Our flight to South Africa from Sydney was a little over 14 hours. I was excited about getting there, but if I’m totally honest, the thought of spending 14 hours in a confined space with three kids was making me feel a bit queasy!
Josh and Hollie have both done long flights before, but they were both so little they couldn’t remember and so were EXTRA EXCITED about going on the aeroplane. I kept telling them that flying is really not that fun, but they just looked at me with that “whatever mum” look on their faces.
I planned for the worst. It was going to be painful.
We got to the airport and checked in with no issues and then sailed through passport control and security like a breeze. Having three kids in tow turned out to be a awesome as we fast tracked through everything.
We borrowed a stroller for Lexi-Rose so she didn’t have to walk (or be carried) but she refused to sit in it and insisted that she push her rabbit in it instead. So off she walked through duty free like a bull in a china shop. I’m sure she took out at least 10 people on her way to the gate! Once we got to our seats the kids settled in really well. Our ipads were a saving grace.
For the next 14 hours we rotated seats, walked the isles, ate, watched movies, coloured in, did some homework (well Hollie did) and slept (a little). It was actually a very pleasant fight. I think expecting the worst was the a blessing in disguise. Just as we were nearing the end of the flight, the Captain announced that we would be landing soon and the local time in Johannesburg was Friday 3:30pm.
I froze in my seat. “Friday! What does he mean Friday? We left Sydney on Friday. We’re supposed to arrive on Saturday”. I tapped Mr on the shoulder, “What day are our connecting flights to Cape Town booked for? Friday or Saturday?” “Saturday, why” he asked??
Houston , we have a problem!
I rang the call bell and asked the flight attendant what day it was in Johannesburg. “Friday.” She said. Uh oh, I had totally got the time zone wrong, calculating forward in time when actually we were going backwards in time.
Fortunately Mr D’s family live in Johannesburg, so we called them as soon as we landed. We thought we’d surprise them with an early arrival, but they had already worked out my error and were ready and waiting for us. At least someone was on the ball!!
So we had an unexpected night in Johannesburg seeing all the cousins (which was amazing) before we headed off to Cape Town the next day for my sister’s wedding. Our connecting flight was only two hours this time, but all the excitement, lack of sleep and jet lag had well and truly slammed the kids. This flight turned out to be the nightmare I had been dreading. We were that family you really didn’t want to be sitting next to on a flight!! As if the delirious, over-tired screaming from Lexi-Rose wasn’t enough, Hollie’s tooth fell out, mid flight and then she dropped it. Mr D had to scrabble around on the floor in a confined space trying to find it while the plane was about to land. Honestly, there was nothing else to do except laugh!! Thankfully we would be in the wine regions soon!!
Have you ever had a bad flight with kids before? Lost a tooth on the plane?