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Which is best airline for flying to NYC with 1 and 3 year old?

(20 Posts)
mrsmcdreamy Fri 29-Aug-08 14:43:43

Am flying to New York in the autumn on my own with two very active boys of 1 and 3. Any advice on good airlines for travelling with children would be much appreciated - my initial thoughts are to go with Virgin and avoid BA, but that's not really based on anything in particular. I'm hoping to fly from Germany, so that may change things...

SoupDragon Fri 29-Aug-08 14:46:47

BA are fine. I've just flown to Antigua with 9, 7 and 2 yo Dragons and also flew the same trip 2 years ago when BabyDragon was 6 months old. This was on my own too!

My tip is not to think you're going to be able to sit down at all. I also became a far more tolerant parent after a vodka and orange and the weeny bottle of wine with dinner - enough to be tiddly but not roaring drunk

batters Fri 29-Aug-08 14:49:17

I really rated American Airlines. More legroom than with other companies.

SoupDragon Fri 29-Aug-08 14:50:44

If you can afford it, upgrade to Premium Economy.

CountessDracula Fri 29-Aug-08 14:58:45

If anything I would avoid virgin
The seats are tiny and very uncomfortable and all their video games etc would be wasted on your aged dcs

I alway fly AA if I can as their seats are so much better (34 to 36 inch pitch vs 31 on virgin). Service is brusque but ok

BA are ok but they often fly the old Jumbos to NY which are tatty and uncomfortable. If you can get a 777 or something you are much better off. Their service better than Virgin and their food imo

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 29-Aug-08 17:03:51

I'd avoid Virgin also (besides which they don't fly out of Germany); their service to pax is certainly now not as good as when they first started.

Try BA, AA (they codeshare) or Lufthansa (as they are a German carrier).

jojoisamum Fri 29-Aug-08 17:13:28

Or get to Amsterdam and fly KLM if you can.

CountessDracula Fri 29-Aug-08 17:30:01

oh sorry from germany
No idea
though I must say the only long haul flight I ever took with KLM (to the philippines) was totally horrific. Uncomfortable, terrible service, appalling food (think pancakes filled with snot)

MatNanPlus Fri 29-Aug-08 17:32:59

AA are great.

SqueakyPop Fri 29-Aug-08 17:34:52

A British carrier - avoid the american ones.

MatNanPlus Fri 29-Aug-08 17:37:07

Why SPop

I did 4-5 flights LHR to USA a year with 2 under 18m and then 3 under 3.8 and always had good service, meals as expected but as they ate before the journey and we had snacks not a problem, also as not generally tv watchers they were in live with the progs on offer.

batters Sun 31-Aug-08 17:20:22

I quite like the brusque service of AA. Weren't they the first airline to allow their air hostesses to continue to work after the age of, gasp, about 40? Last time we flew we got shown to our seats by a middle aged New Yorker in flip flops. It was refreshing.

PavlovtheCat Sun 31-Aug-08 17:24:27

I am sorry to say that from my experience, the ONLY airline I would fly with to USA is BA.

I have used them four times, and they have been great. They are child friendly. When I was managing on my own while DH went to sort out duty free on return (!) a nice man carried DD for me, and another took my pushchair onboard and put it in the stewards cabin as it was small enough.

Make sure you use the babyseat. You need to call up once you have booked your tickets and ask to reserve the bulkhead seats. Then, when you get on board, you can ask for the babyseat - to be attached to the table of the bulkhead, that way, you dont have to have baby on your lap the entire time.

No other airlines do this afaik.

mrsmcdreamy Tue 02-Sep-08 13:42:47

Pavlov, is the babyseat the same as the bassinet? and does that mean you don't have to pay full fare?

PavlovtheCat Tue 02-Sep-08 21:27:26

Mrsmcdreamy - yes that is exactly right. We opted for the lap option, paid like £5.00 for the ticket to USA, but probably £120 in tax/insurance! But still far far cheaper than full fare.

A bassinet is provided. However they have a limited number (I was told onboard that in fact they never use them all) of baby seats that they provide also/instead of the bassinet (when I flew United Airlines, they provided some kind of sports holdall!).

The babyseat is a cross between a carseat and a bouncy chair I guesss. I fits onto the drop down shelf that is located by the bulkhead seats, which is why you book them. As a traveller with children, you get priority seating, which means, if you call up prior to departure (say 2-3 weeks, if you have that long) you are allowed to reserve your seats at this time, rather than waiting for the check-in. As a priority seating passanger with an infant you can chose the bulkhead seats if available.

Apparantly the seats are designed by Brittax. I found the seat to be absolutely brilliant. DD had to be attached to us with a lapbelt for take-off/landing and turbulence, but other than that we could almost chill out a bit!!!

mrsmcdreamy Wed 03-Sep-08 10:36:12

i had no idea they existed & sound brilliant. is BA really the only airline which do them?

PavlovtheCat Thu 04-Sep-08 08:45:31

yes, I think they are, although others do the bassinet - when I travelled with United, the bassinet went on the floor, was not attached, and I did not use it. Also baby was not strapped to be during take-off, whereas with BA there is a special lap belt. Take a look on the website, they will tell you a bit more about them. You need to look under the special assistance or whatever that section is for travelling with Infants, took a bit of finding but I am not too great at the internet!

All in all I found BA very accommodation when travelling with young children.

mrsmcdreamy Thu 04-Sep-08 13:31:25

Thanks for your help - going to check out the website right now!

PavlovtheCat Thu 04-Sep-08 18:12:28

Good luck!

KT12 Sat 06-Sep-08 08:49:01

BA are great when flying with little ones, HOWEVER if you fly out of Heathrow be prepared to arrive the other end without your luggage. This had happened to us twice and despite having travelled club class the service we got to trace our luggage was very poor. One holiday we got the suitcase with all our little one's things in 17 days later, in fact we got it just 12 hours before the return flight. Arriving without luggage, especially a little person's favourite things is a nightmare!!

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