• Our draining flights

    Our American Airlines flight from JFK to LAX was fine – better than I had expected. Despite the fact that it ran through LJ’s naptime and he refused to cuddle up and sleep and despite the fact that they didn’t offer any food (just an Asian Chicken Wrap for $5 that my picky toddler refused to even look at), he did very well. I had anticipated a full-on screaming, kicking, thrashing about meltdown but no. LJ was very well-behaved and even received compliments for his quiet demeanor. However, toward the end of the 7 hour flight, his sleep deprivation and hunger pangs started to get to him. We did, somehow, manage to redirect and entertain him with other things such as puzzles, crayons, markers, coloring book, stickers, and a Magna-Doodle. We also packed a portable DVD player to play some his favorite cartoons but, of course, the batteries were flat. But good thing it wasn’t missed. He did incredibly great – better than his parents.

    The Qantas flight from LAX to Australia was another story. It was a midnight flight – nearly 4.5 hours past LJ’s bedtime so he was one miserable baby for the couple of hours we had to be at LAX before the flight and for the first couple of hours of the flight. He slept for at most an hour or two during that flight but we were able to entertain him with the on-board entertainment. Thank goodness for Mickey Mouse.

    The actual flight from LAX to Australia was horrible – very turbulent and twice my mild-mannered hubby was snapped at from two different flight attendants. The first time he was snapped at was because his seat wasn’t in the upright position when it should have been. He tried to explain to the flight attendant that the seat kept reclining on its own but the attendant didn’t want to hear him. The second time was when the head flight attendant refused to allow our safety harness in place of a carseat for LJ, although we had called Qantas a month before to have it approved and there were no problems then. Later, after she made us take the harness off LJ, she apologized profusely once she spoke to someone at the Qantas office in Sydney who advised her the harness was approved for air travel.

    Once in Australia, the weather was great (better than the below freezing point weather we were having in NJ) but LJ finally had his long-awaited meltdown. He cried, screamed, hit, thrashed about…just what he had expected…but we understood. Eventually he got his second wind and played wonderfully with his cousins. LJ had not been around other children often so we weren’t sure how would he react to his cousins especially since they were strangers to him but he played with them as if he had known them his entire life. He laughed and jumped despite the fact he was living with about 3 hours of sleep. When I saw his beautiful smile that hid any trace of weary travels, I knew we had made the right decision….we were home.

    Categories: Travel tips

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