Sunday, July 01, 2007

Scotland 2

13-14 June, Wednesday becomes Thursday

We sat in the bulkhead row right behind business class: Paul, Ellie, Ada, and I in the four seats across the middle of the plane; MiddleSis, Niece Arria, and MiddleBIL in the two seats with bassinett on the left. My mom and dad and LilSis and LilBIL were on the right, several rows back in the next cabin.

Ada did great on the flight, as long as she was being held and nursed. The little seat belt she had to wear was so silly! It was a loop that attached to my seat belt, as she sat on my lap, and was obviously far less safe than her "not allowed" infant car seat, stowed in an overhead bin for take-off and landing.

Ellie watched 1-1/2 movies then alternated sleeping in her daddy's arms and on the floor (shhh) for the rest of the flight. The trip would have been far more stressful without the portable DVD player.

Our 6:30 pm Chicago time flight became 12:30 am and we arrived in Manchester at 8:30 am. After some confusion and a wait (our first British meal! and shopping!) we arrived in Edinburgh mid-afternoon.

Aside: We flew BMI, an airline I'd never heard of. On every leg of our journey (that's 4 altogether) there was mass chaos with the desk and gate agents. Once we were on the plane, however, each flight was amazing. The (hot!) food was delicious, there was plenty of overhead bin space, the flight crews were professional, the planes were bright and clean, they came around with (hot!) moist towels and (cold!) Ben & Jerry's occasionally, we were frequently offered bottles of water and (hot!) tea and coffee. A very nearly first-class flight experience both out and back. Highly recommended, but allow plenty of time for pre-boarding confusion, especially if you have young children.


Anonymous said...

What are the rules about infant car seats in airplanes? I haven't flown with Bailey yet (she is only 2 months) but we will most likely be flying for the holidays. Just curious.

Amanda said...

We flew BMI over here as well. Of course, Phil's company paid for 1st class tickets. They actually have a chef on board the plane. I'm glad to hear that coach on BMI is just as nice as 1st class.

Sarahlynn said...

Tara, it depends on the airline and the carseat, I believe. Most carriers have their policies stated on their websites. There's been talk of national oversight, but I'm just as glad that it's up to the parents, for now.

A lot seems to depend on the flight attendants, too. We've flown quite a few times with Ellie and now Ada. One mean flight attendant out of Minneapolis made me sit in this really uncomfortable "crash position" for take-off and landing, while holding 1-year-old Ellie, and absolutely would *not* let me nurse her. Other than that isolated instance, most of my experiences flying with the babies have been very positive. For a shorter flight, with another adult for help, I'd just check the car seat.

Amanda, when both Paul and I were traveling for work a lot and earning mad frequent flyer miles, we'd gotten into the habit of flying 1st class for longer flights. Very nice it was, too! I've only flown 1st class with Ellie once.

I was so pleased that I didn't feel like I was in a stock-car flying economy across the Atlantic. We all clapped enthusiastically for the BMI chef at the end of the flight. I can't imagine that the people in 1st and Business classes were eating much nicer meals than we were; it wasn't like most domestic flights where the front cabin's eating something hot and delicious while everyone else gets snack mix or maybe a cold sandwich.

I think it also helped that we were in the first row, and mostly surrounded by people that we knew.