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How Helpful are Airlines when you are Travelling alone with a baby?

(7 Posts)
nush32 Fri 29-Aug-08 08:16:40

Hi.... I'm going to the states for a few weeks to see my mum (AT LAST!) I'm travelling with my 3 month old and am quite nervous. Do I take my massive pushchair or my baby sling or both? How understanding and helpful are airlines? Any info is much appriciated!

mckenzie Fri 29-Aug-08 08:24:12

I travelled to Australia via Singapore with 2 children (age 3 and 6). The airline were helpful in that they provide a meet and assist service so on departing the plane there was someone to meet me and help with hand luggage etc and this meant I went to a special queue for passport/customs/immigration etc. The lady in Singapore was a doppy thing who then took us to the wrong place but in Melbourne and in Heathrow it was very good and helped a lot.

On the plane, the hostesses were good in getting to know the chidlren's names and offering food at convenient times etc.

I travelled alone with my DS when he was 3 months old (only short haul though) and took the buggie and sling. When he was in the buggy I carried the hand luggage and when he was in the sling the hand luggage went in the buggy!

Good luck - it will be okay I bet.

hatcam Fri 29-Aug-08 08:32:52

have travelled shorthaul with baby on my own too, the anticipation was much worse than the actual experience! I worried about it so much and it was fine.

I didn't think that airport staff were very helpful and for the most part people in the airport were pretty mean (!) but we just muddled along and had a quite a good time really. The staff on board were much nicer, but the chic twenty something who was behind me in the queue saying 'oh ffs I bet I get sat next to HER, christ she'll probably be breastfeeding and EVERYTHING' got a rude awakening when indeed she was sitting right next to me......

Took buggy and baby bjorn, both were really useful, especially as you're not guaranteed that the buggy will reappear at the gate or as you step off the plane, I've had to wait some time in the past for it to come out of outsize baggage which can be a reasonable walk.

You'll have a fab time, don't worry about it.

babypringle Fri 29-Aug-08 08:49:24

if you do take your buggy, tell them at check in that you want to hand the buggy in at the gate. then at the gate try to find a helpful steward and ask him to put the buggy somewhere where they can retrieve it easily when you land so you get it at the gate, rather than having to walk miles to baggage reclaim and risking the buggy getting battered. When I flew with united with ds I asked at check in for a skycot, which meant that I sat in one of the bulkhead seats (more legroom smile) and they gave me a carrycot thing where I could put DS down for naps. Fed DS at take off and landing and he didn't even seem to notice the noise and pressure changes.
We've always found security the worst part, one time DS was asleep going through security but they made me wake him up and then dismantle the buggy so they could put it through the scanner. Had to lie DS on the floor shock because I couldn't do it all holding him and he screamed the place down.
Don't worry too much, like every first experience with a baby it will be a challenge but you will cope fine and wonder afterwards why you ever worried.

snickersnack Fri 29-Aug-08 09:23:03

Take a sling! Take a sling! I did take a buggy but only a lightweight one.

Took ds to the US on my own when he was 3.5mo. It was fine (not fun, but fine). BA were averagely helpful but strangely the security people at Heathrow and the immigration people at JFK were amazing - I got whisked to the front of security and at JFK there was a woman patrolling the queue shouting "where is the lady with the baby?" and we then got taken to the front AND there was a porter waiting with the buggy and my suitcases. No idea how he did that, but highly impressive.

I didn't get much of a chance to do anything (read, eat, go to the loo) as ds slept on me most of the way there.

If you think that's the most likely scenario (rather than the baby sleeping in one of those sky cot things) then tbh I'd avoid the bulkhead seat where they put you if you need a skycot as you are absolutely stuck there unless you've got very accomodating neighbours. We'd have been much better of with an ordinary aisle seat, then I could at least have got out, handed him to one of the cabin crew and had a wee! As it was I was trapped in the seat with the cot screwed to the wall (they wouldn't take it away in case I needed it later but every time I tried to put him in he woke up) and a baby on my lap.

nush32 Fri 29-Aug-08 11:33:30

Just to say. Thank you all for the advice, tips and anecdotes....feel much more relaxed about the whole thing. Glad I came across this website! Will take both and hope for the best. Thanks again

papooshka Fri 29-Aug-08 11:38:14

We travel between Singapore and London twice a year and generally airlines are helpful. Tell them you are travelling on your own with a young baby and they will arrange assistance both ends. For a 3 month old definitely book a bassinet - then you can put the baby to sleep in the bassinet and you also have a bulkhead seat with more legroom.

When I have been on my own the crew have always been really attentive (apart from once on Qantas) but if not just ask for help from people around you - they usually offer to help anyway I find!

Def take your sling, like a pp said, you may have to get your buggy back at the luggage carousel not at the door so the sling will be much better (once - on said Qantas flight i had to walk with 3 bags and 1 year old to luggage carousel to get my buggy - not happy!)

Honestly its never as bad as you think it is..!

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