The first flight with a baby is quite scary, because you will be in a tight space with lots of people and no escape for a determined duration. Brrr…
Booking our flight to France for 3 for the first time was quite an emotion. After clicking + 1 infant (under 2 years) you will immediately see:
“Infants aged less than 2 years must sit on the accompanying adult’s lap, an infant seat belt will be provided by cabin crew.”
So I thought, I won’t be occupying a seat for him so it will be free, right? Mmm… not exactly.
So you pay a tax of about €20 for your child under 2 years. Fine, but concretely what are you paying for?
- a bag of 5 kg maximum
- 1 pushchair (even if they make you clearly understand that they won’t take care of it):
“We highly recommend that you place your pushchair or buggy in a travel bag or case as these items are inherently unsuitable for carriage by air.”
- 1 car seat (approved for aircraft use)
Ready to go? Yeah but there is still this one kilometre queue before to get on board. If you are two, it’s ok because one is in the queue while the other is sitting with the baby, but I will definitely pay for priority boarding if I have to fly on my own (€2.99/person).
The other thing is that you want to be seated by the window if you are breastfeeding (for some intimacy at least) and in this case you have 3 possibilities:
- You are lucky enough to accidentally get the window seat (yay!)
- The right thing to do would be to buy an allocated seat for €5.99, so that would make an €8.98 extra cost (priority boarding + allocated seat) but knowing that for €10.99 you can choose a better seat (where there is extra space for the legs!!) and get free priority boarding…
- …or you can gently ask to someone to swap places. I’m a bad person so I would usually seat first then wait for someone to claim his/her post and “ask” gently if it’s ok… (I’m terrible, I know).
So here we were, lucky to have the window seat :) but still worried: will he be okay during the flight? Will it be painful for him? I’ve heard that to help your baby to avoid ear pain you can either give him some milk or give him a soother during take-off and landing (swallowing help equalising pressure in the inner ear). So as a rationally worried mother, I let him attached to my breast during the whole flight.
Then during the return I discovered he would sleep perfectly without being attached to me (hum…).
In the end, flying with a baby isn’t so terrible, but I will let you know how it goes next time when I am ALONE with him…