We have flown with the kids a few times since moving to WI and it’s exactly never been FUN.
Going into this vacation, I was kind of preparing for war.
I tried to anticipate everything that could go wrong and make the trip go as smoothly as possible. We power packed a family of four into two suitcases (plus purse, diaper bag and lap top bag) and checked one of them, packed a baby carrier in case BB decided to go limp and temper tantrumy on us mid layover, wore sensible shoes, packed lots of snacks, printed lots of coloring and activity sheets and packed crayons for both kids.
We left for the airport at 8:30am for a 12:30pm flight (the airport is a little over an hour away). This was a little overkill but we were trying a new to us airport and didn’t want to leave anything to chance. We arrived just before 10, Dan parked in the super saver economy lot and took a shuttle back to the airport where we checked one of the suitcases leaving us with very little to carry and plenty of time to spare.
The airport was basically deserted and the airline we were flying with is one of the smaller airlines at this airport so our gate was a short walk away. The security agents were patient and friendly – totally charmed by our kids and probably reveling in the fact that we were basically the only people in line (three hours early for our flight).
When I went to buy gum for the plane and scope out the amenities, I discovered a kids play area right next to our gate! We let the kids blow off energy, we had a few leisurely snacks and then eventually it got close to boarding time so we looked over our boarding passes again to make a game plan for our layover…
And discovered that we had not payed close enough attention – we only had 20 minutes to get from the first flight to the second and we had no idea what terminal we’d be in when we got there. We realized that we should have eaten lunch already because we wouldn’t have time to at the next stop and both of our flights were too short to be serving food.
With ten minutes to spare, I ran to the little cart with pre-made sandwiches and grabbed four okay looking ones, a coke and a bottle of water and, $35 later, then ran back just in time to board. I was now feeling rushed and grumpy like one would expect to feel at an airport despite our leisurely past few hours. The airplane was a teensy little thing and I found myself squished between two grumpy kids who didn’t like their sandwiches (I didn’t really like mine either) and then an hour later we were jumping off the airplane and running to our next gate ( stopping to take some of the pictures above while we waited for daddy who had to wait for our gate checked luggage – tiny plane equals not enough overhead storage). We got there pretty much just as they were boarding.
The second plane was a little bigger and had tv screens on the back of each chair. They were showing free previews of all the great shows you could watch for just $6 a seat! I watched fifteen minutes of Boy Meets World with no sound on (pretty funny actually) and the kids watched some Disney Channel show and then we took off, the previews ended and I then repeatedly explained to the kids why I wouldn’t pay for them to watch shows – but the screens continued to beckon to them, showing ads for all the things they could be watching. Nice.
Luckily it was a short flight and we were quickly off the plane and heading to the chauffeured car that Dan’s parents ordered for us (the original plan had been that one of them would pick us up but their day was even crazier than ours and they had to scramble at the last minute and hired a car to get us – a pretty sweet deal really. The driver was really great with the kids – not only did she arrive with giant cookies for each of them – she was super friendly and totally game for playing Dr Who with MM (to the best of her ability, knowing nothing about the show), playing silly games when we went under the many Boston tunnels – and got us to Worcester in record time despite it being rush hour. I wish I could have someone drive me around like that every day!
We got to Worcester around 6pm, tired but happy & ready for vacation fun!
- The Milwaukee airport is awesome – I loved their kids area and if I’d been paying more attention to layover times, that leg of the trip would have gone completely smoothly.
- Pre-made sandwiches are terrible and should be avoided at all cost.
- Playing ads for tv shows throughout the entire flight is kind of mean to parents everywhere – but watching Boy Meets World with no audio is hysterical and you should try it sometime.
- I want a chauffeur for Christmas.