Flights of fancy: Me vs my husband

So I had a funny situation the other day at Heathrow airport.  My husband and I were both flying back from London to Hong Kong at the same time but in very different worlds.  Mr Jetlag was flying snazzy flat bed class on Cathay whilst I had both kids in tow, on the back of the plane on Virgin.  During the more testing moments of my longhaul flight (2 yo repeatedly pressing the call button whilst 5 yo shouting at me that I hadn’t put the right movie on) I would close my eyes and think about what my husband was up to:

  • If you’ve ever had the pleasure of setting foot on a plane with your little kids trailing behind you, you’ll know that the majority of passengers give you evil stares (i.e. please don’t be sitting near me), apart from the air stewards who offer sympathetic smiles and the odd ‘oh isn’t she sweet’. Those up the front get a hearty welcome, an added bit of flirt and a glass of champagne practically forced down their throat.
  • It is impossible to get comfortable in economy – unless you’ve knocked yourself out with a sleeping pill which I’m assuming most parents know is sadly impractical.  How I envied my husband’s flat bed as we squished up in the last row of the economy section.  An added discomfort are those passengers who insist on reclining their seat from the moment we take off.  Now I appreciate that it is your right to do so but the moment the person in the front row does it (and bear in mind they already have extra space in front of them) it creates a domino effect across the entire cabin.  I ended up putting the armrests up across the three seats so my 5 yo could stretch out and my 2 yo had the smart idea of lying on the floor.  So where was I in this scenario? Squashed up on half a seat not daring to move in case I woke my daughter up. Thank goodness for my J Pillow!

    Who needs a flat bed when you've got all this leg room, yeh!

    Who needs a flat bed when you’ve got all this leg room, yeh!

  • One of the reasons I’m anti onboard wifi is because it is one of the few times in life when you can literally switch off.  I would think about my husband – 12 hours of rest, relaxation, eating and imbibing.  However, as a solo parent you have to constantly be alert – has the 2 yo rolled on the floor?  Is the 5 yo sleeping dangerously with her head stuck out into the aisle?  Do I have a window where I can sneak off to the loo without either of them waking up?
    Sleeping kids - shrink
  • Eating in business class is a pleasure whilst at the back it’s occasionally comparable to prison slop. Actually my kids quite like plane food and I have to say that Virgin was pretty against some of its competitors.
  • Ahh the joys of the toilet run. I doubt my husband had to queue for 20 minutes to use the loo.  And getting a child in and out of a dirty toilet whilst trying to keep things hygienic and not scare them with the flush is an art!
  • When it’s just you and a couple of small people, there’s little relaxation involved.  It’s a constant barrage ‘Stop <insert ‘fighting with your sister’, ‘kicking the seat in front’, ‘pressing the call button’, ‘annoying me’,>!’
  • On landing, my husband met us at the gate.  He was well rested, refreshed and had essentially had a great time during his 12 hour switch off from life.  I was knackered, irritable and delighted to palm the kids off on him (and to be fair, they had been pretty well behaved during the flight).  It is amazing to think that at any one time on a longhaul flight, passengers are having vastly different experiences from selecting a port to accompany their cheese up at the front, to unwrapping a meal as hot as the sun and wrinkling their nose in disgust at what’s inside.

Despite all this, I always give myself a high five following a loooong longhaul flight with the kids, congratulating myself that we’ve got through it, it was only 12 hours and we haven’t spent the price of A CAR (!) on three business class flights.

Yet to find an airline with a 'Kid Drop'

Yet to find an airline with a ‘Kid Drop’


Disclaimer: My husband would like to point out that he was back in the UK for business paid for by his work and it was a completely separate trip from mine (i.e. he did not choose to send himself business on Cathay whilst we were forced into economy on another airline).  He would also like to point out that when we recently flew together as a family and he got an upgrade, he let me have it.  Twice.


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  1. Brooke

    Done something similar in the past! No fun knowing what you’re missing out on.

    1. Nicola

      I was very very jealous of my husband…

  2. gezinopreis

    Great disclaimer!.. And yes those evil stares so true.

    1. Nicola

      I know! And the thing is, they were all kids once…

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