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Night Flight with 16 month on knee, what have I done?

8 replies

Demented · 08/06/2003 17:25

We have just booked a holiday to Rhodes for the end of September when DS2 will be almost 16 months. As per usual the travel agent neglected to tell us the rubbish flight times until we had our minds made up and were booking the holiday. The flight out is 21.15 arriving 03.35 (local time), then a 45 min transfer, flight back 04.35 arriving 07.10 (UK time). Have we been very stupid? Has anyone done this sort of flight with a small child on their knee? If so how did it work out? Paying for an extra seat for DS2 isn't an option as we are on a tight budget and I got the impression the flight was very full and we were booking the last few seats (either that or it was a ploy to get us to book there are then).

Anyway all tales welcome. Just wondered how others coped, we are there for 14 nights so I hope that the missed sleep will be caught up on.

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mckenzie · 08/06/2003 18:19

Dont forget how resilient children can be. We had a very early morning flight when ouor son was just turned 1. We thought that we would pick him out of the cot at about 3am and put him in the car seat and then car seat to pushchair at the airport all without him waking so that he would stir just as we were getting on the plane about 7am. How wrong we were. He woke at 3am and stayed awake! Even the boring M25 didnt send him back off. I cant remember exactly what happened which tells me that it couldn't have been that awful otherwise I would have remembered it.

In yesterday's Telegraph there is a whole article about travelling with babies and small children. They reveiwed some books but none of them were recommended but they did recommend looking at a few websites for ideas on the journey and the holiday itself.
Our very own Mumsnet got a good review (look in the Big Issues section and under travel advice in Ask the Expert)
Also check out, and

Good luck and ejoy your holiday!

ps. I've flown 5 times with our son who is now nearly 2, twice on my own with him so hopefully that will give you some confidence. If it was awful, I wouldn't do it. Best advice I was given - ignore all the other passengers!!


mckenzie · 08/06/2003 18:20

Sorry, I should have said "ignore all the other passengers if they are horrible and moan". Obviously dont ignore the nice ones who offer you any help!


meanmum · 08/06/2003 18:37

I've flown with ds from the UK to Australia and obviously those flights encompas a night time section. It hasn't been as horrific as you would think. My ds is the same age as your child and all he wanted was to walk around and around the plane and investigate the kitchen area. No one minded and he didn't bother anyone. Be prepared to not get any sleep yourself and take some toys and plenty of food and you will be fine. I haven't really come across any children on any flights I have taken over my life time that have been complete horrors and screamed the whole way. I'm sure they are out there but generally kids are pretty good and less hassle than you expect.

I think you will be fine and the your son will not have a major issue with the times of the flight. He may be out of kilter for a day or two afterwards until he gets back into his normal sleep pattern but it shouldn't be that major an issue as you aren't travelling to the southern hemisphere when day is night etc. I tend to fly with ds on my own and think it might be easier as I don't have anyone else to rely on and just get on with it with no arguments about whose turn it is to look after him.


leese · 08/06/2003 19:46

Demented - is the 04.45 flight back on the corresponding day you flew out, or the following morning?
ie: Fly out 21.15 Sat, rtn 04.45 Sat? or Sun?

Quite often these very early morning flights run over into the next morning - the travel agents push it that you are getting a whole extra day at the resort - in reality you may lose your accomodation at check out time, then have to fill in the hrs before your coach arrives to take you to the airport.
I only mention this as lots of tour operators offer a room you can rent just for the day of departure. So, say you have to check out of your accomodation at 12 noon, there is another place you can go to wash/dress/feed etc for the remainder of the day. Might be worth looking into - this could potentially cause more discord than the flight!


Demented · 08/06/2003 23:27

Thanks, I'm sure it will be all right, he'll be fine, I'm being selfish and thinking about how I'm going to survive with the lack of sleep. I'm sure there will no doubt be arguments with DH about whose turn it is to have him, I'm tired just thinking about it.

Thanks for reminding me about the check out issues Leese, I forgot about that need to remember to save some money in the kitty for that!

I'm so looking forward to this holiday, I just don't want to spend it trying to catch up on missed sleep.

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Demented · 09/06/2003 15:01

Meant to say, thanks for the links Mckenzie, I'll go and have a look at them, we have travelled with DS1 but this will be the first time with the two of them and I am feeling strangely nervous.

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Philippat · 09/06/2003 15:28

Not sure you want to hear this but dd was that child who screamed all the way (19 months at the time) on our recent trip to Denmark. She refused to let daddy near her in the departures hall, hated sitting on my knee in the lap belt for take off and landing, wouldn't play with anything for more than a second, wouldn't eat anything, screamed constantly while we waited for luggage, car hire, car seat etc. And this was a normal mid-morning flight.

However, thankfully once the engines in the plane get going, other passangers can't hear the screaming very well... and I found standing at the back in the kitchen-y bit just cuddling her was the best bet.

But, before you cancel your holiday, on the way back she was angel child - happily playing, eating etc (and last year we took her to San Francisco and she was fine on the planes).

Make sure you get an aisle seat. Take any bribes like chocolate for really bad times. Tell yourself it's only a few hours out of your life and you can cope with anything for that long! I'll be surprised if you have it this bad!


Demented · 09/06/2003 22:18

Arrrgh Phillipat! Sounds nightmare-ish, glad you had a better time of it on the way back.

PS Is the chocolate bribery for me or DS2?

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