Are you planning a holiday within Australia? Or perhaps you need to fly to attend a family event. Don’t worry, the trip won’t be as bad as you think. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth flight when you are flying with twins or triplets within Australia.
Consider your routine and the timing of the flights when flying with twins or triplets
Look at your routine and try to choose a flight time that suits your routine the best. Stick to their usual routine as much as possible i.e if you feed, wrap, sleep, then do the same on the plane. Hopefully the white noise of the aircraft hum may help them sleep.
ID for under twos
For babies under two, you may be asked for proof of their age. Consider carrying their government issued baby book a certified copy of their birth certificates. The airline check in staff may request proof of their date of birth and can even deny boarding, which you don’t want.
Car seats may be taken on-board if they are approved for air travel (check with your airline for more information). An airline seat must be purchased in order to be able to use a car seat on-board. Another option is a CARES harnesses.
If you require bassinets, they must be pre-booked. Bassinets only suit up until certain weight and are only available on certain planes. Check with the airline for more information.
Some airlines allow both the rear and the forward doors to be used. Seats near an exit will make disembarking with multiple (fidgety and impatient!) children so much easier. Seats near an exit also are closer to the toilets.
Every person on-board (including infants) requires access to an oxygen mask. Depending on how many people and babies/children you are travelling with and due to the configuration of the plane you are travelling on, you may be seated across the aisle from one another. While this may be inconvenient, it is law that everyone has access to an oxygen mask.
Flying with twins or triplets on your own
If you need to travel on your own with your multiple infants only one is allowed “on your knee”, regardless of their age. Each additional infant must occupy a seat, for which the applicable child fare must be paid. They must also be able to sit upright without assistance. Or you may need for them to travel in an approved Child Restraint. Another option is to purchase a seat for someone (friend or relative) to travel with you.
Getting to and from the airport
Driving – Airport parking is getting cheaper, just double check it’s not an “off site” parking lot. As this will require you to catch a mini bus from the car park to the airport.
Taxis/Ubers – Check the local rules per state, as they differ. Some states done require car seats in taxis, others do. You may be able to request a taxi with a car seat, or alternatively you may be allowed to put your own seats in the taxi. In some Uber types you can request an Uber with child seats.
Getting from the taxi to the plane
This will vary from airport to airport and airline to airline. Sometimes they may let you take your pram to the gate. Or some airports may have airport strollers you can borrow. If all else fails you will need to carry/wear your multiples. One annoying (but necessary) thing to be aware of is that you will need to take your babies out of the pram or carriers to go through security.
One thing to consider, depending on the age of your multiples and the size and cost of your pram, is that you may want to consider just taking two single cheap strollers. Single strollers are so much easier to manoeuvre in crowded area. Plus it means you won’t get all the questions that come with multiples!!! Obviously this will only work if you are travelling with enough adults. If you do take your own pram, rest assured the airline will take utmost care with your pram. However, like all luggage, there is always a chance it may get broken or go missing.
Flying with twins or triplets – On the plane
The airline staff may not be able to assist you as you board or deplane as that is one of their busiest times.
Consider using car seat protectors, even if they are toilet trained, just for peace of mind. Or alternatively nappy pants could be useful for the flight. There will be many times when the “fasten seatbelt” sign is on throughout the flight. And toddlers being toddlers, will no doubt need to go to the toilet at this time.
If you are using nappies, pack in ziplock bags several ‘grab and go’ basic nappy changing packs. Be prepared and pop them in the seat pocket in front of you. Don’t leave them in your bag in the overhead compartments. Ensure you take a change of top at least for each adult, as even if your children aren’t usually vomiters, they may get airsick.
If you have older multiples and a long flight, consider wrapping up their ‘entertainment’ in colourful paper, like presents. They love the ‘surprise’ concept. You can drip feed it to them during the flight. Cheap ideas could be a toy or book from the $2.00 shop, small playdoh, a matchbox car, colouring in, sticker sheets, tub etc. Anything you don’t mind ‘losing’.
Most other passengers will be very understanding of people travelling with babies – particularly several little babies. Remember, you paid your money, the same as them. Even the “best” kids have tough moments.
Rest easy – this is the one place that you can practically guarantee people won’t give you dirty looks for giving your children access to an iPad or Tablet device.
Take off and landing
The cabin pressure can hurt little ears, especially as they don’t grasp the concept on how to help “pop” them. To help them, offer them something to suck – breast, bottle or bottle of water or dummy if not a feed time. If a bit older, suggestions include a food pouch or a lolly pop.
Food and drink
Snacks! Take lots of snacks! If you have ordered a special meal i.e. child or infant meal, call the airline to confirm it. In regards to the adult meals, consider ordering one ‘special’ meal as that generally comes out first (i.e. vegetarian). One person can then quickly eat their meal so there is always one person able to help the children with their meal. It is worthwhile taking some backup food (sandwiches or pre-made food pouches etc), just in case they decide they don’t like the food provided.
Air travel can be very dehydrating, particularly for little ones. Make sure you offer water frequently. But remember that the change in cabin pressure will cause a build-up in your water bottle. Many an unsuspecting parent or nearby passenger has been sprayed with water upon opening a child’s water bottle.
Thankfully liquid restrictions on domestic flights don’t exist. This means you can take all the formula, special milks or water you may need when flying with your twins or triplets.
If all else fails, and it all goes tragically wrong, remember………………you are highly unlikely to see any of the other passengers again.
Remember, having one baby is hard work! Having 2, 3 or 4 babies at once, means you are outnumbered from the start!! Regardless of what is happening for you at this point in your life, I’m sure you are doing a great job!!
You’ve got this!!!
Twinfo is Australia’s largest, most supportive, online community for parents of twins and triplets. Twinfo offers advice, products and services that make raising your babies easier, freeing you up to enjoy all the precious moments.