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Old 10-22-2014, 12:23 PM
 
166 posts, read 244,288 times
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I just relocated with my husband & 3 year old son, and I'm trying to plan flights home for Christmas. We'll have to travel from one tiny airport to another tiny airport (with a connection in Chicago or Detroit) so my flight times and choices are limited.

For anything remotely affordable, I'm running into flights that leave at 6 or 7 AM, or flights that arrive at 9-10 PM at night. Both are poor choices for a 3 year old who generally wakes at 6:30/7 AM, goes to bed at 8 PM, and naps for 1-2 hours during the day.

Curious what other travelers with small kids have done. Would you roust your kid at 3-4 AM, and hope he will take a nice long nap at the grandparents' house (or risk dealing with Cranky McCrankster all day long)? Or, would you take a flight that arrives at 9-10 PM, and disrupt his sleep numerous times as you transfer off planes, drive home, getting settled at the house, etc....

For departure, we have about a 40 min drive to the airport. Upon arrival, it's probably 15-20 min to the grandparents.

A typical flight will be, 1-1.5 hours in air, connection, 1-1.5 hours in air, so unlikely he will sleep on the plane.
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Old 10-22-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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he will be fine. Mine enjoy it a lot. She cried a bit while taking off.
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Old 10-22-2014, 05:20 PM
 
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I would do the morning trip. Put him to sleep in his clothes and carry him out to the car. He may be cranky anyway, but he'll be better the second day. Getting in late at night means he'll be off schedule for a day and a half.
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Old 10-22-2014, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
6,152 posts, read 6,320,285 times
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Does not matter. No matter which way you decide to go it will be the wrong decision.

I would go with the evening flights. I think getting ready, heading to the airport and getting on the plane with kid that is already up would be less of a hassle than waking up a kid several hours early and getting no cooperation because the kid still wants to sleep. However I have no kids so what do I know?
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:01 PM
 
556 posts, read 761,064 times
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Morning flights. You are going to have to deal with a cranky child either way. The morning option at least reduces the chance you will be exposing other passengers to crankiness. Crankiness is also easier to deal with at home (or grandparents' home), compared to public meltdowns at the airport. For the morning flights, he will hopefully either still be sleepy enough to nap, or will be awake/excited and happy. For the evening flights, he is likely to be overtired and over stimulated.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Orlando
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I agree with those who say you're probably going to have to deal with a cranky child either way. Having said that, are YOU better with early morning or late night flights? If you hate getting up that early, then both of you will be cranky on the morning flights. On the other hand if you're at your best early in the morning, then that will be the best time for you to deal with an unhappy child.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:59 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,123 posts, read 17,125,688 times
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Morning flight are Normally on time, with the connection being on time. The later in the day you go the more flight get delayed, Canceled, connection missed etc.

Go For the early AM Flight...
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Old 10-23-2014, 04:44 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
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Definitely do the morning flights. I'd just pack his clothes in my carry on, scoop him out of bed in his PJ's, and change him when you get to Chicago and he's awake. If you get lucky he might even fall back to sleep on the plane. I would also suggest a small blanket that he can snuggle up in.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:33 AM
 
13,160 posts, read 20,776,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyonpa View Post
Morning flight are Normally on time, with the connection being on time. The later in the day you go the more flight get delayed, Canceled, connection missed etc.

Go For the early AM Flight...
Great point.
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:32 AM
 
166 posts, read 244,288 times
Reputation: 96
All excellent points, thank you.

While *I* (and my husband) am a night owl, my son is an absolute early bird. "Sleeping in" until 7:30 AM is a luxury in my house, as we're generally awakened between 6-7 AM by a bounding ball of energy.

Taking all this into consideration I think we're best doing the awful early morning flight. If we're very lucky he will sleep a bit on the plane. And then we can foist him off on a happy Nana & Grandpa while we take a nap!
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