The first leg of our journey was a false start. We were supposed to fly Singapore to London on British Airways , followed by a 7 hour layover at Heathrow. We would then pop out of the airport to meet our new baby nephew and return for a second leg, British Airways from London to Atlanta. Best laid plans eh… BA16 had engine failure and had to return to Singapore about 2 hours after take off. 24 hours later, they put us on Singapore Airlines to London with a short layover and then Virgin to Atlanta. In case you experience a similar situation, here are tips on how to claim compensation. Overall getting from Singapore to Atlanta is not the easiest of journeys with kids. You are essentially embarking on two very long flights. Luckily Jetlag & Mayhem (at 9 and 6) are a bit older now and more self sufficient on a plane. I would have dreaded this flight about 5 years ago!
Our Singapore Airlines flight was aboard the mega A380-300, which departs Singapore at 01:20. We were seated in 49 D/E which was behind the bulkhead row. Massive props to the couple in front of us who were using both bassinets for their 1 year old twins. They were wonderfully behaved and the surrounding passengers took great pleasure in informing them, when disembarking the plane (always compliment the parents if their babies are well behaved!).
Jetlag & Mayhem were given a kids pack containing a pencil case and colouring pens. The cabin temperature was arctic so make sure you pack layers.
The seating configuration was 3-4-3. Singapore Airlines offers a decent TV selection and the food is pretty good (make sure you request your kids meal in advance of the flight). As always with the Asian carriers, the service is outstanding.
From London Heathrow’s Terminal 3, we flew with Virgin to Atlanta. The plane was an A340-600 with a 2-4-2 configuration.
The food we were served onboard Virgin was quite basic – a sandwich, crisps and chocolate bar. The kids however got a fun snack box. I always find the Virgin staff to be fun and friendly. If you can, don’t sit at the back of the plane as it’s a lot more bumpy and you’re last to get your food.
Immigration at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport was a nightmare. Never-ending queues and very unclear where we were supposed to go. Make sure your kids have gone to the toilet in advance of the queue. You may want to bring a stroller with you if you have young kids who don’t want to stand in a long queue. Although let’s face it, none of us do.
We picked up our hire car at Atlanta Airport. Be mindful that the car hire building is about 20 minutes from the airport terminal (you take the free shuttle). We were sat there for over an hour as our car wasn’t ready. This seems to be a common theme whenever we hire a car. Moral of the story is to join Avis Preferred where apparently you can just waltz in and collect your car in no time