Some Saints And Gravol Save The Day

April 5, 2010

in Baby & Kid Stories

I was travelling with my two kids, 3 and 7 back from South Carolina for March Break (where we visited my folks). I had booked through Travelocity. Bad idea. Won’t ever 1) book through them 2) travel through Chicago EVER AGAIN. They booked us on a connection we did not stand a snowball’s chance of making since, if you have been to O’Hare you’ll know this, it was essentially at the absolute farthest gate from where we arrived. We had to take a bus, run in an underground tunnel, and then run (me, with 3 yr old in arms, my carry-on, and trying to encourage my 7 year old who is crying, trying to haul his pooh bead trolley bag…) to the right gate.

Well, the flight was gone, so we got on the “stand by” list. This misnomer, I now know, is code for “if you scream long enough, you will get bumped up the list so they can get you out of their hair.” We missed 6 flights that day – no stand-by seats, March Break after all!! Another mum with 3 teenage girls, who were on our flight and also bumped – saved my sanity. Mum gave me Gravol to help get my 3 yr old to “nap,” bought lunch for the kids at McDonald’s without even thinking about it, and the girls kept my 7 yr old busy for hours. At one point, she made me go get a coffee and take a walk, and make some calls in peace on her cell since mine had died. A really special person – and I wish she had told me her name and address so I could properly thank her.

By 5 o’clock I had seats for the next day, and the kids were completely cooked, so I booked into the Chicago Hilton with no luggage (the saint at the front desk got me diapers and toothbrushes!). I washed our clothes in the tub, and the kids ran around naked. We had a wonderful silver-trayed cheese pizza (and mummy had an entire bottle of fabulous wine) and watched movies and I used the Gravol again… Hey, I needed those kids to sleep. The day sure turned around after that. We finally got on a plane the next day 24 hours later.

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

FreqTvlr April 6, 2010 at 3:56 am

Why is a 3 year old still in diapers? You left your children with a stranger in the airport?


FreqTvlr April 6, 2010 at 3:57 am

Why is a 3 year old in diapers? You left your children unattended in an airport with a stranger? Maybe mummy shouldn't be drinking so much wine.


Kathleen April 6, 2010 at 6:46 am

This sounds like you made the best of a really bad situation and that woman sounds like she was a godsend. The only part that bothers me is that you left your kids with her to get a cup of coffee. I don't care how nice someone is, I would not leave my 3 year old and 7 year old alone with someone I just met at the airport.


MJ April 6, 2010 at 9:14 am

Miserable experience, for sure, but I wouldn't blame this on Travelocity. O'Hare is a notoriously terrible airport, and any reservations you make on a website will tell you how long you have between flights – if it doesn't look like enough time, don't book the flight.


Salamandra April 6, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Read Read Read. If you use the travel sites online Read dont be a moron. You and only you are guilty to be on that situation


Jim April 7, 2010 at 8:29 am

1) You give your child a drug to quiet it…great Mothering!

2) You leave your children with strangers…again, great Mothering!

3) You let your children "run around" naked in a hotel room…I feel sorry for your neighbors.

4) You take two small children, on an airplane, by yourself, during spring break….are you stupid?

Unless it is an emergency, wait to fly with the children until they are old enough to behave….flying is not easy…making connections is not easy…and, the stress you put on yourself, the children and the other passengers around you….is really not worth it….


Wayne December 17, 2011 at 1:13 am

Jim you must have a really crappy life with not many friends. Have you ever had children??sometimes you have to make due with what you have,


Amber May 18, 2016 at 10:25 am

Get over your entitled self. I'd rather be stuck on a plane with the OP and her kids then you any day.


Rachael April 7, 2010 at 6:10 pm

I don't have kids and I also become annoyed when kids cry on planes….but….kids are kids. For all the posters who think that parents should not fly with kids under 5 are being selfish themselves. Do you really think that a person who has a child on one side of the country should wait 5 years to introduce their children to the rest of their family on the other coast? Crying kids are annoying as hell and i've had my fair share of grievences on planes, but I will certainly be flying when I have a baby and go visit my many relatives on the East Coast to show them off. Get over it and realize that both sides have to make concessions. Parents need to look after their children and fellow passengers need to grow a heart and just endure their suffering for a measly couple of hours.


Jane April 12, 2010 at 12:28 pm

The ones without kids can be the ones who travel. Because my brother is the one with kids (and they know better than to put their kids on planes at the ages of 4 and 2), my parents and I are the ones that travel to see them. Problem solved.


Joe April 8, 2010 at 2:14 pm

I am in agreement with Rachael. While I generaly do not like to be around small kids and babies, I think there should not be such a one-sided opieon about them.


Teddy April 12, 2010 at 6:28 am

I see an immediate problem.

Whenever you book a connection, make sure you've got ample amount of time ( like I usually look for 1.5 hours; in your case 2 hours wouldn't have been a bad idea with young kids ). When you book a connection through places like New York JFK, DFW, LAX, or Chicago O'Hare, tarmac delays and long walks between gates is almost a guarantee. In addition, I usually try to stay within one airline rather than switching between airlines. Sites like orbitz and travelocity look for the cheapest way to get you between places, which sometimes means switching airlines of different alliances. And their search algorithm never takes time between flights as a consideration. So I always pick the routes that stay in one airline, even if it means I pay more. It also helps to get familiar with the airport layout before you get there.

Also, if you knew you had no chance of making the connection, you should've talked to the gate agent in South Carolina and asked for a later flight…gate agents can be accomadating, believe it or not.


Jane April 12, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Only if they have an IQ higher than the United agent I had to deal with at BTV at Christmastime. UGH.


Rich October 15, 2010 at 1:52 am

1) she probably was on the same airline. I have flown through Chicago many times and had to hoof it between terminals.

2) if this person is not a seasoned traveller they probably did not realize what a pain Chicago can be and that Travelocity would not book reasonable flights.

Finally to all who don't want to fly with kids. You too have other options. Flying is not reserved for the rich or childless. Buy a set of earphones or ear plugs and deal with it.


Dazza February 27, 2011 at 10:58 am

Omg that Jim is a douche and anyone who thinks people with kids should not fly . You are all selfish losers . I hope every single flight you go on has one close by screaming their head off can’t believe you waste oxygen .


lisa January 27, 2012 at 10:14 am

Wow, shocked by some of these comments. We have really become a selfish and judgmental society full of people living in glass houses. First, travelocity has a responsibility to ensure connections booked on their site are doable. Second, the woman in the terminal is a godsend and an obviously decent person who I too would trust my children with, unlike some commenters here.. .


Luna August 10, 2015 at 1:45 pm

I have had kids on my flights (I'm only 14) I flew with my mom to New Mexico to visit my aunt and I managed to keep a baby from crying my mom says it's because little kids like me


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