Traveling with Kids: The Trans-Atlantic flight

We barely made the the flight because of traffic and some seating issues, but we did make the flight. My two kids and I were just three rows behind the first economy class row. The wait for takeoff was an excruciating hour – yes, the flight was delayed, welcome to Air France – but I kept them entertained with stories and iPads until we finally took off. The hour before the initial meal was served passed reasonably well – Aristocats for my 2-year old daughter and Ninjago for the 5-year old son. Both kids turned up their noses at the kids’s meal which was a sort mashed potatoes with cheese on top with chicken. At one point, my daughter slept for about 90 minutes while my son played Angry Birds or something. Oh, there was also a particularly nasty nappy to change at one point as well. To be honest, the first 5 hours went reasonably well. It was the next 3 hours before the last meal that were the most challenging. At this point, my son was hitting that state of fatigue that becomes totally antsy. My daughter couldn’t stay in one place. And had another nasty nappy. Somehow, I juggled between the two of them with hugs, games, and so forth. Actually, the winning move was holding my daughter on my chest while showing the original Star Wars to my son. The last meal went just about as poorly as the first in that no one really ate. Worse, my daughter dropped her safety blanket and as I bent over to pick it up, the iPad took a spill and a chip off the glass on the upper right corner. Argh. After we finally landed, since we were close to the door, I was able to speed down the super-long MIA corridor to customs with the kids in tow. Fortunately, the line wasn’t too long. However, the fatigue and tension had built up in the kids and the hitting and running around started. I was able to keep kind of a lid on it, but when we were just about to pass customs, my daughter broke out running all over the place. It was exhausting. I was able to keep my cool more or less, but as soon as I found a baggage cart, I tossed my whimpering and ecstatic daughter in it and was pleasantly surprised to find my luggage waiting for me. And when I stepped out, there was my dad so the ordeal was over.

What would I do different? Not much really. There isn’t enough room in coach for me to really do more games with them. Perhaps, I should have ordered the normal meal for them. Or, perhaps it is just a trying experience and things will just be easier next time around. The way back is a night flight so perhaps that’ll work in my favor. In any case, an iPad for each one was a good plan, will Be doing that again…


About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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One Response to Traveling with Kids: The Trans-Atlantic flight

  1. yaykisspurr says:

    Cute series of posts about your travels…I couldn’t believe the costs though of that safari! Geeze. I guess it feeds the animals? Cheers 🙂

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