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Flying the Friendly Skies—again

By lindsay

I felt it only appropriate and necessary actually, to take to my blog after my flight experience earlier this week. As many of you know, the first time I flew solo with Baby J (which was also our last time on a plane), did not turn out so well. I ended up drenched in 12 oz. of baby vomit, only to freeze when I deplaned in Detroit over Memorial Day weekend. <!–more–>

The reason for this update is simple: REDEMPTION ON OUR FRIENDLY SKIES.

Most people couldn’t believe that I was willing to fly solo with Baby J again so soon. But after the 4th of July holiday weekend we packed up and boarded another plane to head back to see family in D-town for the week. I did things a little differently this time. Let’s just say I’ve learned a few lessons:
1-Since I don’t fly for work anymore I decided to forgo my loyalty to my AAdvantage number. Let’s face it, I won’t be maintaining status next year anyways, I may as well fly an airline with more family friendly rules and passengers. In my past life as a business traveler I would cringe at the open seating policy on Southwest, but in my new life as a mom, it worked perfectly. J and I actually got two seats (since the plane was not full), close to the front, thanks to the loudmouth passenger who decided to broadcast to the whole plane not once, but twice that I had a baby with me. I get it—she didn’t want to sit next to me. Guess what? GOOD! I got a free empty seat.
2. I didn’t overfeed this time. Baby J got a bottle on the way up and was entertained with Baby Mum Mums (her snack of choice) throughout the entire flight. I kept breaking off tiny pieces and it kept her occupied the entire time. I doubt the people around me found it amusing as she squealed (make that screamed) with delight, but guess what? I didn’t really care. I traded my cushy (sometimes business class) seat on AA for a different A, an A39 boarding position. For 40 minutes, the people around me could listen to a laughing baby. At least she wasn’t crying, right? I figured that it could have been much worse. On the descent I gave her some Plum Organic Just Pears which she sucked down, and kept her ears from popping.
3. I took the advice of Hollie Schultz, my friend and owner of The Baby Gizmo Company. At our recent travel event Hollie gave the suggestion to pack in two bags: 1-An over the shoulder purse-like bag/weekender and 2-some kind of backpack. I’ll be completely honest, I hadn’t used a backpack since I went to summer camp, but managed to find one and put it to good use. I put all of my stuff (laptop, wallet, contacts, extra clothes, etc.) in my shoulder bag and placed it in the overhead bin. I packed J’s stuff in the backpack and slid it under the seat in front of me. This arrangement worked PERFECTLY and I had everything at my fingertips. Oh, and I checked our suitcase for no fee as bags fly FREE on Southwest—a perk that will come in handy once my AA status runs out in December.
My one regret—bringing my carrier, I didn’t need it. Southwest let’s you take the stroller right up to the door of the plane. The B-Agile folds with one hand, and I left it to gate check. Another bonus to flying Southwest—you can still take any stroller with you. Granted, mine is under 17 lbs., but on AA you can’t take anything over 20 lbs. anymore as a GATE CHECK. This means no doubles—so for all of you planning to fly with twins, I suggest you getting a Rapid Rewards number!
Overall, the trip was a success. I have somewhat redeemed myself and feel confident that I CAN still travel, even alone, with a baby. I will get back to you with a full report after we take the second leg of our round-trip later this week. Hopefully this post did not jinx my travel luck 🙂

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