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#940651 by NYLON
09 Jan 2018, 12:31
Hi all,

I became a father recently (hence absence from this forum). My wife and I are taking our first trip with our son (JNB-LHR r/t) in January in UC (787-9 both ways, I think). He'll be two months old. He's booked as an infant-in-arms.

Are there any tips we should know about? Especially VS-specific ones. Locations? Bassinets? Taking the stroller up to the plane? How long it takes to get it back at the end? How many Virgin Redheads a two-month old is allowed to drink :-D etc?

Thanks!

NYLON
#940653 by matt.hibb
09 Jan 2018, 14:07
We took our daughter MAN - RSW via ATL when she was about 5 months. It wasn't as bad as I was expecting. In fact on the way out it was almost enjoyable! Travelling with a 1 year old was much tougher.

My tips:
  • Make sure you have requested the bassinet seat. It can't be chosen or assigned until the flight is under airport control (24 hours out), but it can be requested. We were the only ones that had requested it so by the time we went to check in online VS had already assigned it to us (about 20 hours out). I found it hard to pick seats ahead of time. In the end I went for 2G and 1K assuming 2G would become 1G at the aiport and we would be opposite each other. And yes, we found being across the aisle best as 1 of us could hold and the other entertain (though I imagine entertainment won't be an issue for you)
  • Use the bassinet, but don't expect too much from it. It is fixed onto the 'shelf' ahead of 1G, so it's at head height when you're seated. I found it surprisingly small and shallow. There is a big leather flap that goes across it to make sure the little one can't roll out. They need to be in your arms if the seat belt signs come on for turbulence. While I didn't really like the bassinet, our daughter slept in there for most of the flight on the overnight return so I shouldn't have worried
  • Nobody told us at check in or at the gate (which was a tad annoying), but usually if you're in UC the FSM/crew is happy for you to take the stroller onboard and they will store it for you. Make sure you ask at the gate 1st, they can contact the FSM to make sure it's ok. I only found out on our 1st flight because I asked whether we would get the stroller at the gate or not in ATL and the FSM seemed surprised we hadn't taken it onboard! Would have been nice to know since we had to stand in an immigration queue for nearly and hour with her in our arms. Done 3 UC flights since and taken it onboard everytime. I assume this is VS specific
  • Worst part of all is security. Make sure all baby liquid items (e.g. formula) are easily accessible. We took formula for ours, but took it as powder and got boiling water in a flask from the lounge just in case there wasn't any onboard if the 'kettle' had bust
  • Ask to eat at seperate times if possible. Although this will mean the one who eats 2nd will get a relatively room temp meal (as they all have to be heated at the same time), it does mean you can both eat a decent meal and not have to disturb the little 1 too much
  • I took our baby carrier onboard and went for a stroll around the plane a couple of times when she became a bit restless. Worked a treat
  • Think about a lightweight spare set of clothes in case you get 'stuff' on you. It does happen at the worst of times
  • Make sure you're equipped in case you experience significant delays and/or are without your hold luggage for a day or so

We have found the crews to be exceptional when travelling with a baby. I find VS are good anyway, but when you're travelling with a baby they really will do all they can.

And 1 other thing, try and enjoy it. I was nervous the 1st time; worried about whether baby would behave and what others might think. But in the end, you're as entitled to be there just as much as anyone else. And even when our daughter cried, nobody cared and in fact some people at the bar later had nothing but sympathy. Most people are more than happy to see you're trying your best.
#940661 by Seyre1972
09 Jan 2018, 18:59
Hi,

For take off and landing - do a feed - as this helps with balancing the pressure in the ears.

Ignore the miserable gits whom think just because you have children you should not be in UC !!

Enjoy
#940662 by Nickd19
09 Jan 2018, 20:56
Matt.hibb has made some excellent points. Unfortunately we’ve never done UC with our little one so can’t be much help on board other than say in our experience the crew going the extra mile for you and totally ‘get it’ we’ve done 2 x VS Y trips and 1 x EK Y trip.
Stroller wise we’ve always taken through to the aircraft door, where it gets ticked off and then put into the hold, we’ve always had to take it from the baggage claim at the other end so a baby carrier is an excellent idea if you can’t take onboard.

If you’re taking baby formula you can take as much as you need for the flight, we didn’t have any trouble with this, and we took loads as wasn’t sure, but expect security to take extra time. (Use the family lane if they have one)

All I would say though is enjoy it. It can be stressful, embrace it and accept it. Ignore any looks from your fellow passengers. We got them in Y so I wouldn’t be surprised if you get some. We love taking our baby with us, it’s made our holidays something really special and the flight is a real part of our holiday experience. (Even if it is in Y)
#940663 by NYLON
09 Jan 2018, 22:18
Thank you so much, everyone. This is really terrific, and very welcome, detailed advice. This has reminded me why I love v-flyer so much. Generous, specific, non-judgmental advice.

If I pick up any extra tips after our trip (late January), I'll bump this post with what I find out.

Thank you again :-D
#940668 by Bretty
10 Jan 2018, 01:03
I’ve nothing to add as I’ve never hatched a sprog (forgive my vernacular). I just wanted to congratulate you NYLON on becoming a dad and wish you a good flight with the little one and a great trip.

All the best. :-)
#940671 by marshy11
10 Jan 2018, 08:30
I would like to add my congratulations too. My baby is now nearly 19 years old and unfortunately we started him on UC/CW from a few months of age and he has always thought it was the 'norm'. It's an expensive habit and they do get used to it. :-O

Enjoy the trip.
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