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Old Apr 25, 11, 11:43 am   #1
 
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First Class with infant, nanny in economy, bassinet questions

We're traveling to Europe this summer for 2 weeks with my husband, our 11 month old and her nanny. Haven't finalized itinerary or bought tickets. We're likely going BOS-CDG-FLR, but it's possible our first week could be a city other than Paris. The second week will be in Tuscany. We'll likely fly Air France, possibly Alitalia or Delta.

We'll fly business class, and the nanny economy. We definitely need her to be on the same flights as us to assist at the airport.

I'm stuck on where baby will be during flight. She's breastfed and eats more frequently when we travel due to shorter feedings from all the distractions (every 2 hours). So, she should be with us. But do they have bassinets in first class? Will they allow a fold up floor cot/box? I know I can't fly with her in my arms the whole time.

If we can't have a basinet in first class, can the nanny get bassinet even if the baby is with me some of the time? What about buying the baby a seat with the nanny...will flight attendants hate us for shuttling the baby between different classes for every feeding?

Any airlines you'd recommend/warn me against in terms of international travel with a baby? We might change where we spend the first week if there's a good flight solution on a particular airline.

Thank you for your wisdom!

Last edited by melonade; Apr 25, 11 at 12:38 pm.
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Old Apr 25, 11, 12:35 pm   #2
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come on, put the nanny in J
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Old Apr 25, 11, 1:28 pm   #3
 
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Fares I'm looking at (for my husband and I) are around 5k...3-4x higher than her salary for the 2 weeks. Can't justify the cost!
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Old Apr 25, 11, 3:13 pm   #4
 
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come on, join the nanny in Y
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Old Apr 25, 11, 3:26 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melonade View Post
..
I'm stuck on where baby will be during flight. She's breastfed and eats more frequently when we travel due to shorter feedings from all the distractions (every 2 hours). So, she should be with us. But do they have bassinets in first class? Will they allow a fold up floor cot/box? I know I can't fly with her in my arms the whole time.

If we can't have a basinet in first class, can the nanny get bassinet even if the baby is with me some of the time? What about buying the baby a seat with the nanny...will flight attendants hate us for shuttling the baby between different classes for every feeding?

..
I a not even sure if 11 mo will fit in a bassinet (and stay in without crawling out while you turn a way for a second) - airline bassinets are quite small.

Where exactly do you plan to breastfeed - it's not exactly very discreet if you shuffle you kid back and forth every couple hours... Can you get by with formula during the flight?
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Old Apr 25, 11, 3:32 pm   #6
 
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To each his own, but personally, I could not see putting the nanny in Y and then shuttling the baby back and forth - yes sooner or later someone will get agitated - either the other passengers, the nanny, the baby, the FA's or yourself.

I would split the difference and buy 4 tickets in a real premium economy (i.e. not UA E+) section such as Premium Voyageur on AF (or World Traveler + on BA).

http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common..._airfrance.htm

Do you have Delta (or AF) miles in that if you bought PV, you could then upgrade all of you to Business ? Just a thought.

Cheers.
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Old Apr 25, 11, 3:46 pm   #7
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Ouch! Even at 11 months, going that long will cause mom a lot of pain (not to mention blocked ducts, leaking, etc.) Unpleasant stuff...

I could fit my rather large son in the Lufthansa bassinet at a year. I understand though that these are the largest out there. Some bassinets only go to 4-6 months. Air France's are quite small.

What isn't allowed is the nanny can't bring the baby up to you. You would have to go back to get her, either feeding in Y or bringing her up to F. Kind of awkward since there isn't really a way to know if she's crying, since the nanny can't come up to First.

The F/A's wont care about the feedings except if there's a meal service going on and often, it's done in one cabin and not elsewhere.

The safest way for the baby to fly is in her own seat, with a car seat. It's also the best way to get her car seat to Europe in one piece. Don't check it as luggage (they get lost and broken too often this way).

You could also do more discrete breastfeeding if there are two seats together. The nanny can go for a walk while you do the deed. You also might be more comfortable up in business knowing your baby is safely strapped in next to the nanny, especially during take-off and landing. At 11 months, they can and do crawl away if the nanny nods off, as well as can be difficult to hold in a lap.

Mine often fell asleep after a feeding and you could slide her into her car seat, strap her in, go up and relax in business and the nanny can retake her place next to your baby.

If you opt to buy a seat for the baby and bring the car seat, flying with a U.S. company might be wise. They guarantee that you can use your seat on board, including rear-facing (important since she's too young to face forward).

If you're going to have her ride in someone's lap, going with Lufthansa might be the best bet because of the bigger bassinet. Be sure to gate-check the car seat or ask to stow it on board if you don't buy her a seat.
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Old Apr 25, 11, 7:23 pm   #8
 
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This question is asked quite frequently on this forum. My response is always the same: it is by far easiest if the parents, baby, and nanny are all seated in the same cabin. It's not fair to other passengers to be constantly shuttling yourself and/or the baby between cabins.

I think you'll find four seats in business are less than two in first (moreover, you'll find that neither DL or AZ have an F cabin). If you meant business class (rather than first, as you say in your title), and cannot afford four seats in business, I'd take the previous poster's advice and consider four seats in premium economy.
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Old Apr 26, 11, 1:31 am   #9
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I'm inclined to agree but didn't want to say as much, since this wasn't something she was considering.

The other issue is that parents can't really "enjoy" premium cabins with a small baby, so you might as well go economy, in my humble opinion.

Premium economy is a good recommendation since the biggest issue in sitting back there is getting up, since you have to do so much more with a baby. The bigger pitch makes this much more sane.
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Old Apr 26, 11, 8:46 am   #10
 
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I'd do business with the understanding that the nanny will only help on the ground. On AF I am fairly certain the FA's will allow the nanny to hold the kid in Y during dinner - but don't expect more than that. As for me - I've always avoided Y on these long-haul flights with kids with great results.
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Old Apr 26, 11, 1:44 pm   #11
 
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We don't have a nanny but I did do a flt with my husband in C (on a company purchased tix) and me with baby (12 months) in Y. Its far cheaper to pay 10% of Y for the baby than 10% on a business class tix. AF will not let the baby be in the bassinet if she is this age. Especially is she is walking or close to walking. DL is even tougher. And they won't allow the baby on the floor cot either. My daughter went up with my husband and slept in the empty seat next to him for 90% of the flight but she was sleeping and there were empty seats. The stewardess said it was okay because she was quiet and the flight in C was empty. If your daughter was cranky or walking around it might be a different story and they thought it was very disruptive if we shuttled back and forth. The flight to Europe which is usually a night flight is far, far easier with a one year old baby then the day flight from Europe to the US.

On a side note, I think the AF stewardesses thought it wasn't very kind for my husband to keep his seat in J (they didn't know he offered to move) and left me booked in Y with the baby. Even though she did end up sleeping next to him I think they still held it against him. He didn't get the best service ;-) whereas they moved the person next to me to another seat even though the flight was full in coach and brought me a business class dessert.

Last edited by Catusa; Apr 26, 11 at 5:45 pm.
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Old Apr 26, 11, 3:47 pm   #12
 
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If it were me, I'd take the baby as a lap baby in business class and let the nanny fly solo in economy. BUT my kid is very happy to curl up in my arms and fall asleep.

What time is your flight and how is your child's night sleep? Could you do a red-eye and have her in a carseat back with the nanny? Would she sleep a long stretch?

And I've always nursed my son in my seat--I'm not sure where else I would do it? Or why? And I certainly wouldn't use formula for a breastfed 11 month old just because I was flying. First off, it's a hassle, and second, lots of older babies don't particularly care for it. And, like, a million other reasons ...
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Old Apr 26, 11, 5:51 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anna Phor View Post
If it were me, I'd take the baby as a lap baby in business class and let the nanny fly solo in economy. BUT my kid is very happy to curl up in my arms and fall asleep.
If the Op is paying 5000 for her tix, that baby tix will cost around 500. And, for 500 you won't get anything but a baby on your lap, no bassinet because the baby is too old, no meal, no baggage, no miles etc. Its far better to buy a second economy seat.
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Old Apr 27, 11, 7:27 pm   #14
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Don't you guys use VIP's or I guess for UA, SWU's?
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Old Apr 28, 11, 12:18 am   #15
 
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depends on the airline with regards to baggage allowance with an infant, AF allows 10kg plus stroller, car seat etc and they also appear to offer food for infants
baggage allowance is the same on alitalia and delta, although delta is the only airline to mention hand luggage for infants (thats separate from the 10kg)
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