No matter how many times I fly with the little man, it is different every time! We booked a late afternoon flight into Detroit and connected to Heathrow from there.
We spent the morning before our flight at the children's museum in Denver letting off steam. This got us all nice and tired.
When traveling internationally, if your little one is traveling as an infant in arms, you will need to pay taxes on the trip when you arrive at the airport. This took about 30 min. and the cost is around $300 (you can estimate it as roughly 10% of the ticket cost.) I'm not sure why it takes so much time, but arrive early to account for this. The airline will then issue tickets your your infant in arms child.
In Denver we sought refuge in the USO. (Located in Terminal A near the airline clubs.) They are so wonderful there! We all got a bite to eat and settled into their dark room for H to take a nap. He slept for about 45 min while we charged up all our gadgets.
H played happily on the flight to Detroit. We had lots of food for him, but he loved the collection of snacks from the flight attendants. He played with the peanuts and pretzels and ate the Biscoff cookies. Our only incident came when my husband attempted to remove the cookie remnants from my sons hands, at which point he totally freaked out. Even with all the toys we brought, little peach preferred the window shade, armrest and buttons on the chair to everything we brought. Since we were in the bulkhead, he was able to stand at our feet and play around.
We arrived in Detroit with a close connection (due to storms moving across the plains) and got off one plane and right on to the next. While everyone else was boarding, we changed the little guy into his PJ's, read a story, said prayer and he was asleep before we started to taxi. Amazingly, he slept for much of the flight. He woke up several times to reposition and we had to get creative a few times to help him get comfortable. We put a blanket down at the floor and let him sleep at our feet for a bit and I even sat on the floor so that he could sleep in one of the seats!
When they turned on the lights for breakfast, the little guy woke up and enjoyed three of the breakfast muffins. (We had a very nice flight attendant!) We got him dressed before we landed and let him watch some of the kids TV options as we landed.
Going through customs was a breeze. A customs officer jumped those of us with little ones to the head of the line, saving everyone some headache. Although the little ones slept, they only got about three hours. Immigration was a breeze, although our car seat came out on a different carousel.
We chose to bring our own car seat to the UK after much Internet searching and a phone conversation with Britax. We have a Britax Marathon. UK law requires you to have a UK car seat. That being said, everyone I talked to assured me that our carseat was a better option then renting one through the car hire. (The UK law does have an exception for US Military, but only of they are using their US car here.) New cars in the UK have LATCH, although it is called something else and not as well marked as in US vehicles. Britax assured me my rental car would be new enough to have this same system, and sure enough we were able to use the LATCH fasteners and secure the seat. Now lets just hope that my husband remembers what side of the road to drive on.
So so far, so good...right? Well here is the bad news: The first night was terrible. We all passed out around 7:30pm and slept without trouble till about midnight, when Little Peach woke up and thought it was time to get up. It took almost two hours to get him back to sleep -
It eventually took turning on all the lights, having a snack and then going back to bed co-sleeping style. The good news is he woke up smiling and ready to take on the day and we are all now fully acclimated!
I'm sure I'll have more tips and tricks as we make our way around the island. In the meantime, you can follow us on twitter @ejdn or read about our travel at Out of Edwards.