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what departure time for flight to Australia and back?

(23 Posts)
mckenzie Thu 17-Aug-06 21:36:53

We are planning a trip to Melbourne to visit my sister at easter.
Looking at the flight times, I dont know what to choose for the best. Should we leave the UK in the morning, afternoon or evening? and also leaving Melbourne for the home journey? There is a flight at 1am local time or one at 6pm local time. I really dont know what to do for the best. Our children will be nearly 6 and 2 at the time.


alittlebitshy Thu 17-Aug-06 21:44:15

we're going to NZ in october and on advice from friends who recently moved back there, have gone for a 10pm flight.
In your situation (ie the times offered) i think i would go for the 6pm one but in the end i have a feeling it won't make too much difference cos 2 12 hours flights is going to mean that they're awake for at least one doesn't it? argh!!!. I'm nervous enough and i just have the one dd (3)

goldendelicious Thu 17-Aug-06 21:48:06

I would maybe try and leave during their normal waking times so you're not getting em up in the middle of the night - given the length of the flight they'll sleep on the plane anyway (you hope!)

potoroo Thu 17-Aug-06 22:50:30

McKenzie - we flew London to Sydney last Christmas with DS who was 8 months. We took a late flight which worked for us.
We checked in, had some dinner, then changed DS into his sleepsuit in the plane. That meant that by the time we took off he was pretty tired and happy to sleep most of the first leg, which is the longest.
The only minor problem was that the second leg was our 'daytime', but night time for all the people getting on at Singapore - they expected to sleep, but all the kids flying from UK were awake IYSWIM.
Anyway, we found night flights worked well for us (did the same on the way back too).

They will be completely messed up at either end - we found it took about 3 days for DS to get over jetlag.

eidsvold Thu 17-Aug-06 22:56:40

when we flew to Aus with Singapore we took an afternoon flight out of heathrow ( basically a night flight to Singapore) which then corresponded with a night flight to Aus - about 2 hours on the ground. That flight got us into Brisbane early morning.

We then did the same coming back night flight out of Aus and that corresponded with a night flight from Singapore.

mogwai Fri 18-Aug-06 00:04:18

We are planning a flight to Sydney in January with an 18 month old (we are hoping to go out there for 12 months). There's so much to consider, isn't there?

I've been looking at schedules and stopovers, especially with regard to climate for the stop-over and time zones.

I figured the best thing to do would be to fly out of Heathrow in the evening towards Hong Kong (which will be about 15 degrees). That way, we won't be suffering jetlag and heat problems.

If we can stop over in Hong Kong, which is 8 hours ahead of the UK, then when we will be mainly on Australian time when we get to Sydney. This is important to us because we'll have lots to organise when we get there.

I thought if we could have three days in Hong Kong to get over the jet lag, then we could take a night flight to Sydney and our daughter would sleep for the journey.

The main problem is the journey to Hong Kong. I think it's a 14 hour flight. Our daughter sleeps from 7pm-7am usually, so an evening flight would work well, but a flight that takes off before her usual bedtime would leave us trying to settle her on the plane (I can hear the tears already). A flight that takes off at 10pm might mean she's asleep on boarding, but she'd be awake a few hours into the flight and would need entertaining while everyone else is still sleepy.

Does anyone have any experience of settling children on a plane? We will buy her a proper ticket, so she'll have her seat but we've considered taking the car seat instead.

bloss Fri 18-Aug-06 03:08:14

Message withdrawn

eidsvold Fri 18-Aug-06 04:35:53

mogwai - dd1 was 20 months when we flew back to Aus in 2004. We paid for a seat and took her car seat on - she was quite happy to sleep in that - just strapped her in and reclined her seat and off she went.

We flew to Singapore - 12 1/2 - 13 hour flight - stayed 5 days in Singapore - jet lag gone by then. Then overnight flight through to BRisbane - about 7 hour flight arrive Brisbane around 6.30am. Got home, unpacked, had breakfast, and so on.

threebob Fri 18-Aug-06 05:26:43

I'd go for departing at 6pm, entirely based on the fact that who wants to have children in an airport in the middle of the night.

katierocket Fri 18-Aug-06 07:43:11

I think bloss sums it up. Best to arrive in Melbourne in the morning. It's kind of easier to adjust if you do.

arfishymeau Fri 18-Aug-06 08:35:34

Hi Mogs

I did the same as you when I flew over with DD (then 2.6). Night flight out of Heathrow to HK. 3 days there and then another night flight to Sydney.

First leg great, DD slept, then we adjusted a bit in HK. Second leg awful as I had bulkhead seats (to stop DD kicking the seat in front) but the armrest wouldn't go back so she couldn't lie across me to sleep (and so didn't). That was a lesson learned, for me and the rest of the plane, I can tell you!

mckenzie Fri 18-Aug-06 20:35:44

thank you all so much for the comments and advise.
Much appreciated.

mckenzie Fri 18-Aug-06 20:47:02

'advice' even.

giggly Sun 20-Aug-06 20:24:48

will also be flying to bRisbane Jan 2007 with 18 month dd, does the car seat make a difference at this age? or will it restrict movement, does anyone know if the cabin crew will store it between sleeps. will be flying with Emirates, anyone experience/

mogwai Mon 21-Aug-06 19:55:44

giggly I've been wondering the same thing

DD would sleep in the car seat but don;t think we want it on the seat during the rest of the time

you going on holiday or emigrating??

eidsvold Tue 22-Aug-06 04:47:38

mogwai the flight from heathrow to singpore in the June was so empty we had a whole row - window to window to ourselves... so dd1 could sleep in teh car seat and then move off to other seats at a later stage. Although she just slept - two night flights.

Flight outta singapore she slept until they woke us for breakfast just out of Brisbane. It really did help us with her. She was about 20 months and she slept really well and was happy to sit in her seat watching the tv etc.

eidsvold Tue 22-Aug-06 04:49:13

the earlier post from me about reclining her seat was her car seat reclined - no need to recline airline seat.

sunnydelight Sat 26-Aug-06 19:07:12

Sorry to hijack, but would anyone recommend any particular airline as being especially good with kids? I'm (hopefully, in a strange way!) facing the London/Sydney flight twice in the next 9 months as we are moving over there in April, but are going on holiday first in November with three kids. I'm not too worried about the boys (13 and 7) as although I'm sure they will be bored they are old enough to behave, but DD (3) is a different story!

mogwai Sun 27-Aug-06 11:16:01


a friend of mine told me earlier this week that ou can't actually buy a seat for a child under 2years - they have to sit on your knee

this isn't true is it??

MrsJohnCusack Sun 27-Aug-06 11:21:37

You can buy a seat for a child under 2, but you don't HAVE to (whereas you do have to for a child over 2)
I have bought a seat to NZ twice for DD now, she's not 2 until December. YOu might not be able to buy via a website though as it confuses the logic - although I just change the DOB on there to buy the seat and let the airline know once booked.
You'll be charged the child fare rather than the infant fare though - infant fare is only for under 2s sitting on your lap.

mum2monkeys Sun 27-Aug-06 11:46:38

Hi Everyone, we flew to melbourne at xmas. We flew direct to melbourne, stopped for fuel in dubai and singapore - having done journey in 1 hit would never do again. If they don't sleep you don't - if you can break the trip - everyone I've ever spoken to says this helps with the jet lag too.... Emirates were great, all cabin crew made lots of fuss over dd.

Tatties Sun 27-Aug-06 12:14:04

We flew to Brisbane via Hong Kong when ds was 6mths. Time it so that you are leaving early evening, close to bedtime. Sleep on the plane then arrive at stopover destination during the day. Leave again in the evening/night, sleep on the plane and arrive Australia in the morning. This worked really well for us. Let's face it you are going to be knackered anyway when you arrive, but keeping 'nighttime' and sleep for the plane meant that we didn't have to wory too much about entertaining ds in such a confined space.

Tatties Sun 27-Aug-06 12:18:57

Oh and we had showers during our few hours' stopover at Hong Kong airport. I would really recommend this, makes you feel human again before the next leg. But if we were to do the journey again we wouldn't do it all in one go; we'd stop over for a few days I think.

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