Thursday, April 19, 2012

flying with twinfants

In their 8.5 months, the girls have been on three round trips via plane - twice to St. Louis, and once to Atlanta.

It was shockingly easy.  If anyone out there is thinking about flying with twins, here's the rundown of directions based on how we did it:
waiting for our first flight at 11 (i think) weeks old
  • Babies in the Double Snap & Go stroller in their car seats. We did not bring the bases (and opted for a seatbelt install at our destination) so all of this was coming to the gate with us.
  • Check a bag, if necessary. When we went to StLouis, we were staying for 5 days, so we checked a bag (we were also on Southwest, so it was free). When we went to Atlanta, we were only going for 2 nights (and on United), so we took a carry on only for the 4 of us.
  • Organize your diaper bag before getting to security - make sure bottles are accessible as well as any other liquids (we packed a change of clothes for the babies and a couple of small toys in there as well).
  • At security, remove as much as possible on line - take off jackets/sweatshirts, loosen shoes, get liquids/laptops out, unfasten carseat straps.  When you reach the belt, dump everything you can on it at top speed. One person picks up both babies, and the other loads the carseats and stroller into the xray machine.
  • Go through the metal detector. The person holding the babies goes over to the liquid checker guy to test the breastmilk (or RTF formula I imagine). After that, stand around and look pathetic until your partner or a TSA agent can grab a car seat for you so you can set down a baby and start thinking about putting your shoes back on.
  • Reassemble, and head towards the gate. Get food since you're an hour early since you allowed more than ample time for security. Get on line for the bathroom, since there is always a line if you need to change a poopy diaper. Cross your fingers there isn't more poop on the plane, since it is inevitable the seatbelt light will be on if that happens (and changing tables on airplanes only fit 3 mo olds. Even small 8 mo olds don't really fit. Trust me.).
  • Gatecheck your carseats and stroller. We use These Bags to keep them dry and clean. They're snagged up now after 6 flights, so they were TOTALLY worth the investment.
  • Feed baby if possible on take off/landing. Cross fingers they and you can sleep part of the flight. 
  • Enjoy the trip.

A few of my pointers, as a seasoned expert (so you should listen to me, hah!):

waiting for our 5th flight at 7.5 mo old

yeah, this will probably be the last "easy" trip for the Moms.
 I would definitely bring the stroller/carseat to the gate (if you have a snap & go or a stroller your carseat can go on, bring that one) if you'll need them at your destination. It would just be Murphy's Law they'd be the one piece of checked baggage you'll ever have lost, and besides, I am a firm believe that gate checked things are less abused than bags that are checked at the counter.

There's no limit on dry food at all, and you can bring all the baby drinks you like as well. They "prefer" you only bring what you need but that's subjective. We went through security with ~30 oz of BM last time no issues. They just wipe the bottles with an explosives test thing or have you open it and test the vapor.

Don't overpack. You can do laundry if visiting family, and if in a hotel or something, there is always target. Bring as little as possible. Avoid checking if you're not going for long. It just makes flying a bit miserable to have to wait for a bag at your destination (of course, this is my motto kids or not, plus I am cheap).
While security is a PITA, but we've only made a scene once :) Plan ahead and don't panic.

I know it sounds overwhelming but if you plan it out its really not that bad. The one time we made a scene one of the carseats got stuck AND I spilled half a bottle down my pants.

disclaimer: I have NO IDEA how you can travel with two infants alone/without help. Sorry if that's what you are thinking of doing :)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for posting this! I appreciate your tips based on real life flying experience. I'm an experienced traveler, but not with flying with kids. It's nice to see that I can "fly" through security at least somewhat if I plan ahead. I, too, don't check bags unless absolutely necessary.