Friday, November 30, 2012

flight or fight

Although Linnea hates riding in the car, she was apparently born to ride airplanes. I'm not sure how she was able to sleep for almost 2 hours with the constant stream of airport announcements and domestic disputes were going on around us, but she did. This was on top of a 2 hour ground delay coming out of LAS due to weather in San Francisco. This turned out to be really great, because all the people we would be with on the plane got to see how calm and easy she was ahead of time.

Flying to Vegas was really what I was most concerned about, but no one seemed annoyed. One of the 20-something guys who had been whooping it up with his compatriots even offered to help me with my suitcase. The flight back had a lot more sympathetic people, which turned out to be fantastic, because Linnea cried from the landing approach until the deplaning.

I was super nervous about nursing in the terminal and on the plane, diaper changes, diaper blowouts, and Linnea being cranky, but really didn't have much issue with any of these.

Things that worked for me:

1. Baby carrier. I decided to forgo the stroller this trip and just use the Ergo for getting around. Great decision. Linnea likes being carried in it, and it meant that I had both of my hands free for getting stuff done.

2. Gate pass. Virgin America was fantastic about giving Whit a gate pass so that he could help me get everything through security. This was definitely one of the things I was worried about. The counter representative in Las Vegas offered to give my mom one for the same function, but because my dad was waiting curbside, we decided to forgo this.

3. Checked baggage. On my way to Vegas, I carried on my suitcase and gate checked the car seat. On the way back, my mom insisted that I check the suitcase, but I still carried the car seat through security, only to decide to check it to baggage claim when I got to the gate. Linnea doesn't sleep in the car seat, and so there wasn't really any benefit to keep it with me. Next time, I'd check everything I could and just go through security with her and a diaper bag.

4. Making friends with all the airline staff you can. Everyone -- the counter representatives, gate representatives, and flight team -- were totally great this trip, and really helped me navigate some of the more awkward parts of the flight experience. No one seemed to mind my being back in the staff area of the plane while Linnea slept, but I tried as much as possible to show my gratitude.

All in all, good trip. I'm sure flying with Linnea will get more complicated the older she gets, but at least I had a relatively easy first go of it to build some confidence.

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