Advice: Best way to travel to London with an infant

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Lewis, Jan 7, 2012.  |  Print Topic

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What is the best way to travel NYC-LON with an infant?

  1. AA F

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. AA J

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. BA J

    50.0%
  4. BA F

    33.3%
  5. BA Club World London City

    16.7%
  6. Other

    33.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Lewis

    Lewis Active Member

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    Greetings,

    Would love to gather some thoughts about the best way for our family to go from NYC to LON with our little baby.

    She has flown with us on transcons and shorter flights a few times, and all experiences have been positive (for her, us and other pax!)

    However, given the time zone differential and the high prevalence of overnight flights in the NYC-LON market, I wanted to leverage others' experiences before coming up with a plan.

    At a high level, I think redeyes are completely out -- for the sake of her sleep and comfort, our sleep, and out of courtesy for others.

    I'm trying the "poll" feature but anecdotal responses would be greatly appreciated as well.

    Many thanks in advance,
    Lewis
     
  2. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Have you already consulted the related "Traveling With Children" pages for both airlines to see what they recommend and the associated fees?

    AA: LINK.

    BA: LINK.

    Seems both carriers will charge you 10% of your fare to bring an infant along with you, and if you require a seat for your child you will have to purchase one.

    Do you plan on purchasing a seat for your child or do you plan to hold them for the duration of the flight? Use a bassinet?
     
  3. Lewis

    Lewis Active Member

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    Many thanks for your response and apologies for the lack of clarity in the OP.

    We are open to her being in our arms or purchasing a seat, whichever makes the most sense. What I'm really looking for is thoughts re: the most comfortable and respectful way to do the trip, for our baby, for us, and for those around us.

    Thanks again,
    Lewis
     
  4. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Of course. :)

    There are many things I do know about AA and its OW partners, but traveling with children is not one of them.

    I do know that many believe children in premium cabins is a bad idea, though honestly I've never experienced any problems personally.

    Hopefully others can give a bit more insight into what each airline offers.

    While it's not a MP source, you can always try this forum on Flyertalk: LINK. An entire forum dedicated to those who are traveling with children and the best airlines/methods to do so.

    Good luck!
     
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  5. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    The BA or AA morning flights JFK-LHR might work for you. You basically lose a day, but I've found jetlag is less of a factor on them.
     
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  6. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

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    Best way to travel to NYC-LON with an infant? United. Definitely. :D
     
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  7. Skye1
    Original Member

    Skye1 Silver Member

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    Childrens Benedryl. :)
     
  8. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    works like a miracle :D However, if you could avoid it, I would ;)
     
  9. Lewis

    Lewis Active Member

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    Perhaps we're just extremely fortunate, but we've done shorter and longer flights with her and she has been terrific. It is clear that during the flight, we must devote our attention to her to keep her from becoming uncomfortable or fussy, (we take turns eating, etc.) but it is well worth the effort to have my family with me on a biz trip or to visit grandma, etc.
     
  10. tondoleo
    Original Member

    tondoleo Gold Member

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    The gentle rocking will keep the child in a peaceful state. ClipperShipDreadnought.jpg
     
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  11. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

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  12. jetsetr
    Original Member

    jetsetr Gold Member

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    When you say, "little baby," how old do you mean exactly? And in what class / cabin are you intending to fly?

    My wife and I are frequent travelers. When we had children, that did not stop us from frequently flying. My son travelled San Francisco - Paris at ten months old (Air France economy) and San Francisco - London at almost 3 years old (Virgin Atlantic Upper Class). Both times he was fine, and he was (and still is) even better in the front cabin with his own flatbed seat.

    Traveling with young children is definitely a YMMV situation, but from my perspective, it is very do-able. *IF* you think your child will travel well, and you have the flexibility to do so, go for a premium cabin, even on a short hop from NYC-LON. It will be better for all involved (again, if your child travels well).

    image-3899998100.png
     
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  13. jetsetr
    Original Member

    jetsetr Gold Member

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    BTW, I voted for BA all-Club World to LCY, BA J and BA F. I have flown in all cabins.

    What's nice about LCY service is that it's a 32-passenger plane, takes you into the heart of London, and on the return, you make a quick pitstop in Shannon, Ireland, where you pre-clear US customs, making it easier upon landing at JFK, since it will be treated as a "US domestic" flight. But the seats are lie-flat, not flatbed, as on BA flights in J & F to LHR.

    But if paying out of pocket, LCY service can be pricier than LHR service.

    BA J is ok, but with the back-to-front "loveseat" seating config, it is not to everyone's liking.
     
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  14. Lewis

    Lewis Active Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts. She is six months old, and has traveled with us on mid-cons and transcons before; she's been a doll. In each case we were in J (or mid-con F) but the flights were at most six hours and there was no significant time-change involved, as there would be going to London. Again, for her sake and for the sake of everyone around her, I don't consider red-eyes to be a viable option until she is older. I likewise wouldn't really consider Y for a long-haul flight.

    I have been intrigued by the LCY service (and may try it when traveling solo) but was somewhat discouraged by this sentence in the page that DestinationDavid was kind enough to link to upthread:

    Please note : Children's services and discounts are not available on flight numbers BA001, BA002, BA003 and BA004 (Club World London City).
     
  15. jetsetr
    Original Member

    jetsetr Gold Member

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    Not sure what they mean by "services" but I definitely understand why they can't discount the seat to LCY - there are only 32 of them, which is why I said in my first post that the cost to LCY is generally higher than to LHR.

    FWIW, assuming you have "recovery time" in London (i.e., you are not going for a weekend), IME, redeyes are not a problem for kids at that age. They can sleep anywhere, anytime, especially when they can't move on their own. It's when they start to crawl/cruise/walk that they become more "awake." But of course, as they get older, they become slightly easier to care for. Always the trade off. I've found the "easy" ages to be 0-1 or 0-2 and 5+. In between those two age ranges, they are a bit too mobile, but also can't communicate well enough to express their needs quietly. And in that in-between age, they are not fully adept at operating the iPad, iPhone or DVD player ;)
     
  16. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

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    Also, for what it is worth, I have a whole post about jetsetr's experience traveling his kiddos that will be posted on my site this weekend. He really does have tons of great tips. I'll try to remember to post the link here once it is up. Although I will argue the point about a 2 y/o not being able to full operate an iPhone. I swear Siri only understands my daughter. They have whole conversations!
     
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  17. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    If the adult has an international (non-Canada) award ticket and the infant is under 2 years old, do you pay 10% of $0 (excluding taxes) or 10% of miles?
     
  18. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I don't think the time difference is going to be as big of a factor during the flight, but it could be an issue when you arrive.

    It also depends a great deal on the age of the child, but it sounds like you've done a few long flights before and can adjust naps and bedtime before/during/after to make the flight more comfortable. When we went EWR-HNL with our son last year (who was 1 1/2 at the time) we took the 11pm back and he slept the entire way (because we didn't let him sleep during the day).

    It took a couple of days to get him back on Eastern time after a week in Hawaii, but overall I didn't consider the flights to be that big of a deal.
     

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