The difference between the 2 hour domestic flight and the 14 hour international flight – Part 1

Everyone knows travelling with your kids can pose it’s challenges. DengLang and AngMoh were about to ‘feel’ this and experience it first hand.

A bit of background – Chili Padi (their now 4 year old) travelled on a plane at 6 months and 11 months. She hadn’t started exploring walking at 11 months, and the overnight, long haul flight from Singapore to Denver for their international move/relocation, ended up being quite smooth. Albeit some explosive diaper situations… Skip ahead, Chili Padi can definitely scream in the car like any other kid but it’s usually when she’s tired or if she gets uncomfortable. For the most part, shes pretty good at entertaining herself. (Only in Singapore when whe was an infant she would cry every time the taxi stopped at stop light).

Her little sister is a different story – born in the US in the middle of COVID. Every ‘home house’ trip – Airbnb places in different Colorado mountain towns, the little one would scream and cry in the car making a 2 hour drive a 5 hour drive. After the age of 1 and walking, she fights and wants to play nearly every time you try to put her in the car seat.

Okay, so the domestic 2 hour 20 min flight from Denver to LAX, the necessary journey to connect to the overnight haul flight to Singapore. Booked the whole flight through Singapore Airlines (not a travel agent). Tried to reserve seats and was only able to do it online for the long haul flights. They said to contact the domestic airlines directly for seats on the short domestic flights.

Called United Airlines on Thursday or Friday for our Tuesday evening flight. They confirmed they booked us two and two on the flight and said they waived the fee because we were flying with minors. Relief….

Getting to the airport was as smooth as could have hoped, with reserving a private shuttle (which ended up being slightly cheaper than the shared rides like Lyft). Navigating through to check-in with 3 big suitcases, 2 car seats in a bag, and 1 rolling carry-on (plus two big backpacks) and 2 kiddos under 4 years old – is NOT easy. Was about to buy the trolly for $6 and an airline lady said she’d call someone for a $5 tip. Checked in on the screen and it said they didn’t have seats!!! Asked two agents standing by and they said we had to see the gate agent. They couldn’t do anything for us.

Get through security – kids Pedialyte powder packs and pouches call for extra screening…
They go to the gate – but the gate that was printed on the boarding pass and at check-in had a different destination. They just thought it was another flight before theirs. So went to get some much needed food into the kids and their tummys.
Upon going back to the gate, the flight had changed gates. When we get there, the gate agent said no way can they move seats around to accommodate them. AngMoh told them she had called to confirm seats, she told them their boarding passes printed with ‘see agent’, they didn’t even print with what seats they were in. Luckily the agent was able to move AngMoh up to a seat next to one in the family. And the other 2 seats were the row behind and in the middle across from each other. Attempted pre-boarding and luckily, oh luckily the people in the row with the separated middle seats were already on and kind enough to swap so a parent could be with each kiddo.

AngMoh is still fuming and outraged at United Airlines since she knows she called days ahead and thought all along they had seats.

People on a plain on airline seats

Chili Pad did amazing on the flight. All the snacks and head phones and things we brought kept her occupied and she stayed in her seat the whole time.
Her little sister, yet another story. Love her dearly, but know that 1.5-2.5 is probably the most challenging age to fly with. She was so excited for her own seat but still struggled to keep her bum sitting still. Pouch, fruit leather and two lollipops later they’re finally in the air. Though, a poo happened in diaper right before take-off but already on board. She was great at waiting. Though it seemed we had to wait forever. The rest of the flight was literally a back and forth scramble between rows from Daddy and Chili Padi and Mummy. Trying to help her not fall and not bump into people. Not easy when there’s other people sitting in the isle.

The descent was rough for the little one. Refused to sit in her seat, refused the lollipop, refused the pouch, screaming and spinning and sliding in her seat area. Finally mummy could get her on her lap and nurse her for the landing.

Contrails of airplane flying

Needless to say, event though it was only a 2 hour flight, by the time we made it to the layover hotel, AngMoh and DengLang were exhausted.

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