So as some of you might remember, our last attempt on a red eye flight was last year during our return flight from Tokyo to Singapore. We landed in Singapore at 7am and were honestly worse for wear. Thankfully we were on home ground and could recuperate in our own home and on our own terms but it was certainly not a good day :p
So this time I was really hesitant to even consider the idea of a red eye flight at the start of the trip. What’s worse is the fact that the flight lands at 5am which means the cabin would be prepped for landing by 4am. Lights would be switched on, announcements would be made, seats would have to be upright and yeah you know the drill But given our itinerary constraints which would ideally see us making our 4 hour road trip drive into Margaret River at the start of our trip and preferably reaching MR at 2pm rather than 7pm (during winter). We had to bite the bullet and figure some way through it.
Joel was actually very garang about just figuring it out and making it (the sleep) work. But given that Bella didn’t sleep a wink on the red eye Tokyo flight and Joel was a zombie after. I was not risking it and letting a zombie drive us for 4 hours. My solution? Redeeming business class tickets all round and hoping that this means everyone would be able to fall asleep in a slightly more comfy environment.
Of course the thought of bringing 2 kids into business class at 12 midnight scared the hell out of me. What if they didn’t sleep and caused a ruckus, disturbing every other passenger in the process. But I have to say, fear unfounded. In fact if there was any flight to put kids in business class, a red eye is definitely it. I don’t know about babies and really little kids but a 3 and 5 year old who have a pretty fixed and stable sleep schedule would do just fine.
So how did our flight go?
The kids were strangely peckish at 12midnight so instead of having our meals for breakfast at 3am. We decided to ask for the meals to be served after take off (about 1am) and let them sleep throughout.
Bella dozed off as soon as the plane took off at midnight and totally missed her meal service. She didn’t get up until almost 5am when she sensed the flurry of activities around her. A stark difference from her Tokyo red night so mummy’s efforts to ensure that the adults especially the driver would get sleep too, worked!
Jah, on the other hand seemed determined to enjoy the ‘perks’ of his flight. He stayed up till his meal was served. Thoroughly enjoyed the starter of crossiants and fruits and then was too full for the fish congee main that was served after. He even noticed that real cutlery, China and tablecloth were used. Good spotting Jah! The boy went to sleep straight after and didn’t wake until we landed. 🙂
While our flight (A330) did not offer a full flat bed as it was a regional product. The kids did just fine on the flat recline beds as they were much shorter and it was almost like a flat bed for them.
Joel and I got up very comfortably half an hour before landing to freshen up and we were able to keep the kids sleeping till the last minute which minimised any crankiness at being dragged out of ‘bed’ at 5am.
Oh and if there is 1 tip I have for travelling with young kids on a red eye..it would be to bring a toddler carrier if your child still uses one or doesn’t mind being in one. No child is going to willingly walk from a plane through to immigration and then to the luggage belt at 5am. We back carried both kids from the plane all the way to the arrival hall on our toddler sized Tulas and it was a hands free and stress free process all round. 🙂