When Traveling Overnight On British Airways with Teen Boys…

Just a few suggestions by me after one nightmarish British Airways flight to Heathrow from George Bush (Houston).  Nothing British Airways could’ve done to remedy the situation, since it was my kids or my own stupidity giving me grief.
  1. Don’t do what I did, and buy the largest suitcase known to man, while packing for two weeks.  If you do, expect that BA baggage handlers take out their frustrations on your new luggage, and it’s now missing badly needed wheels.  Dragging that monster down crowded London streets is a bear (this is where the taxi ride from the airport or tube station comes in handy).
  2. Did I say check the weather?
  3. If your teens are older, do not expect to sleep unless you ignore what they’re watching on BA airline tv or listening to on the onboard radio.  Bring earplugs and realize that your children have been seeing a lot worse at school and online FOR YEARS.
  4. Check to make sure the jet toilet door is firmly latched, or you have someone outside the door in case it swings open…  Trust me.
  5. Bring some Benedryl or Melatonin for both the flight and trip to redo your sleep patterns, and get ready for a different time zone.  Ear plugs and a mask are great too, especially if you want to block out your teenagers laughing at said British tv and radio programming. They also help block out loud people roaming the plane looking to chat with unwilling or unwitting fellow passengers in the middle of the night
  6. A lightweight pashmina is a  nice alternative to an airline blanket, and you can use it as a wrap later.  No, you may not use it to gag your children.
  7. Did I say check the weather?  You won’t be laughing when you’re soaked to the skin and don’t have a raincoat or umbrella when getting to your hotel.  Those fellow Americans in head to foot LL Bean weatherproof gear won’t look so ridiculous either.
  8. Be patient and super nice to the air crew.  They come in handy when obnoxious people try to take your children’s seats, or the plane toilet door unexpectedly swings open…
  9. Charge your ebook and iPod before boarding, and don’t try to read mommy porn while one of your teens is sitting next to you.  They’ll figure it out, never let you forget about it, and will tell your MIL.  Not saying this happened to me, but just suggesting alternative reading material.
  10. Finally, I’m hoping all the wonderful parenting you did prior to your trip will make your kids shine, and you proud.  If not, refrain from violence until you’ve had a chance to get a long nap.

Bon voyage, y’all!


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Ramona DeFelice Long

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