mop357
Topic Author
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:05 pm

Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:02 am

My wife and I are taking a trip to Thailand this summer. We are bringing our 4 month old child with us to meet her parents. Our daughter has has taken 6 plane rides so far from West to East coast.

Which is the best airline to take from Cathay Pacific, ANA, JAL, Asiana, and Korean? I would prefer the A380 so Korean and Asiana have an advantage but this is not a deal breaker.

How is travel with the airline bassinet? Does the airline allow us to keep the car seat if there is a vacant seat?
 
IPFreely
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:45 am

I've never been to Thailand but why wouldn't you consider Thai?
 
mop357
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:05 am

IPFreely wrote:
I've never been to Thailand but why wouldn't you consider Thai?


Because they do not fly to the US and they are usually way more expensive than the other airlines. If I found a deal I would love to take them.
 
johns624
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:18 am

I don't think the little one will remember meeting anyone...
 
mop357
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Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:05 pm

Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:41 am

johns624 wrote:
I don't think the little one will remember meeting anyone...


I know but my wife has not seen her parents in 8 years and her side of the family really wants to see her and meet our daughter.
 
ubeema
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:54 am

I cannot opine on any of the airlines you have listed because I have never flown them. However 4 months old is the sweet spot for infant travel. At that age they care for sleep, food, and pooping (in that order ).
The bassinet is perfect and will allow you and wife to rest hands free when the kid is asleep. Bassinets are limited and usually located by the seats behind the bulkheads, you will need to call the airline to book the appropriate seat to be sure. Flight attendants are very attentive to babies, on AF they even gave us a bottle we still have to this day.
As for the car seat you will have to check at the gate if there is a chance a seat will be opened next to you. But even with an opened seat and given your baby’s age, airlines do not allow rear facing car seat because it must latched to the seat belt.

Sweet travel.
 
PanzerPowner
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:15 am

Well. I'd take JAL or ANA with the secondary of Cathay and Korean. Mainly because they offer
Well uh, I obviously decided to refine this but i dont know how.
 
L410Turbolet
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:13 am

ubeema wrote:
you will need to call the airline to book the appropriate seat to be sure. Flight attendants are very attentive to babies, on AF they even gave us a bottle we still have to this day.


I would probably choose an airline based on whether or not they actually let you book bassinet in advance. I've been to the US in April with a 5-month old baby and would repeat it only if absolutely necessary.
The FAs are indeed generally super nice and helpful, but the power tripping airport security will try their very best to make travelling with a baby an ordeal.
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:44 am

mop357 wrote:
How is travel with the airline bassinet? Does the airline allow us to keep the car seat if there is a vacant seat?


Personally, I found things easiest just using a "front pack" style carrier; don't know what your experience has been on your prior transcon flights.....
I don't think you'll have much success trying to keep the car seat without an assigned seat.

I would try to find a 2 seat configuration, like 2-4-2 on A330 or 2-4-3 on a B777, and skip the A380.
 
debonair
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:06 am

mop357 wrote:
Which is the best airline to take from Cathay Pacific, ANA, JAL, Asiana, and Korean?


Import travelling with an infant is NOT the airline, but rather the departing/arrival and connection time!
Make sure to order a BBML (BabyMeal) and BSCT (Bassinet) - but the best way would be to book an extra seat for the infant (so look out for airlines offering Child fares)!
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:40 pm

The airlines you listed are all trans-pacific, but how about flying the other way around? Let's say Emirates or Norwegian. Recently while I was searching I found a neat connection Los Angeles - Stockholm - Bangkok on Norwegian with about 2 hours transfer time in Stockholm. Since Stockholm isn't that big of an airport you should be able to make that. In fact, it might even be the same plane but I'm not sure about that.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:58 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
The airlines you listed are all trans-pacific, but how about flying the other way around? Let's say Emirates or Norwegian. Recently while I was searching I found a neat connection Los Angeles - Stockholm - Bangkok on Norwegian with about 2 hours transfer time in Stockholm. Since Stockholm isn't that big of an airport you should be able to make that. In fact, it might even be the same plane but I'm not sure about that.


That would definitely increase travel time. It's 12 to 13 hours flying from the west coast of the US just to a hub in Asia. Why should anyone want to to more than double that time with an infant? That's just flying time. I'm not even counting the connection time. It's better to get a nonstop flight to an Asian hub with a short connection time to the destination.
 
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Lingon
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:55 am

Of the mentioned airlines, I have only flown Cathay Pacific. FRA-HKG-MNL with an 11 month old. Cabin crew was extremely helpful and the bassinet worked out just fine.
But it was nearly seven years ago, first leg on a 744 with OK leg space from the seat to the bassinet. IIRC, it was OK on the last leg too (some 777 flavour), but we elected to skip the bassinet for the short flight.

We were actually concerned, because the little guy was (and is) very restless, always moving about. It turned out fantastic, no problem at all.

Flew Cathay again with the family a few days ago, but the kids are bigger.... Cabin crew is still great. Didn't think of checking bassinet space on neither the 359 nor the 333. But of importance is also your shoulder space. 777:s are still 9 across (but not for long). The 359 felt slightly cramped in Y but still bearable. At times when you have your kid in your lap waving arms and legs, every extra half inch will count.

For a car seat (if they even allow it, I don't know) you'll have to book a seat. Otherwise the infant is in your lap (with an extra seatbelt connected to yours) or in the bassinet. Have a good flight, it was easier than we expected!
 
mop357
Topic Author
Posts: 134
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:51 pm

ubeema wrote:
I cannot opine on any of the airlines you have listed because I have never flown them. However 4 months old is the sweet spot for infant travel. At that age they care for sleep, food, and pooping (in that order ).
The bassinet is perfect and will allow you and wife to rest hands free when the kid is asleep. Bassinets are limited and usually located by the seats behind the bulkheads, you will need to call the airline to book the appropriate seat to be sure. Flight attendants are very attentive to babies, on AF they even gave us a bottle we still have to this day.
As for the car seat you will have to check at the gate if there is a chance a seat will be opened next to you. But even with an opened seat and given your baby’s age, airlines do not allow rear facing car seat because it must latched to the seat belt.

Sweet travel.


Thanks for the input. My daughter has been on 6 AA flights so far and they allowed her to keep the seat on 4 of them. The other 2 flights were too full.
 
mop357
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:55 pm

L410Turbolet wrote:
ubeema wrote:
you will need to call the airline to book the appropriate seat to be sure. Flight attendants are very attentive to babies, on AF they even gave us a bottle we still have to this day.


I would probably choose an airline based on whether or not they actually let you book bassinet in advance. I've been to the US in April with a 5-month old baby and would repeat it only if absolutely necessary.
The FAs are indeed generally super nice and helpful, but the power tripping airport security will try their very best to make travelling with a baby an ordeal.


You have a point there. I will call in advance to see which airlines I can reserve it on.
 
mop357
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:56 pm

FlyHappy wrote:
mop357 wrote:
How is travel with the airline bassinet? Does the airline allow us to keep the car seat if there is a vacant seat?


Personally, I found things easiest just using a "front pack" style carrier; don't know what your experience has been on your prior transcon flights.....
I don't think you'll have much success trying to keep the car seat without an assigned seat.

I would try to find a 2 seat configuration, like 2-4-2 on A330 or 2-4-3 on a B777, and skip the A380.


I have only taken AA and they move people around to let us keep the car seat.
 
mop357
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:58 pm

debonair wrote:
mop357 wrote:
Which is the best airline to take from Cathay Pacific, ANA, JAL, Asiana, and Korean?


Import travelling with an infant is NOT the airline, but rather the departing/arrival and connection time!
Make sure to order a BBML (BabyMeal) and BSCT (Bassinet) - but the best way would be to book an extra seat for the infant (so look out for airlines offering Child fares)!


I have never seen an airline having deals on child fairs. I will have to look out for that one. I really like Korean airlines but they have a 13h layover in Korea. It wouldn’t be that bad if it was the right time, but the flight gets in at 4:20A and the next flight leaves out at 5P
 
FlyHappy
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:59 pm

mop357 wrote:
FlyHappy wrote:
mop357 wrote:
How is travel with the airline bassinet? Does the airline allow us to keep the car seat if there is a vacant seat?


Personally, I found things easiest just using a "front pack" style carrier; don't know what your experience has been on your prior transcon flights.....
I don't think you'll have much success trying to keep the car seat without an assigned seat.

I would try to find a 2 seat configuration, like 2-4-2 on A330 or 2-4-3 on a B777, and skip the A380.


I have only taken AA and they move people around to let us keep the car seat.


that is extremely helpful and generous of AA to have been doing that for you. Not sure I'd want to count on the same for a widebody TPAC flight, though - and obviously, there's a second flight leg that's another wildcard. Child seats are not super-common in most of Asia.... in Thailand they are practically a novelty. side note: Bangkok is a very stroller unfriendly city.

As someone else mentioned, the Asian carriers in particular do have child fares - but they aren't so cheap as to be no-brainers ; as I assume you know, you are already required to pay the tax/fee portion even for the free lap child. If you can afford the 3rd seat , consider it, discount or not - the extra room for managing the infant is a godsend especially if breast feeding is a thing.

definitely skip the long layover. your goal is to get to BKK awake ;)
 
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LHRBFSTrident
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:51 pm

Bassinets are AMAZING - and with the age of your child, it shouldn't be a problem (TG wouldn't allow bassinet for our 11-mo old because she could stand) some airlines have 25lb weight limits etc...so there are some random airline-specific policies out there)

Our itinerary was LAX-ICN-BKK-PNH on OZ A380 J, TG B773 J, TG A330 J and it all went much smoother than expected - even with a 2-piece pushchair, and 40lbs of frozen breast milk in a cooler on dry ice :mischievous: Admittedly, flying J helped the process for us - but a bassinet is like full flat J for your child whichever cabin you are traveling in! And call the airline as soon as you have purchased your ticket - the bassinets are usually blocked for pre-reservation by families and you want to be the first to nab them, or as high on the list as possible.

Also - word to the wise - even an infant has to have to have a ticket - usually some token amount with taxes and fees (OZ charged us something like $160 for our lap-child; we were on award tickets and although UA had added the child to the reservation, they had neglected to issue an actual ticket, which caused a heart-stopping moment at LAX "sir, your child has no ticket: you'll have to purchase a J fare right now" :!: )

We have had luck on domestic flights using a car seat in unoccupied seats - but the chances of that on an international flight are slim. NH nearly allowed us to use ours on the way back with my 1-yr old and my 26-day old (PNH-SIN-NRT-IAD), but we couldn't find the 'Approved for airline use' decal and they made us check it...lesson here: don't remove the ugly warning stickers on your car seat if they also contain the 'Airline Use' decal :ashamed:

Other than that just sleep at every opportunity - luckily ours slept almost all the way to ICN and then was up and raring to go for ICN-BKK-PNH...
 
Kno
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:44 am

Dunno where you live to fly out of but I went to BKK in feb on QR from JFK and they offered a great variety of plane types to choose from for DOH-BKK. A380 a346 or 77W. I enjoyed trying out the a359 from jfk as well. cant speak on the infant thing though.
 
910A
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Re: Traveling to Thailand with an infant

Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:46 am

I would choose an overnight flight across the Pacific. With the cabin being dark most of the time and not much activity around, it will make it easier for the infant to sleep.

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