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Which is best wth kids: fly direct or with a stopover in the middle?

(5 Posts)
InionEile Sat 09-Jul-16 20:59:41

We're flying home for 2 weeks from the US to Europe in the Autumn and I'm trying to figure out the best flight route.

There is a direct flight from the city we live in to where I'm from but we can't use DH's air-miles on that carrier. To use his air-miles, we would have to fly to New York, stop over for a few hours there and then fly on direct to my capital city, breaking what would be a 10 hour flight into two 5-hour flights.

Which do you think is best? I'm tempted with New York because it would give the kids (who will be just turning 5 and 2) a chance to run around and shake off the cabin fever. On the other hand, the direct flight would give them a chance to sleep without interruption. Maybe.

Last time we flew longhaul with DS he was turning 2 and he slept about 4 hours on the way out for a 10 hour flight but didn't sleep at all on the way back. Half of me thinks if they're going to be insomniac nightmares then a stop-off in NY would be best as then I'm only annoying everyone on the plane for 5 hours each rather than 10 straight hours of hell grin. Anyone got experience doing both? Which worked best?

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 09-Jul-16 21:51:21

I would go direct rather than transfer through any US airport as that flight to Europe will more likely than not be an overnight one. It just adds more hours to an already long day (and going indirect may well cost more too).

Where would your children be able to run around? There is not much landside at either JFK or Newark, let alone airside, in terms of facilities.

completecliche Sat 09-Jul-16 21:56:12

Whenever I cut costs by doing a stopover I always regret it.
3 hours at some obscure time loitering in a Costa is never a good idea.
I'd only entertain the idea if I was flying Club as opposed to Economy .

InionEile Sat 09-Jul-16 22:18:03

It's quite a significant cost-saving because the direct flight would cost us about $5,000 whereas the stopover would be just a few hundred dollars with air-miles. I think the flight to NY arrives in the afternoon and then there are about 3 hours until the next flight which goes out at 7:30 in the evening.

I guess a stopover does increase the risk of delays or other glitches too though... and, it's true, there is very little to do while waiting at an airport. Might be easier to take them to the bathroom and get snacks / water though... /hopeful/

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 10-Jul-16 09:17:49

Cheaper it may be but it does not sound at all cheerful. I would not want to spend any more time in either NYC airport (particularly JFK) unless I absolutely had to; neither airport is like Heathrow or Gatwick which are like shopping malls with aircraft attached to them.

There is nothing to do there at the NYC airports airside due to overall lack of facilities for passengers; these places were never designed to wait around in. Due to the lack of overall facilities as well items like snacks and water (if you could find somewhere like a Hudson News airside) are going to cost you a small fortune as well.

What you need to bear in mind as well is that you may well arrive into one terminal (your first flight will be a domestic one) and actually depart for the international flight from another. If you had to go landside to do that this means that you would all need to clear security again with all that entails. The lines and waiting around too just adds hours to an already long day, I would not do this to yourselves.

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