wow, now that's an exciting title!
Background: We are a family of 5, Me, Mr. Surf, Thing 1 (10 yrs.), Thing 2 (8 yrs.), and Thing 3 (6 yrs.). Things 1 and 2 were in Paris 3 years ago, but Thing 3 couldn’t wait to go!
Warning: long! I assume you want to know the minutia, so I’m including it.
Day 0: departure: This trip was the tail end of April and immediately after the volcano travel nightmares. We were scheduled for 2 days after the end of the re-booking window and were extremely concerned about the possibility of a disruption. In advance, we had talked about a myriad of changes, but since the airline wouldn’t do anything without a penalty, we decided to stick with the original plan. (side note: these were ff tickets – yes five (5) !, so flexibility was limited).
PHL – LHR – We had originally booked seats A,B (window, aisle) and C, D, F (aisle, middle, aisle) hoping that E (middle) wouldn’t get booked. When we printed out boarding passes, we had been re-assigned to D, E, and F (middle, middle, and aisle). We hoped that the person in C (aisle adjacent to the “2”) would switch for the other aisle (F), so I just sat in C. When she arrived, she refused to switch even though it was an aisle for an aisle (just the right side of the 4 middle instead of the left side of the 4 middle).
Her rationale, “What happens if we crash ? They need to know where certain passengers are.” My immediate thought, “if we crash, we won’t care”. We tried to be respectful and not pass too many things across her, but backpacks and carryons were packed such that one had books, one had ipods, one had snacks, so it was inevitable that the other adult had the required thing for the child next to them! Although we tried to minimize passing, I’m sure by the end of the flight, she wished that she had switched.
One thing that worked out well was traveling in hooded sweatshirts. We explained to the kids the need to sleep on the plane – we had warned them that we weren’t getting any entertainment items out – no books, no ipods, no games. After boarding and getting settled, everyone put their hoods up and attempted to sleep – Thing 3 was actually asleep before we took off! The hooded sweatshirts were great for minimizing distractions and encouraging them to focus in and go to sleep. They all awoke about 90 minutes before we landed, so we dug out the cereal from the bags and had breakfast and landed. We didn’t even bother to attempt the breakfast served on the plane – one look at it and I knew the packed cereal was a better option. (Kids think the little individual sized cereal bowls are a treat, so we had a variety of those).
After the seating drama and the concerned that a volcano would erupt again, we were happy the flight was on time! We had warned the kids that when we got off the flight we were walking straight to passport control without stopping or dawdling (and hopefully no bathroom break). We encouraged them to just try and keep moving because being at the front of the plane makes a huge difference! We did get through the line relatively quickly and were happy to be out of passport control.
next: All About Dahl.
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wow, now that's an exciting title!