another adult - you can just take turns if so) . My DS was 9 months when we travelled to Oz but he wouldn't tolerate the bassinet for more than about 20 minutes at a time so we took turns to hold him. It wasn't my funnest 24 hours ever but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be - and he could scream for England.

savoycabbage Sun 09-Oct-11 06:54:15

I honestly don't think they will let you book a bassinet for a 21 month old. They have age and weight restrictions as far as I can remember.

gregssausageroll Sun 09-Oct-11 21:44:17

You would only be allocated a bassinet space IF there are no children younger than yours requiring it. The younger the infant gets the first allocation.

You are best to find the money and book a seat. We did with DS when he was 18 months old - I could never have done the flight with him on my knee. He was too big for the bassinet but was offered it at that age because there were no other younger children.

LCRLCR Sun 09-Oct-11 21:49:37

I've just come back from the US, an 11 hour flight with American Airlines. There was no bassinet available for 13 month old DD as there was only ONE on the entire plane and another baby had gotten it first so we were seated in the bulkhead, given lots of extra blankets and pillows and DD slept on the floor. We have 26 hour journey to Auckland in January....

TastyMuffins Sun 09-Oct-11 21:57:24

I think there is an age limit for the bassinette/sky cot thing. It varies from Airline to Airline. I flew with my DS to New Zealand when he was about this age, we flew with two different airlines, Air New Zealand and maybe the other was Virgin (can't remember). Air New Zealand gave us a sky cot and I think DS was able to sleep in it on the way out but he was a bit too big (he's not heavy or tall for his age either), the other airline wouldn't give us one because their age limit was lower although I think DS may have been within weight limit.

TBH the cot was best for sticking the baby crap in, incredibly useful for this and for sitting DS in for meals, although can't remember where his tray table went confused.

Some airlines make you take the babies out during turbulence (Singapore Airlines did) which is a PITA as they will wake you and the baby to do this so it can be easier just to sleep with baby on your lap.

If you did get a seat, a car seat would be a godsend as the seats are enormous for a little tot and the lap belts absolutely useless to restrain the child who wants to run up and down the plane when the seat belt fasten lights are on! The recline angle of the seats is all wrong for them to sleep on and the tray table to awkwardly place for them too.

You will find that if the plane is not full, they will actually seat you so there is a spare seat for you to use. You can also try the option of online seat allocation where you and your OH (or whoever you are with) book seats on either end of a block of three, no one wants to book the single seat in the middle.

gregssausageroll Mon 10-Oct-11 07:27:03

No but if the flight is full, the staff will put someone in the middle. We tried that coming back from Singapore and we ended up with a huge big bloke sat between us. He ended up with the aisle seat!

I am surprised they allowed the baby to sleep on the floor. I am sure it is illegal.

RottenRow Tue 11-Oct-11 07:19:55

Be aware if you take your own car seat to oz you won't be able to use it over there.

gregssausageroll Tue 11-Oct-11 08:23:13

I agree RottenRow (love the name!) but so many don't seem to see that it is illegal to use a UK car seat on Oz!

RottenRow Tue 11-Oct-11 09:55:00

Cheers greggs

It will be a nightmare op but you will survive. Is the extra seat really impossible? Depending on what time you are flying I'd try to get dc to sleep before you board.

RottenRow Tue 11-Oct-11 09:58:07

Where are you stopping over and for how long? If you can't stretch to an extra seat you can book by the hour in an airside hotl and take turns to sleep if necessary to restore you for the next leg.

leannac Thu 13-Oct-11 19:34:57

Why is it illegal to use our car seat in Oz? I'm flying there in 6 weeks with my 6 month old and was planning on taking our car seat to use there (not for the flight as we couldn't stretch to a seat of her own).

gregssausageroll Thu 13-Oct-11 21:32:33

Because it doesn't have the UK equivalent of a kite mark nor the tether strap that Australian seats have. Being caught using an illegal car seat can invalidate your insurance (I have seen it happen so not just hearsay).

UK car seats are not legal in Australia.

Dinnage Fri 14-Oct-11 12:53:32

Guys, thanks so much for all the helpful opinions!
We looked into buying him a seat but it was going to cost an extra £1400 for the trip or £600 for the one way to Aus, but because we had already paid nearly £500 in taxes etc for him we just cant stretch to that as well.
I sat on the phone for about an hour waiting for Qantas the other day and finally got a rather un helpful assistant who said we basically just have to ask on the day if there is anything they can do to help... ie give us an extra seat if the plane is not full. We have requested a bulkhead seat but were also told that we are un likely to get one as the younger babies take priority!
So we are back to accepting the worst case scenario that he may well be on our laps! Hey ho........!
I am keen to know though if we are traveling in Aus by car how do we get a car seat for him? We are not hiring a car but using friends while we are there.
Does anyone know if there is a site that hires baby items in Australia?

gregssausageroll Fri 14-Oct-11 17:26:03

Yes there are baby hire places. I used one when I first moved to Perth. Where are you going? You might be cheaper buying a new one and selling it on so check out Target, Big W and Toyrus.

Georgimama Fri 14-Oct-11 20:41:08

My brother lives in Perth and when we visited they had no DC - they hired a car seat, playpen, highchair and cot for me.

MummyRa Wed 19-Oct-11 23:02:52

I'm off to Vancouver next week with my two year old and fortunately my parents bought him a seat of his own. But I'm wondering whether to try to keep him awake on the flight as much as possible, or let him sleep (which will probably make my life easier!) hope the time difference won't affect him like it did when he was just 13 months...

pootlebug Fri 21-Oct-11 23:19:02

We travelled to and from South Africa and New York when my little boy was just under 2. On only one of the 4 flights the plane was full and he sat on our knees - the other three flights they found us an extra seat for him.

On the flight where they didn't (overnight), H and I took it in turns to stand so he could sleep on one of our seats, as well as having him sleeping on our laps sometimes. Wasn't the best sleep ever for any of us....but to be honest it never really is on an aeroplane, is it?

pocketandsweet Tue 25-Oct-11 15:17:58

dear MummyRa as someone who has done that trip to Vancouver and back to the UK more times than I care to remember all I can say is if your child will sleep let them sleep. No matter what you will have probably three days of confusion regarding sleep.... Second night is worst. I didn't find jet lag got any better until my oldest was about 4 years old. Good luck though

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