3 lessons I learned on my flight from Hell

Yes, it was seriously that bad. But I lived to tell you about it.

Before my Lil’ J was two I had taken her on about 17 flights. —And a couple more since then. So as I prepared for my first flight with Big T and Lil’ J, I figured it couldn’t be that bad. What’s one more kid?

The trip started out ok. I loaded up my iPad with Dora, and a few new educational games I knew she’d enjoy. She behaved extremely well and Big T was asleep through most of the airport process, passed out in his carrier. But things quickly started to deteriorate once we were up in the air.

planeride 2 487x650 3 things I learned on the worst flight of my lifeIt was a nightmare. But I did take away three lessons from this experience.

1. Fly direct. Against my better judgment I booked a flight with a layover in Denver. The price was right and my mom suggested it could be good for my daughter to have some time to get off the plane and stretch her legs. Before then, all of our other flights had been direct and frankly, I just like to get them over with. Trust me… Go for the direct flight.

While up in the air we received word that we were about 10 minutes from landing a little bit early. We had a 45-minute layover and were making good time. But a few minutes later the pilot came over the intercom again and stated we’d have to wait to land because the weather was bad. We stayed in a holding pattern for about another hour before the pilot informed us that we’d be diverted to Colorado Springs to fuel up.

My kids were still doing pretty well. My 5-month-old son just nursed whenever he woke up, and my daughter by then had realized for the first time that airplanes had bathrooms, and of course had to use it twice.

20130910 0049 copy 650x433 3 things I learned on the worst flight of my life

We landed in Colorado Springs, but there were no gates available so we had to stay on the plane. By then I gave up on trying to contain my daughter to her seat, and I let her get friendly with the passengers around us. She played peekaboo with the baby behind us, and sang songs to the people across from us. I changed my son’s diaper in the extra seat next to me. I was trying to be as polite as possible considering the circumstances. I felt my patience depleting by the hour.

20130910 0052 copy 650x433 3 things I learned on the worst flight of my lifeI watched updates on my connection flight. It was also delayed, but set to leave at 8pm. It was 7:30. Unless it was delayed again we probably wouldn’t make it. Thoughts of spending the night in the Denver airport with my two kids began to haunt my mind.

I kept my family informed and we crossed our fingers we’d make it to Salt Lake that night. Just before we took off from Colorado Springs I checked my connection flight update one last time. It was 7:45 and it was still scheduled to leave at 8. I said a silent prayer that we’d make it to Denver in time to catch the connection and got my kids buckled back in for another takeoff.

The flight from Colorado Springs wasn’t long at all, but it wasn’t quick enough to make our connection. We landed at 8:08. Our flight to Salt Lake departed at 8:01.

I was crushed. I started to cry as my daughter talked on the phone to her grandmother “we’re coming to your house tonight!” she said with excitement. I didn’t know what we were going to do.

I blogged the rest of this journey and how we (barely) survived over on my BabyCenter blog today.


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Momma, PhD says:

Believe it or not, I just read another travel tips post from another blogger I follow, who was also trapped in Denver last week. What are the odds?


Kennie says:

Yeah, non-stop flights are definitely the way to go when traveling with little ones. My husband found that out the hard way recently when flying with our daughter. After a two hour delay and missed connecting flight, little Petunia got antsy, husband got frustrated, and in the midst of her in-air mini-tantrum, her diaper leaked – all over my husband’s pants.

Rose White says:

Sorry about your trip 🙂 Hopefully your return trip will be better. Oh yeah! I love that you are rocking the natural styles. I am natural also one of my favorite blog is naptural85.com her name is Whitney. She has amazing home recipes for hair products and styles. She has several YouTube channels as well. Keep doing what you do I love every moment of it.

Just clicked over and read the rest of your frustrating story.

I’m so sorry Jen. That sounds terrible and stressful and a bit scary. I don’t know why another person would make a comment about you ignoring your daughter. That’s just something you don’t say.

When I see moms traveling with kids I say a prayer for them and sometimes, if it feels right, offer to help.

I’m glad the airport had car seats and you were able to sleep in a home for the night.

Goodness what an ordeal. Something tells me it’s going to be easier from now on!

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Julie says:

I am about to fly ALONE with a 15 month old from Chicago to Nairobi, Kenya by way of Amsterdam. We have 2 8+ hour flights and a 5 1/2 hour layover if we are lucky. I’m scared.

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a former journalist, and lifelong creator striving to make the world a better place. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day by cherishing our individuality and celebrating our differences.

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