The first intention is about writing a (good) review. However, since the service was not satisfying enough, so it will be just another story. More or less, it could be a review as well.
This trip was a bulk of reading one. The top three were about Visa, Air BnB, and … flying with a toddler. It scared me a lot whenever I thought about this bunny would spent eleven hours straight plus another four hours one being trapped up in the sky, without a proper bed.
We have never been anywhere outside Jakarta for a long period before. Being in a car for hours, I didn’t have any experiences with that. So, this trip was just like one big jump to the ocean without any proper training. So, all I could do was learnt the theories as much as I could.
It was … disaster. A crazy like hell one. Ah, no, they were disasters. Both Jakarta-Istanbul Istanbul-Paris were pretty nightmare. Judging from the transit, it’s easy to guess which airline I flew with.
On the first flight, there were several babies on board. It was quite soothing. It took of on-time and for the first few minutes, it was okay. We got the bulk head seats, with configuration of 2-4-2. We got the two on the left. We had booked a bassinet, just in case, although the baby had exceeded the maximum height. We didn’t use it at all.
The baby was really restless although she was still sleeping. She cried with her eyes closed, then stopped, slept quietly, and then, it repeated again. We had been taking turn to soothe her. I breastfed her until I felt so exhausted.
While in the other hand, another problem of mine whenever flying, my skin around the mouth was irritated. It was so painful. I kept asking for water continously.
We tried any possible ways to soothe her, even by letting her slept on the plane floor since at home she always do that before we moved her to the bed. But, almost none worked. When she finally really woke up, it was quite better. At least, we could distract her to any other entertainments.
We watched some in-flight entertainments, not for long, we read books, magazines, singing, and of course, lots of breastfeeding session. At times, she was whining again and again. As far as I remembered, she didn’t sleep again until we arrived at Istanbul.
We were so relieved when the plane finally landed. We only had two hours before our connecting flight to Paris. It turned out two hours wasn’t that long. We went to the food court first. Burger King and orange juice were chosen to charge the body. We were heading to the gate right after that. When it was time to fly, I prayed so much it would end sooner.
It turned out that my pray wasn’t hard enough. The second flight was even a bigger torture for three of us. We flew with smaller plane which had 3-3 seat configurations, we didn’t get the front row ones, but the second, almost no space to move easily. Meal time was even more disastrous since we had to open the table with such small space while having a baby on our lap.
Above those all, the baby kept being so cranky and cried outloud. Worse, no other baby was on the plane. Another worse thing, we were stuck inside the plane before take off for almost more than an hour. I really wanted to cry so much and cursed this damn big bird for trapping us inside that long.
In my calculation, it would be only three hours flight since the schedule of arriving in Paris at 9.30. I really forgot about time differences between Istanbul and Paris where Paris was two hours behind Istanbul. So, it was actually five hours flight. Trust me, another two hours could have felt like the longest time of your life.
We were provided by two jars of baby food this time. The fruity one was safely landed in the baby’s tummy happily. We almost hadn’t had any sleep for another five hours. Just another shift taking turn to soothe and play with the baby. She wasn’t continously being cranky, there were sone intervals. Whenever the cry was on, those passenger eyes were fixed upon us and made us suffering more.
I couldn’t describe how grateful I was when we finally landed at Charles de Gaulle. Went through immigration and baggage pick up smoothly and safely, then finally sat in the comfortable taxi seat.
Watching the autumn scenery for the first time along the taxi riding, made me almost forget what I had just been going through for hours. We really survived first two long haul flights (disasters) and it was such achievements to be proud of.
Right after we settled in our apartment, we cleaned ourselves, took a bath, prayed, then did our first strolled around the neighbourhood. We did some groceries for tomorrow breakfast and bought the t-tickets for bus and metro. When we went around, I almost totally forgot and forgave everything that happened in those two flights. Things I saw by my own eyes might deserve such pain beforehand.
Fot the return flights, we chose evening flight from Paris which departed at 18.35 and it turned out a bit delayed. We learned better than the departure. We reduced our cabin carry, put the stroller to baggage, we brought spare food, chocolate, and snacks. Food was one of my baby’s soother. Food that she could eat by herself. Unlike the departure flight, I left rice behind. I brought indian curry chicken sandwich, cheese stick, small portion of rice, grapes which the baby loved a lot, almond chocolate, and cheese sticks.
When we took off, the baby was already quite sleepy. Thankfully, this time the plane was a big one with 3-3-3 seats configurations and it was quite empty. So the man next to us moved to the back where he enjoyed all three seats for himself.
When meal was distributed, the baby joined us. I didn’t know what happened, not for long after meal, she slept restlessly again and this time she felt somehow itchy because she kept rubbing her body. Some red spots were there and finally I agreed to let the husband gave the allergic medecine.
It wasa very right decision. Thanks to that, we all three had a quite good rest and sleep for some times. Until we arrived at Istanbul, the baby was still sleeping. We waited at one of the empty boarding room, where few people also had some rest. We put the baby on the chair where she could sleep as comfortable as we could afford. Until we took off again for Istanbul Jakarta flight, she was still asleep.
Didn’t really remember when she woke up. Since she had quite enough sleep, she woke up with a good mood. She ate the baby food, watched Secret Life of Pets almost a whole of it, playing here and there, snacking several times, and babling slash singing sometimes. We also changed her diaper.
The eleven hours return flight was much more bearable than the departure. The only dissapointing thing was about the interval of the meal. We were given a meal right after take off, then hot drink of ur own choices, and almond nut plus mineral water for snack. Then, it was actually sleeping time.
The sleeping time felt quite long for me and really made me hungry. When others starting to wake up, they looked quite anxious too and seemed looking if the food cart would come in short time. Le husband even proposed that we just bought it if they still didn’t give us any.
When we finally asked the FA, he said it will be given one and half an hour later. It was almost landing time and we had been starving for almost seven to eight hours. Sigh.
The baby also showed sign of hunger several times. But she still played happily. When finally the food came, they said it was breakfast and the main course was just scrambled egg. Second big sigh.
We safely arrived at Jakarta as scheduled happily, yet so tiredly.
If I compared my readings than the actual practice, toys didn’t really give much help but just a mess for me. Video songs and games were quite helpful. But, food was the most helpful ones. The baby enjoyed food a lot, so whether during the stay in Paris and during the flight, food really calmed her.
Survived those four departure and return flights were really something for me. While we’re still dealing with the jetlag until today, I have been thinking when I will be ready again to have another experience flying with a bigger baby.
Of course not within the short time. Let’s work hard once more until the next adventure.
Ah, flying with the one that we chose was not really recommended for long haul flights. Average food, average services, not much baby friendly. Teddy bear was given once and that was it. The FAs were not that charming too. In-flight entertainment was also not extraordinary.
Before I bought the tickets, I did make comparisons to other similar airlines. But yeah, money talked. To the closest price compared to this, the difference was about more than four millions, too much to be ignored for me. We could use those four millions for something else.
So, if the budget didn’t really strict, go with Emirates or Qatar. People said Etihad is quite good too.
But, whatever I had experienced, it was the one who brought me to my dream place in the end. Couldn’t be more grateful than that.
Thank you for having and sending me, guys. Improve your service better in the future!