Who: Me, Daisy (4) and Sky (2)
What: British Airways BA26 Departs Hong Kong 23:15, arrives London Heathrow 5am. Economy Class
Unfortunately things just got expensive in my household. Sky turned two a few days ago which now means I have to buy her a seat on the plane. Luckily I am a shrewd traveller and have been banking up my OneWorld Airmiles/Avios so was able to book all 3 seats on miles. Be warned though, nothing in this life is free and I still had to pay a fair whack in taxes.
I was considering paying extra to pre-book our seats when I logged in to my British Airways Executive profile and realised we had already been assigned 3 seats together.
I didn’t listen to my own advice and forgot to pre-order their kids meals. Turns out we slept through dinner and the adult’s breakfast was fine for them.
Always make sure you sign your children up to the airline loyalty scheme. With British Airways, you can sign your children up to a Household Account so that your airmiles are pooled together.
As our flight was late (23:15), I did the usual bedtime routine and put them to bed around 19:15. At 20:40 I woke them up to get the airport (cue a huge temper tantrum from my four year old)
Travelling with two kids as a lone parent, I needed to keep things light. I had my unglam North Face backpack, Daisy carried her GoVinci Backpack and Sky carried her Jetlag & Mayhem drawstring Kidz Kit!
Getting to Hong Kong Airport
I booked a cheap airport taxi by calling the mysterious +852 9481 5053. My driver was actually ten minutes early and the journey cost HKD $260 to get from Wanchai to Hong Kong Airport.
The airport was very quiet. As soon as the girls and I clattered into the British Airways check-in area, they ushered me to a Club World check in (I was flying Economy). They were extremely helpful and lovely airport staff entertained the girls with BA luggage tag bracelet making whilst I checked us in.
Security & Immigration
Extremely fast. I wasn’t asked to take out any of my liquids.
At the airport
We popped into the Travelers’ Lounge using my Airport Angel Card where the kids munched on snacks and I downed a glass of wine.
On our way to Gate 17 we stopped off at the kids cartoon TV lounge (next to gate 16) where they happily watched TV and I paced around anticipating the journey ahead.
Normally I march up to the desk and see if they’ll let me on board without queuing as I’m travelling with young kids. As my girls were in a good mood, I felt like testing the system and joined the snaking Economy queue. After 2 minutes, I was spotted by a member of staff who promptly singled us out and ushered us through to the plane. Well done British Airways.
We were on a 747-400. It might be one of the last times I get the pleasure of sitting on BA’s jumbos as they are soon to be replaced by A380s on this route. You know I’m excited about that.
Our seats were in the back cabin, a 3 – 4 – 3 configuration and we had a bank of 3, behind the bulkhead (41 A/B/C). Whilst the cabin crew were pleasant, nobody spied me as a single parent with two young kids and asked whether I needed any extra help. The kids weren’t offered any kids travel packs either (lucky I make my own). Whilst the seats are ok sized, legroom is small so luckily we are all short.
My four year old is now a super flying companion. I know she’s happy to colour/sticker/watch TV until she falls asleep. My two year old is a disaster. She was jumping up and down, pressing the call button, playing with the seatbelt and generally being noisy. It was at this point I remembered I had an emergency bottle of phenergan and that she had just turned two. I’ve written about my experience with phenergan before. I used it on my three year old and she slept for 10 hours. I decided to give my two year old less than half the recommended dose. An hour later it kicked in and she slept for 8 hours.
The upside of not being in the bulkhead means the armrests go up. My two year old decided to sleep stretched out on the floor (nobody told us off). My four year old stretched out across all three seats. Leaving me to curl myself around her in a most uncomfortable position, only saved by my wonderful J Pillow.
We slept through dinner. During the night you can ‘Raid the Galley’ where they put out a mix of healthy snacks from raisins to cereal bars to packets of crisps and chocolate bars.
Breakfast was either noodles or eggs & sausage. Neither particularly appetising.
When I needed milk for my toddler, I just went into the Galley and asked for it.
Lots of kids movies and TV on offer. Quick Plug – I had also brought my own Kidz Kits filled to the brim with colouring, jigsaws, sticker books, chalk boards etc (email me if you want to buy one).
Despite the extra train, Heathrow’s Terminal 5 involves a much shorter walk than Terminal 3 (bear that in mind if you are toting a Trunki). As one of the first flight’s landing, immigration is speedy and it didn’t take too long to pick our suitcases up.
A huge thanks to Grandma Jacqui & Grandpa Joe for picking us up at such an unsociable hour!
Warning – do not give phenergan to children under 2 and please educate yourself before giving it to a child