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Flying alone to Thailand with a 10 mth old should I do it? I'm petrified

(22 Posts)
B4Bella Sun 07-Sep-08 20:05:48

Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone can offer me words of encouragement that you can survive a 13 hours flight to Thailand without your other half to share the heartache!

This will be the 1st time i take our DD anywhere abroad and 13 hours is a pretty long time to be stuck to a chair with a baby. Although I've flown to Thailand plenty of times before as I'm originally from there, i have to admit I never actually paid attention at how the little souls behave on board.blush
Because of my husband's work commitments, it'd make more sense for me to fly ahead with our daughter and for him to follow a few weeks later.
My concern is
1) How do you manage with all the luggage, baby, pushchair etc. Is it manageable?

2) Changing baby and sleeping arrangements? My DD is presumably too big for the sky cot now. How will she sleep on such a long and uncomfortable flight?

3) Is there adequate help on board (ie. if you need to go to the loo yourself etc)

And finally..which airline is best?

Sorry for such a lengthy list of questions, but I'm literally petrified! Maybe I should just wait for my husband to come with us but it'd mean we pay much much more for our flights around X'mas. Any advice and comments will be much appreciated. THANK YOU!!!

Twelvelegs Sun 07-Sep-08 20:10:32

Luggage is fine, your DH can help you check in.
Ensure your pre book your seat and ask for a basinette. The sky cot sometimes is a car seat size as opposed to a tiny crib. If you want to go to the toilet I would not imagine anyone would hold your baby.

I have flown long haul (alone) with all of my children, from when the first was 1 (now 6,5 and just 2)

I have just flown back from Bangkok with Quantas who were batter than Cathay, BA and Virgin, something about those Austarlians that made everything lovely!!

Twelvelegs Sun 07-Sep-08 20:11:07

You can take a foldable buggy on board.

B4Bella Sun 07-Sep-08 23:16:53

thanks for the advice. i think DD is about 10kg now. won't she be too big to be put in the basinette. Someone told me to just take a sleeping bag and put her to sleep in it on the floor if we get a bulkhead seat. Surely you can't have a baby sleeping on the floor, or can you?
she's a difficult sleeper so i'm dreading it then again she may surprise me!

Kewcumber Sun 07-Sep-08 23:21:38

I flew back form Kazakhstan with a (very delayed) 14 month old. (ONly 8 hours admitedly).

I took a sling not a pushchair, my computer bag doubled as changing bg and I took a suitcase on wheels. Strapped DS to me flung computer bag over one shoulder and off we went...

We had enough spare seats to spread DS out across a couple of seats, I nipped to the loo when he was asleep and asked a stewrdess to keep an eye on him.

Best piece of advice I was given -

"However bad it might get, remember, the flight will end" grin

B4Bella Sun 07-Sep-08 23:29:00

thanks Kewcumber. I was thinking of getting a baby back carrier but was afraid she wouldn't be able to stretch out comfortably compared to a buggy. Sling's a great idea though. Did it tire you after a while? What sling did you use by the way, if you don't mind me asking? smile

Kewcumber Sun 07-Sep-08 23:34:54

I got a really big padded front carrier one from Ebay not a make I've heard of and cant remember sorry. He was about the size of a 10 monhs old and possibly smaller (aabout 7 kilos I seem to remember).

Take lots and lots of small bits of food - helps stave off the boredom, I didn't give him meals he just grazed the whole time virtually.

Kewcumber Sun 07-Sep-08 23:36:19

they won;t let you take a buggy on board anyway they'll fold it up and stow it. I took a plastic sheet and just put that on the floor in the airport with my coat on the top to let him crawl around/lie down.

cargirl Sun 07-Sep-08 23:37:25

my only advice is do not have a hot drink!!! My dd knocked my cup and I got scalded!

B4Bella Sun 07-Sep-08 23:38:54

great. will stock up on lots of goodies then wink

WhatSheSaid Sun 07-Sep-08 23:58:10

Hi, I flew on my own from New Zealand to UK in June and back again in August. Dd was 7 months on the way there and 9 on the way back. 13 hour flight and 9 hour flight with a break in Singapore for a day in teh middle!

I flew Singapore Airlines who are great with kids but Idont' know if they fly to Thailand - probably as they are a major airline.

They were very good on teh Singapore-NZ leg (took dd off to first class for half an hour so I could eat my meal!) but very busy on the SIngapore - UK leg so didnt' help as much - I htink you have to ask for help sometimes. You can take buggy up to the entrance to the plane and they take it off you there and give it you back when you get off plane. I used a Baby Bjorn carrier to carry her onto plane, then I had my hands free for bags. I asked the stewards to put the bags up in teh lockers for me as I'm only 5 foot tall so struggle at best of times, never mind while holding a baby!

Dd fitted fine in teh bassinet and she was 9.5 kg on the way back. She didn;t like sleeping in there much though so ended up sleeping on me most of the time. I'm still bfing so I just fed her a lot to get her to sleep/ calm her down etc - whatever works!

Some of the toilets have change table that folds down, they have a sign on the door tellign you which ones.

We did quite a lot of walking up and down the plane/reading stories/singing songs/playing peekaboo etc etc to pass the time. She did pretty well really. Mosst people recommend a nightime dflight, I actually found the daytiem one easier as it meant I had had a full nights sleep the night before so was better able to cope. I didn;t get much sleep on out night flight!

Tjhere are quite a few threads in the archives about flying with babies. Best tip is,ask for help from airline staff! When I got back to NZ I was v tired and had to get through customs/immigration etc then have bags X-rayed again on arrival (they do this for all luggage enterign NZ). Nice airline lady pushed my trolley and took me through priority lane so all I ahd to do was carry dd. I must have looked shattered!

You'll survive - just remember, it's only 12 hours out of your life...

Any other questions just let me know

Catper33 Mon 08-Sep-08 01:17:45

We are also in NZ and have flown with our children on one occasion ds was 8 months to the UK and 10 months returning. I would echo everything 'WhatsheSaid' wrote - that has been our experience to, but on BA/Qantas.

Many airline will not let children sleep on the floor on the plane for safety reasons. Even if they do think about whether you would be happy for this anyway. BA have Britax seats that fix on the table instead of a basinet which are good for bigger/older infants. Different airlines also have different luggage allowances for infants and charge different amounts for their tickets. (some charge 10% of the base fare then 100% taxes, whilst others inc Singapore charge 10% of the whole fare - worth checking out). Flights are now often quite full so don't rely on having a spare seat for your dd. Plan for not getting one then if you do its a bonus!! Alternatively you can book a seat for your dd, but check the airline requirements for Under 2's in their own seat re: car seat requirements.

WhatSheSaid Mon 08-Sep-08 03:56:32

Yes, fares for children can vary hugely. Singapore charged 300 dollars for dd, Thai Airlines would have charged me 900 - that 600 dollars difference is over 200 pounds.

Buda Mon 08-Sep-08 06:54:36

Fly Thai - Thais are fantastic with children and I am sure you would get lots of help.

B4Bella Mon 08-Sep-08 09:37:23

Thanks guys, i feel a whole lot more confident now. WhatShesaid is right, it's only 12 hours out of your life! Interesting to hear from different experiences. I will def. enquire about the infant fare.
By the way, has anyone ever taken a baby back carrier( like a rucksack one) on board? too big for hand luggage or not?
As we will be staying in Thailand for some months, I will need to take
-a pushchair
-some kind of baby carrier because Thai streets aren't really made for pushchair.
-Our(big) suitcase
-hand luggage full of baby supplies
oh yeah, and a baby grin

Buda Mon 08-Sep-08 09:43:50

Can you get a carrier in Thailand? Will you be in Bangkok? Am sure Central would have them. Could you ask someone to check for you? Then you wouldn't have to take that.

I would take the pushchair - you can take it right to the plane and at Bangkok they will have it ready for you as you get off. Word of warning - that won't happen when you return to UK! You will prob have to walk to baggage carousel to get pushchair. Which is a nightmare.

WhatSheSaid Mon 08-Sep-08 10:13:34

They did get the pushchair for me as soon as I got off the plane in the UK - but I was flying into Manchester, not Heathrow.

Buda Mon 08-Sep-08 10:31:08

Actually yes WhatSheSaid - it's Heathrow is the problem. Poor icckle men are not able to carry pushchairs up some steps. I am being a bit unfair - they are not insured to carry the pushchairs apparently as I was told by a guy who got mine when I refused point blank to move without it.

B4Bella Mon 08-Sep-08 10:34:57

i never really looked whether there were any decent baby shops out there. I never really looked at how Thai mums managed when travelling though I noticed they always carry their baby by their hip all day!!
Maybe we're too spoiled for choices here in the UK lol! Did you fly with THAI, Buda? Im tempting to fly with them. it's between EVA and THAI although EVA air will be so much cheaper, and offer, according to some people, better facilities on board and more comfortable seats? I don't know why their fares are cheaper then!hmm

Buda Mon 08-Sep-08 10:40:22

Hi - have never flown EVA but a friend has done. She said they were fine.

Twelvelegs Mon 08-Sep-08 19:59:39

I have flown EVA, large car seat style basinette (and took buggy on board). Staff very nice and the seat accomodated my 15 month old who was wearing size 2yr clothes.
Their cheaper because they're Taiwanese.

Twelvelegs Mon 08-Sep-08 19:59:54

They're blush

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