Monday, February 09, 2009

Travel Stories

I was pretty stressed about traveling with Owen. Not sure if he would sit still for more than 15 minutes of our 6 hour flights. He did amazingly well considering the timing of our flights, but our trip over did have some interesting moments.

To start, after a 4 hour layover in Seatac (praise God for the play area!), we were nearly bumped from our flight. We did manage to get on the flight thanks to a party of 3 that never showed. We got two of their seats, and a very large Samoan man (who turned out to be very nice and understanding) got their third seat. So, let’s take a quick snapshot of our situation for the 6 hour flight:

The plane is a 3-3 set-up.
We have window and middle seat.
The nice, but 300+ pound Samoan is on the aisle.

Bag full of toys and snacks are under my chair (we are stocked up!)
I can't reach the bag because Owen is in my lap.
Scott can't reach the bag because we are in front of the bulkhead where the seats don't recline.
The people in front of us don't have this problem, and have knocked their seats back as far as possible the second the "ding" goes off.

Add to this that Northwest Airlines is nowhere near the airline they used to be. Nearly bumping us with no warning, crabby flight attendant, and NO FOOD whatsoever unless you pay. Come on! The flight is from 5:30-11:30 at night. Not even dinky pretzels with our drinks. We bought food, but got the evil eye from the flight attendant because we didn’t have exact change. (I’m sorry, but if you are going to ask people to pay for food, perhaps you should let your flight attendants carry change…)

For the most part, things go smoothly until we decide that Owen should probably get to sleep.
It’s 2 hours past his bedtime and he is getting crabby. On with the PJs, drink the milk, settle into Dad’s lap, and…scream… for 30 solid minutes. We finally gave up and let him run up and down the aisle. Good thing the kid is cute and was getting more smiles than glares as he knocked his head against elbows and knees repeatedly over the last 2 hours of the flight.

The kicker? Owen did finally fall asleep – as the landing gear was being lowered for landing, he crashed against my shoulder and stayed out through the deplaning, trek through the airport, wait in baggage claim, and drive out to the resort. Granted, he woke up once we got to the hotel and screamed for another 30 minutes when we tried to finally go to bed at 2 AM, but he slept in the next morning and we were ready to play and relax to the fullest!

Side note: flight home was much more awesome. It was an empty redeye, so we claimed to rows of seats to ourselves and Owen slept as long as the lights were off, woke up for breakfast in the Portland airport, and fell asleep again on the 45 minute puddle jump back to Portland.

Traveling with a toddler keeps you on your toes.


Colleen said...

Owen just wanted to make sure you guys weren't too spoiled on the way there! He is such a good kid! It is so like my kids to fall asleep as the landing gear is going down, and then be up and ready to go once you arrive at your destination. Even if it is the middle of the night! Sorry about the flight! Some airlines these days are so horrible! I think my parents usually fly Alaska Air out to HI and I never hear complaints. The airline we flew to PV had no snacks and even made us pay for sodas!! However, the airline we flew home (different from the one there) gave us sack lunches! So nice! You wonder how some airlines seem to have it all together and some just don't. What's the dif? Especially when I am paying way less on SW and they give me snacks and don't make me pay for a bag and way more for United and they charge me for a bag and give no snacks! So odd. Woah, sorry for the airlines rant!

Alissa Maxwell said...

Exactly! Alaska and Hawaiian are fantastic and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Horizen Air. The kicker is that we booked our flights through Alaska and just got the Northwest run-around because it was a "code-share" flight. Bugger.