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Direct Flight or Connecting Flight with Newborn

Direct Flight or Connecting Flight with Newborn

Old Jan 5, 16, 11:55 am
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Direct Flight or Connecting Flight with Newborn

Didn't find anything on this specific question in search

We will be flying with a baby between 6 weeks and 3 months. The difference in price with the connecting flights is about $500/ticket (so $1000 plus whatever small difference in the infant ticket). So not a small amount.

How hard is it on the baby to connect (I guess mostly it's the additional take-off/landing)? How about on parents - anyone with experience on whether it was really difficult with dealing with the extra de-planing and boarding, security, etc.?

What do people who have flown both with a baby recommend?
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Old Jan 5, 16, 12:28 pm
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Kids have a lot of stuff - are you going lap child or own seat in car seat? Remember you have to lug all your carry-on to connect - car seat, stroller, diaper bag, your carry-on (with a change of clothes for everyone), etc.

I've done it alone several times but not much fun. Then again, at that age, the kid won't care that much (so long as they don't have a cold, mine never had an issue with take-offs and landings at that age).

How long is the trip? Also, be sure to give yourself longer than you usually would for a connection. I got really good at it but still gave myself some extra time

Finally, please wait to fly until they get their 8 week shots. It gives them at least a modicum more protection from the myriad of germs on the plane and in the airports
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Old Jan 5, 16, 12:34 pm
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Direct flight is between 10-12 hours (depending on winds).

The plan, if possible, would be to fly them as lap child sitting by the bulkhead/bassinet.
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Old Jan 5, 16, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by joshwex90 View Post
Didn't find anything on this specific question in search

We will be flying with a baby between 6 weeks and 3 months. The difference in price with the connecting flights is about $500/ticket (so $1000 plus whatever small difference in the infant ticket). So not a small amount.

How hard is it on the baby to connect (I guess mostly it's the additional take-off/landing)? How about on parents - anyone with experience on whether it was really difficult with dealing with the extra de-planing and boarding, security, etc.?

What do people who have flown both with a baby recommend?
Connections basically mean nothing to infants. Other factors mean much more, like colic (and you'll be right in the age range for that), stuffy noses, post vaccination fevers, etc.

If this trip is elective, i.e. not a relocation move, I have to ask why you'd take an infant that young on a 10 to 12 hour flight? Adoption or vacation? As mentioned below, the child won't be immunized against most diseases yet (and any immunity from breast milk is really pretty minimal, especially when compared to being shut in a metal tube with someone ill for 10 to 12 hours).

As for how hard the connection is on the parents, well, I'm probably in the minority here, but I never found connections to as difficult as some make them out to be. When we started flying with my son (age 4 months, outside of flu season) we had his bucket seat, diaper bag and a basic frame stroller the bucket snapped into. I never dreamed of packing a crib, playpen, etc. as some here do. My preference was for extra diapers, less gear when traveling.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 3:15 am
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The trip is elective. It is not relocation, adoption, or vacation. It's the only opportunity for my grandparents, pushing 100, to see their great-grandchild. Elective, but not going for some "fun on the beach" that can be pushed off.

Travel time is in accordance with the doctors here, who have all said 6 weeks is fine based on immunization.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 6:17 am
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Originally Posted by joshwex90 View Post
The trip is elective. It is not relocation, adoption, or vacation. It's the only opportunity for my grandparents, pushing 100, to see their great-grandchild. Elective, but not going for some "fun on the beach" that can be pushed off.

Travel time is in accordance with the doctors here, who have all said 6 weeks is fine based on immunization.
I don't recognize your location, so I can't guess where "here" is, but that pediatricians would say such a trip if fine for a 6 week old is startling. I spent many years in pediatric medicine and in U.S. most pediatricians would say 8 weeks to 4 months for elective travel, especially such a long trip.

It isn't clear if you're asking about a baby already born or soon to be born. Either way, it seems like this is a high price trip, so one final suggestion for you would be trip insurance in case there are medical reasons that either mother or baby aren't ready to travel 6 weeks after birth.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 6:34 am
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
I don't recognize your location, so I can't guess where "here" is, but that pediatricians would say such a trip if fine for a 6 week old is startling. I spent many years in pediatric medicine and in U.S. most pediatricians would say 8 weeks to 4 months for elective travel, especially such a long trip.

It isn't clear if you're asking about a baby already born or soon to be born. Either way, it seems like this is a high price trip, so one final suggestion for you would be trip insurance in case there are medical reasons that either mother or baby aren't ready to travel 6 weeks after birth.
"Here" is Israel. Not that I question any other medical advice, but I'm very comfortable with the doctors here and their advice.

Trip insurance I have from my credit card - do you mean purchasing additional insurance? If so, any recommendations on where to buy from?
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Old Jan 6, 16, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by joshwex90 View Post
"Here" is Israel. Not that I question any other medical advice, but I'm very comfortable with the doctors here and their advice.

Trip insurance I have from my credit card - do you mean purchasing additional insurance? If so, any recommendations on where to buy from?
I'm heading *TO* Israel in Feb with a 7.5 mo old, we bought trip insurance through Nationwide online - pretty easy, but we are US-based.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 2:44 pm
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For $1000 difference, make the connection. You'll want to stretch your legs and get some real food.

A healthy baby will do fine.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 3:22 pm
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I agree on connecting, assuming it means breaking the flights up. I think the biggest struggle with a connection is all the gear you have to haul around, along with the baby, and waiting on the jet bridge for stroller or car seat.

Try to pick a connecting city that splits up the flights into two somewhat similar chunks... not something like a 2 hour flight followed by an 8 hour flight. And give yourself 2-3 hours to connect so you can stretch legs, re organize your supplies, get some food, and have plenty of padding in case of delays.

Yes I'd also recommend secondary trip insurance, and it's not all that expensive. I really like the site www.insuremytrip.com for comparison shopping. I've never had to use it, but always get it when traveling with our young children on long trips. It's got high value medical coverage (including medical evacuation), but also can help out in case of major delays, cancellations, or lost luggage. If you get stuck somewhere overnight, you'll want a decent hotel room to set up in. Or possibly use the money to cover rebooking yourself on an alternate flight.

For a long flight like that, pack plenty of changes of clothes (for baby AND you), diapers, wipes, etc. I usually pack double what I think I would need. Bring a bunch of gallon sized zip loc bags as well, in case you need to contain dirty/soiled clothes.

At that age, being held on the plane isn't going to be an issue for the baby. Just take off and landing with the ears, but you can nurse the baby or give a bottle during those times. The connection is more of an issue for parents. With an extra set of hands, connecting and saving money is probably best.
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Old Jan 6, 16, 3:49 pm
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OK great, thanks so much for everyone's advice!

If we connect, it'll likely be BA via LHR or AF/DL via CDG which would break up about 5+7 or 4.5+8. I prefer London anyways because, as big as LHR is, not nearly as much walking in the airport as CDG and there's a bulkhead on BA TLV-LHR (on the 777). There isn't on AF (unless in C, which we're not).
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Old Jan 6, 16, 5:25 pm
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I believe that all of the 777 on AF have a few bassinet hook ups in economy. Did you look up the specific aircraft for that flight on the AF site?
http://www.airfrance.us/US/en/common...lan_cabine.htm

The baby bottle signifies the bassinet (cradle) spots. We flew a AF 777, but in business, with our 11 month old and used one of the bassinets. We ended up only having him in it for a short period of time, but it made for a great spot to store all the baby stuff while in the bulkhead.

Depending on the length of the layover, you could also look in to getting a day use room at a hotel. I know there is a Sheraton located inside the CDG airport. On a trip last year to Prague, we had a 6 hour layover in CDG and booked a room for my wife, I, and our 3 year old to rest in after the flight from MSP. I'm sure there's something similar in LHR. We used points for the booking too, which really made it worthwhile.
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Old Jan 7, 16, 4:45 am
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roknroll, If we flew AF/DL, it would likely be DL on the CDG-EWR leg instead of AF on the CDG-JFK leg.

Regardless, I meant no bassinet on the TLV-CDG leg on AF as it's an A320 with a curtain separating "C" from Y.

BA uses combinations of 767, 777, and 787 on the route with a bassinet in WT+ and WT.
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Old Jan 7, 16, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
I don't recognize your location, so I can't guess where "here" is, but that pediatricians would say such a trip if fine for a 6 week old is startling. I spent many years in pediatric medicine and in U.S. most pediatricians would say 8 weeks to 4 months for elective travel, especially such a long trip.

It isn't clear if you're asking about a baby already born or soon to be born. Either way, it seems like this is a high price trip, so one final suggestion for you would be trip insurance in case there are medical reasons that either mother or baby aren't ready to travel 6 weeks after birth.
Our pediatrician in California gave the same six week advice. And we took our daughter to Hawaii, on an elective trip. It was a wonderful opportunity for our extended family to meet our daughter, and a wonderful vacation for us. OP, I'd go with your doctor on this one over any medical advice on this board.

Regarding the connection, we flew a connecting flight with our newborn daughter (10 days old) and it was not a big deal. As others have said, they really don't know what is happening at that age, and ear pressure is really not an issue until they are much older, assuming the baby is in good health. I personally wouldn't pay $1000 more to avoid a connecting flight with a child at that age. I might consider it for a flight with a toddler, though.
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Old Jan 7, 16, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by rjque View Post
Our pediatrician in California gave the same six week advice. And we took our daughter to Hawaii, on an elective trip. It was a wonderful opportunity for our extended family to meet our daughter, and a wonderful vacation for us. OP, I'd go with your doctor on this one over any medical advice on this board.
Yeah, well, for every "We did it and everything was dandy!" anecdote, there's another where things weren't so wonderful. My son contracted influenza at 3 weeks of age and was seriously ill. I wouldn't wish that life threatening condition on anyone's child. Working in a pediatric ICU for many years I saw way too many infants die from respiratory viruses.

We've reached a stage in human development where people no longer hesitate to travel when sick and they just don't give a damn about putting others at risk - go read the threads in the Travel Buzz forum about traveling when you know you're sick and see what I mean.

Traveling with an unimmunized or only partially immunized infant has risks above and beyond the normal risks associated with travel. People need to recognize those risks and weigh them against the feel-good sensation of showing off the new baby.
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