Tuesday, May 08, 2007

([No] Blues) Traveller

I thought I should post a little update about the Cricket in flight since I got such great advice from everyone. Cricket is a flying champ!

First of all, the plane we went on was smaller than we are usually on, only 13 rows of two seats. Pretty small. When we got to the gate, carrying the car seat in hopes of a free seat, we were advised by the surly agent that the flight was fully booked. "No chance of the bulkhead then?" I asked.

"I told you: We're fully booked."

Northwest really wins on customer service sometimes, eh? We got on the plane while those around us eyed with a mixture of disdain and suspicion. Cricket was getting a little kvetchy since it was time to nap. The man sitting across from us was the ray of light though, telling me how Cricket would be okay as long as I nursed him, and that this was easiest time to fly with kids, and all about this two kids and one on the way. I really liked him. I wanted to take him home with us.

And then we pushed back from the gate and I started with the breast. I was a little worried I was premature since there was a line-up for take off, but it was perfect. He nursed himself to sleep, and sleep he did, all the way to the gate in Charleston. At that point, all those around us who cast the evil on when we embarked, remarked upon how cute and good he was as they disembarked. Trial by fire, what?

I tried to make nice with the air hostess the whole trip, the same pleasant lady who told me the Flight. Was. Fully. Booked. At one point, I asked if she pronounced her name "Sha-von"; she said yes and then I chirped, "Oh! That's a real Irish name!" She glared at me and said, "Yes, I know. But I don't spell it like they do." Listen, lady, I'm the they you poo-poo. I decided she was hopeless. All that worrying about Cricket and his possible unpleasantness, and really my biggest hassle was obnoxious flight personnel.

With our dreamy flight into Charleston, I wasn't so worried about the return flight to Detroit. Incidentally, NW redeemed themselves here by getting us onto the earlier flight out, giving us the bulkhead, and not charging us at all to change the flights. Cricket, it's true, really did look bad at this point, so I think we got the "pity fare." Nice to know it still exists. Actually everyone at NW on our return was great. When I called the airline to see if there were seats available, the woman I talked told me how much it would be to change through her on the phone ($238), but then told me to just go the airport since there were seven seats left and we'd have no problem getting on. Once at the airport, the rep told us it would cost $25 to verify our flight there, or we could go standby for free. She said we should choose standby since she was sure we'd get on. After I agreed to that, she booked me anyway. I really felt good about NW for the first time in years.

Once on the plane, he wailed. Screamed. I knew all I had to do was offer up the breast and with the first suck, he'd pipe down, but I was saving the boobs as my secret weapon for take-off. It's a good thing I held out a little because it took some time to push back. Once we started moving, he fed and again there were no problems. What a champ. Once off the plane, a young man told me how good Cricket was. "For a minute there I thought we were in for a nightmare," he said. Yup. Me too. Of course, don't forget how Cricket was masquerading as lobster at this point, deep in the throes of his sulfa-allergy outbreak.

Things were so good with him on the plane, I'd even go so far as to say, it helped my own phobias too. Here's a picture of our little traveller. How could he not charm the pants off anyone?

I also think this picture really highlights how small those damn seats are. Cricket is a mere 16 pounds here; he's got some room in the seat, but for how much longer?

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Anonymous Trista said...

Northwest was the airline that we flew on on our horrible trip to NYC... the horrible airline that was just so unaccommodating of us flying with our child. Oh, it was awful. If I can avoid it I'll never fly Northwest with a small child again.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Eliza said...

Oh my goodness, look at his CHEEKS! Katie, you must be making some good milk to grow cheeks like those :-D He's adorable!!! I second what Jean said about photographing any rashes, spots, etc. It's helpful to the doctors, and proves you aren't crazy (unfortunately when doctors can't figure out what's wrong with a baby, the knee-jerk reaction seems to be to question the mother's sanity, in my experience). Also, had you used the Bactroban when they did the first culture? If you'd already put some on that might have masked the bug (I've been told that can happen, when my little one had impetigo last month). Hopefully the whatever-it-is will clear up and this will all amount to nothing more than a "a funny thing happened on the way to Charleston" story to pester him with as a teenager.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous calliope said...

cuuuuuuuuuute photo. he looks like a person! ahhh!
so glad that the travel went smoothly and that there were some moments of kindness along the way.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Suz said...

What a cutie-patooie. And yeah, I think the man who said that he feared a nightmare was a little rude. I once had two loud-talkers sitting behind me on a flight and it was MUCH worse than any baby. So glad things worked out.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Clementine said...

Ooh, Cricket is wicked cute! Poor little guy to be feeling so crummy.

On a different note, I feel so much better about the size of my bum after seeing tiny Cricket taking up so much of that plane seat. ISSUES.

3:39 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

That child is wicked cute. Just saying.

is there any consensus out there about which *are* child friendly airlines? I know it mostly depends on the individual people, but if there's a general thought, i'd love to hear it...

3:20 PM  

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