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Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

Fairfax, Virginia
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Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

So my husband and I are expecting twin boys this June. Our lease ends in July and we are moving back to our hometown across the country as I'll have finished school in May and all our job prospects and interviews are popping up in another state. We also own two of the sweetest most cuddly, loveable, playful cats, who are about 5 years old.

I'm so very sorry to whomever gets stuck on a plane with us, but it's looking like the best way to move across the country is for me and my saintly parents (3 adults) to tackle the two monthish old boys and our two small cats in one southwest carrier on a flight (we'll fly southwest), while my husband stays behind to close up shop and get our possessions moved. We considered driving the cats, but ultimately rejected the idea over too many concerns (a single driver with pets to manage - and the cats tend to shy away from my husband, but feel secure with me, plus 3-4 days of travel trauma versus one awful day of travel).

I've searched all the cats and kids forums and no one else seems to be this insane. It is insane! But it also is probably the best way to do things as we move. So any thoughts on how to manage the circus? Has anyone successfully managed the feat?

Madrid
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1. Re: Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

Be aware that you may not all be able to sit together on your flight.If you plan to get 3 seats together with the 2 babies as lap children,that may not work as most probably there will not be enought oxygen masks for 5.

plan for the 2 babies to be in different rows with an adult.

Jacksonville...
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2. Re: Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

I'd drive.

Llandudno North...
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3. Re: Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

Let the saintly parents drive with babies and cats and you get yourself a good flight and enjoy the champagne in 1st class!

:-)

Italy
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4. Re: Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

Better you than me:-)) congratulations on the twins.

uk
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5. Re: Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

I have a six month old daughter and have been flying with her since she has been 4 weeks old and none of my experiences have been anywhere near as bad as people lead me to believe it would be (who had never tried themselves I hasten to add). I've flown with her solo several times and my best advice to you would be to go ahead with a positive attitude.

Your boys aren't here yet but when they arrive you'll probably get into a rhythm pretty early, I'd try and schedule flights for when they would normally be napping, this might mean holding off buying your flight ticket yet but will be worth it.

I prefer to have my baby in a baby carrier to take through the airport and check her stroller. Gives me two free hands at all times and, especially when she was tiny, she would fall asleep within minutes of being put in it. Get the boys used to being in them in advance. I also would sometimes put her in the carrier on board to sleep as it gave me my hands back on board too. She is too big for this now.

I breast fed so always had plenty of food, but obviously make sure you take plenty of milk and lots of changes of clothes, for yourself as well.

Also, my best advice is that airlines allow children to board early, don't! I found that being then first on the plane just means a much longer period holding baby on your lap. I always try to board quite late. This may not be ideal with Southwest, maybe consider an airline with allocated seating.

Can you see your vet about a mild sedative for the cats? They'll have to stay in their carrier for the flight duration anyway so if they are napping they won't add any extra hassle.

Good luck with it all and remember, there is nothing 'normal' to a little baby, they are much more adaptable than you would think.

Dallas, Texas...
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6. Re: Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

As long as your saintly parents are with you to help you out, I think it will be fine to handle the twins and two cat carriers.

Have each of your parents take one cat carrier. Make sure at least one of them is sitting close enough to you to help out with the twins. Across and aisle would be ok.

Take a deep breath. It'll be fine.

One thing I've noticed... aisle seats have a bit less under-seat storage than the other seats. The seat leg is set in further. That may be important with the cat carrier.

Garden Bay, Canada
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7. Re: Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

"Can you see your vet about a mild sedative for the cats?"

Very much *not* recommended by most vets and the airline, though many people try to do it.

Remember to book well ahead as there are limits on the number of pets in each cabin. However, I think you will be inundated with too many carry-ons to manage, even with the extra people.

p a
unict
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8. Re: Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

Congratulations on the babies. I'm sure your parents are delighted to be getting you all nearer home.

Don't overload yourselves with carry-ons; it really makes a difference.

Check airline rules, as most don't allow more than 1 pet per carrier and you may have to pre-register the pets.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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9. Re: Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

I think I may have to do something similar but with my one 6 month old and an elderly cat.

I happened upon this blog and it greatly relieved my fears of flying with my child for the first time. She has a ton of really great advice:

…blogspot.com/2011/…

as for flying with the two cats...I'm not sure that you'll be able to. I think the restrictions are one cat per passenger and then there's a restriction to the number of pets total per section of the plane...but maybe you might have to see about having a cargo pet (???) if you still wanna fly everyone out.

Also consider that you will have to travel with at least one car seat for one baby and the other can be a lap baby. So you will be lugging at least one cat, two babies, one car seat, a large diaper bag and then your own personal stuff.

Fortunately airlines dont count carseats or strollers against your allowed carryons or checked baggage. I think it's pretty uniform as far as what each airline allows so you can still take 2 personal carryon items AND a diaper bag OR a carseat OR a stroller. Checked baggage you'd still have to pay for up to two pieces AND the carseat AND/OR stroller. At least that's as far as I read.

Any way, that does sound like a nightmare but maybe this will help you decide a little later. You still have plenty of months ahead of you and perhaps one of your parents can fly out and help you back.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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10. Re: Gulp! Potentially flying with twin babies AND pets!

I tried editing this post 'cause I didnt read the original post correctly but I missed the editing window. If you want to read the update instead it's here. Sorry I cant be more helpful.

I think I may have to do something similar but with my one 6 month old and an elderly cat, but I'll be traveling by myself. It's great that you'll be able to have your parents help you fly back.

I happened upon this blog and it greatly relieved my fears of flying with my child for the first time. She has a ton of really great advice:

…blogspot.com/2011/…

Someone already mentioned the one pet per passenger, so that should work out ok, but there are restrictions on the # of pets per section of the plane, so check that.

Also consider that you may have to travel with at least one car seat for one baby and the other can be a lap baby. Unless one child can be a lap baby of one of your parents. But if you choose the carseats, then add that bulk to carry around the airport. There are backpacks and cords, travel frames, etc to lug carseats around the airport.

Fortunately airlines dont count carseats or strollers against your allowed carryons or checked baggage. I think it's pretty uniform as far as what each airline allows so you can still take 2 personal carryon items AND a diaper bag OR a carseat OR a stroller. Checked baggage you'd still have to pay for up to two pieces AND the carseat AND/OR stroller. At least that's as far as I read.

As far as logistical problems you might run into is finding out, who can take aboard whom.

One pet per passenger.

One baby per lap, someone is going to have to take care of two things on the plane. It may be better if you purchase a seat (carseat) for at least one child so that you have that "extra room" and at least more than one lap free.

While in the airport, have one parent in charge of the two cats and the other can help with babies but when you go thru security, you'll have to go thru by yourself with your two kids and and a cat per grandparent. TSA will ask to take the cats out of the carriers to go through the detectors, someone suggested to take a pillowcase and show the agents, put the cats in the case thru the detectors and then throw both in the carrier till you can arrange things better when you're done.

I would also just make sure the cats are super comfortable in the carriers beforehand...maybe even go as far as trying to get them to use it as their sleep quarters.

Good luck.