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Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 519
reviews: 27
Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

Help! I'm pretty terrified..

I've just had to book a last minute emergency flight back to Canada with my 5 month old baby.

My husband can't come along so it's just me and the baby all the way from Brisbane to Toronto which is a total of about 24 hours with stops.

Since it's last minute I'm guessing I won't get my requested bassinet.

Can anyone offer any tips? I'm going to be exhausted and embarrassed if she cries the whole time. How will I use the bathroom if I have to hold her the whole time? Yikes!!


Destination Expert
for Israel
posts: 25,682
reviews: 18
1. Re: Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

You are in for a long haul, The best and safest way for your baby to fly is with his or her own seat with a car seat placed in it. There is no easy way to fly with a lap child. You may or may not have someone willing to watch her while you go to the bathroom--but no guarantees.

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 519
reviews: 27
2. Re: Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

Unfortunately getting her own seat is out of the question. Since it's emergency and last minute they price of my ticket was thousands. Even if I did get her her own seat I'm not sure I'd be able to manage carrying a car seat, a stroller and a bag with all her things through the terminal.

I know.. this is going to be hell but I honestly have no choice! :(

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 34,188
reviews: 54
3. Re: Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

Here is a thread from this forum from the other day that I thought had really good tips on it.


Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 17,444
reviews: 5
4. Re: Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

Can't offer any advice on handling your baby. But, if you need help and assistance, if I were you I would be incredibly kind and polite to everyone, from the check in clerk, to the gate agent, to the flight attendants and your fellow passengers. Ask about assistance, but don't demand or expect it, and don't go straight into the family emergency mode unless asked (lots of pax have emergencies).

The airline staff and other passengers have their own agendas and needs and concerns and have no obligation to go out of their way to help you. BUT, you are much more likely to induce favors and sympathy (what you may need) through your polite conduct to others. I've seen a good few cases where people (as yes myself) have been persuaded to do favors by pax who genuinely need them, not those who demanded them.

Good luck and best wishes.

Edited: 3:33 am, June 30, 2013
rural West Aussie
Destination Expert
for Perth
posts: 15,832
reviews: 52
5. Re: Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

You may also find if you are kind and polite that they will rearrange seating so you can get a bassinet seat if there are no others with babies using them. I know if I was in a bassinet seat (and my "baby" is now nearly 30 so would not be using it :-) ) I would happily swap for someone in your plight.

Brisbane, Australia
posts: 519
reviews: 27
6. Re: Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

Thank you so much!

Oh trust me! I will be the kindest most polite traveller of all times! I will be so embarrassed if I make anyone's flight awful because of my baby crying or fussing.. so I will go out of my way to be polite to EVERYONE!

I certainly do not expect anyone to do me any favours. Obviously it would be nice, but I don't expect it.

Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 3,392
7. Re: Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

Take a backpack as your cabin luggage not a roll-on bag. It is easier to carry through the airport and easier to put next to your feet during the flight - meaning that all of the essential items are close at hand.

Ask the flight attendant to hold your baby whilst you go to the toilet.

Purchase food items for yourself that are easy to eat whilst holding a child - granola bars, fruit, etc.

At the airport use the disabled toilet for yourself - the toilet usually has enough space for a stroller, so your child is always with you.

Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 3,392
8. Re: Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

If you use a baby carrier consider taking it with you. Then if your baby cries you can strap the baby to you and walk.

Stavanger, Norway
Destination Expert
for Western Norway, Stavanger
posts: 3,954
reviews: 103
9. Re: Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

Also try to calm down as you seem very stressed out. Your baby will sense that you are horrified and it will likely make her uncomfortable resulting in her crying and difficult to relax.

Have a safe trip!

Vancouver, Canada
posts: 19
reviews: 17
10. Re: Emergency Travel with Baby (AIR CANADA)

Someone once told me that they buy a big bag of ear plugs and pass them out to everyone sitting around them. Yes, it can be annoying to other passengers when a baby cries and cries but at least you have made an effort to make it more gentler on other's ears and they will likely appreciate that you understand their "pain". After taking that trip I'm sure you will have lots of advice for other traveling parents so please post when you have a chance :)