We recently traveled from Israel to the U.S. (and back), and it was great!!! The trip was much easier than expected. The flights went well, with no crying jags, and no ear problems. In fact, during some of the takeoffs/landings, they were sleeping so deeply we could not even put in a pacifier for them to suck on!!! After we landed, we were almost the last ones off the plane. Some of the passengers said that they hadn't realized that there were infants on board!
Arrange seating as far in advance as possible.
Most airlines seem to have seats which cannot be assigned until the day of the flight, but try anyway, even if it means calling several times:
Even though "No Advance Seating" was written across our tickets, one airline gave us seating (for both legs of the trip) ahead of time when they heard we were traveling with two lap babies. Another airline absolutely refused, even though I was traveling with two on my own. So they had to reseat other passengers when we arrived. I should have insisted on speaking to a manager!
Consider the risks vs benefits of buying seats for twins under 2.
If your twins are under the age of 2, you have the option of taking them on as lap babies, without buying them seats. But you might want to consider the following comment from a Twins List member who is a flight attendant and member of the Airline Industry lobby for safer on board practices for children:
I always put my babies in carseats on board- it's a fact they are safer! Only one lap-held child has survived a plane crash in the US!! Granted the risk of a crash is negligible but the chance of surviving a crash if you are a lap child is nil!
Many parents use snuglies or slings for lap-held babies, assuming this is safer than using nothing at all. However:
FAA and Delta do NOT allow the use of a Snugly, Sling etc as they are not tested nor rated for the G force of a crash; they would rip and baby would be thrust out like a sling shot!!!
Another mother writes:
There were several reasons that we got seats for the babies for our flight:
Be prepared to be separated on the plane.
If you will be holding the babies in your laps, you need to pay special attention to seating arrangements. For every 3 seats, there are 4 oxygen masks. If the third seat is taken, there won't be enough masks to go around. Be sure you're prepared to be separated: bring two diaper bags, with a full set of supplies, food, and toys in each bag.
We usually get window seats one in front of the other. It's a pain to get out to go to the bathroom, but the kids can look out the window and play peek-a-boo over the seat backs with each other. It also makes it easy to hand food, bottles, diapers, toys back and forth.
On larger planes, the middle section (with 4-5 seats) has two extra oxygen masks, so you can be seated together with two lap babies.
Bassinets can ease long flights with infants...
On larger planes, you may have the option of using a bassinet. The bassinets vary in style from airline to airline. On British Airways, for example, they rest on a table that folds down from the wall. So if the bassinets don't work out, you'd have a large table to use. On Delta,
...they are soft sided with a mesh that goes over the top in case of turbulence. Since they are soft sided all around, they do not work well for a baby that sleeps on his/her stomach. Our son definitely prefers to sleep on his stomach so needless to say, he did not sleep in the bassinet on the wall. We lucked out, however, in that they had a box "bassinet" that went on the floor. (Actually, they gave us this because they didn't have another bassinet for us to use. What originally upset us turned out to be best.) The box was great for either one of them to play in also. It was especially good for our son who is crawling and cruising-- it kept him contained.
Some airlines may have an age limit for the bassinets; others may have a weight limit. Be sure to check before you go.
The bassinets in the bulkhead section (larger planes) were nice, since we could store things in them and let the kids sit on the floor and play. By 10 1/2 months, our girls were already a little uncomfortable in them. They moved so much in their sleep that the confinement bothered them. But if you find they don't work for you, you can always send back the beds and just enjoy the extra leg room.
...but bassinets and bulkhead seating can have their disadvantages.
There can be seating problems with the bassinets, too. Bassinets take up two seats-- which is fine for two parents with a singleton. But two parents with two babies may find an extra passenger essentially blocked in by each bassinet.
We were seated next to each other, in the center section; two strangers had the aisle seats. So we had to climb over our neighbors to get up. A real challenge during a meal, or with a sleeping baby in the bassinet.....
Other details to keep in mind with bassinets:
If you are in bulkhead seating, you will have to store the carry-ons in overhead bins which are not convenient to get to, especially if you are holding a baby. Pack things in an organized manner and in order of possible use. Before take-off, get out anything you might need to entertain the kids for the time it takes for the seat belt sign to be turned off.
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