Monday, 12 December 2011

Flying short haul with a 6 month old - London to Stockholm BA!

My sister and her husband took my gorgeous niece away for a weekend to Stockholm from London.  Here's her flight review full of some top tips:

We booked British Airways to fly from London for a weekend in Stockholm with our 6 month old baby.  Infants get their own luggage allowance, and at Heathrow you can take the buggy all the way to the plane.  On our return flight from Arlanda airport we had to check our buggy in and were given an airport buggy to use until we boarded.  This was a bit annoying (no bag/clips on it to hold a bag) and was a very basic buggy and may have been uncomfortable for a very small baby.  On the positive side our buggy was wrapped very securely in a big plastic bag so I was less worried about it being damaged during the flight.

In my hand luggage I had several pouches of food, cartons of milk, sterilised bottles and a sippy cup of water.  I also preordered some formula and food pouches at the airside Boots just in case this was taken away from me at security.  If you plan to do this they are very helpful (even talked me through all the different flavours of food on the phone) but make sure that you call at least a week in advance.  At Heathrow they have a special lane for families to go through security which was great on a quiet Friday morning during termtime, but probably a nightmare during school holidays.  At both Heathrow and Arlanda I was asked to taste one food pouch and to sip from the water cup, but I did not have to open the cartons of formula.  At Heathrow our little girl was asleep as we passed through security so they didn't ask us to take her out of the buggy, just took it the side and searched it thoroughly.  At Arlanda I had to carry Abbie through the x-ray machine, and when I set off the metal detector a member of staff insisted on holding Abbie while I was checked.  This wasn't strictly necessary as my husband was just behind me - I found it quite irritating but I think that she just wanted to have a cuddle with a baby!

At the gate at Heathrow while everyone was waiting to board, a member of staff ushered us straight to the desk and changed our seat numbers so that two of us could have a full row of three seats to stretch out on.  We checked in the buggy at this point and walked straight onto the plane, no stairs.  At Arlanda the staff weren't so friendly when we asked to move seats and said that we had to remain in our assigned seats as infants are specifically put in certain rows on the plane.

The flights themselves were easy, although Abbie is now too big to just lie across my lap for the whole journey.  She sucked on a bottle or dummy for takeoff and landing - if you are using a dummy it's a good idea to take a dummy clip to stop it from falling on the floor and rolling around the plane.  The staff onboard were lovely, even giving Abbie a view of the flight deck when we got off in Stockholm.  

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