Part 2 of 4: Los Angeles to Newark
Part 3 of 4: Newark to Detroit
Part 4 of 4: Detroit to Manila Part 1
Part 4 of 4: Detroit to Manila Part 2
Part 4 of 4: Detroit to Manila Part 3
Here's part one of four trip reports! Trip Reports would mostly include our flights and not our vacation stories (that would be in other entries) so stay tuned for our going home story because it's crazy!
We got to NAIA/Manila International Airport around 5:00 AM, 3 hours before our flight which was within the amount of time they ask international passengers to be checking in at the airport. Mom, Dad, and Zaphe dropped us off. We won't be seeing them for 5 weeks! :(
Today we are flying Delta Airlines all the way. This is my second time flying on Delta since the merger with Northwest Airlines.
Checking in was a breeze, thankfully, because Jacob was so heavy and he was not in his carrier/Moby Wrap just yet. From what I read online on traveling with infants, security check points would usually ask you to remove your baby from his or her carrier/wrap before you go through the x-ray machine. I didn't want to be hassled into doing this while we take off our shoes, put our bags on the trays, and take out his bottles all at the same time so we just held him until we reached the boarding area. READ MORE OF OUR MANILA TRIP REPORT AFTER THE BREAK!
The last time I flew, I had the privilege of waiting at the Delta Sky Club in NAIA because of my Business Elite ticket. Now that I am traveling with two extra people, that was out of the window, haha. I must admit, I was a bit nervous going through NAIA with my little family because of the reviews and stories I've read about how awful the condition of the airport is and how the toilets are just really disgusting.
Well, my standards are not that high so I was pretty pleased to see that the bathroom was not as bad as I imagined it to be. It pretty much lets you do what you have to do in there without all the grossness that I've read around. I was able to change Jacob's diaper (And here I thought they didn't have a changing table! The horror!) in peace. Actually the changing table there was cleaner than the one at Narita Airport and LAX. Maybe I went there on a good day and it wasn't as busy as others have experienced it. It wasn't that bad IMHO.
I wanted to go breastfeed Jacob at the Breastfeeding Room in NAIA but it was still closed. Not a problem because I had my nursing cover. I wish they would keep that open for Moms who would want/need the privacy to nurse their child any time. Food wise, I was surprised to see a running coffee shop and other small stores I've never seen before. Hmm... maybe it's been a long time since I lingered around the pre-departure area after security.
After getting an iced latte that I hated, we finally went down to the boarding gate. Because we had Jacob, we got the express lanes at the security check point. I love having a baby! Hahaha! ;)
And because we killed time upstairs, it wasn't long until boarding commenced. I was not expecting to board before Business Elite class as I have read online that Delta no longer does pre-boarding privileges for those traveling with infants and children, etc. I was wrong! We were actually the first ones to board the plane. I didn't want to lose carry-on storage space!
Originally, Osc and I were seated apart, with a random person in between us. So when the other passenger arrived, Osc asked him if he would mind changing seats so that he could sit next to me and Jacob. We got the window and middle seat! Oh, i forgot to mention, our seats were their new Delta Economy Comfort feature. It had tons of leg room (of course, we are short being only 5"2 myself!) and being seated in that section, you get to board right after BE so you have tons of time to settle down, and be one of the first few who gets to get off the plane. We were also entitled to free cocktail drinks or whatever we wish I think, but we didn't get those.
The seats were comfortable for carrying a child on your lap. He slept on me for the rest of the flight, and played with his Dad the rest. That leg of the flight was for 4 hours. A good warm-up for Jacob's first time flying! The flight attendant asked us during meal service if we ordered baby food for Jacob. I didn't know that I could do that so she suggested I do it on our return flight so that Jacob will have food too. In-flight meal during our Manila to Narita flight was okay. It was a bit dry, the omelet and sausage. Our drinks were orange juice and water all the way to stay well hydrated. For our Narita to Los Angeles flight, we had dinner of beef or chicken, don't know exactly what they were because I wasn't able to save the menu cards like before. I had the beef which was awesome, Osc wanted my choice. We did request for a baby bassinet but we didn't need it for this short flight.
I want to share to you so many things on how to make traveling with a baby so much easier, but I'll save that to a later entry. I can't wait! :D
Of course, I breastfed him during take-off and landing to help his ears adjust to the pressure. Our only layover to Los Angeles was at Narita and Osc was excited for that one even though we were only there for 2.5 hours. Though the security line ate our time there, Osc still got to eat ramen at the boarding area, which was what we planned. We also got to check out their Infant Room where we washed and changed Jacob. It was pretty cool actually. It had a crib, two changing tables, a comfortable nursing chair, big sinks, hot water, and a bench. Wish we had this everywhere! Daddy carried Jacob on the Moby Wrap during our walk around at the airport. We wanted to eat some Japanese food but they were SOOOO expensive over there. P1,000+ for tempura!
I didn't get to take pictures during our LAX flight because our bags had to be placed somewhere else because we boarded late. Lesson learned! Nonetheless, Jacob was awesome during every flight! The air pressure didn't bother his ears during take off and landing because he was latched on to me. He was asleep most of the time, playing and feeding the rest. Only cried when hungry and very sleepy. He had a little bit of difficulty sleeping during our 10 hour flight to Los Angeles that he actually finished off my milk and went through his reserve of formula. It was good though that I brought more than his usual one bottle or there would be hell to pay. I just packed 4 bottles, reserving one for the car ride to the airport in case he cries.
Upon arriving at LAX, the walk to immigration pailful! It was so long and we had to carry a 20-pound infant, breast pump bag, backpack, and his diaper bag! Good thing we didn't have to wait longer in line because we were approached by an officer to help speed up our wait.
We were picked up by my sister and my niece. The carseat was so small for him but it had to do for our stay. He looked so cramped! Haha!
I am so happy that my baby is one of those kinds of babies who are great with flying. I can't wait to accumulate more miles with him! Hahaha! :D
Next post will be about our short stay in Los Angeles!
How about you Moms? How was your first flying experience with your little one? :)