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Which is better: 8 hours on plane Non Stop in Coach OR 11 Hr plane trip wtih 1 stopover but in 1st Class?

Which is better: 8 hours on plane Non Stop in Coach OR 11 Hr plane trip wtih 1 stopover but in 1st Class?

Old Jul 9th, 2005, 03:18 PM
  #21  
 
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I would choose first class even with a 2.5 hour layover. Traveling with a baby? Aargh, it was difficult enough to travel with a toddler in economy (aka sardine class) nonstop. I think for that length of flight time you should get a seat for your baby?
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 03:20 PM
  #22  
 
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I don't know anything about babies (don't have any) or flying first class (never had the luxury). But I do know that my when my parents took me to Europe as a baby on an 8-hour flight, they vowed never to fly again with a baby on their laps!

Apparently I was fussy and wouldn't go to my Dad, so my Mom was stuck holidng me for the entire trip. She said it was really rough - and my Mom is certainly no complainer, and I was a "good" baby (maybe not on this trip, though!).

The bassinet sounds like a very good option to give you a rest. First class sounds like the way to go, even though it's a longer trip.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 05:07 PM
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Joanie, no question in my mind: I'd take space in preference to time.

AAFrequentFlyer alluded to the issue of babies in First. It's a topic that tends to polarize people (you should see some of the "discussions" on this over at FlyerTalk ... hand-to-hand combat comes to mind), but I wouldn't hesitate to take a six month old baby in the forward cabin. When our daughter was that age, my wife used to nurse her on take-off and landing, which alleviated the pressure differential in her ears. I gather that a bottle works equally well.

Anselm
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 05:53 PM
  #24  
 
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To beat a dead horse....first class, without a doubt. I've flown both coach and 1st class with my kids when they were babies, and although they have always had their own seat, it's just so much nicer having the extra room in 1st class. I can't imagine flying 8 hours in a cramped coach seat, squished next to a stranger, trying to feed and entertain a baby on my lap. Besides, the first leg of the 1st class trip isn't any longer than the nonstop flight. Then you'll have a couple of hours to stretch and move around with the baby. Then that second 1-hour leg will seem like nothing!

I'm sure you'll get a few looks from others in 1st class, but let them look! The last time I flew with my daughter first class, we got the looks, but they had nothing to worry about. She fell asleep minutes after take-off and didn't wake until we were landing, nearly 4 hours later!

Good luck!
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 06:08 PM
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Like KLW25 we also got the look when we walked into first class with a 15 month old. This was a long trip from Sydney to London. He managed to squeeze into the bassinet, make sure you book one WAY in advance. Speaking as an ex hostie (long haul Qantas) I would pick first class everytime, I have seen too many fraught parents struggle in economy with small children. Space and freedom to move about is what it is all about. Use those points, the rainy day may never come. We are blowing our bank of FF points this time from Sydney to London for our 20th anniversary trip, first class the whole way. Make sure you request the bassinet though and still take baby supplies, don't totally rely on the airline, stuff is often not loaded and not many shops at 35,000ft. You must be convinced by now?
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 06:44 PM
  #26  
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Not to hijack the thread, but I wonder how many miles ("points&quot is the kind of abundance that I would care about whether to use them or bank them?

I suppose that for me... to have ten times the number I'd plan to use on any given trip (we'll call the number for the trip "x&quot, and if there was the ongoing opportunity to continue adding .5x to 2x annually, then yes, that kind of abundance would lead me to not think twice about using them, on any given trip. At any age.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 07:16 PM
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I would definitely want the first class service. However,I would like to warn you that on most carriers there are only 1-2 bassinet holders(1 for the front and sometimes 1-2 in economy).They are VERY small and usually you have to supply your own blankets.They hook onto the bulkhead so in economy you will have the big screen right in your face on a 767. 777
's have individual screens at each seat so that would not be a problem.Since you mentioned that you have never traveled with a baby-may I suggest that you have a "practice trip" here in the states first so that you can figure out what you need to take and what works/ what doesn't. Trust me when I say that you will need alot of equipment when traveling with a baby-DO NOT expect the airlines to have anything for you(other than a preordered baby meal) nor any hotels that you stay at.Be sure to talk to you doctor about any concerns with the ears, teething and sleeping before you go.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 07:18 PM
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Rex, we just used 125,000 miles each to book FC tickets to London, returning from Paris. I used to hoard miles, too, but I got so sick and tired of trying unsuccessfully to use my miles that I finally thought what the hell. I'd hate to be hit by a bus with 200,000 miles in my frequent flyer account.

In addition, those miles get worth less all the time as the airlines periodically up the miles required for awards.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 07:46 PM
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I sure agree with you Marilyn, hoarding ff miles is not like keeping money in an investment account, especially when airlines are having so many economic problems. Most "experts" advise flyers to use their ff miles whenever they can.

I just turned over 60,000 NW ff miles to my daughter & sil so they could upgrade to business class going and returning from Rome. I still have quite a few ff miles left and will collect more as I go along. IMO using your ff miles whenever you can is the way to go!! Happy flying everyone.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 07:51 PM
  #30  
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The right answer is different for every person, Marilyn. We have cleaned out a lot in the past few years (especially USAir - - had a lot; feared their becoming infintely harder to use)...

... and so my "wallet" feels "bare" (might have 200,000). So I am feeling like going back into the conserving mode again.
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 08:46 PM
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As mother of 2 small youngins I would be tempted by the shorter flight in coach. But I would do it with 3 seats.

First class is of course incredible BUT the shclep, the take off and landing is what bothers kids the most, the risk of delay/missed flights are all major pains/risks for disaster.

I also have to say that the stress of being in first class with small baby can be a bit much too. One poster said you'll get more help in first class... I don't know if that would be true (I have flown business United with my kids and did not find that at all).

If you could travel direct though I would choose first class and just ignore the stress.

Also check out, I know at one point I was using miles with lap baby and I had to pay 10% of fare. For a biz class ticket to Europe that was A LOT of money. Thus I just decided to get another seat and blow the miles. This might influence your decisions.

Good luck
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 08:54 PM
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I think it also depends on the temperament of your baby. The lay over flight will involve 2 take offs and landings which are generally the time children with sensitive eardrums get affected the most. Do you in general find your baby sleeps easily and well? I am tempted to say first just because it will be much more comfortable esp the bathrooms will be cleaner and easier to navigate with baby and diepares than the small economy loos. Also, take into a/c flight timings. If the shorter flight is a night flight with most pax and your bay asleep it may compare well with a day flight. Despite all this I would go first!
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 09:20 PM
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Sorry to get off on a tanget but...

LoveItaly- Glad to hear daughter and SIL are heading back home. Hope that means everyone in SIL's family is better, and if not, I'm sorry for the loss.

Mat
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Old Jul 9th, 2005, 09:59 PM
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Well hello matt003 , how nice to hear from you! Yes my daughter & SIL are home. My SIL 's father died, unfortunatly, just hours before they had to return to the US, but at least they were with him for almost four weeks. Things still rather a turmoil in some ways there in Italy but my SIL had to return home due to his job of course. Thank you so much for your thoughts. I hope all is going well with you! My best wishes and good thoughts to you.
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 12:26 AM
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I would go for the direct flight in coach with an extra seat for the baby. The idea of a 'practice trip' (with baby-on-the-laps) isn't so bad. You will then see how your baby reacts on taking off and landing and if you can get him/her to sleep. Which absolutely didn't work with my son, though I had given him a light sedative (pediatrician's order) and our flight was *only* 5.5 hours.
It's not only the 8 hours on the plane that is nerve-racking for a baby, but also the flurry at airports, all the hours of waiting at check-in, luggage, customs, ...
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 01:52 AM
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There was a commercial years ago on t.v with a guy walking in a ballpark saying"I guess I"m in the front row" thats where I"d be!!!Good luck and have a wonderful trip.
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 02:16 AM
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I can't believe I am saying this but I would choose the direct flight and economy class! I would also, with no hesitation, buy the extra seat for the baby. As others have said it is the getting on and off, taking off and landing, that are the big pains travelling with children.
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 02:31 AM
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It seems most odd that even with this abundance you can't ":afford" first class on the most direct optoin.

Don't start messing around just to travel first. The point of a flight is to get you from A to B as quickly as possible. Also, the more flights you take, the more at risk you are. You're more likely to pick up an infection, or even crash. Be sensible and go first another time.
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 02:53 AM
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I'm still waiting to fly on Ira's airline that has flight attendants who "help" you with your baby...Hooters Air perhaps???
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Old Jul 10th, 2005, 04:52 AM
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It is called Qantas Airways. Well, I always helped people with babies anyway. I remember picking up babies when they woke up so the mother could keep sleeping - gee how nice was that. The good old days eh? I guess the hosties of today don't do these things anymore.
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