Sarah’s Flight Review: BA San Fran – London with two young kids

Living in the US with family back in the UK, here is Sarah’s review of a recent British Airways flight back home to London:

I was really nervous about flying on my own with the kids for such a long flight but I realised you only really need 2 things – good cabin crew and good people sitting near you (well behaved kids helps too but if you’ve got the other 2 things then you’ll be fine) and I was lucky enough to all of it. The BA crew couldn’t have been more helpful or nicer to me and the people around me I think felt sorry for me so were really good and offered to help me/watch one child while I took the other one to the toilet or had to change a nappy. It has definitely made me realise I can do it and will do it again.

British Airways 787-9 Artwork


Who was flying? Sarah bravely flying solo with her 2 sons Oliver (3.5) Max (18 months)
What airline?  British Airways (BA)
Time of flights? San Francisco – London Heathrow direct 5.55pm
Duration 11 hours
How did you book the ticket? BA website
Special requests e.g. bassinet? Yes bulkhead seat with an infant seat (only booked 2 seats between 3 of us)
San Francisco International Airport
Check in was fine. we were there early and there wasn’t a queue so all very easy
There isn’t much to do at San Fran airport. I actually went to a pizza place and we all ate (I at least thought then if the boys didn’t eat on the plane then they’d had something and it was something to do at the airport – eating pizza plus watching planes take off – perfect!!)
Did you get priority boarding? Yes priority family lane through security and boarding the plane
Standard economy seats!
The staff were so so helpful. As I got on a couple noticed I was on my own and  commented on how that wasn’t easy and were so kind and helpful
Did you order kids meal?  Was it ok?
Yes. And yes surprisingly good. Chicken nugget type things, mac n cheese, broccoli, carrot, cucumber sticks, bread roll, small chocolate bar, yoghurt. the kids ate most of it
Kids Pack?
No but the air stewardess gave them a pile of cups which actually kept them entertained for a while!
Where was your stroller returned to you?
I asked them at check in to make sure I got the stroller returned to me at the air craft door, I told them I was on my own and it would be really hard if I had to walk through passport control etc with both kids without it. They were fine with that and gave it back to me at the door
Sarah’s Flying Tips
When flying on your own with kids just don’t let anyone upset you and ask for help if you need it (especially taking your bags off the carousel!).
Take your time going through security etc as you simply don’t have enough hands to look glamorous! It isn’t easy and I was prepared for the worst but I had told Ollie that he had to look after us as daddy wasn’t with us and he was so well behaved. I had loads of snacks, sticker books, books to read, treats for bribery and just got on with it and it was so much better than I thought (I was lucky with good crew and friendly people sat next to me).
I also thought a lot about hand luggage and having no hands with 2 kids to look after so I took a big rucksack for me, the ergo to put Max in and Ollie took a small rucksack which could also be a wheelie suitcase so he could still enjoy pulling it along like his trunki but when he got tired he put it on his back. His had a change of clothes for him in it and some toys, mine had loads of food, nappies, wipes, change of clothes for Max, ipad.

1 comment

  1. andrea

    I am surprised they didn’t give you a kids pack, they usually have a little Paddington Bear suitcase with stuff inside it! We have always found BA to be very helpful with kids, glad your flight went well!

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