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Long haul flight with 1 year old

  1. #9
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    I'm not a fan of the car seat either. Chances are you'll be given an extra seat anyway as they don't like putting other customers right next to families with young kids. That way she should have two seats to herself and will easily be able to sleep lying down.

    A way to avoid paying for a second seat for a child so young (we've got our whole lives to pay for them!) is to simply travel on the least busy flights. Tues/wed nights are good. As I said before, they don't like putting other customers next to families if they can help it so you always end up having empty seats around you. We are a family of 4 that always travels with our helper. Every flight we've paid for three seats and had our 18 month old on our knee. I always say I don't care where we are seated if there's the chance we can be away from others! At Christmas we were given two entire rows of three seats plus one of two. On the way back we had two rows of three. Empty flights also mean you get better service as they've actually got time to help you with what you need.

  2. #10
    kiwiinoz is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hong Kong

    Air NZ are ok, and depending on cabin crew can be quite attentive to the young children traveling. The older-aged cabin crew (of which, if you get a lot of them I apologise now) are less interested in the needs of traveling families in general.

    Ask at checkin if there are any bulkheads free... you never know, as the plane is en-route from London, families or people sitting on the bulkhead may have gotten off in HK. There is no harm in asking.
    The policy used to be they would allow babies up to 12 kg in the cots on board, but I've had conflicting experience with that using Air NZ as some cabin crew run on a policy of no more than 8 kg. (I've travelled on Air NZ with both my children since the youngest was 3 months old (she's now 4), on several of their trans-pacific routes)

    Some of the seats on the Air NZ 747-400's allow the armrest to be lifted up, which is a hidden blessing if you want to let your child rest their head on you while sleeping, settling, etc. The extra space it allows can be useful for feeding and play as well. Downside is, bulkhead seats do not have armrests that lift up.

    Personally, we found having the extra seat a godsend, and I have never used a carseat on an Air NZ flight. You will probably have to hold your child during take off and landing with a 'lap belt', because even though they will have their own seat, the seatbelts aren't designed for very small kids.

    I don't know if this may be useful, but Air NZ also used to offer the option of a baby meal (as opposed to a kids meal) for the long haul flights.. with NZ Organic baby food jars, yoghurt and the like. They are also willing to rinse bottles, heat up bottles and supply you with milk as you need it (MOST of the cabin crew anyway)
    I last flew Air NZ from AKL to HKG in November, but my son was 18 months old, so we opted for a kids meal.
    I'm a huge critic of Air NZ as I have had some extremely bad experiences with them on their trans-tasman flights over the last 3 years (and I'm a long time airpoints member no less!!). However, on our latest flight in November to HK, I couldn't believe I was on the same airline. The service was outstanding, and they were very attentive to my children's needs and helping me with milk for bottles, etc. My son has issues flying (among other things, does not equalise), and even when we had a minor mid-flight medical incident with him, I had two attendants with us straight away (one a qualified nurse) making sure he was ok.

    Good luck with it! May your child sleep for 11 hours and wake up as you land! (wishful thinking I know... but we can all dream right?)


    Last edited by kiwiinoz; 02-04-2009 at 07:23 PM. Reason: change wording,spelling error

  3. #11
    geomum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Hong Kong

    I agree that the option of the armrest going up might be very useful for making her sleep, feeding her and also keeping her toys etc, so might not opt for the bulkhead seat afterall. My daughter does sleep for 11 hours from 7pm- 6am waking up occasionally from discomfort as she is teething. But otherwise is a sound sleeper and so the timing of the flight couldn't be more perfect :))
    Kiwiinoz I have sent you a PM.

  4. #12
    Sleuth is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Fo Tan

    We flew that Air NZ route (HK to Auckland) about a year ago, in economy, with a 22 MO and it was fine. We did have a seat for him and we take a car seat (a Sit-n-Stroll, actually). The crew was great and the flight was great.
    Only some of the seats had armrests that went up, though.
    One thing, though, is that our son has been flying long-haul routes since he was 3 MO and is used to the whole airplane thing, which really helps.

  5. #13
    Buckeroo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Hong Kong

    Agree with everyone about the extra seat.

    If your child likes his car seat, then by all means, do take it with you on board (assuming it fits). This is the safest option. I don't know about other airlines, but CX is pretty helpful. If you let them know ahead of time and if they have the manpower to spare, they can even arrange for someone to help you carry the car seat all the way to the gate. We arranged for this upon departure from HK and also for our arrival back here. They even walked us all the way to the car park (which is quite a trek!).

    Even without a carseat, an extra seat gives you all that extra room. We had done this and raised the arm rest and got our baby to lie across, with the seat belt on somehow. One drawback to this is that when the Fasten Seat Belt sign is on, you'd still have to pick up the baby and belt him in, attached to your own seat belt.

    Best of luck. :)

  6. #14
    carey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Hi aussiegal, I guess with three adults traveling and you've got extra hands to help with the baby. It's is a great plus and can save buying a seat for the baby.

    In one of my long haul flights ( Air Canada or Lufthansa, can't recall), I saw a mother with a small baby ( guesses less than 6 months) sitting on an aisle seat with a man next to her at the window seat. The mother and child just cramped into one seat. The plane was quite full and I only realized she was alone when the baby started crying and she was not getting a helping hand from her neighbor.

    In the end, I think someone offered to exchanged a seat with her so she got more room.

  7. #15
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Carey - You're right, I think that's the key these days. You never know how full the flights are. Some routes they keep capacity fairly low to keep flights full instead of having too many flights with empty seats. Especially these days when cost are important, although with the recent economic crisis things keep changing daily I guess. Although most airlines will try to keep seats empty next to children (or by all means ask them to block an extra seat if the flight is not full). Most people are happy to move anyway, if they can, when they're too close to children ;)!

    Once you are outnumbered by your children (especially when they're still young), that's when it gets tricky in my opinion although it gets easier once you do it more often.

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