agree with a lot of what sazzy''s post says. anytime we prepare for a long haul flight, the routine goes out the door. we try and make our son as comfortable as possible (own pillow, toys, blankets etc...), make sure he eats and is well hydrated. i don't follow any of his sleeptimes especially for a late night flight - i follow how many hours he usually is awake for. when we traveled from NYC to HK, my son was 18 months and he could stay awake for about 5 hours straight....at the 4.5 marker, i would start to get him ready for a nap/bed etc....

an overtired child is a total nightmare at the airport so if he/she needs a quick nap before 1am, then i would give it to my child. i would not fight for him stay awake just because i want him to sleep on the airplane.