View Full Version : 2 year old's first flight

23rd Jul 2008, 01:27
Hi guys n girls,

As the post implies, it's the 2 year old cub's first flight.

Civilised flight times, only Birmingham to Reus, so not too far.

Any advice will sure be welcome from any seasoned 'with youngsters' travellers.

Cheers in advance


edit to say, sorry, any CC advice just as welcome

23rd Jul 2008, 05:57
Perhaps if you tell your "cub" to look out the window to see if he/she can see anything of interest. Also, say that if he/she is good she will get to visit the flightdeck after landing!

23rd Jul 2008, 07:55
Should be no problems with a short flight like this - your kiddie will likely be excited and fascinated by all the goings on (my 18-month old daughter loves airports more than anything else in the world - so much to look at, busy people everywhere).

If you're taking a pushchair/buggy, check with the airline what the arrangements are. Some let you take the buggy right to the door of the aircraft, and then give it back to you at the door when you disembark. This is very convenient. Others take it at the door, but return it with the other baggage at the carousel. Others still make you check the buggy in with the rest of your luggage, and struggle with your toddler around the airport (I avoid these ones). More buggy details, along with surprisingly passionate debate, on this thread:


You'll need the all the usual toddler equipment - change of clothes, nappies, wipes, dummy, toys, books, small treats, etc - with spares of crucial items, preferably carried by each parent separately. Also a good idea to have something to suck (e.g. sweet, dummy) on to relieve ears during the air pressure changes during climb and descent.

In my experience, CC and other passengers are typically helpful and patient - please don't abuse this by imposing your child on them more than necessary, or demanding special treatment. Beware of behaviour such as kicking the back of the seat in front that may seem like innocent fun to the toddler, but is deeply irritating to the person in the seat. Some of your fellow passengers will be only too happy to be approached by your child for a chat; others will prefer to be left alone and won't want sticky fingers anywhere near them. Be sensitive and vigilant about this.

Sometimes kids will cry, and there's not much to be done about it. CC are generally sympathetic, and will do what they can to help. Other passengers will - on the whole - be understanding (if not delighted) provided you are seen to be actively trying to do something to soothe the infant.

Good luck - I'm sure it will be fine.

Load Toad
23rd Jul 2008, 07:57
When our two were young babies they were ace on planes apart from one time when the people behind thought it fun to tease one of the kids so it got her excited - and thus - then sick.

Take lots of things for them to do - try to get them absolutely worn out before they get on the plane and yes - they tend to love looking out of the windows.

Ackshully for our kids most of their first flights were in business class (perk of the then job) & when the little lad had his first economy class flight he asked 'Where's the big seat?'

Spoilt lil' bugger!

(and yeah - don't let 'em kick or pull on the seats - it is f(airly) annoying).

23rd Jul 2008, 08:32
Its fine when it all goes smooth - not so good when delays and airline troubles hit. Took my 2 year old last year at the height of security problems and 3 hour delays both ways. An awful 9 hour door to door journey on a route that I normally do in 4.

We booked a lounge on the way out which was a very good thing. Paid extra to park the car right by the terminal (out of Gatwick) so avoiding buses from car parks and similar with kid, prams, car seat, luggage etc.

Make sure you are at the front near the gate when boarding to take advantage of first on. Other PAX sadly were generally not helpful on boarding - blocking access and pushing past as we were sorting ourselves out on the plane.

I took a portable DVD player just in case with a couple of daughters favourite DVDs. Came in very handy on the plane once the novelty of sitting there for an hour without the thing actually wore off. It may be educationally correct to read books for the entire journey but reality is you dont know whats going to be thrown at you so be prepared for all eventualities.

And EasyJ managed to lose the pram both ways so practice carrying child, car seat and dragging one large suitcase.

Despite that we still had a great holiday. For some reason however I chose to drive this year....

23rd Jul 2008, 09:17
It's fine when it all goes smooth - not so good when delays and airline troubles hit.

This is a very good point - and another reason for keeping the buggy with you until you board. Also check what child facilities are available at the airports, as these are often hidden away but can be surprisingly good. The kiddies' room at Zurich airport, for example, is better than the business-class lounge (how many lounges have Sony Playstations and a full kitchen, eh?). At the least, you should find changing facilities, a microwave or stove, somewhere for kids to play safely, and some relief from the throngs outside.

23rd Jul 2008, 10:18
With young children, unless the child is hyper, they often go to sleep during the flight. Avoid giving them drinks, food, sweets that might make them hyper. My grandson recently flew for the first time. Admitedly he was a few months past his 3rd birthday - and it was only for a couple of hours but he was as good as gold. As mentioned above, lots for him to see and learn about. He was fast asleep for his first landing though. Slept for most of the return too.

23rd Jul 2008, 11:03
Here's my tip - make a note of the airline, aircraft type, registration (if you can get it), airborne time, distance (BHX-REU is 1275km). In other words, the makings of a logbook. If the sprog grows up to be an 'enthusiast' they will bless you for it.

23rd Jul 2008, 11:52
Also, a 2-year-old will not understand the concept of the ear and air pressure. So you may want to stay aware on descent whether the little one looks uncomfortable (or in pain), and then help him through it (pretend he's going diving underwater or something).

I've noticed that some babies go absolutely mental because the air pressure hurts their ears and they don't know what to do about it.


23rd Jul 2008, 20:25
My main tip for flying with children is: Talk to them. Sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised...

Basically, an airport and a plane is going to be a strange environment for your child. He will need reassurance from you.

Before you go to the airport, play "planes" a few times (if you have time). Line up some chairs with ribbons round them (the cord from dressing gowns are good) as seat belts. Tell your child that you're now on the plane and need to fasten your seat belt because the sign is on (point to ceiling). Then do a "ping" noise after a little while and say the seat belt is switched off so he can take the belt off. Pretend to look out the window and describe what you see. And so on.

This will help you, as he will know what to expect when on the plane. Explain to him that it is just like being in the car and he needs to have his seat belt on just like in the car.

Praise him when he's good. Bear in mind that kids sometimes act up when they feel insecure and need your attention, but they don't know how to ask for it.

Bring favourite (small and soundless) toys, such as favourite teddy, book, and colouring book with crayons. Ask him to draw a picture for the pilot and the crew. If he just does a squiggle (as most often happens), encourage him to use another colour (drags out time).

Bring some snacks (preferably non-liquid items) to reward for good behaviour. Also bring an empty sippy-cup or similar for when the ears hurt (the crew can fill it with water/juice for you). Another one to try if the ears hurt is to play a game of doing the biggest yawn, as that sometimes helps.

And relax. If you're stressed, the child will be stressed. Write lists of what needs to be done before you go, so you won't forget anything, and it will ease your worries.

If you can avoid bringing a car seat, that makes it easier (or check it in), as airlines have different policies on which can be used and most car seats don't fit in the overhead locker.

Bring spare clothing (there will be accidents) and nappies. Also bring a change of shirt/top for yourself as you may be covered in something at some point.

If he cries and has a bit of a wobbly, don't worry too much. We know you're there and we know kids cry. It doesn't make you a bad parent.

The most important thing is to make sure he keeps his seat belt on when required. Hold him down in his seat if you need to. You're in charge of him and it's what you will be asked to do. He won't remember it, and you're looking after his safety at the end of the day.

Have a great flight, I'm sure it'll be lots of fun and he will probably enjoy it very much. Have a lovely time on your hols and try not to worry.

Hope this helps, sorry for long post.


23rd Jul 2008, 23:29
See this thread -- from the FAQ:


24th Jul 2008, 20:56
All your advice has been taken on board, very informative and helpful.

As for the kicking of the seat in front..................Cub sits behind Daddybear in the car! Couldn't agree more. Feet will be very closely monitored during the flight for the sake of the one in front.

Many thanks again.


Mr Quite Happy
29th Jul 2008, 11:25
Just to add some experiences…

I’ve a 4 yo, a 2yo and 6 wo. Zurich does a VIP service, where you can get met at a special drop off location and taken to a special VIP lounge before getting on the plane, its 260 CHF for the principle and 100 CHF for the entourage. It appears that our family of five will get the whole thing for 360 CHF. You then get driven to the plane so as not to have to fight your way with the hoi-paloy. I’m not convinced it is a requirement for ZRH but it might be available at other airports for others so something you can check with the airport. The details are here: VIP-Service (http://www.zurich-airport.com/ZRH/?ID_site=1&le=2&d=cnt/ASTY/EN/vip-service.asp&sp=en&u=1&t=VIP-Service&ID_level1=5&ID_level2=102&a2=102)

You also get checked in and the luggage is whisked away and of course security clearance etc is all done on a private level, no crowds, no carrying your own gear and nobody for your darlings to upset.

Also, like the DVD player, we have an archos Which has proved invaluable for the 4 yo since he was 3 yo.


The 2yo likes to stand on his seat and play with whoever is sitting behind us so on a up and coming long flight we’ll be def trying some of the great ideas from the earlier posters this time. Thanks!

30th Jul 2008, 13:35
During take-off & landing, make sure he has a drink to help with the pressurisation - we gave our 18 month old girl a bottle & there were no problems with the air pressure.

Her first flight was to Dubai - we were really woriied about it but there were no problems there or back - she did have her own seat though & VS do supply a babyseat which she was quite happy to sit in for (most!) of the journey!

Next trip to Verona next month!

Good luck

2nd Aug 2008, 00:44
For fellow passengers' sake, keep an eye on the little feet - two-year-olds when they are getting bored often kick the seat in front of them and the parents don't notice ...