Friday, January 9, 2015

Flying: The good, the bad, and the ugly. The family edition.

We fly a lot.  And while we're getting pretty good at flying with young children (and our kids pretty much rock at it), there are those times when you reflect on the bad moments and appreciate the good.  This post is a result of some ups and downs on our last journey to Kathmandu from the states, one that took 57.5 hours, a 16 hour flight leg, 1 missed flight, 1 night in the airport, and 7 pieces of luggage that didn't arrive with us.  I give you my musings on the good, bad, and ugly of flying (with kids in particular):

The good is sleeping children.

It’s an empty seat next to you.

It’s a lounge with good food, a playroom, and showers.

It’s airport seating that doesn’t have an armrest between each seat preventing you from laying down.

It’s an outlet near a comfortable seat. 

It’s a USB charging plug on the plane.

It’s an in-flight children’s meal.

It’s the stewards and stewardesses that love babies and kids (and will entertain them for awhile, even hold them while you go to the bathroom!).

It’s an upgrade.

It’s flying without children when you regularly fly with children.

It’s getting comments at the end of a flight saying how well your children did (all that work – packing snacks and entertainment, constantly supplying those said snacks and entertainment, monitoring seat kicking and volume of speaking, and special privileges [ipad for hours at a time, sure!] and wonky sleep schedules you’ll later have to cope with – paid off).

It’s being met at the gate by family or friends.

The bad is being awake at 3am in the airport trying to sleep on tile floor next to your toddler in case he wakes up and tries to wander off.

It’s airplane food.

It's a baby that won't sleep.

It's flying pregnant.

It’s a pen exploded in your bag.

It’s trying to sleep on the tray table in a desperate attempt to get comfortable.

It’s overnight delays.

It’s lugging around too much carry-on luggage (packing a diaper bag for 30 hours of travel requires a LOT of stuff!).

It’s sitting under an overhead compartment when someone is trying to put a piece of luggage that is too big.

It’s a baby on your lap and no room to put your tray down to eat.

It’s a seat that won’t recline.

It's luggage overages.

It’s a budget airline flight.

It’s headphone jacks that require the silly 2 or 3 prong headphone plugs so you have to use the airline headphones.

The ugly is waking up realizing you either: drooled or were in your neighbor’s space… or worse – both. 

It’s being the neighbor.

It’s the Kathmandu airport bathrooms.

It’s when that crying baby is your own.

It’s dealing with a child who has to pee “really really bad”  right when the seatbelt sign goes off after the plane has landed (you know that moment, when everyone instantly jumps up and gets their bags down as if they might not make it off the plane if they don’t).

It’s coping with upset stomachs and the inevitable traveller’s diarrhea.  That line for the bathroom after a meal has been served is a nightmare.

It’s being the only woman on a flight.

It’s the vomit bag and needing to use it.

It’s sitting next to (behind, kitty corner, in the general vicinity of) a person who needs to use the vomit bag.

Here's to hoping your next flight has more of the good than the bad and none of the ugly.