Wednesday, August 8, 2012

One Long Flight Back

Yes, I know, I haven't written a post in ages, so I don't know if anyone will actually read this, but I'll just write it anyway. A and I got back from a 5-week vacation in France (SleepyPapa joined us for the last two weeks) earlier this month. I'll write more on our trip later but today I need to rant about our return flight.

A and I were flying back on a separate flight from SleepyPapa because his ticket was bought with miles and buying our tickets on the same flights would have cost $500 more. The way there is usually easy because it's nighttime so A sleeps the whole way. The return is another story because we leave Paris around lunchtime, so I can usually count on a nap and the little individual TVs to keep A happy and quiet for a good chunk of the 8 1/2 hour flight (which is followed by a 2-3 hour layover and another flight back to Syracuse).

So on the return day, we woke up early to get to the airport on time (7am Paris time/ 1am Eastern time), got to our plane just fine, but as we got to our seats, my heart stopped a little when A asked "where's the little TV?". I looked and discovered with horror that we were flying on a dinosaur boeing plane that only had one screen up front, with one movie showing! No offense to Nicholas Sparks, but there's no way a three-year-old will be interested in The Lucky One. Here's the thing, we fly back to France every single year, and I can't even remember the last time we didn't have an individual TV, so I hadn't planned too much to bring along because I didn't want to carry too much stuff. I did have our own little DVD player, but its battery is getting old and only works for about an hour. I had one book, some little cars, some markers and paper for coloring.

Because of our early start, A fell asleep at take-off. He slept for about an hour, watched the DVD player for the hour that it lasted, and then, I was on my own, with 6 1/2 hours to go until Charlotte! To top it all off, we were surrounded by French people, who are definitely not kid-friendly like Americans are, and gave me the evil eye the minute A spoke louder than a whisper.

I ended up making up a lot of stories, which A loves, and I have to say that A was the perfect little traveler, who behaved and stayed still the whole flight. I was the one getting tired and cranky..
When we got to Charlotte, we both got a little reward - A a small plane, me a Jamba Juice. That refueled us for the next flight, which ended up being delayed by two hours ( including a boarding, de-boarding, re-boarding episode.)
A was excited to get to Syracuse, see his dad, and his house, so even though we got there after 8pm (which makes it 2am France time), A still took a little time to play before going to bed.

Me? I was pretty cranky and did not find it amusing when SleepyPapa mentioned the several movies HE got to watch on HIS flight. A good night of sleep helped my mood.

Now, just a little plea to USAir: please update your fleet so that moms can get a little rest on your transatlantic flights, we do pay quite a bit for those tickets!

Have you had bad experiences traveling with your kids? What do you do to keep them entertained?

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