What a wonderful website! You should receive an award for helping to put all of us anxious flyers out of our miseries!!
I am a mum of 4 kids, traveling to Europe from Perth in less than 3 weeks time and to my embarrassment, I am a total nervous wreck at the thought of the journey. I have to keep it together for the kid's sake. (don't want them to inherit my silly phobia)
1. Can you fly with me please??? If I had someone of your wisdom and calm sitting beside me and talking to me through the flight I would have no problems at all, (you should be a clinical psychologist). You should produce some relaxation tapes that flyers could listen to on their journey.
2. Have you any tips for traveling long haul with kids (ages 9, 7, 4 & 13 weeks)? It's particularly the little baby that I am concerned about.
3. What type of weather conditions are we likely to encounter on our route via Singapore at this time of the year? (I hear summer and night flights are the smoothest)
Thanks again for this fabulous website. Enjoy your retirement on the Boeing 777; you should open a fear of flying clinic. You would be an overnight millionaire!
All the best
If you have read my last posting, you would have noted that I have just retired from International flying on the Boeing 777 (but still do on the Airbus A330/A340). I am now spending less time answering questions, as I could not cope up with too many FAQ that have been covered before.
2. As regards to tips for traveling long haul with kids, I have not covered them yet. Well, I will see what information I can gather for you and other readers below:
You have 4 kids and this is quite a handful to manage, especially together with the thirteenth week baby. If you are traveling on a Boeing 777 or 747-400, please pre-request a bassinet well in advance as the numbers are limited. Choose the first row of the coach or economy class seats as the bassinet is attached at the bulkhead just in front of you. Remember that, during take-off, landing and turbulence, your child must be in your lap and be secured with a seat-belt extension. Otherwise, the bassinet comes in very handy for long haul flight.
a. The plane's toilets are equipped with changing tables that can be pulled down if you needed them.
b. There are kids perks available on board - kids' meals, a goody bag with small toys, crayons and coloring books. Sometimes they have logo stuff like planes and bags.
c. Check strollers at the gate and have them stowed under the plane; they're usually waiting just outside of the plane's door when exiting the plane.
d. Your best chances of boarding a flight with some elbow is flying between a Monday and Thursday during holiday periods and otherwise, flying on weekends, when there tend to be fewer business travelers.
e. A window seat is great for kids because it provides a wall for them to doze against and also affords great views during take-off and landing. The earlier you book your tickets, the more choice you will have in making special seat requests. Requesting a bulkhead non-emergency-exit row, along the sides of the plane (with a window and an aisle seat), provides you and your toddler more floor space.
f. Families with young children will be permitted to board first.
g. Bring the obvious basics -- change of clothes, diapers, favorite blanket or stuffed toys, snacks in case they don't like what's being served and lots of wipes. Always give the kids some snacks, sweets or a drink while the plane is taking off and landing to keep them swallowing and keep painful ear pressure at bay.
h. Bring toys, kids books, matchbox cars and little plastic animals. They keep them entertained and excited. Lots of stickers are also a good idea. Crayons and paper always entertain.
3. As you are traveling from Perth to Europe, you can expect the weather to be quite varied as you have to fly across the Equator to the North. Generally, the weather can be quite unpredictable unless I have the actual weather forecast about 12 - 24 hours before the flight to give you any detailed advice. However, traveling during this time of the year (Summer in Europe) is any time better than the winter months.
Wish you a pleasant flight to Europe with your kids!
Air Travel with Kids
Updates: Some Essential travel tips for the adults…
1. Bring Sweets along. It helps to equalize the pressures in your ears as the plane climb or descent. If you forget, when your ears are blocked, try swallowing, yawn, blow hard while pinching your nose until your ears pop.
2. Try to exercise in flight. Stretch and flex to prevent blood clots in deep veins causing DVT – deep vein thrombosis.
3. Sleep as much as you like, say flying from West to East such as from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur and if flying the other way round – Kuala Lumpur to Jeddah, stay awake as much as possible.
4. Drink as much water as you can as the air in the plane is very dry. Avoid coffee.
5. Take off your contact lens to prevent your eyes from becoming very dry.
6. Liquid and Gels. Put all carry – on liquid and gel into plastic bags for security check. You can carry up to 100 ml only. Any excess liquid must be checked in.
7. Get an inflatable neck rest for long haul flights.
8. Bring some reading materials.
9. Be friendly. Speak to your neighbor by introducing yourself.
10. Don't leave your previous flight baggage tags on your luggage.
11. Don't pack any fragile material in your luggage.
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