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Tell me all about flying to Australia (with a child)

(23 Posts)
CapricaSix Tue 02-Sep-08 16:41:04

Cost
Best airlines
Entertainment on the flights
Where does it stop & for how long
How to deal with the time difference.

I KNOW NOTHING!!! and we're going to go one day...and i'm scared...

CapricaSix Tue 02-Sep-08 19:00:24

bump

MatNanPlus Tue 02-Sep-08 19:05:37

If you stop over for a few hours at Singapore there is a swimming pool on the roof can reccommend & several play areas

WobblyPig Tue 02-Sep-08 19:08:16

Definitely take a stop-over. This will typically break it into a 13-15 hour flight and a 7-9 hour flight . depends on where your headed. Typical costs 800-1000 but also depends when you go.

Singapore and Bangkok are reasonable stop -offs.

How old is child? if over 2 will have to pay for seat.

squeaver Tue 02-Sep-08 19:15:27

Did it with Singapore Airlines last year - dd was 2.8. They were good - lovely cabin crew who were very sweet to dd - but can't remember the cost (think we used some air miles). Entertainment was ok but bit old for dd. Didn't natter because we had DVD player - DO NOT TRAVEL WITHOUT ONE!!!!

We went in one big trip, didn't stop over, just a quick refeul/streth your legs at HK - thought it would be easier to adjust at the other end.

Most flights to Aus leave UK in evening and arrive in the morning. Try to avoid these flights and get one that goes around lunchtime. You'll get there (well to Sydney) at night, have a couple of hours bouncing around and then go to bed. Helps you adjust to the time difference without having to drag yourselves through a long day with jet-lag when you first arrive.

You'll have 3 nights of waking in the night. Then you'll settle down. Bit controversial round here, but I used Medised to send dd back off to sleep (or Calpol if that works for you).

Kids are amazingly adaptable. Do not put off a trip because you have them.

There are loads of how to fly long-haul threads on here too.

MatNanPlus Tue 02-Sep-08 19:17:01

We used QANTAS, got 2 internal flights and different departure city (childfree) but they were attentive to the infants and toddlers on board. Jan 2005 ~£750 each adult.

Movies,TV progs etc on tiltable headrest tv screens.

Was ~13hr to Singapore and ~7hrs to Sydney and ~4hrs to Darwin/Perth.

Snoozed but then don't get Jet-lag tho arrived late afternoon so was really, get bags, go to hotel, unpack, shower, eat, wander and to bed.

CapricaSix Tue 02-Sep-08 19:24:02

Thanks everyone, really helpful!

dd is 5 at the mo, prob won't be going for another couple of years, I need to save up (big time)! Just wanted some rough ideas so that I can start planning how to save etc. i know, i'm thinking rather far ahead! Might be sooner than i think though...

Not sure how I feel about stopping off for a few hours vs going straight there. In one way I like to just get somewhere, i would find it frustrating i think to have to wait for the second flight. on the other hand...
Singapore sounds great MatNanPlus!

How long is it worth going for? Two, three weeks?

CapricaSix Tue 02-Sep-08 19:24:53

We'd be going to Melbourne.

CapricaSix Tue 02-Sep-08 19:27:22

Oh, just remembered something else i'm concerned about - turbulence. What is the likelihood of that? i love flying myself but furthest i've gone is New York. I think I would find turbulence very scary.

Oh, and, would we need any injections?

Anifrangapani Tue 02-Sep-08 19:30:42

If they are anything like mine check them is as hold luggage grin

MatNanPlus Tue 02-Sep-08 19:36:52

We did 2 weeks arriving Sydney, staying for a week did a 'Roar N Snore' and the Sydney Tower went on a harbour boat dinner cruise then flew to Brisbane did the Australia Zoo and walked with 1 of their tigers & saw Steveand then flew to Cairns, scuba dived on the GBReef and home.

Had a 80 minute layover going which was too short and a 4 hr layover back which was good but due to the length of time on the ground we got hit with a additional fuel duty charge tho on the layovers it was the same plane so you could leave everything onboard

squeaver Tue 02-Sep-08 19:47:07

You'll get turbulence on any flight. No different going to Aus.

Don't need injections.

I'd say 3 weeks if you can. Last year we did 7 days in Sydney and 10 in Perth. Wish we'd done 10 in each.

CapricaSix Tue 02-Sep-08 19:58:42

Thanks. I'm getting quite excited now!

MissLiss Tue 02-Sep-08 19:59:19

We went with DS1 (2 and a half) and DS2 (10 months) earlier this year, and it was absolutely fine. Hard work, but nothing like as hard as I thought it would be. We flew Cathay Pacific, had a few hours in Hong Kong and didn't stop over. We figured that once we'd started the mammoth journey, we may as well continue. Glad we did that in hindsight. Cabin crew were great, and got good seats as DS2 needed (but didn't in fact use, little toad) a bassinet.

Turbulence wasn't an issue, both kids slept and we'd do it again (if it wasn't massively expensive, I'd go tomorrow).

Would fully recommend taking a portable DVD though to keep your LO occupied.

And don't go for less than 2 weeks if you can avoid it - it's such a long way you need to write 4 days off for travelling and adjusting to time difference.

But go for it!

phdlife Tue 02-Sep-08 20:07:36

Japan Airlines is good - besides the food (which I think is wonderful) on the way back (from Brisbane, at least) they do an overnight stop at Narita - you fly all day, get off at teatime, check into a hotel, eat dinner, sleep IN A BED, wake, have brekky, carry on flying - all included in ticket prices. Which even so used to be amongst the cheapest you could get.

I've heard so many good things about Singapore Air that we're hoping to do that when we go home at the end of this year with ds who will be about 20m.

I don't personally ever recall much in the way of turbulence in these particular flights but then I have a very thick skin about such things.

Watch the newspaper for special deals religiously. It can cost shedloads to go, especially if you're going over Christmas. If that is when you're planning for, book before the end of August - prices just climb and climb and climb from Sept onwards.

CapricaSix Tue 02-Sep-08 20:08:37

I just read wobblypig's post properly, don't know why i missed the point that you have to pay for the child's seat too. Does that mean full price for dd or are there child prices? For some reason i hadn't factored in paying for dd, silly me...

CapricaSix Tue 02-Sep-08 20:13:23

MissLiss & phdlife - thanks for your reassuring stories!

sunnydelight Sun 07-Sep-08 08:52:24

1. It is never as bad as you think it's going to be.

2. Never, ever, fly BA.

JudyJones Sun 07-Sep-08 16:02:03

We fly to Aus quite regularly, and haven't had to do it with kids, but have always found Emirates is money well-spent - comfortable planes, nice staff, decent food and LOTS of entertainment...

AussieLou Mon 08-Sep-08 09:41:37

Have to agree with sunny, never ever fly BA. Their entertainment/tv/movie selection is rubbish. Qantas have a great selection.
Have flown with Emirates but not with kids (they have a great entertainment selection also). Definately stop in Singapore. The pool is great and so are the playgrounds and free internet. Also there is a spa where you can shower, have a spa etc and is quite cheap.
Make sure you take with you:
Lollies, dummies, bottles for take off and landing to help equalise pressure in their ears.
Colouring books, pencils, new litle toys (more exciting and keeps them occupied longer if new).
Mention every step of the way you are travelling for the first time long haul with little ones.
Some people swear by a dose of calpol. Ive never done it though.
As a kid travelling we used to go to the back of the plane and do exercises to wear off some energy (star jumps, stretches etc).
Look at the website www.seatguru.com
I love this site. It ranks the seats in a plane from good to worse.
Hope it helps!

jojoisamum Mon 08-Sep-08 19:26:37

You know what go with the best deal you can find. We always fly BA and have never ever had a problem with them. Qantas have given us many problems! No matter who you speak to they will have good and bad reviews of airlines. Some like Virgin Atlantic but we hate them! You need to make your own mind up. Saying that, I think if you book far enough in advance Singapore have the better deals. Do lots of research and I am sure you will have a great time.

We have family is OZ and go most years although having a break this year as DS is just 10 weeks old. Will be going back December 09 instead.

CapricaSix Tue 09-Sep-08 20:09:10

Thanks for the additions to the thread, all helpful! I will be referring back to this thread when the time comes!

ameelise Tue 09-Sep-08 21:42:47

Hi - I am an aussie and about to return home in 2 weeks with my hubby and 2 little ones (5and a half and 3 yrs) - this is their 4th long haul trip and they have been amazing - even flew alone with them in April and I was 6 weeks pregnant and feeling horrendous.
Singapore and Malaysian are usually the best priced and nicest to fly with with decent stop over times, however, KL airport is not very interesting as opposed to Sing with the pool option which we took and it was great.
We choose to fly around 6.30pm now which gives the kids time to be excited, figure out the TV, eat and meal then crash. (My boy slept for 9 hours and daughter 8!!) Then wear them out in Singapore and continue on.
Kids are 80-85% fares - we paid just under £2000 for a family of four return in March.
As an aussie and knowing how wonderfully enormous our country is, try to have no less than 3-4 weeks there.
Hope this helps......i can't wait to go now!!

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