Wednesday, March 25, 2009

the Cacing Diaries #32

questions on bringing infants on board a plane: answered!

My wife and I need to be convinced that Cacing will do just fine in the multiple plane rides to Bali next week so about 2 weeks ago, the entire family (me, Dia, Cacing, my mom and Cacing’s yaya or nanny) went to Davao.

by the Davao City airport tarmac
arriving at Davao- my mom, Cacing and her nanny, my wife

Cacing, being about one year and a month old, hasn’t yet been able to travel out of Cebu. This was to be her first plane ride and we were uncertain.

glee in paradise
glee in Paradise Island Resort, Samal Island, Davao del Norte

Do we have to pay plane fare for infants? Domestically, for unseated babies up to 2 years old, the answer is no. International carriers ask for a steep fee though. We paid Cathay Pacific about $200 for infant fare for the Cebu-Hong Kong-Surabaya round trip.

Daddy's Little Angel
it’s the shirt…

What documents should be bring upon check-in? As a rule to prevent baby trafficking, airlines normally require parents to bring copies of the marriage certificate and the birth certificate. At Cebu Pacific, we were not asked these documents though perhaps because we all were traveling together as one family.

smiling in the boat
She immensely enjoyed the wind sweeping over us in a boat ride at Samal Island

Can we bring formula milk inside the cabin? Typically, liquids and their containers should not exceed 100mL but there are provisions special for infant formula and water for babies boarding a plane. In our case, domestic inspection was relaxed.

safari girl at Davao airport
Cacing is beginning to get comfortable with hats and no longer tries to remove them from her head

Will she be asked to wear a special seatbelt? No, she wasn’t given any. We did receive an infant safety flotation device to keep during the entire duration of the flight.

Would Cacing be disturbed by the compression inside the plane? Cacing was drowsy and was already sleeping soundly when we boarded the plane from Cebu to Davao. She slept like a log and only woke up at the tailend of the flight. She was curious at seeing the view outside when we landed and probably had no idea that we were not in Cebu. On the way back home, she was awake and seemed to have noticed the change in pressure as she tugged on her ears for awhile. We quickly had her drink some water and milk off the bottle so that helped. She did not cry at all. Excitement overtook her.

1st plane ride- asleep!
Sleeping fitfully in her first plane ride ever

Perhaps these all bid well for our trip next week. There’ll be some new complications of course. Aboard jumbo jetliners, cabin compression would be more pronounced and the Hong Kong-Surabaya leg would be about 5 hours not a short one hour hop.

juggling the lights at San Pedro Cathedral
inside the San Pedro Cathedral, Davao City, the Philippines

Then there are the numerous challenges in airport transit, hotel changeovers and late night arrivals. The hope is everything would turn out fine. We always have to look at the bright side.

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