This time we had a direct flight from Fort Lauderdale to Chicago on Continental first thing in the morning.
We did not purchase a seat for my son. We took the gamble on being able to take an empty seat to place his carseat in. When we checked in we had asked if there were any open seats. They did have some available, but in the last row. So she switched the seats around, putting us in the row with the empty seat. I'm sure the people in the last row didn't mind being moved to seat closer to the front of the cabin!
Being that he was a couple months older at this point, he was slightly more aware of his surroundings. When I first strapped him in to the seat he was upset. I gave him a bottle on take-off and he fell asleep from then on. The flight out to Chicago was without event.
We brought along the 8-ounce Ready to Feed bottles for the flights this time because he was drinking about 6-ounce servings around this time.
The Flight Home
This flight was very-eventful! When we checked in at the airport we were informed that the flight was full and that he would have to ride as a lap baby. I was okay with this because it was the risk we took by not purchasing a seat for him.
Now, the first problem we had was our bags. We had the car seat, stroller, diaper bag, plus some things that my husband had to bring back form the convention that were very heavy. Because we were informed that the flight was full once we passed security we did not have the opportunity to check the car seat. We had asked if we could bring the car seat and stroller down to the end of the jet-way in order to free up some arm space to carry the belongings on to the plane. The Continental employee was not very helpful. She said we could not bring them down ahead of time and that their employees would not help us because they were busy doing other things.
Now, my first thought was for a parent traveling alone with their child. How in the world could one person manage to handle all those things going down to the plane on their own? There was really no one to assist? That I cannot believe!
Another passenger overheard us asking the Continental employee and the conversation that ensued. The other passenger had no carry-ons and offered to help us get down the jetway. In the end we managed to struggle down on our own. The lesson learned from that experience was that you cannot rely on airline employees helping out when you have a little one.
The rest of the flight was horrendous. Not anyone's fault but our own. My son screamed all 3-hours home. He cried and wailed the entire flight. We were THOSE parents! I was mortified. My husband, his mom, and I took turns walking him up and down the aisle when we could. However, based on this experience we plan to purchase a seat for him next year when we fly again. We will bring the carseat and strap him in, that way he can rest in his own space comfortably. We plan on going to California next year, which is a long flight.
I was impressed with the set-up and facilities for this airport. The restrooms in particular were very baby friendly. The photo to the left shows my son on the changing station. Everything in one place! I loved the contoured shape to help prevent rolling, although you still need to keep an eye on your little one.
I also greatly appreciated that there was a sink and soap at the station. I was able to wash up without having to handle things in between steps!