Long Haul Flying With A Toddler: Any Tips?

Long Haul Flying With A Toddler: Any Tips?

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As much as I’d like to think that I’m an expert on air travel, being a parent certainly adds a new challenge to the airport and airplane routine. While we’ve taken our son, Miles, on several short haul flights, we haven’t yet taken a long haul flight with him. That will be changing soon. As I plan this trip, I’m making a few realizations, and also have a few questions, for those who are more experienced with this kind of travel.

We’re taking our toddler to Europe

We’re planning on taking our son to Europe later this summer. Miles is turning two years old in early August, and we’ll be in Europe for his birthday. Keep in mind that for those traveling with a little one, the second birthday is kind of a big deal — children under two can travel as a lap infant (the best deal in travel!), while those two years and older need their own seat.

Just for a bit of background, up until now we’ve largely traveled with our son for short haul trips, while we’ve left him at home for long haul trips. We’re lucky that we both work from home, so we get to spend way more time with our son than most people who have to go to an office.

Then for the situations where we travel, our family loves spending time with him, as it’s very special for everyone. Frankly up until recently, we didn’t think Miles would actually get anything out of long haul travel. I mean, when you have an infant, they’re more interested in trying to put their fingers in every outlet in a hotel room, and won’t take away a whole lot from a trip, in my opinion.

But he’s now getting to an age where we’re really excited to travel with him, even though it no doubt complicates travel logistics.

Our plans for long haul flying with our son

While we could get away with traveling with our son as a lap infant on the flight out, our plan is to just get him his own seat in both directions. The reality is that he’s huge for his age, and holding him for a long haul flight just isn’t realistic.

The good news is that I’ve been able to find reasonably priced business class award space in both directions without issue, which is generally encouraging in terms of award availability trends this summer. And while I’m not sure I want to get our son used to always flying in business class, at this age it seems valuable for him to have a flat surface on which to sleep, so he (hopefully?) passes out for the entire flight, and doesn’t disturb other passengers.

What I’m realizing, though, is that the business class seats that are great for individual travelers or couples aren’t necessarily good for those traveling as a family. I mean, that’s not much of a surprise, but in this situation I’m kind of finding myself wishing more airlines had business class products similar to what we had a decade ago.

For example, traveling with a toddler in reverse herringbone seats seems challenging, given the distance between seats…

Seating an infant in this configuration isn’t easy!

Meanwhile something like Lufthansa’s old business class seems ideal, by comparison…

This is a much better layout, by comparison!

It’s a good reminder that the best business class seats really vary based on the particular situation.

Struggling with how to safely sleep on plane

Obviously there are all kinds of basic best practices parents should consider when traveling with toddlers. Most of those are no different than anything else involving taking your kids in public, from bringing snacks and entertainment, to trying to plan their sleep and schedule to maximize rest.

The thing I’m most confused about is the logistics of actually getting our son to safely sit and sleep during a flight. I feel like two years old is kind of an awkward age when it comes to flying. Our son will need his own seat, he’s too big for a bassinet, and he only selectively follows instructions.

Two main questions come to mind. First and foremost, my hope is that Miles sleeps for (almost) the entire flight. One of us will be sitting next to him the entire flight awake, since you can’t leave a toddler “unattended.”

But what’s actually the best bet for securing him in the seat while he sleeps, and minimizing the odds of him rolling over and out of the seat? We’ll buckle him in and watch him, but is there any other accessory or something that I’m missing? Should we just bring extra pillows to put around him, or how do we make sure he doesn’t move? Is there some sort of a brilliant airplane net for sale somewhere that I’m just not familiar with?

I’m also now starting to question the flights I was able to find award availability on, since the aircraft will feature reverse herringbone seats in business class. The more I think about it, the more I wonder how exactly we’ll get him to even sit in place during takeoff and landing, given the distance between seats.

I suppose it’s less of an issue on the outbound flight, when he’s under two years old, and can technically still be held in our lap during takeoff and landing. But on the return flight, it’s a different story. Is flying in reverse herringbone seats with a toddler basically impossible to the point that I should rebook, or is there any way to make it work?

These seats are challenging with toddlers!

Bottom line

We’re excited to take our son to Europe for the first time. I’m also looking forward to his first long haul flight… I think. Two is a tricky age, since kids are too old to travel as a lap infant, meaning they need their own seat. However, at that age, many toddlers aren’t great at following instructions, and have a mind of their own.

I’m lucky that I was able to find business class award seats, which should help with Miles sleeping most of the flight. What I’m trying to figure out now is the best way to make sure he can sleep safely, so he doesn’t roll over. I’m also wondering if I messed up big by booking an aircraft with a reverse herringbone configuration, which seems challenging for these circumstances.

Any long haul toddler travel tips?

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  1. Scott Guest

    Premium Economy (for one of the parents) and the boy, and consider a Flyaway Kids Bed for your son. They’re approved by a lot of airlines except for takeoff and landing.

  2. Zachary Guest

    My wife and I faced a very similar situation with our 20 month old daughter on a LAX-TPE round trip. For the reasons you noted we avoided business class and instead booked three seats in economy, which was great because it gave us a whole row.

    As for sleeping, people like and we used the Stokke Jetkids: https://www.stokke.com/USA/en-us/travel/jetkids/5345.html. It lets your kid feel like they have a suitcase, they can ride on it, and...

    My wife and I faced a very similar situation with our 20 month old daughter on a LAX-TPE round trip. For the reasons you noted we avoided business class and instead booked three seats in economy, which was great because it gave us a whole row.

    As for sleeping, people like and we used the Stokke Jetkids: https://www.stokke.com/USA/en-us/travel/jetkids/5345.html. It lets your kid feel like they have a suitcase, they can ride on it, and it sort of converts into a large footrest in front of the seat such that a kid can theoretically lie flat. "Sort of" because we found it unstable and our daughter ended up preferring sleeping reclined on our lap. There are similar products to the Jetkids but they are all roughly the same price but less functional.

    The flights were also the first time we gave her unfettered access to a screen, both iPad and seatback TV. Paw Patrol on repeat was great - "Dog! Dog! Dog!" - as was Ms. Rachel and a channel called Toys for Boys, videos of industrial trucks doing their thing.

    Also, lots of new toys. For us, that was buckle toys, new stickers, and a series of magnet blocks.

    Good luck!

  3. Denise Guest

    Reverse herringbone may be tricky. We did FRA-PHL around this age and had our toddler in a business-class window seat and there was enough space for him to play on the floor on a light swaddle blanket. He feel asleep on someone and then we settled him on the seat.

  4. vlcnc Guest

    This is very much a first world problem and the reason there isn't much about securing a 2yr old in a business class seat because for majority of families in the world this is not a problem because they wouldn't be travelling in business calls. I'm almost a bit taken aback at this post, because it seems so ridiculous a notion.

  5. reddargon Diamond

    As an expat living in Europe, we flew home with our daughter in business (AF reverse herringbone) for Christmas each of the last three years when she was just over 1, 2, and 3. The first time she was a lap baby and it was fine, the next two times she had her own seat. Those times were also fine, she actually slept most of each redeye return flight the whole flight, which allowed mom...

    As an expat living in Europe, we flew home with our daughter in business (AF reverse herringbone) for Christmas each of the last three years when she was just over 1, 2, and 3. The first time she was a lap baby and it was fine, the next two times she had her own seat. Those times were also fine, she actually slept most of each redeye return flight the whole flight, which allowed mom and dad to sleep. Keep in mind she’s always been a great sleeper though. The westbound flights though she was mainly awake, watching movies and getting antsy. The westbound flights are easier to stay awake though for parents since they are daytime flights, so this wasn’t much of an issue.

  6. Grayson Guest

    I used to work for Middle Eastern royalty and the parents NEVER had their kids travelling up front with them. Admittedly they were well brought up youngsters with nannies and governesses to ensure that they didn't grow up feeling entitled or privileged too soon. They all got to their destination safely and without any distress over a few hours in economy and away from mummy and daddy.

  7. upstarter Guest

    You have got to be kidding me. Turn right, for the sake of everyone.

  8. Melanie Guest

    I used to write a travel with kids blog when my (now 21 year old) was a baby, toddler . Every continent except Antarctica. Snacks and surprises are key. I used to wrap individual tiny fun gifts like a small car or plastic animal or stickers (and paper to put them on!) and put them in a bag. When the attention wanes then you break out the surprise bag! They get to unwrap and then...

    I used to write a travel with kids blog when my (now 21 year old) was a baby, toddler . Every continent except Antarctica. Snacks and surprises are key. I used to wrap individual tiny fun gifts like a small car or plastic animal or stickers (and paper to put them on!) and put them in a bag. When the attention wanes then you break out the surprise bag! They get to unwrap and then play. Also the electronic entertainment you can download to personal device is a godsend vs. the 'old days' when u were dependent on the airplane entertainment system. Put Frozen on repeat if that does it! Snacks important. You know your child better than anyone so you will figure out the right pacing. I always travelled with a balloon to help the ears on take off and landing. If they can't blow a balloon yet get them to swallow.
    Others have addressed the seat situation. You are right about the seat changes. The old days you were right next to them. The two center seats partition comes down so you can be tandem with them but they are really spacious and yes you will need big pillow. If there are 2 adults one next to and the other across the aisle. Traveling with your kid (s) is the gift that keeps on giving. My son, at college in Boston just got on a plane 1 hour ago to meet up with friends he made in Greece as a child when we travelled there with him. He knows his way around an airport and can navigate public transport in any language.

  9. JetSetFly Guest

    I wonder maybe you want to do one J and two PE as one of you can rest in J while the other take care of Miles in the back for the first half of the flight and then trade seats. You want to be sitting next to your toddler during take off and land. Sitting in reverse herringbone seats doesn’t allow you to take care of your toddler during this crucial part of the...

    I wonder maybe you want to do one J and two PE as one of you can rest in J while the other take care of Miles in the back for the first half of the flight and then trade seats. You want to be sitting next to your toddler during take off and land. Sitting in reverse herringbone seats doesn’t allow you to take care of your toddler during this crucial part of the flight if all of you are in reverse herringbone seats. When you are strapped in during take off and landing, it’s not possible to attend to Miles immediately if something arose. Just my two cents.

    1. Jimmy K Member

      I would avoid PE as the solid armrests make it difficult for small children to lie down or rest on you. It's actually much better in economy with small children.

  10. Bernardo Ng Guest

    feed him his bottle as you're taking off so the suctioning helps him with popping his hears.

    1. Bernardo Ng Guest

      same as you're descending.

  11. Micky Guest

    Hey, Ben

    I have 3 kids, 4, 2, and 3 months, all big and very active. We fly a lot domestically, (not ready to take the international leap yet). We have found our children sleep the best in car seats, over laying down on the seat, so we always bring car seat for the younger ones and always buy everyone a seat, both because of safety and because when they get restless on your lap...

    Hey, Ben

    I have 3 kids, 4, 2, and 3 months, all big and very active. We fly a lot domestically, (not ready to take the international leap yet). We have found our children sleep the best in car seats, over laying down on the seat, so we always bring car seat for the younger ones and always buy everyone a seat, both because of safety and because when they get restless on your lap it is brutal rest of the flight. Car seats also help with an active child who will just unbuckle the easy to open lap buckles on planes.
    Each child is different, I'm sure Miles will begetting a lot of miles in, you will see what works and doesn't over time, and as you become more experienced flying with a kid.
    Good Luck!

    1. reddargon Diamond

      FYI last time I was on AF they didn’t allow a family to attach a car seat in J (reverse herringbone). The seats have airbags in the seatbelts and this won’t work with the car seat. So if whatever airline this is follows the same rules, this option would only work if Ben switched out of J.

  12. Nat Guest

    Two more things:

    1. Make sure that Miles' reservation has a kids meal attached to it. Air France once refused to load a meal for our toddler because he was under 2 despite him having his own seat. Talk to customer service in advance to make sure they load meals for him.

    2. If you haven't already, PREP him for what's going to happen. @biglittlefeelings has the best content for this and their online course...

    Two more things:

    1. Make sure that Miles' reservation has a kids meal attached to it. Air France once refused to load a meal for our toddler because he was under 2 despite him having his own seat. Talk to customer service in advance to make sure they load meals for him.

    2. If you haven't already, PREP him for what's going to happen. @biglittlefeelings has the best content for this and their online course is well worth the money. He will understand more than you give him credit for. Go to Google Images and put together a set of pics to show him what's going to happen, what his seat will look like, etc in very simple terms.

  13. AR Guest

    I'd say if you can accommodate your child in the same seat, fly business class. I personally flew with my 1/1.5 year old in both Q suites as well as reverse herringbone seats and had no trouble with my child snuggled up with me.
    OR,
    Fly economy and book a 3 seat row for you, your partner and your child. Premium economy usually has solid partitioning between seats that will prevent your child...

    I'd say if you can accommodate your child in the same seat, fly business class. I personally flew with my 1/1.5 year old in both Q suites as well as reverse herringbone seats and had no trouble with my child snuggled up with me.
    OR,
    Fly economy and book a 3 seat row for you, your partner and your child. Premium economy usually has solid partitioning between seats that will prevent your child from being able to lie comfortably and stretch out across seats with it's head on one parent's lap and feet laid out. Economy is better for this mode of travel.

    1. Jimmy K Member

      Definitely agree with the economy suggestion but book seats NOT on the 1st row by the baby bassinet. We did a trip with our nearly-2-year-old on a trip from London to India on BA. We didn't pay for a ticket for her so they assigned us the bassinet seats but it was a killer having her on my lap the entire way, since she refused to sleep in the bassinet and the fixed armrests because...

      Definitely agree with the economy suggestion but book seats NOT on the 1st row by the baby bassinet. We did a trip with our nearly-2-year-old on a trip from London to India on BA. We didn't pay for a ticket for her so they assigned us the bassinet seats but it was a killer having her on my lap the entire way, since she refused to sleep in the bassinet and the fixed armrests because of the tv screens on the front row made it impossible for her to stretch out and no amount of extra legroom makes up for that. We were of course told that she could not use the extra legroom as an area to sit on the floor and play. Its also worth noting that the bassinet area was freezing cold, being up so close to the air con vents, so definitely be ready with an extra blanket if there's any chance a little one is going to sleep in a bassinet.

      On the way out we had managed to switch to an empty row of 3 seats further back and it was perfect because the little one could stretch out across her seat and our laps while still strapped in. The BA crew were also great and gave her a meal in both directions even though she technically shouldn't have had one.

  14. Elizabeth Guest

    Definitely sit at the front of the cabin. They made us sit in the middle 2 seats and every time he needed anything (changing a show, helping with food, etc.) I had to walk all the way to the galley and around to his side b/c I couldn't reach over.

    If there's two of you, I'd suggest one of you in the window seat, then Miles and other dad next to him.

    The...

    Definitely sit at the front of the cabin. They made us sit in the middle 2 seats and every time he needed anything (changing a show, helping with food, etc.) I had to walk all the way to the galley and around to his side b/c I couldn't reach over.

    If there's two of you, I'd suggest one of you in the window seat, then Miles and other dad next to him.

    The first time my son had his own seat he was just under 1 and we sat in economy for take off which worked well. That all depends on there being space of course.

  15. Christophe Guest

    We have done this quite a bit with our now 4-year old.
    A few things that worked well for us:
    - consider a harness (Amazon has plenty and they fit on most business class seats) for take-off and landing. This helped us a lot to ensure he was safe
    - consider whether you get 2 seats across from him rather than 3 across the plan. That will ensure you get 2 people...

    We have done this quite a bit with our now 4-year old.
    A few things that worked well for us:
    - consider a harness (Amazon has plenty and they fit on most business class seats) for take-off and landing. This helped us a lot to ensure he was safe
    - consider whether you get 2 seats across from him rather than 3 across the plan. That will ensure you get 2 people who can help watch him. Our son loved being at the window and that helped
    - car seat is great for shorter flights but tricky to stay in for 10+ hours. Also some airlines won't allow it
    - order the kid meal if available

  16. FZ Guest

    Having recently travelled a lot from Europe to US with our now 15 month old daughter in LH and Swiss First, I can only say their open First Class Cabin design is ideal (I’m going to miss it) They are also almost never fully booked, so we almost always had an extra seat for free, for the little one to have a playground when turning the seat into a bed and putting lots of pillows...

    Having recently travelled a lot from Europe to US with our now 15 month old daughter in LH and Swiss First, I can only say their open First Class Cabin design is ideal (I’m going to miss it) They are also almost never fully booked, so we almost always had an extra seat for free, for the little one to have a playground when turning the seat into a bed and putting lots of pillows all around. For sleeping we took turns with her sleeping on our chest and that worked well. And when she is awake she gets lots of screen time on the iPhone watching videos. Trying to keep the screen time down normally but plane is an exception. And introducing her to the other passengers around by letting her walk to their seat and wave and smile helps to break the ice with them.

  17. Eric Guest

    I would put him in his car seat. We did that with our kids and it made things very easy.

  18. snic Diamond

    I think you'll be fine in J, PE, or Y. The seat and cabin doesn't matter too much. The most important thing is to keep Miles occupied. That makes it easier on both you and surrounding passengers. How to do that? You know him best: what videos, video games, books, and toys keep him fascinated and absorbed? Bring a good selection of those. And bring a few new things he's never seen or played with...

    I think you'll be fine in J, PE, or Y. The seat and cabin doesn't matter too much. The most important thing is to keep Miles occupied. That makes it easier on both you and surrounding passengers. How to do that? You know him best: what videos, video games, books, and toys keep him fascinated and absorbed? Bring a good selection of those. And bring a few new things he's never seen or played with before. We used to call them "distractions" - favorite toys, books and movies, plus some new things we'd carefully pack. There are a lot of ideas online about what sorts of toys etc to try.

    Then, within the parameters of staying in his seat and being quiet (for a toddler), let him do whatever he wants - choose any toy or video, etc. And when he gets tired and cranky, of course do whatever it takes to get him calmed down and asleep. You know best how to do that - does he need to be in a car seat? Does he need to be picked up and walked around? Does being read or sung to calm him down and let him drift off? Whatever it is, be prepared to do it.

    I've travelled around the world several times with my kid from age 8 months to now (she's in college), in all cabin classes from Y to F. I rarely had any problems. Probably the worst was a long layover in FRA when she was 15 months old; we were in Y and had no lounge access. She was very tired, and just as she drifted off to sleep, a loud PA announcement would come on - literally every couple of minutes, for the entire layover. It was like a form of torture, both for her and us. On the plus side, she slept almost the entire 8 hour flight once we got on the plane, where it was much quieter and calmer.

    From the way we handled these trips, she quickly came to love plane travel because she know it was a long, uninterrupted period of time where she had complete freedom to do whatever she liked, without us nagging about too much screen time. To this day, she looks forward to flight.

  19. Matt Guest

    I have had multiple flights where we bought my children that were under 2 years old at the time their own seat. We had multiple FA's say that since we bought them their own seat they needed to be in it for takeoff and landing, even though the child was under 2. Be prepared for that.

    This is also a personal preference, but our screen time restrictions are non existent on a plane. They...

    I have had multiple flights where we bought my children that were under 2 years old at the time their own seat. We had multiple FA's say that since we bought them their own seat they needed to be in it for takeoff and landing, even though the child was under 2. Be prepared for that.

    This is also a personal preference, but our screen time restrictions are non existent on a plane. They can have as many snacks and as much screen time as they want. I'm sure other parents will have their own opinions and ideas, but that has worked for us.

  20. DC Guest

    As a parent, and very frequent trans-pacific traveler, do not book business class. You think your kid is great, every other traveler strongly disagrees.

    The premium economy reco is correct.

  21. Declan Guest

    Just after a trip with my two year old and brought his actual car seat on board, it worked even better than I expected! Although it was not pretty to walk around the airport like a camel with a giant car seat on your back (I got lots of weird looks from crew and pax), my son is so used of his car seat, he was very happy to sit in it on the plane....

    Just after a trip with my two year old and brought his actual car seat on board, it worked even better than I expected! Although it was not pretty to walk around the airport like a camel with a giant car seat on your back (I got lots of weird looks from crew and pax), my son is so used of his car seat, he was very happy to sit in it on the plane. Also having a 5-point restraint meant he couldn't really move at all :D He was secure and slept well in the car seat as he's used of sleeping in it while we are on long road trips etc. I know if he were sitting in a normal seat, he would wiggle his way out of the seat belt and be hopping all over the place and trying to get out into the aisle. This was a game changer for us!

  22. Vin Guest

    If he's under two, why not just keep him in your lap for take-off and landing? I'm sure that's allowed.

  23. ericbogs New Member

    We are in the exact same situation as you -- we booked a few flights for our kiddos in business before realizing premium economy or "old" business class is best for all parties involved.

    In premium economy, we got value out of an inflatable foot rest which effectively turns the seat into a bed for the kiddo. It also makes it easier to not drop toys, etc.

  24. MFM Guest

    My son is nearly 7 and we have travelled posh his entire life. In my experience and due to my son’s temperament… night flights are best (he makes far less noise than a man who snores). Up to 2 I found a real first class seat with a bed best (think Qantas). Then there was a period where premium economy was best so I could be right next to him. Biz seats only really work...

    My son is nearly 7 and we have travelled posh his entire life. In my experience and due to my son’s temperament… night flights are best (he makes far less noise than a man who snores). Up to 2 I found a real first class seat with a bed best (think Qantas). Then there was a period where premium economy was best so I could be right next to him. Biz seats only really work when they can be independent - like 3.5 / 4 years. And you need to sit across the aisle. The exception is the older style biz where you are next to each other (think LATAM). You will learn the seat maps are not accurate and you may find last minute changes are necessary. Eventually you will learn the aircraft type, Airline, and preferred seat map. Some airlines are so much better when it comes to staff and meals for children. Some airlines are just outright hostile (think Cathay) and some are amazing (think Qantas). I have found eating in the lounge prior to night flight and shower / pyjamas is a good way of making a night flight work.

  25. Chabuddy geezy Guest

    Contrary to other posters I would advise against premium economy. The arm rests typically do no go up in premium economy so its difficult for a Toddler to lay flat.

    For British Airways if your toddler turns 2 between the outbound and inbound flight they will allocate you an actual seat on the inbound and all you pay is the regular infant fare. For the inbound we had club suites, and explained to the...

    Contrary to other posters I would advise against premium economy. The arm rests typically do no go up in premium economy so its difficult for a Toddler to lay flat.

    For British Airways if your toddler turns 2 between the outbound and inbound flight they will allocate you an actual seat on the inbound and all you pay is the regular infant fare. For the inbound we had club suites, and explained to the crew that our baby had just turned 2, they were happy for him to sit with a lap belt with my partner for take off and landing. We used pillows on top of a backpack and the club suite door to stop our baby falling out when sleeping.

    For babies under 2, QSuites was our favourite option, the baby can fit in between parents with the double bed seats. They also have a mattress protector that goes over the armrests in the middle to make it more comfortable.

    1. reddargon Diamond

      Came here to say this. Premium economy with a toddler sounds awful unless it’s a product that allows arm rests to come up. Either do J or Y.

  26. Oraiu Amoni Guest

    You know your son the best-take many of these suggestions with a grain of salt including mine. We have been traveling long haul with our son since he was born JFK to GRU, BOG to CDG, CDG to LOS, and CDG to MEX to name a few. Our son turned 2 on May 3rd 2024. We have never had a ‘problem’ on any of the flights - we never starved our son prior to any...

    You know your son the best-take many of these suggestions with a grain of salt including mine. We have been traveling long haul with our son since he was born JFK to GRU, BOG to CDG, CDG to LOS, and CDG to MEX to name a few. Our son turned 2 on May 3rd 2024. We have never had a ‘problem’ on any of the flights - we never starved our son prior to any flight. He loves the cheese in the lounges. I do try and book night flights. My partner would hold our son with an infant lap belt in the seat. All of our travels have been in business class (mostly herringbone config). My partner would breastfeed during most takeoffs and landings. We have not done any long haul since he is turned 2 - our next set of long haul flights will be in winter 2025 when he will be about 42 months. Excited to hear how your business class travel goes because I will begin planning our 2025 trip and am looking forward to putting everyone in their own suite. Safe travels and many blessings to you and your family.

    Our son loves to look at himself in videos - we use that when their isn’t any Wi-Fi to keep him entertained on a flight.

  27. Al Guest

    I would consider travelling in premium economy or even economy. It will be waay easier for any and both of you to cater to kid's needs and entertain him or feed him. He sits between you and as far as sleeping goes, he can sleep easily in a normal seat. You being close to him is better than any full-flat bed.

    Also you will be more at ease. In BC you might feel somewhat awkward...

    I would consider travelling in premium economy or even economy. It will be waay easier for any and both of you to cater to kid's needs and entertain him or feed him. He sits between you and as far as sleeping goes, he can sleep easily in a normal seat. You being close to him is better than any full-flat bed.

    Also you will be more at ease. In BC you might feel somewhat awkward or inconvenient running to your kid's seat all the time, talking, singing, changing nappies, feeding him or him crying. In econ this is all normal. And a calm parent makes for a calm kid.

    Finally there is also safety to consider. How do you care for a toddler that is out of arms' reach when the seatbelt sign is on?

  28. Eric Guest

    Not moralizing here about 'the experience of other passengers' but legitimately, flying with a toddler is most often more comfortable with a row in economy or a couple of premium economy seats.

    Good luck and enjoy the trip.

  29. PaulG Member

    We have 4 kids 5 and under. We do the transatlantic flight at least twice a year. A few things we have learned:
    - Each kid is different. Advice on here is general, but nothing is going to work for every kid. We have twins, and what works for one twin wouldn't work for the other. You know what will work best for your son, trust your instincts.
    - A 2 year old...

    We have 4 kids 5 and under. We do the transatlantic flight at least twice a year. A few things we have learned:
    - Each kid is different. Advice on here is general, but nothing is going to work for every kid. We have twins, and what works for one twin wouldn't work for the other. You know what will work best for your son, trust your instincts.
    - A 2 year old wants to play the whole time (most likely). Bring more toys and things for him to do than you think you will need. Also you can bring new things, since kids tend to like new things and might keep him occupied longer.
    - I tend to agree with the comments about premium econ. Your 2 year old won't notice the difference and will easily sleep. The biggest problem we have found is that in most premium econ the arm rests don't come up, so we avoid them on west bound overnight flights (when perhaps they want to lay down across the seat and your lap). But east bound daytime flights, when the kids will be awake, it actually makes it easier in PE than in business since you can sit next to them and keep them occupied.
    - Our kids rarely ate much of the food that was served. Good idea to bring things you know he will eat. Our goal was always to keep them happy and full, even if they got more special treats than they would at home.
    - If you end up doing business class, it depends on the flight attendants. We did a flight from Germany to the US on United, with my wife in the last row of business and I was right behind the bulkhead with two of the kids in Econ (no PE on this plane). The Purser would not even let her hold an infant in her seat to nurse (this was when the twins were infants) because there were not enough oxygen masks. He got in my face (actually pushed me against the bulkhead) and told me he would have me arrested on the ground if I gave her an infant to nurse one more time! (Dr. Dao, anyone?) So it is possible that they won't let your two year old sleep next to you or Ford in the same seat, etc.
    - We flew an 8 hour flight on Turkish when the twins were 23 months, and the system on Turkish would not even allow you to buy a seat for someone who was not two years old! They could only be lap infants. So make sure you try this in advance.
    - We flew on Lufthansa (a short haul 2 hour flight) where one kid would turn two on the way there (so less than two on outbound, over two on the way back, same as you) and we had problems purchasing as a round trip. Had to do two one ways. The computer systems of these companies are not that great in some of these "edge cases". (We had TONS of problems on United trying to book two lap infants. They didn't know what to do....)
    - Most of all, don't stress too much. It is not that hard, even with 4 of them ;)

    1. Andy 11235 Guest

      About the oxygen mask thing, it is entirely possible that the specific aircraft only had an extra mask for every-other-row. In general, if you can buy a lap-infant ticket online, the system will block the rows without an extra mask. Economy will always have an extra mask for every set of seats, but for 1-2-1 configurations especially, there may not be extras ever row. There will be some extras, because there is an assumption that...

      About the oxygen mask thing, it is entirely possible that the specific aircraft only had an extra mask for every-other-row. In general, if you can buy a lap-infant ticket online, the system will block the rows without an extra mask. Economy will always have an extra mask for every set of seats, but for 1-2-1 configurations especially, there may not be extras ever row. There will be some extras, because there is an assumption that passengers and crew may not be in their seats when depressurization happens (hint: those first class seats where you can dine together have extras). Obviously the threat of arrest was a needless escalation, but they do have safety regulations to enforce.

    2. PaulG Member

      I agree, and we booked it beforehand, so the system should have known. However, there are plenty of cases where this is not enforced. I have spent over an hour standing near the bathrooms or some other "common" area with a child. There are not extra oxygen masks there. Why enforce one and not the other? It is easier for me to grab a kid one row ahead of me in an emergency than for...

      I agree, and we booked it beforehand, so the system should have known. However, there are plenty of cases where this is not enforced. I have spent over an hour standing near the bathrooms or some other "common" area with a child. There are not extra oxygen masks there. Why enforce one and not the other? It is easier for me to grab a kid one row ahead of me in an emergency than for me to walk 20 rows from the galley to my seat. Enforcing some rules and not others is what makes passengers upset.

  30. Jason Guest

    I flew Jal business and China airlines business with my lap infant. The cabin was half empty so we did not have to buy him a seat and just paid the lap infant fee. Flight attendents offered us to use the empty seat for free. That was great because he splet on me most of the time. Make sure to bring warm milk or make sure the flight attendents warm it properly or your little one might throw up.

  31. MeanMeosh Member

    I'm beating this horse to death at this point, but I'd strongly consider either grabbing a row of 3 in either PE or Y+. Why?

    - It's much easier to use a car seat in one of these seats. For our son, having some familiar to sit in (the car seat) made it easier for him to sleep, and just be calm and comfortable in general.
    - If you do Y+, you can raise...

    I'm beating this horse to death at this point, but I'd strongly consider either grabbing a row of 3 in either PE or Y+. Why?

    - It's much easier to use a car seat in one of these seats. For our son, having some familiar to sit in (the car seat) made it easier for him to sleep, and just be calm and comfortable in general.
    - If you do Y+, you can raise the two armrests, and your son can then stretch out over the two of you (you do have to manipulate the seatbelt a little to wrap it around him while he's asleep, but it's not that hard). Trust me, Miles will enjoy the "lie flat" experience as much as a seat in J.
    - For the daytime westbound flight, it's much easier to keep him entertained, feed him, etc.

    Also, hate to burst your bubble, but Miles will remember precisely nothing about the experience at this age. That's not suggesting you shouldn't go; you and Ford will fondly remember the memories of the time the three of you spend together. But Miles isn't going to remember anything about whether he travels coach, La Premiere, or anything in between. I'd personally save that experience for a few years when he'll have some fun with it.

  32. Melissa C Guest

    Hi Ben, Not to toot my own horn but I'm a car seat technician (CPST) and I write extensively about how to safely fly with your kiddo. The best option is for him to ride in his rear facing car seat on the flight - he's safe in the event of severe turbulence (because aircraft seatbelts don't fit properly until ~40lbs), he won't be playing with the shiny spring-loaded buckle (so fun!!!) and there's no...

    Hi Ben, Not to toot my own horn but I'm a car seat technician (CPST) and I write extensively about how to safely fly with your kiddo. The best option is for him to ride in his rear facing car seat on the flight - he's safe in the event of severe turbulence (because aircraft seatbelts don't fit properly until ~40lbs), he won't be playing with the shiny spring-loaded buckle (so fun!!!) and there's no risk of him rolling. You can definitely get some sleep yourself if he's safe in his car seat.

    That said, premium class seats can be VERY tricky. I have an entire article here on the various pitfalls to look out for if you opt to bring his car seat - depending on the aircraft, premium economy is sometimes a better option. https://travelcarseatmom.com/car-seat-first-class-business-class/

  33. Chris Guest

    My husband and I are heading to Budapest in September when our son will be coming up on 4, and we opted for PE over Business. He's old enough now that PE should be fine, but aside from the 2-3-2 Turkish config (which we considered), the seats just seem too far apart to keep a good eye on him (he LOVES to move). At two we would've just sucked it up and grabbed 3 seats...

    My husband and I are heading to Budapest in September when our son will be coming up on 4, and we opted for PE over Business. He's old enough now that PE should be fine, but aside from the 2-3-2 Turkish config (which we considered), the seats just seem too far apart to keep a good eye on him (he LOVES to move). At two we would've just sucked it up and grabbed 3 seats in Economy and stuck him in the middle if we needed to travel overseas (done it plenty domestically). In the end, though, we opted to wait until he was a little over for everybody's sanity.

  34. greg Guest

    Probably echoing others:

    1) This is what premium economy is made for! A two year old will sleep fine in these seats.

    2) Reverse herringbone is kind of a nightmare. We flew BA club suites with a 4 and 6 year old. They were pretty good but helping with TVs etc was a pain. The FAs were great… they woke me when my kids woke up etc. Actually lots of kids were in biz on...

    Probably echoing others:

    1) This is what premium economy is made for! A two year old will sleep fine in these seats.

    2) Reverse herringbone is kind of a nightmare. We flew BA club suites with a 4 and 6 year old. They were pretty good but helping with TVs etc was a pain. The FAs were great… they woke me when my kids woke up etc. Actually lots of kids were in biz on that flight.

    3) If you are set on lie flat, look for anything close together.

    4) Fly direct if possible!

    1. Nat Guest

      I did this exact thing with my kid turning 2 on the trip and Air France under no circumstances would let us hold him as a 2yo on takeoff. It was reverse herringbone and he mercifully did fine. Maybe give him snacks? We also gave him a tablet and hoped for the best.

      Re safe sleep - ask for extra pillows to barricade him in but be prepared for him to fall out. It can...

      I did this exact thing with my kid turning 2 on the trip and Air France under no circumstances would let us hold him as a 2yo on takeoff. It was reverse herringbone and he mercifully did fine. Maybe give him snacks? We also gave him a tablet and hoped for the best.

      Re safe sleep - ask for extra pillows to barricade him in but be prepared for him to fall out. It can happen and he'll be fine. You may need to crawl in there and lay with him to get him to go back to sleep.

      Does the airline cover the seat with a fitted sheet? I saw a hack on IG recently that says to roll up a blanket or towel and place it underneath a fitted sheet on a bed when traveling to create a bumper. I wonder if this would work with a fitted sheet and extra blanket in business class?

      Ultimately, I don't wish in retrospect that we'd done premium economy. The kids did better than expected and it was so valuable for them to have a flat sleep surface.

      I'll be curious about your review of cabin service afterward. This is where great service really shines -- some airlines will hold the meal for one parent while they feed the kid. EVA paced an entire meal properly for my husband and hour late once.

  35. Anonymous Guest

    Turkish B777 with the 3 middle seat.

  36. iamhere Guest

    I would book premium economy because I think you will need a car seat for him. Many airlines require it. He's only two and even if you redeem points are you really going to get a third business class seat... Also agree with the other comments about considering why you are making the trip with him. He will not remember the details of the trip until he is several years older (speaking from personal experience)

  37. 2 Moms Travel Guest

    I flew BA with my toddler and it was perfect in the middle. My daughter was on the outer seat. Without asking, a lovely passenger swapped and took her window seat. :) Also, Qatar QSuites and Emirates are all great choices. Heck, Kenya airways would be fantastic.. and KLM goes out of their way to make sure you and your child will be comfortable.

  38. Yes. Guest

    Oh an once I went on a J flight across the pond and my lap kid yelled for 6 hours and the lady in front of me turned around and said something. So I stood up and said, "I'll cash you outside bich!"

    She shut up.

    I felt great for getting a lap child in J for just a handful of miles.

  39. Pa Guest

    Is he a particularly wiggly sleeper? Otherwise, you might be over thinking it. Moved to Europe when mine was 2.5. Early evening flight, fell asleep after meal service (missed PM nap due to airport check in). Slept fine in the seat with the seatbelt on over the blanket. Not too tight. Plane was 787-9, layout was whatever seats they used before installing the Polaris seats. Only used about half the Polaris bedding.

  40. Do it and be legends Guest

    Definitely stay in J. Its still gonna be easier for the kid to sleep once flat. And if they fall asleep, they could easily sleep the whole flight from the time when they allow you to lie flat the seat til when they make you sit upright.

    If you ain't a fan of screen time now, I think it's time to start.

    Lollipops are nice for take off landing. Change of clothes. You said you...

    Definitely stay in J. Its still gonna be easier for the kid to sleep once flat. And if they fall asleep, they could easily sleep the whole flight from the time when they allow you to lie flat the seat til when they make you sit upright.

    If you ain't a fan of screen time now, I think it's time to start.

    Lollipops are nice for take off landing. Change of clothes. You said you don't being your Bose headphones as much but maybe it fits Miles head. Stay in J! (I mean, do Lufthansaif you must but stay in J. And direct flight!)

  41. Doug G Guest

    Why don’t you just take a car seat with you on board? We’ve taken multiple flights in a herringbone seat with our 2 toddlers and we’ve been getting their own seats since they were 1 and we just bring their car seats on board and strap them in and they are good to go.

    1. Weekend Surfer Guest

      Yup. I suggested this earlier. Totally agree. Mine has been in a car seat the past two years. Just upgraded to a larger size.

    2. Greg Guest

      Depends on airline… a lot now specifically do not allow car seats in business class

  42. Brandon Guest

    Parent of a 2 and 4 year old here. We have flown multiple times with both kiddos across the Atlantic in both business and economy. I don’t think there is an “easy” way to do it simply a less painful way. Business is nice because you don’t have to worry about your kids not having room to sleep. The downside with business is, at least in my opinion, you have to deal with the stress...

    Parent of a 2 and 4 year old here. We have flown multiple times with both kiddos across the Atlantic in both business and economy. I don’t think there is an “easy” way to do it simply a less painful way. Business is nice because you don’t have to worry about your kids not having room to sleep. The downside with business is, at least in my opinion, you have to deal with the stress of judgment from other customers, especially if your kid doesn’t want to sleep or become fussy. I honesty think the best option is a daytime flight to LHR or CDG in economy. I find the other passengers don’t care as much of your kid gets fussy because they don’t expect to sleep. From MIA you would have to position to the northeast but that isn’t too bad. If you do decide to take a red eye melatonin is great. But do consider the daytime flights even though they are more difficult from MIA. I think just having the less stress of judgmental passengers is worth it. Best of luck.

  43. JB Guest

    Like others here, I think Premium Economy might be the way to go. Perhaps try out Norse's Premium product. It would be an interesting review as well. And the price for Norse Premium is typically the same as a standard Economy ticket on a full-service airline across the Atlantic (even if booking now for later this summer).

    Another option is you could fly another airline, with 2 seats booked in PE and another in...

    Like others here, I think Premium Economy might be the way to go. Perhaps try out Norse's Premium product. It would be an interesting review as well. And the price for Norse Premium is typically the same as a standard Economy ticket on a full-service airline across the Atlantic (even if booking now for later this summer).

    Another option is you could fly another airline, with 2 seats booked in PE and another in Business Class, and you and Ford can take turns sleeping in the J seat while the other stays with Miles in PE. But honestly, you both still won't get much sleep since a FL to Europe flight isn't that long. So it might just make sense for all of you to fly in PE and rest when you arrive in Europe.

  44. Peking Duck Guest

    Travelled a ton with four kids at all ages. In terms of seat choice with a toddler, ask yourself: can I attend to my child while at the same time securely buckled into my own seat? If yes, the seat will work. If no, it won't.

    1. Weekend Surfer Guest

      Great point! Whether it’s to feed your child, change diapers, or just keep them entertained/engage with them during the flight, proximity is pretty important.

  45. jcil Guest

    We took many trips to the South Pacific starting when our kids were not even one year old. Our daughter turned out to travel very well, our son not so much however.
    Please be clear about your motivations though. If it is to see family and let them enjoy your children, go for it. However, if your motivation is to give your kids an early start on travel, and memories of premium cabin flying,...

    We took many trips to the South Pacific starting when our kids were not even one year old. Our daughter turned out to travel very well, our son not so much however.
    Please be clear about your motivations though. If it is to see family and let them enjoy your children, go for it. However, if your motivation is to give your kids an early start on travel, and memories of premium cabin flying, forget it. At 2 years old they will remember absolutely none of it until they are several years older.

  46. LarryInNYC Diamond

    While it's obviously much kinder of you to travel in J (if Miles is a disturbance it will affect fewer people), if you can't get old style J seats (without barriers) or a honeymoon suite type layout Miles might actually be happier in PE or even extra-legroom economy. If you took 3-across he could be between you within easy reach at all times.

    I know that unexpected turbulence is much on our minds these...

    While it's obviously much kinder of you to travel in J (if Miles is a disturbance it will affect fewer people), if you can't get old style J seats (without barriers) or a honeymoon suite type layout Miles might actually be happier in PE or even extra-legroom economy. If you took 3-across he could be between you within easy reach at all times.

    I know that unexpected turbulence is much on our minds these days and if I were traveling with a toddler I might be inclined to sleep them in a car seat (especially one they're familiar with) which is just as easy in back and means that Miles wouldn't have much benefit from the larger seat.

  47. Peter Guest

    If it is the 3 of you flying in reverse herringbone, you want to take the two in the middle and then one of the windows. In an 1-2-1, I think the ideal configuration is: Adult-Child/Adult-X. This way one of you can see the child and the other can easily get across the aisle when your child inevitably needs something.

    I’ve done business where I’m flying with my two young kids solo (3 and...

    If it is the 3 of you flying in reverse herringbone, you want to take the two in the middle and then one of the windows. In an 1-2-1, I think the ideal configuration is: Adult-Child/Adult-X. This way one of you can see the child and the other can easily get across the aisle when your child inevitably needs something.

    I’ve done business where I’m flying with my two young kids solo (3 and 5 is youngest I did it solo, I think) and it’s harder because inevitably I have to walk around to the other aisle to help my child with [Food / Seat / iPad issue / etc.].

    For that and other reasons, the reality is that reverse herringbone is just not designed for families. Sometimes sitting in PE is great, or when PE is 2-4-2, honestly extra legroom economy on the window side of a 3-4–3 is not so bad for a trip across the pond when it’s just the 3 of you.

    That said, even with a two year old, there are parts of the flight where sitting in a business class seat is just more comfortable for everyone, and you should not hesitate to go for it. Every customer is entitled to whatever seat they pay for - the idea that children cannot fly in business is absurd.

    As you know better than most, travel is an adventure. Give it a go in business, see what works and what doesn’t work, and have fun!

  48. Ari Guest

    1. Try your best to get nonstop. Whatever the seats. One flight is hard enough, you’ll struggle to have the energy to do it again the next morning.
    2. Time the flight so you can check in to the hotel when you arrive, or buy early check in. Waiting in the lobby for 4 hours is a nightmare.
    3. Center seats work best, so you’re next to him. I’ve found you can get some sleep too in that situation once they’re asleep - if they need anything they’re very close.

  49. Donato Guest

    Please reach out to a blogger named D's deals for info. There is great variability regarding which car seats are permitted on which airlines and which style seats. There are also rules which you can print out in the event the crew is not familiar with them.

  50. Jacques Portgieter Guest

    If I am flying J I don't expect to be sitting in any sort of proximity to a toddler. I don't mean for that to sound selfish, I just don't like small children, particularly when I've paid for J. That's not particularly insightful from my end but I'm just spitballing the comment. I think you could argue things both ways RE what cabin to take him, but the idea of having 3 seats together where...

    If I am flying J I don't expect to be sitting in any sort of proximity to a toddler. I don't mean for that to sound selfish, I just don't like small children, particularly when I've paid for J. That's not particularly insightful from my end but I'm just spitballing the comment. I think you could argue things both ways RE what cabin to take him, but the idea of having 3 seats together where you can have immediate control of the situation should be more practical than LH J or whatever you're considering?? I'm 100% sure you're really responsible parents and will be super alert to the situation. I just think that J should be something you experience later in life, after doing things tough in Y for many years. It makes it so much more special. Not saying you will always fly with your child in J, but something to really consider IMO. Good luck, and I look forward to the report, especially to see what meal Miles orders :)

    1. snic Diamond

      Oh, well. When I'm in J, I don't want to be in proximity of anyone who snores, but that pretty much never happens. Since I can't fly private, I put up with it. Even J is mass transit. We all have to live with our fellow humans, including toddlers and snorers.

    2. RichM Diamond

      I think your expectation is off, and you should expect small children to be present. No airline imposes any age limit on J seats. I flew in long-haul international J yesterday, and there were several families with young children on the plane. This is consistent with my other experiences.

      A plane is a form of public transport, so you should expect all members of the public to be present. This includes J, which is just...

      I think your expectation is off, and you should expect small children to be present. No airline imposes any age limit on J seats. I flew in long-haul international J yesterday, and there were several families with young children on the plane. This is consistent with my other experiences.

      A plane is a form of public transport, so you should expect all members of the public to be present. This includes J, which is just a more comfortable and expensive form of public transport.

  51. Jiun Guest

    And this is why I always said that Turkish Airlines old business class of 2-3-2 or 2-2-2 is the best for families. Huge legroom, no cubbyholes for feet and your kid can sleep next to you.

  52. Gregsdc Member

    Love that you are taking young Miles abroad using miles! As a dad who traveled a lot with young kids not that long ago, I emphatically agree with those encouraging you to alter your travel plans - trust me when I say that you will want easy physical and visual contact with Miles at all times during the flight. Save the reverse herringbone seats for when he's closer to 5 years old, he'll love it!

    ...

    Love that you are taking young Miles abroad using miles! As a dad who traveled a lot with young kids not that long ago, I emphatically agree with those encouraging you to alter your travel plans - trust me when I say that you will want easy physical and visual contact with Miles at all times during the flight. Save the reverse herringbone seats for when he's closer to 5 years old, he'll love it!

    We did TK A330 in J when our son was a wee lad, which was great, but you know all the seating options out there better than anyone - you'll figure it out.

    Have fun!!

  53. Day Guest

    Hey Ben, just ceep calm. Reverse herringbone isn’t ideal. But our two boys flew them also in that age. Try to get a seat where you could hold his hand. If he feel uncomfortable take him to you even on the flight back. Flight time is the key. Night flights worked always better than daytime.
    Don’t worry I would always fly J with a 2 year old, you just have more space for him....

    Hey Ben, just ceep calm. Reverse herringbone isn’t ideal. But our two boys flew them also in that age. Try to get a seat where you could hold his hand. If he feel uncomfortable take him to you even on the flight back. Flight time is the key. Night flights worked always better than daytime.
    Don’t worry I would always fly J with a 2 year old, you just have more space for him. I mostly made his bed and asked for a second pillow and blanket. Then lying to him till he sleeps and place him well with closed seat belt.
    Really don’t worry you are two and he will do that perfectly. As soon as he gets used it will be easier.
    I just flew F with my boys 3&7 for 14 hours alone this spring and they were a charm. Sure you won’t try the champagne and maybe have some stress while eating/sleeping. But it is worth.
    Car seats are great in eco but on most business seats it won’t work. I think with his age he don’t needs it anymore.

    Hope that helps you. Wish you all the best

    1. The ITDA Guest

      Someone mentioned Qatar and Singapore, I've traveled with my 3 year old with those products, along with starlux, and a few other reverse herringbone seats.

      I think Q-suite is the most family friendly hard product, as you can basically have a queen size play area with doors closed. SG regional is nice too, as he's basically next to me. The key is to find a product where you can hop over to him in a...

      Someone mentioned Qatar and Singapore, I've traveled with my 3 year old with those products, along with starlux, and a few other reverse herringbone seats.

      I think Q-suite is the most family friendly hard product, as you can basically have a queen size play area with doors closed. SG regional is nice too, as he's basically next to me. The key is to find a product where you can hop over to him in a moment's notice, so some reverse herringbone works fine, but not starlux as the only opening between seats are blocked by the lamp.

      Keeping his seat beat on during take off and landing is a challenge, so a little screen would help, and if you're being nice to the FAs, some would play with kids to keep them seated while you're asleep (on selected airlines of course).

      By the way, the internet don't usually have information about child meal in J, but its usually fried food, so my son doesn't even eat a single bite. Book the cook is nice for exactly this reason because only you know what he likes.

      Personally I can't wait to try JAL F as it is the only product where you can dine in a party of 3, but i don't know if I'm able to secure 3 seats anytime soon.

  54. U k Guest

    Definitely do PE over J. And I recommend using the CARES harness if you didn't want to use a car seat

  55. Steve Jacoby Guest

    While I agree with the duct tape comments, I'd recommend a Hefty trash bag. I'd rather have a drunk on the plane than a screaming baby. Do everyone a favor and leave the child home. You love your child. Others don't.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Jacoby and myers

      That is so tacky. Either that or you just don’t travel much. I’ve flown 14 1/2 hrs in business class with screaming kids. Grow up. Same for frenchy up above .

    2. Ben May Guest

      I just like to ask people who act this way (especially on the plane, etc) why they didn't take their private jet? Clearly they think they own this plane, and remind them that flying is no different to a bus or train. If you want to guarantee who you do / don't fly with, find a child-free flight if that exists... fly private ... or STFU.

  56. Gullifers Travels Guest

    I meant to say fly A350 with Qatar as well as Singapore

  57. Mike Guest

    Honestly I like the PE suggestions. Back when we were doing this biz was often 2x3x2.

    I would suggest a car seat/stroller combination and have Miles in the car seat and try to make it clear that it's required of him to get where he's going...and lead by example (stay buckled next to him in your seat).

    It's been a while since I've owned one of these, but I'd look into something like this...

    Honestly I like the PE suggestions. Back when we were doing this biz was often 2x3x2.

    I would suggest a car seat/stroller combination and have Miles in the car seat and try to make it clear that it's required of him to get where he's going...and lead by example (stay buckled next to him in your seat).

    It's been a while since I've owned one of these, but I'd look into something like this (no referral link) : https://www.amazon.com/Evenflo-DualRide-Infant-Stroller-Bryson/dp/B0CY5Q1P2T/ref=asc_df_B0CY5Q1P2T/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=693129867821&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12311472173781847881&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9004383&hvtargid=pla-2295449601830&psc=1&mcid=d3bb708560bf334d8c01a2eab0724542&gad_source=1

    Also, given the comments about US car seats not fitting in EU cars, I'd send a couple of bucks and buy this too, it may help: https://www.amazon.com/Sungrace-Metal-Lock-Silver-Pack/dp/B0797KBGD5/ref=sr_1_33_sspa?crid=JTP5XKTBZT86&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.U2ZfF_LbDrTyHrWfVOkzjsKcwthR-TDE4AY20jzYFj8T2YGk-3FKNBZsWMjTh3TPFu0HknSglc9Kom1qFi2x8WPWEnJZ4yhJRwixoUGdllivkEyPP_V-oPqbnHLSVvRojkwTCRls6fTVWllowwBR7QmXIU2ZHx6pKylFF0-ULX4PCCCBC6by3CI8rPY2kTrfZLJKj5wXjeKxF5gqwmJEuy8pe06oaHpri8XhoBE4aHUHmFf7voCJS_KjnO4uFWkGoOiFhnsvhEEHeMUdHZvub4QLLR6lENCMtKkfJXokvSQ.WfHLR3VhB8-Ftrp4MAfNcss_gbcKS95AofIhY4VXGoM&dib_tag=se&keywords=car+seat+buckle+metal&qid=1716845160&s=baby-products&sprefix=car+seat+buckle+metal%2Cbaby-products%2C80&sr=1-33-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9idGY&psc=1

    Best of luck Ben. Enjoy the trip.

  58. Gullifer’s Travels Guest

    Fly A350 and turn it into a double bed with do divider then it will be like when he gets into bed with you at home. You could then write a great review as I haven’t see you write one yet with the 2 seats made into a double ?
    You could go each way on separate aircraft that do this configuration like Singapore

  59. Kate Guest

    IMO you need to take a car seat. That’s what I did a long time ago. Then you have ithe car seat once you’re there.
    But if you have family eager to care for miles, I’d strongly advise you to avail yourself of that opportunity, and see more in less time, and then get back to miles at home.

  60. A friend Guest

    My kids have been flying since they were tiny, first trip across the pond around 1 for each. I think J on the way over is the best because it maximizes the possibility for sleep. If you don’t have a problem with it, I think melatonin gummies are great. They don’t knock the kid out but just a little bit of extra oomph to relax and fall asleep. Flat beds are great for that too...

    My kids have been flying since they were tiny, first trip across the pond around 1 for each. I think J on the way over is the best because it maximizes the possibility for sleep. If you don’t have a problem with it, I think melatonin gummies are great. They don’t knock the kid out but just a little bit of extra oomph to relax and fall asleep. Flat beds are great for that too - have him take a gummy on takeoff, do a quick change after airborne and settle in with a book, maybe some headphones and white noise and a favorite stuffie/blanket. If he gets fussy, just move him to a lap until he calms down.

    I agree with premium economy on the way home since he is more likely to be awake and looking for you. By the time he is six, he will happily sit in the pod and crush shows - but for now - that’s your best bet.

    A few other pro tips:

    1. I’ve found Air France has the flight attendants that actually genuinely like children the most - which makes this easier.

    2. Don’t give him a device. Counterintuitive perhaps - but kids are so likely to drop it in the “pod seat” and require emergency landing. Set the limit now to save yourself in a few years with a smart and argumentative elementary school student.

    3. If your destination isn’t final - seriously consider Spain. The time change isn’t as great because they eat so late (when we did it with 1 year olds, we only changed by an hour or two from the east coast) and it’s a true child friendly culture where they will embrace and appreciate Miles. Honestly, I would rather travel in France or Spain with under 10 year olds than the US for that reason.

  61. Mick Guest

    USE A. CAR SEAT!!

    We had a “no fly” policy with our kids from 18 months till about 3.5. It’s just not worth it. Travelling up to 1 is great. Bassinet. Car seats. Strollers that they sleep in. Are you taking him for his benefit? I think the gains are small at that age.

    If you desperately want to then I would go economy or PE with a car seat. Toddlers are much happier...

    USE A. CAR SEAT!!

    We had a “no fly” policy with our kids from 18 months till about 3.5. It’s just not worth it. Travelling up to 1 is great. Bassinet. Car seats. Strollers that they sleep in. Are you taking him for his benefit? I think the gains are small at that age.

    If you desperately want to then I would go economy or PE with a car seat. Toddlers are much happier strapped in with you providing entertainment and snacks. He’ll sleep far easier that way too. I have three kids and it wasn’t until the third that we used the car seat a lot. Ugh wish we had done from the start.

    And have lollipops or a drink bottle ready for the descent. So many kids scream during descent and it’s because they don’t know how to unblock their ears. Lollipops help. (Air nz used to pass out hard Lollies before landing).

    Regarding water bottles. Unscrew them before popping the top. Otherwise you’ll spray the five rows near you

    1. snic Diamond

      You missed out. Air travel with our kid when she was a toddler was truly a pleasure. There were times when it was stressful, but her excitement at seeing new things (at our destination, but also on board), and ours at being able to show them to her, was well worth going through that.

  62. FlyeraddictX Guest

    I have flown with my 2 year old on several products on economy, premium economy and business class and one important thing to consider is that airlines have specific rules about how seats with toddler can be chosen, next to adult. In some cases not all seats are open.

  63. Diego Dave Guest

    Two suggestions:

    Consider Premium Econ. The flight from FL to Europe isn't that long and he might even be able to sleep flat, crossways in the middle seat.

    BA's old configuration 787 has 2-3-2 seating up front and somemof these are still around -- the kid could take the middle seat?

  64. John Henriksen Guest

    Buckle the car seat to the airplane seat, and strap Miles into the car seat. Safest way for him to travel. You’ll want the car seat anyway for longer car rides to/from airports.

    Bring extra “entertainment “ items— crayons, drawing paper, iPad, etc.

    Bring on board extra sippy cups, pouch smoothies, saltines. Will need to swallow to reduce any ear pressure.

    Lastly, always be thinking about the class of service and seat...

    Buckle the car seat to the airplane seat, and strap Miles into the car seat. Safest way for him to travel. You’ll want the car seat anyway for longer car rides to/from airports.

    Bring extra “entertainment “ items— crayons, drawing paper, iPad, etc.

    Bring on board extra sippy cups, pouch smoothies, saltines. Will need to swallow to reduce any ear pressure.

    Lastly, always be thinking about the class of service and seat types that will be most comfortable for him, not you and Ford. 3 bulkhead economy seats together might be better than reverse herringbone biz class.

    1. GUWonder Guest

      I am of the “avoid” bulkhead economy class seats as the arm rests are often fixed and sometimes the seats are even too tight a fit for car seats because of the fixed armrests in those seats. And when the armrests can’t go up because they are fixed, that means the kid can’t stretch out easily across multiple seats in the row.

  65. Infant Flyer Guest

    Look at an amsafe, at least for takeoff and landing. https://www.amsafe.com/kidsflysafe-com/
    It should work on most business seats, often the airline will state which seats it is either allowed/not allowed on

  66. gtellez Guest

    I strongly recommend you fly Iberia, the new a350 with doors is amazing for kids, as after taking off you close the door and they can scape. Furthermore it is very comfortable to sleep with the kid next to you. We have done it few times (since he was 6 months old) and no problem at all.

    1. Gtellez Guest

      *can’t scape!

      I am obviously referring to the honeymoon seats

  67. Sebastian Guest

    I have been travelling with two toddlers Europe - New Zealand round trip on LH, SQ and FJ in C recently. Best generic recommendation: Try to align the time of the flight with the natural sleeping habit.

  68. John Currell Guest

    Good luck! I think you're overthinking it, just buckle your child in and they'll be fine. A pillow behind them for comfort and away you go. Lots of parents take two or three young children to visit family back home and they don't need any special equipment other than a snack or something to keep the kids occupied. A roll of painters tape works wonder full to entertain a two to three year old on a flight.

  69. Eric Guest

    Reverse herringbone is fine for a lap child.
    Check any restrictions for a lap child - as the in seatbelt airbag is an issue.
    I'd do for two windows to make it easy going between parents - and avoid distrubing neighbors.

    I'd keep the seat in a flat position post takeoff and allow them to roam around.

    TV and Tablets are great distractions.
    Instead of an overnight flight, I'd suggest a daytime...

    Reverse herringbone is fine for a lap child.
    Check any restrictions for a lap child - as the in seatbelt airbag is an issue.
    I'd do for two windows to make it easy going between parents - and avoid distrubing neighbors.

    I'd keep the seat in a flat position post takeoff and allow them to roam around.

    TV and Tablets are great distractions.
    Instead of an overnight flight, I'd suggest a daytime flight. It's a really hard flight to get sleep in. Breaking up the trip and taking a daytime flight to LHR from BOS,JFK,EWR, ORD or IAD is going to make it much easier.

  70. Chris Guest

    I’ve done this 3 times now with a 2 year old. Twice to Europe and once to Asia. Make sure you have an iPad with lots of shows downloaded across different platforms (don’t trust Max as it has lots of issues in Offline mode). YT, YT kids, Netflix, Disney, etc. Have backup headphones in case theirs break. We let him watch as much TV as he wants during long flights. At home he is limited...

    I’ve done this 3 times now with a 2 year old. Twice to Europe and once to Asia. Make sure you have an iPad with lots of shows downloaded across different platforms (don’t trust Max as it has lots of issues in Offline mode). YT, YT kids, Netflix, Disney, etc. Have backup headphones in case theirs break. We let him watch as much TV as he wants during long flights. At home he is limited to 1 hour per day.

    Use Timeshifter app for guidance to adjust bedtime/wake time a couple days prior to the trip.

    Follow your normal bedtime routine (brush teeth, books, lovey) as much as possible when it’s time to go to bed on the flight.

    The seatbelt situation is difficult in J. Car seats are usually not allowed. When sleeping we try to keep him well covered by a blanket and then put a seatbelt over the blanket. Need to check on him somewhat frequently to make sure it’s still on properly to protect him in case of turbulence. If there is a chance for more turbulence or warning from pilot then it’s best to be hyper vigilant.

    My kid was most difficult during takeoff but did pretty well the rest of the flight. He did almost fall out of his seat at one point forwards the end of a flight. Probably a good idea to use extra blankets or pillows to prevent that from happening.

    It was more difficult coming back from Europe since you need to occupy kids for ~10 hours minus maybe a short nap.

  71. sifter Guest

    I was in Singapore Business Class a year ago and witnessed a father in the aisle trying to wrangle his son a few seconds before landing! It struck me then that parents being able to reach their children, while both are seated, is a necessity. The boy spent some time in distress, and it meant the whole cabin to some extent or other was also affected, not least the father. That said, Mum was in...

    I was in Singapore Business Class a year ago and witnessed a father in the aisle trying to wrangle his son a few seconds before landing! It struck me then that parents being able to reach their children, while both are seated, is a necessity. The boy spent some time in distress, and it meant the whole cabin to some extent or other was also affected, not least the father. That said, Mum was in the front row with a baby and had her blinkers on, and the crew seemed to be turning a blind eye as well, but it was quite stressful as an onlooker. If you can't find business seats where you can reach your son while seated, I'd recommend Premium Economy

    1. ecco Gold

      That’s the reason I take my noise cancelling Bose headphones. They are pretty much non negotiable in my packing routine.

      I took my son who was 22 months on the akl-sfo overnight flight in economy. 12 hour flight. Full flight. He sat on my knee the whole way over. He wouldn’t sleep the entire way over and people were feeling sorry for me when I got off! Also he was totally disoriented for the rest...

      That’s the reason I take my noise cancelling Bose headphones. They are pretty much non negotiable in my packing routine.

      I took my son who was 22 months on the akl-sfo overnight flight in economy. 12 hour flight. Full flight. He sat on my knee the whole way over. He wouldn’t sleep the entire way over and people were feeling sorry for me when I got off! Also he was totally disoriented for the rest of the holiday from that journey. I have still not forgotten about that flight, some 23 years later!

  72. Jack Guest

    My suggestions: don’t book seats where you cannot sit close together, and don’t be THAT parent. (Given my sense of you, I can’t imagine that you would be THAT parent, as you care too much.) I just suffered through a United flight to Madrid in Polaris seats on a 767. No paired seats at all. A family (mother, father, grandmother, toddler, and 5-year old) upset the crew with demands upon boarding that the crew manage...

    My suggestions: don’t book seats where you cannot sit close together, and don’t be THAT parent. (Given my sense of you, I can’t imagine that you would be THAT parent, as you care too much.) I just suffered through a United flight to Madrid in Polaris seats on a 767. No paired seats at all. A family (mother, father, grandmother, toddler, and 5-year old) upset the crew with demands upon boarding that the crew manage the kids, given the seat configuration. Then the father and grandmother went to sleep, leaving the mother to manage - or not manage. The kids were both in the aisles even when the seat belt sign was on. At one point, the 5-year-old crawled along the tops of the center seats, waking up passengers. At another point, the same kid “walked” down the aisle by holding the tops of the seats and placing his feet on the seat counters bordering the aisles. As we deplaned, the mother apologized for the trouble putting her kids to bed. I told her she needed to rethink her family’s travel.

    Experiences like that make me support airlines taking measures against parents who cannot control their children (e.g., no repeat flying with kids within a certain period of time), as it’s not fair to the crew or other passengers and is unsafe for everyone. Not all kids or parents are like that (and certainly not OMAAT reader-parents, because their children would NEVER misbehave), but enough are to have ruined many flights over the years.

    I’ve suffered numerous disruptive drunks, too, although airlines can more easily take measures to prevent that - no self-service booze in lounges, a cut-off rule for number of drinks, and denial of boarding to drunk passengers.

  73. JetAway Guest

    Fly private until he is 5-6 years old. More control over your child as well as over your environment.

  74. Ronan J Guest

    I would encourage you to have a low sugar sweet or lollipop and a bottle at hand to help your child for takeoff. This will alleviate the earpopping that can distress infants during sudden altitude gain (this novelty can frighten any child unused to such a novel experience as aviation. Introduce the lollipop as you approach the end of the runway for take off - after pushing off from the gate. Also, tight shoes and...

    I would encourage you to have a low sugar sweet or lollipop and a bottle at hand to help your child for takeoff. This will alleviate the earpopping that can distress infants during sudden altitude gain (this novelty can frighten any child unused to such a novel experience as aviation. Introduce the lollipop as you approach the end of the runway for take off - after pushing off from the gate. Also, tight shoes and clothing create stress in infants. A snuggle blanket and a bath pre flight with a baby oil massage will seal in extra moisture after a bath. Keep your child hydrated with fluids on the hour during the flight. Good luck.

    1. Antonio Guest

      Yes, i wonder the baby Will go afterwards to the Kindergarten asking for Caviar and Hennessy.... These entitled tiny Monsters, They'll probably convert also the award miles to cash value and ask for incidentals...

    2. Scotflyer1 Guest

      With lollipops…great for middle ear relief. Strongly recommend tootsiepops as they seem welded onto the stick….you sure don’t want Miles swallowing a big lump.
      I also advise to cut back on food as gas in their tummy isn’t friendly at 2…and a by product of altitude….
      Have fun !

  75. Shaheed Ellington Guest

    You should fly Y. It's ridiculous having a 2-year-old in J for all sorts of reasons, some of which have been mentioned here. Moreover, you must consider it may inadvertently communicate certain values about materialism and entitlement, which could shape your child's worldview and behavior in potentially negative ways. Flying a child in business class could also be seen as contributing unnecessarily to carbon emissions, especially if the child wouldn't be negatively affected by flying...

    You should fly Y. It's ridiculous having a 2-year-old in J for all sorts of reasons, some of which have been mentioned here. Moreover, you must consider it may inadvertently communicate certain values about materialism and entitlement, which could shape your child's worldview and behavior in potentially negative ways. Flying a child in business class could also be seen as contributing unnecessarily to carbon emissions, especially if the child wouldn't be negatively affected by flying in economy class.

  76. Joe Guest

    Wow. Shocking reaction from those who say don't travel. Insane. Enjoy the trip. But - I'd agree that you should just get 2x Premium Economy seats for whoever is 'supervising' and Miles. I don't think a reverse herringbone business class seat is the best place to leave a sub 2 year old toddler sleeping.

    1. Biglaw V10 Partner Guest

      It’s an opinion. There are very high end people, like Andrew Sorkin of The New York Times, who believe babies should not fly in first class cabins.

      Practically, I believe babies should fly Economy, as it’s a more convenient seating arrangement.

      Despite my stratospheric income as equity partner, I sometimes fly transatlantic or transpacific Economy.

    2. Donato Guest

      +1, especially since the seating arrangements can work better.

  77. Raylan Guest

    Honestly surprised that nobody has mentioned shooting for either TAP or Iberia J. Both feature products with honeymoon suite type seats where you'll be right next to Miles. I definitely would not recommend reverse herringbone, especially not for a red-eye.

  78. Chris Guest

    Fly BA’s old business class product, it’s great for families, book the last row center pair for direct aisle access and with both seats upright, you have an area for Miles to crawl and play by your feet, with both seats in lie flat, a perfect sleeping surface for him and lounging surface for you.

    1. Robert Guest

      This may be particularly good advice because my recollection is that with BA and Virgin if you book a round-trip, you can still get lap infant pricing but a free seat on return when you book a round-trip and the kid becomes 2 during the trip. Just did two long transcontinental round trip flights with a toddler and sounds awful in economy. I just don’t understand those who are you should be doing a kind of instead of business from a parent’s point of view.

    2. Jimmy K Member

      Yes this is correct on BA.

  79. Ed Guest

    Very timely post. We are getting ready for this with our son. Admittedly not till Christmas time when he’ll still only be 15 months. It’s an even longer trip for us - from Australia to the UK to see his grandparents.

    What are we doing to prepare.

    1) We’ve got a very fancy, aeroplane certified car seat - the wayb pico - we don’t have a car and this is how we get...

    Very timely post. We are getting ready for this with our son. Admittedly not till Christmas time when he’ll still only be 15 months. It’s an even longer trip for us - from Australia to the UK to see his grandparents.

    What are we doing to prepare.

    1) We’ve got a very fancy, aeroplane certified car seat - the wayb pico - we don’t have a car and this is how we get him quickly and safely secured in taxis and Ubers. It’s light and compact and goes in quickly.
    2) his pushchair has always been a baby zen yo-yo which collapses down to carryon size and can fit in the overhead or under the seat in front.
    3) short haul flights to get him used to it
    4) planning to break the journey - 24hrs on a plane will be brutal all in one go.

    We’re also trying to work out which class to sit in. It may just be easier in economy or premium economy. He’s already getting wise to buckles so the thought of him unbuckling during takeoff or landing is pretty terrifying. I also want a more ability to supervise during the flight - the recent turbulence incidents are a massive reminder to stay buckled up and want to keep him safe.

    JAL or CX premium economy are looking the best bets for us.

  80. Hal Guest

    Some melatonin tablets and they will fall asleep. If they’re awake, nanny usually deals with it.

  81. Creditcrunch Diamond

    I would probably skip getting a J seat and opt for a PE product centre row until you get an idea how things will be, that way you have full control of the little one and have some element of comfort.

  82. Kimberly Guest

    Flew biz class over 14 hours with my newly adopted daughter years ago- she did great! Bring Dum Dum lollipops for take off/landing to help his ears (can also use bottle with water). I brought several plastic bags which were good to dispose of diapers, trash, in case of wet clothes etc-also, a sippy cup with lid so it wont spill. I brought stickers, crayons etc and didn't use due to in flight entertainment- bring...

    Flew biz class over 14 hours with my newly adopted daughter years ago- she did great! Bring Dum Dum lollipops for take off/landing to help his ears (can also use bottle with water). I brought several plastic bags which were good to dispose of diapers, trash, in case of wet clothes etc-also, a sippy cup with lid so it wont spill. I brought stickers, crayons etc and didn't use due to in flight entertainment- bring extra clothes for Miles & you, too, just in case. Puppy pads to change diapers on in lavatory. Honestly, I was nervous- she slept a-lot, and it was fine . Now she has her own FF acct, Global Entry and confidently boards on her own!

  83. SamG Guest

    My son is about the same age and (sadly) there is absolutely no way I'd be taking him on a long haul flight at the moment now he's two, especially in most business class products today. He'd be out the seat, pressing the buttons and generally extremely excited by it all and as you say, nearly all seating is impractical for actually sitting with the kid and keeping them in check.

    I was on...

    My son is about the same age and (sadly) there is absolutely no way I'd be taking him on a long haul flight at the moment now he's two, especially in most business class products today. He'd be out the seat, pressing the buttons and generally extremely excited by it all and as you say, nearly all seating is impractical for actually sitting with the kid and keeping them in check.

    I was on a BA flight recently where a toddler escaped a Club Suite just before take off and came running down the aisle, his parent was on the other side and couldn't stop him doing it. They ended up sitting in economy for take off and landing and it seemed a very stressful experience

    Personally if I did do a long haul (and US-Europe isn't too bad) then I'd probably just suck it up and take a row of 3 in economy (perhaps on a US carrier with a comfort/plus type option) and put him in the middle. The other option to consider is getting the old BA seat - so a flight to Gatwick (e.g. Orlando and Tampa) or on a 787-9 or A380. You could take 3 seats in the centre of the 4 block which are pretty good for kids as it creates a double bed type setup with the other adult facing him on the aisle

    I agree with you though about children in premium cabins - I have no issue with the principle of it and we'll do it once they're older. We've done a few BA Club Europe legs London-Canaries and have had some filthy looks and comments and twice there has been an alcohol related incident with adults and my kids have been perfect !

    Take loads of snacks with you and plenty of cheap but new activities - sticker books, the crayola water pen colouring is great as they can't make a mess, little toys, books etc. Try to avoid anything with small bits that go everywhere.

    If you do screen time then I find having a few hypnotysing youtube videos like Tenny or Blippi downloaded on my phone good for any unexpected hold ups

  84. Oliver Guest

    My kids are 4, 2 and about-to-be born and we have been flying since the oldest was a bit more than a year old. Honestly, with the 2y old for TATL, I
    Would go for a PE seat. I once had the displeasure of flying in SQ regional J (staggered) with my oldest being nearly three and thankfully I was able to hold her hand during the approach. Otherwise no chance she would have stayed in her seat. Reverse herringbone - big no for me. If you can get LH old J then maybe a yes.

  85. derek Guest

    DON'T! Don't be like those who need to be offloaded, those who steal bags of food from the airline club, etc.

    1. Wait for another year to travel, or

    2. Do NOT fly business class and ruin the trip for others, or

    3. Do NOT fly business class and have sub-optimal supervision because you are not sitting next to him.

    4. Consider flying a DAYTIME flight to LHR even if you have to spend a...

    DON'T! Don't be like those who need to be offloaded, those who steal bags of food from the airline club, etc.

    1. Wait for another year to travel, or

    2. Do NOT fly business class and ruin the trip for others, or

    3. Do NOT fly business class and have sub-optimal supervision because you are not sitting next to him.

    4. Consider flying a DAYTIME flight to LHR even if you have to spend a night before continuing on to another city

    5. Consider flying economy or premium economy. The seating configuration is superior for Miles than business class. Do not be selfish. Think about Miles, which means economy or premium economy.

    1. digital_notmad Diamond

      J is always superior

  86. D3kingg Guest

    Just do it ! Miles will enjoy the inflight entertainment and sleep if he wants. I guess one parent has to be up all the time ? Don’t overthink it. Get out there and take photos. One day when miles is an astronaut or pilot he will look back on the memories.

  87. Weekend Surfer Guest

    As others have said:

    1) try to get Miles tired before the flight
    2) have plenty of snacks
    3) toys or other manipulatives that are easy to pack.
    4) re: securing your child, I’m a huge proponent of young children like toddlers sitting in car seats on planes. If Miles is big enough to sit forward-facing, it’s a big relief knowing your child is very secure in a seat he is familiar...

    As others have said:

    1) try to get Miles tired before the flight
    2) have plenty of snacks
    3) toys or other manipulatives that are easy to pack.
    4) re: securing your child, I’m a huge proponent of young children like toddlers sitting in car seats on planes. If Miles is big enough to sit forward-facing, it’s a big relief knowing your child is very secure in a seat he is familiar with. And if your child can sleep in a car seat in a car, he sleep in a car seat in a car. I’ve been using the Cosco- branded ones that are <$100 and are FAA-certified. Very lightweight.
    5) my son grew up flying with Bose QC headphones which was mine. Helps him focus and fall asleep as well.

    1. Weekend Surfer Guest

      Oops. Meant he can fall asleep in a car seat in a plane as well.

  88. DMoney Guest

    Last spring, we few to India and back with our then 15 month old twin boys in Etihad business class. And then last Christmas, we flew Air Canada 787 Business class on a short 5 hour flight with our then 2 year olds. Most others have given you comments on snacks/toys/screen, so I won't repeat that here.

    1. In terms of sleeping, we carried 4 inflatable air pillows with us. You can only inflate...

    Last spring, we few to India and back with our then 15 month old twin boys in Etihad business class. And then last Christmas, we flew Air Canada 787 Business class on a short 5 hour flight with our then 2 year olds. Most others have given you comments on snacks/toys/screen, so I won't repeat that here.

    1. In terms of sleeping, we carried 4 inflatable air pillows with us. You can only inflate them once seat-belt signs are off. The advantage of these pillows is that we could place them in gaps between seats and side walls of the business class seat shell. That way, we ensure that our kids didn't fall in the cavity. We needed two pillows each seat to cover gaps on either side of the seat.

    2. Request baby meals specifically by calling the airline at least 48 hours in advance of your flight. Another family on one of our flight found out the hard way. We gave one of our baby meals to them since we were prepared to not rely on the plane food for babies.

    3. During our Christmas flights when our kids were same age as Miles is right now, we observed that our kids wanted to climb on the seats and play with screens of other passengers or even go to their seats. We thought it would have been better if we had last row seats so that there was no where to climb to?

    4. Kids at this age have a tendency to throw everything, especially if they are cranky. So, whatever you get Miles, make sure it won't harm others in case he throw it in an unexpected way.

  89. Nb Guest

    Best tip: wait till he is 6.

  90. Ben Guest

    In related news, AF offers bassinets in the middle section of the bulkhead row of many J cabins. The bassinet is embedded in the front cabinet. So its super safe. You open a hatch and place your kid (down) inside. There's a mesh net that attaches over them covering their body but not their face so 1) they're safe from bouncing up and out, 2) the are surrounded on all sides by the cabinet which...

    In related news, AF offers bassinets in the middle section of the bulkhead row of many J cabins. The bassinet is embedded in the front cabinet. So its super safe. You open a hatch and place your kid (down) inside. There's a mesh net that attaches over them covering their body but not their face so 1) they're safe from bouncing up and out, 2) the are surrounded on all sides by the cabinet which blocks light, and 3) you're in AF J bulkhead seats! Have you not tried that yet?! That's what we flew 5 years ago with our twins. Was AMAZING. Best of all worlds. Sadly it only works til the kid(s) are maybe 1.5 years old. I don't know many 2 year olds that would still fit in that bassinet.

  91. Alpha Guest

    Please do not fly with a toddler. There's nowhere a toddler needs to be, and it is not worth the inconvenience for everyone else on the plane.

    1. James Guest

      Strongly disagree, my toddler got to meet my wife’s bone marrow donor for the first time ever ( still on the trip actually) and it’s been very special. Do we have to be extra vigilant? Yes. But we have to be that way anywhere. Also the other people on the plane can deal with it. Business class has noise cancelling headphones after all.

    2. Alpha Guest

      Your toddler has no actual recollection of it and their presence is not worth the inconvenience it causes others.

  92. Alex Guest

    Wishing you the best of luck! I'll be curious to see how much of a trip review you'll be able to do under the circumstances.

  93. David Guest

    Go for it. I flew with my 3 year old last year Business class and just like you said he slept for 9/12 hours. I faced the same predicament as you in terms of what seats to select. Very few airlines accommodate couples. Go for 1A and 1D. You’ll have direct access to your little one. The airline staff are so accommodating. I’m normally not a fan of AirCanada but the flight and service was...

    Go for it. I flew with my 3 year old last year Business class and just like you said he slept for 9/12 hours. I faced the same predicament as you in terms of what seats to select. Very few airlines accommodate couples. Go for 1A and 1D. You’ll have direct access to your little one. The airline staff are so accommodating. I’m normally not a fan of AirCanada but the flight and service was great. Not to mention the lounge in Toronto was spectacular. Emirates is the best for travelling with Kids. Good luck. Happy flying

  94. Cedric Guest

    That's why I avoided AC when I took the familly for a first long haul flight (YUL-VIE). My youngest was 6 so no where near 2, but having completly seperate seats in J is a deal breaker for young kids. Ended up going with Austrian and getting the middle seats (each parent next to one of our daughters). Flight left at about 18:50 so the kids got to sleep a fair bit on the flight....

    That's why I avoided AC when I took the familly for a first long haul flight (YUL-VIE). My youngest was 6 so no where near 2, but having completly seperate seats in J is a deal breaker for young kids. Ended up going with Austrian and getting the middle seats (each parent next to one of our daughters). Flight left at about 18:50 so the kids got to sleep a fair bit on the flight.

    For a toddler I would try and keep as close. schedual as he normally has (meal time, sleep).

  95. Aram K Guest

    Two years old is a difficult age to travel, but is entirely doable. Luckily with most flights leaving in the evening, the flight to Europe should be a lot easier than the return — ideally timing it for about an hour or two before bed time.

    At two years old, it’s difficult to entertain them. Videos and screen time will really vary on the child (our daughter didn’t begin to enjoy watching TV until three),...

    Two years old is a difficult age to travel, but is entirely doable. Luckily with most flights leaving in the evening, the flight to Europe should be a lot easier than the return — ideally timing it for about an hour or two before bed time.

    At two years old, it’s difficult to entertain them. Videos and screen time will really vary on the child (our daughter didn’t begin to enjoy watching TV until three), so expect to have to entertain them for much of their waking time. Little things like stickers and post its can go a long way.

    Our daughter flew long haul business class for the first time when she was nearing four (after dozens of flights within the U.S. and to Europe), so by then I had a good idea of her behavior. But I was beyond nervous.

    I’d strongly encourage finding Premium Economy seats at two, only because it’s much easier to have parents sitting on either side and taking turns. You’ll also have an easier time with taxiing, takeoff, and landing.

    If you’re bringing a car seat, you can also use that for take off and landing, guaranteeing to some degree your toddler will stay seated at least during the times when you can’t really move around.

    European airlines often are a bit more accommodating for kids, and Swiss has a cute an airplane plus toy that I may have borrowed from my daughter.

    Regardless, it’s an adventure so make sure to rest up, and of course enjoy the trip!

  96. Richard Guest

    Don't. That's the tip. They are not mature enough at that age for air travel. They tend to become the problem of other passengers and of staff who already have enough to deal with. Wait until they can be settled by themselves for long periods of time before taking them on long haul trips.

    As for taking kids in Business or First Class, that just makes you selfish of the needs of passengers who may need their sleep for a busy day at the other end.

    1. The Counter Point Guest

      You do realize that people who travel in Premium Economy or Coach also may have a busy day at the other end? It's not just limited to those up front. In fact, I'd say that there's more disruption to more passengers in the other cabins than business/first.

    2. snic Diamond

      I have never, even once in decades of flying, seen someone's kids become someone else's problem. I've flown countless times in J with other kids in the cabin (my own and others'), and never once have any of these kids been loud or disruptive.

      On the other hand, during nighttime flights in J, someone nearby is *always* snoring loudly enough to be disturbing. So I think we should ban adults from J and let the...

      I have never, even once in decades of flying, seen someone's kids become someone else's problem. I've flown countless times in J with other kids in the cabin (my own and others'), and never once have any of these kids been loud or disruptive.

      On the other hand, during nighttime flights in J, someone nearby is *always* snoring loudly enough to be disturbing. So I think we should ban adults from J and let the kids stay. /sarcasm

      Or maybe we should all come prepared with noise-cancelling headphones and whatever else it takes to insulate oneself from the unavoidable world around us when taking mass transit.

  97. Ben Guest

    Having done a half dozen TATL return trips with twins, if you insist on J then I'd say go with the airlines that offer 2x3x2 in J. Being all together even in an inferior hard product will be so much better because you can help each other out. This is especially helpful during takeoff, landing, turbulence, when you obviously can't get out of your seat. So out of MIA, you'd have at least three options...

    Having done a half dozen TATL return trips with twins, if you insist on J then I'd say go with the airlines that offer 2x3x2 in J. Being all together even in an inferior hard product will be so much better because you can help each other out. This is especially helpful during takeoff, landing, turbulence, when you obviously can't get out of your seat. So out of MIA, you'd have at least three options - TK B77W J, BA A388 J upper deck, or EK B77W J. Otherwise, I'd recommend sucking it up and flying PY where you can all sit together. One kid is different from twins but this would be my rec.

  98. PC Guest

    The best deal in travel with infants might be BAs policy on turning 2:

    “If your infant turns 2 during their journey, you’ll have to book them a seat for any flights on and after their 2nd birthday. We won’t charge you extra for this, you’ll pay the infant fare for the entire journey. This booking can’t be made online, so please contact us and we’ll happily arrange it for you.”

    No idea if it...

    The best deal in travel with infants might be BAs policy on turning 2:

    “If your infant turns 2 during their journey, you’ll have to book them a seat for any flights on and after their 2nd birthday. We won’t charge you extra for this, you’ll pay the infant fare for the entire journey. This booking can’t be made online, so please contact us and we’ll happily arrange it for you.”

    No idea if it applies to award tickets though, seems unlikely. I guess the ideal is a short positioning flight over midnight on his birthday, with a free seat for the long haul leg and return. Also seems unlikely they’d allow this I guess!

    We’re flying Club Suites with our 15 month old the opposite direction to you this summer. Hoping to use the BA “big” bassinet (allowed for up to two years old, but I doubt it’d work for Miles if he’s big).

    1. Sam G Guest

      It does apply to award tickets! did it myself recently (short haul though!)

    2. tom Guest

      Not to mention old CW has the ideal seat for traveling with a kid due to the middle pairs.

  99. classcair Member

    Grab a newspaper on the way out from the lounge. Perfect for covering the baby changing tables on the flight or in the airport. Paper towels don’t stay in place. And reusable covers just get gross and take up space.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      Newspaper. Lol. Ben’s gonna drive himself crazy over thinking about the trip. They should just get out there and enjoy the adventure.

  100. ML Guest

    https://a.co/d/g1RJunU

    Get a cares harness to hold the squirmy toddler in place! They probably work on a business class seat too.

  101. Autism Traveling Mom Jenai Guest

    If you do bring a car seat on the flight, make sure it is aircraft certified. You’ll be surprised to know that not all car seats and boosters are certified for airplane travel. I think getting the child their own seat is a great idea!
    Dress them in their favorite and most comfortable clothes. Bring an extra pair in case you need it. Bring their favorite snacks. If you have a tablet, make sure...

    If you do bring a car seat on the flight, make sure it is aircraft certified. You’ll be surprised to know that not all car seats and boosters are certified for airplane travel. I think getting the child their own seat is a great idea!
    Dress them in their favorite and most comfortable clothes. Bring an extra pair in case you need it. Bring their favorite snacks. If you have a tablet, make sure their favorite games, movies, and music are downloaded for offline play. Try your best to continue with their daily/nightly routine. Also, upon take off and landing, ear plugs for kids are recommended to help keep their little ears from popping. You can also remedy that by giving them a snack or drink during take off and landing. Anything they can suck on will help keep their ears from popping.
    If they have a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, bring it!
    I travel by airplane on a monthly, sometimes weekly basis with all 3 of my kids. I have many stories to tell! lol.

  102. NateNate Guest

    I think you should limit your flying to routes that offer the Apartment :)

    Can you please do a similar article for traveling with Winston? Perhaps more importantly, will Winston be traveling to Europe with Miles?

  103. Joe Guest

    I would rebook in premium economy so you can be next to him instead of whatever the herringbone presents. He’ll sleep just fine in that sort of chair.
    And if he doesn’t….well he won’t be the 1st kid going to Europe with a disrupted sleep pattern.

    Board absolutely last, after group 15 or whatever, after the stand-bys etc. minimize your time on the plane.

    Never, EVER feed them for the 2 hours before the...

    I would rebook in premium economy so you can be next to him instead of whatever the herringbone presents. He’ll sleep just fine in that sort of chair.
    And if he doesn’t….well he won’t be the 1st kid going to Europe with a disrupted sleep pattern.

    Board absolutely last, after group 15 or whatever, after the stand-bys etc. minimize your time on the plane.

    Never, EVER feed them for the 2 hours before the flight. Nothing, not even a snack. Feeding during the flight is a great way to kill 20-30 minutes. Don’t blow it just bc they’re board in the terminal.

    No personal electronics until after 10,000 feet. Let them learn and experience the taxi and takeoff sequence.

  104. Stan P Guest

    We have done extensive long haul flying the last 3 years with my toddler ( just turned 6 ) , J flights from East Coast to SEZ , MLE, SYD , NAD , AKL , TYO , JFK-SIN ( twice ) . Besides when he was 3years ( when he wants to move all the time and not yet into watching kids movies ) was very easy . He would sleep 80-90% of the flights...

    We have done extensive long haul flying the last 3 years with my toddler ( just turned 6 ) , J flights from East Coast to SEZ , MLE, SYD , NAD , AKL , TYO , JFK-SIN ( twice ) . Besides when he was 3years ( when he wants to move all the time and not yet into watching kids movies ) was very easy . He would sleep 80-90% of the flights , even if they are not redeye. The white noise from the engines makes him fall sleep immediately ( we make sure he doesn’t get excessive sleep before the flight ).

    We tried several seating configurations and I came to this conclusion :
    1. When they are little and need help for just about everything , the person that needs to help him the most time , is best to seat across the aisle ( by the window ) , 1-2-1.

    2. Ever since he turned 5 , the best seating combo is to put him between us in a seat next to the window, for example : 3K , when we are in 2K and 4K

  105. Will Guest

    Have done 5 roundtrips longer than 12 hours each flight with out 15 months old (Europe, South Africa, and Japan) and prolly 20 domestic so

    Ms. Rachel on YouTube is the closest thing to bliss when they are really upset, is truly as godsend with ours. Download them before, or Bluey is also a close second.

    I'd also bring masking tape, its fun to play with and they can stick it everywhere and then...

    Have done 5 roundtrips longer than 12 hours each flight with out 15 months old (Europe, South Africa, and Japan) and prolly 20 domestic so

    Ms. Rachel on YouTube is the closest thing to bliss when they are really upset, is truly as godsend with ours. Download them before, or Bluey is also a close second.

    I'd also bring masking tape, its fun to play with and they can stick it everywhere and then just ball it up at the end.

    Lots of snacks, teethers are easy for them to chew on and leak proof cups really help.

    Ours launched herself out of a JAL SKySuite to the dismay of the lady across the aisle haha- just ignore any haters, Miles has every right to be there

  106. Frank C Guest

    If it helps at all, we have done business with our two and a half year old who did sleep on the overnight flight, and listened enough to the instructions to leave seat belt on, and with a great flight crew who helped during period it was tougher for me. I also took my five year old just a month ago who is on the spectrum and non-verbal, and I was really worried about the...

    If it helps at all, we have done business with our two and a half year old who did sleep on the overnight flight, and listened enough to the instructions to leave seat belt on, and with a great flight crew who helped during period it was tougher for me. I also took my five year old just a month ago who is on the spectrum and non-verbal, and I was really worried about the return, BA business class with the doors, but between looking out the window, and again a great flight crew who either let me and mom check in on him as much as can, he kept himself occupied. He sat across the aisle from us, and while it was worrisome, don’t underestimate the kids fascination with looking out the window or playing with the buttons on the remote…and assuming a good flight crew who gets it and is willing to cut some slack on when you can get up and check on him, you may be pleasantly surprised at how well it works out. The difference in sleep quality was also worth it, in business my son slept a few hours, in premium economy while he was next to us, he couldn’t really relax. Anyway I know it looks tough considering the seats aren’t as close, and I am sure it’s scary, also great opportunity to let your son have a nice sleep on overnight flight. We worried the first time, did daytime premium eco flights, but turns out we didn’t need to worry.

  107. Francisco C Guest

    Good luck. Car seat is perfect for shorter trips but not sure how practical it is for a longer flight. Where does car seat go when you go lie-flat? Will you need one in Europe?

    1. Michmill Guest

      Don't bring a US car seat to Europe, they don't work on European cars (different seatbelt configuration) (or in business class airplane seats usually). But sometimes rental car counters will be nice and just give you a car seat if you ask nicely.

    2. Batterytraveller Diamond

      You are correct about a car seat needing to be aircraft certified but what you say about using US car seats in Europe is simply not true. There is no issue using modern US car seats in europe. If you have a Latch car seat that is identical technology to ISOFIX as used in the rest of the world, the only difference is the name (it’s call LUAS in Canada)

      If you use a seat that just straps in then there is no difference between US and European seatbelts.

  108. Jody Guest

    I would rebook. Toddlers can be very squirmy, and there’s no way for you to reach over and keep him buckled up if he decides to squirm out during, say, takeoff. Having side by side seats is much much better.

    1. Jody Guest

      Just to add: I tend to plan for the worst for such trips. It’s great if your kid sleeps for nearly the entire flight and happily sits still by themselves. Better to plan for the alternative and be pleasantly surprised.

      This is based on many, many long-haul flights with small kids (JFK-SIN, BOS-HKG, BOS-NRT, etc). Toddlers are, in many ways, the most challenging age to travel with.

      Good luck and happy travels!

  109. classcair Member

    Have never taken the kids business, so can’t speak to that. We usually take a car seat in Y. Tip: We always keep a stash of new, small, cheap toys from that section where you first come into Target ($1-$5), and break them out periodically during the flights when the kids get bored. If they are new, they keep more interest longer.

  110. John Guest

    While I find your story exciting and I look forward to reading your feedback on this trip, I must admit you also need to consider other passengers’ comfort on this flight to and back from Europe. People travelling business class are also using this class for business purposes (obviously) so they might be quite annoyed with a toddler’s noise (crying, joyful, etc.). This point needs to be considered even if it is often disregarded.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ John -- And that's why I'm doing everything I can to prepare as much as possible, so it's a smooth flight for all. :-) Ultimately kids are part of society, and they're allowed in premium cabins. Frankly I more frequently see issues with grown adults misbehaving on planes, rather than kids.

    2. Sarah Ramkissoon Guest

      I agree with this Ben. I’ve been interrupted more times by belligerent or loudly snoring passengers in J who’ve had a little too much to drink than kids and toddlers. As someone else said takeoff and landing is tough on young children’s ears - we used pacifiers or snacks to keep them chewing and swallowing during those times. Or an sippy cup with diluted juice or water. Even now my 13 year old takes lollipops...

      I agree with this Ben. I’ve been interrupted more times by belligerent or loudly snoring passengers in J who’ve had a little too much to drink than kids and toddlers. As someone else said takeoff and landing is tough on young children’s ears - we used pacifiers or snacks to keep them chewing and swallowing during those times. Or an sippy cup with diluted juice or water. Even now my 13 year old takes lollipops when she flies. FWIW our 20 year old son is studying avionics and younger child wants to be a pilot fit emirates. You never know where flying with your kids will take them one day. Good luck!!

    3. Will Guest

      If you want perfect serenity- charter a Jet John

    4. Felix Austria Guest

      I experienced a toddler repeatedly hitting a hard object on a SQ Business shell seat for minutes at end, whilst being in the lap of the mother. So it was the child, but I am still to this day confused as to why the mother did not interve given the absurd loud, repeated banging.

    5. Raylan Guest

      The unspoken undertone of "don't take kids in business class" is that people who cannot afford to sit up front should bear the brunt of an angry toddler on a plane.

    6. ecco Gold

      Not really. The commenter is just stating an obvious fact. Some people have in fact laid thousands to sit in business class. If a toddler is being disruptive on long haul business class then one of the few options is to take him for a walk around the plane.

  111. BeantownFlyer Guest

    Benadryl. If you have to ask that’s the answer

    1. JAXBA Guest

      Has the opposite effect on my daughter. Know how it affects a child on the ground first!

  112. David Piccirilli Guest

    Lucky: We took our son Houston to Sydney at 26 months old in United Economy Plus. Business class will be a breeze! Make sure they are tires before the flight and they will sleep through most of the flight. Bring lots of snacks.

  113. Max Guest

    Painters tape to get them entertained. You can stick it around the cabin and it will keep them entertained. Otherwise couple of colouring and puzzle books.

    For overnight flights. Don’t change your routine. If possible and needed set up a white noise machine and bring a comfort blanket.

    1. AnishReddi Gold

      Those white noise machines come with the flight for free, not matter the class. My favourite is a little American brand making with a machine called GE90. I always make sure to have at least 2 for my flights.

    2. Max Guest

      Depends on the plane and the seat. We found that on our A350 our little one slept better with her known sound from the sound machine next to her.

    3. ecco Gold

      You have got to be kidding. I don’t think painters tape on a flight is a good option for entertaining your child. Would you do that in your own house?

  114. AnishReddi Gold

    Maybe fly an airline with honeymoon business class seats in business class like United/ Condor/ Iberia so you’ll be right next to him.

  115. Ray Guest

    There’s this guy on Flight-Report called KévinDC who travels with his s/o and their son. Might be useful? Best of luck to you and your lovely family

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Joe Guest

I would rebook in premium economy so you can be next to him instead of whatever the herringbone presents. He’ll sleep just fine in that sort of chair. And if he doesn’t….well he won’t be the 1st kid going to Europe with a disrupted sleep pattern. Board absolutely last, after group 15 or whatever, after the stand-bys etc. minimize your time on the plane. Never, EVER feed them for the 2 hours before the flight. Nothing, not even a snack. Feeding during the flight is a great way to kill 20-30 minutes. Don’t blow it just bc they’re board in the terminal. No personal electronics until after 10,000 feet. Let them learn and experience the taxi and takeoff sequence.

3
Peking Duck Guest

Travelled a ton with four kids at all ages. In terms of seat choice with a toddler, ask yourself: can I attend to my child while at the same time securely buckled into my own seat? If yes, the seat will work. If no, it won't.

2
Diego Dave Guest

Two suggestions: Consider Premium Econ. The flight from FL to Europe isn't that long and he might even be able to sleep flat, crossways in the middle seat. BA's old configuration 787 has 2-3-2 seating up front and somemof these are still around -- the kid could take the middle seat?

2
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