Baby’s first flight, a day of mixed emotions

We have been eagerly counting down the days for our trip to Copenhagen and baby’s first flight however, it turned out to be a day of mixed emotions.

We thought we were completely prepared for Harry’s first flight. I had referred back to my essential packing list for flying with a baby and packed lots of snacks and toys to keep both boys entertained throughout the flight. We were particularly excited as his Uncle Chris, my brother-in-law, was going to be our pilot.

Nothing however could have prepared us for the terrible and shocking news we woke up to on Saturday morning.  The media coverage of the Friday night attacks in Paris was heart breaking and unimaginable.

Shortly before setting off from home for our journey to Gatwick airport, we also heard that north terminal had been evacuated due to a suspicious package. Understandably, this made us feel very apprehensive and we questioned whether it was still safe to fly.   After much deliberation we decided that we would still travel, although it sounds harsh, life has to continue.  We were of course concerned but felt reassured that airports would have heightened security.

After meeting with my sister-in-law Helen, we heard from Chris who informed us that south terminal was operating as normal and there was no need to worry.  The easyJet website also confirmed that all south terminal flights were going ahead as planned.

We agreed to travel on the condition that we quickly make our way through to security and the x-ray machines.  This was easier said than done.  With north terminal still closed, south terminal was busy with travellers whose flights had been delayed.  When we finally got through the crowds and to security I forgot to take baby’s bottle of milk from my hand luggage and it had to be searched.  The security staff could tell I was nervous about travelling with everything that was going on and I was kindly asked to calm down.

Once through security it was clear that the media was correct and some travellers had decided not to fly as the south terminal departure lounges were very quiet.  Whilst watching my boys play alone in the soft play area I saw from checking on my phone that they had reopened the north terminal after confirming they had found a firearm.  This made me feel uneasy.

I have only once before been a nervous flyer, after getting caught in New York on September 11th 2001.  On my return journey to the UK, after a year of working in Orlando, I had stopped off for what was supposed to be a few days to spend time with a friend in New York city.  On Monday 10th September, we had explored the city and stopped at all the main attractions including the Twin Towers.  My flight home on the 11th September was of course cancelled and I eventually returned to the UK a week later.  Those feelings of being suspicious of every fellow flyer returned to me this Saturday.  It is a horrible feeling especially when flying with your family.

Once we met with Chris by the gate I felt ok, my nervous jitters faded.  Chris was looking bemused as we nearly missed the flight and had run to the gate, only just managing to arrive before boarding was announced.  He said his hello’s and quickly made his way to the cockpit to prepare for our flight.

As I alluded to in the title of this article, baby’s first flight was a day of mixed emotions.  Shock and terror at the awful events which took place in Paris, fear at the consequences of the evacuation of north terminal at Gatwick airport and finally, absolute pride in experiencing my brother-in-law fly us for the first time.

My boys fortunately only experienced the fun and excitement of flying with their Uncle Chris.  The highlights of baby’s first flight was hearing their names over the PA system when Chris announced his nephews were travelling onboard.  When he brought the plane down to land and parked it at a gate in Copenhagen airport he invited them to sit with him in the cockpit which they also thoroughly enjoyed.

Are you planning on flying with your baby?  You may find this essential packing list for flying with a baby or young child useful:)

easyJet image copyright http://www.routesonline.com/  All other images copyright Travel Loving Family

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17 thoughts on “Baby’s first flight, a day of mixed emotions

  1. Pingback: 2015 Review - Travel Loving Family

  2. Kay

    Despite being understandably nervous due to the Paris attacks what a fantastic experience for your children!! Such a special first flight with there uncle! Xxx

  3. Janine

    It’s so cool to have relatives who are pilots. You get to see the cockpit. Actually as a child I was suffering with sickness and ear popping. I remember the pilot allowed me in his cockpit too. It was great fun. Matthew first travelled at the age of 10 months. It all went smooth and he slept most of the flight.

  4. Erin @Yorkshiretots

    What a fantastic experience for you boys to see their uncle fly but it would be really stressful to be travelling after the events in Paris. Having kids with you makes everything seem different I think. I remember how I felt after 9/11 and after the Paris attacks my first thought was how this would change the world my kids live in.

  5. Mudpie Fridays

    My dad use to work as an engineer and about 20 years ago we could go into the cockpit white in flight, I saw the northern lights and it’s stayed with me all these years. I am sure your boys will remember their visit too. I would have been completely the same and also questioned everything. Glad you arrived safely x

    1. Lisa Post author

      Wow thats a pretty awesome experience! Yes I hope my boys will remember it although hopefully it will be the first of many flights with their Uncle Chris!

  6. Ana

    I can’t imagine the terror and hearing the news about Paris. But, I’m glad that your kids had fun. I wish I had an uncle who’s a pilot and sit on the front plane.

  7. Niamh

    That must have been so exciting for your kids to know the pilot!! He must be such a hero for them right now. Bad timing for your trip – but well done for continuing on and holding your nerve. Can’t have been easy.

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