Flying home with our toddler

Flying home with our toddler

The first thing we had to do when we got to the airport was return the WiFi  device. The instructions stated to drop it in a post box and there was one in the airport. We just had to find it. After having no luck, we asked an airport staff member. He couldn’t understand that we were looking for a post box. Tim kept saying post and the man thought he was saying police. I said mail, letters…and he then realised what we meant and pointed us towards the box in which we could post back our packaged Wifi device. With that done, we proceeded to join the long check-in line. An older Japanese man was up for a chat and asked why we were in Japan, where we had visited and what we like the most. After saying we were from Australia he said he had once visited the city “Syd-e-ney” and asked if we lived near there. When I answered “no we don’t live near Sydney, our closest city is Melbourne”, he replied ” it is pronounced Syd-e-ney”. I responded “Sydney”, he said “Syd-e-ney”. I gave up.

We finally reached the desk and this is where the headaches started. The staff member checking us in went through the usual procedure but on printing our boarding passes realised there was a mistake. Her English was very limited and we had no idea what she was trying to explain. I thought it might have been due to our initial issue of changing our booking so our infant would have his own seat. I produced all our booking information I had and she confirmed that we had flown into Kansai International Airport. Another lady came to help and they started looking through books, clearly not knowing what to do. A supervisor then joined them and did her best to explain to us what the problem was, although her English was also limited. I think what had happened was that somehow the system had Tim booked for 2 seats and no seat under Fletcher’s name. They needed to perform a name change on the boarding pass and the supervisor talked them through it. After a long time waiting at the check-in counter we finally had three boarding passes with all our names on them. We had planned to browse the airport shops and spend our left over yen, but we now only had about 40 minutes until we had to be at the boarding gate. We bought some snacks for the flight and I got some packets of matcha to take home.

We once again boarded the plane early due to having a young child. We got Fletcher set up in his seat and he happily snacked on sultana’s. As our first leg was during the day, we didn’t need to worry about him needing to sleep or disturbing anyone else from theirs. He stayed entertained by playing with his toys, reading books and snacking on crackers. We had an iPad but left it as a last resort.

We arrived at Kuala Lumpur airport and collected our stroller upon exiting the aircraft. We had four hours until the boarding gate opened. Tim had a migraine and the bright airport lights weren’t helping. He found a bench seat to lay on and had a nap. I spent the time running after Fletcher, who was keen to move his legs after sitting on the plane. I had read there was a large indoor playground in the airport but couldn’t find it. We may have been in a different area. Tim had managed to get in a nap and was feeling much better, so we went to have some dinner. Fletcher was now worn out from all the running up and down. After eating we put Fletcher in the stroller and walked around to get him to sleep. There were plenty of store’s to browse and the airport also features a jungle boardwalk. The airport wasn’t overly air-conditioned, but upon walking through the door to the boardwalk, the humidity immediately hits you. It really is like entering a mini jungle and gives you a bit of an escape from the strolling around the airport.

As it got closer to boarding time, we found some seats outside of the gate. Boarding time arrived and everyone had gathered outside the gate. It didn’t open and it wasn’t until a bit later on that the flight time displayed an hour later than scheduled. We stayed at our seats and Fletcher played with some toys before deciding he’d like to go running again. At one point a lady seated further up from us loudly said to her travelling partner ” that little shit is going to be on our flight”. I couldn’t believe someone would refer to a one and a half year old child in that way. He wasn’t even being “a little shit” at the time, he was simply having fun running up and down the long corridor, not disturbing anyone. I hoped we wouldn’t be sitting anywhere near her on the plane.

The gate opened  shortly after the stated time and we proceeded through the security and were soon boarding and taking our seats. Although it was now late at night we took a much more relaxed approach and didn’t try to make Fletcher sleep. He’d had a little sleep at the airport and we would be going home once getting off the flight. He watched an Ice Age movie on the inflight entertainment, with no sound. We had brought a kids set of headphones but he wasn’t too keen on wearing them. He dozed off while watching Wriggles on our iPad. He was probably a little bit small for the CARES harness and the buckle was at the same height as his head, so we had to place a folded blanket on top of it to stop it digging into his face when he slept. He woke up and watched some more Wriggles on the iPad and dozed off again.

We touched down in Melbourne on time despite the delay and after passing through customs and collecting our bags we were greeted by all four of Fletcher’s grandparents. We had such a wonderful time exploring Japan and our flight home had gone much more smoothly than the flight there. We agreed that we already wanted to return and explore Japan some more.

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