Buy Local, Fly Local: A Giveaway

March 19, 2010

Mama Goose is teaming up with the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport for the “Buy Local, Fly Local” Contest.  To enter, become a fan of the Ithaca Airport on Facebook and write “Mama sent me!” on their wall.  You’ll be entered to win one of the Goose’s fabulous Cooperative Games by Family Pastimes.    

The beautiful entranceway to the Ithaca Airport... my kids could tear that place apart.

With Spring Break approaching, there’s been lots of buzz around the Goose about upcoming travel plans, and I’ve enviously listened in on several customer conversations about furture sojourns to warmer pastures.  Aside from the complete impracticality of taking a major trip at this point in our family’s financial life, there’s an additional barrier to my imaginary vacation plans – fear of flying … with children. That’s right, I have absolutely no issue with the whole mechanical box suspended in the sky thing, but when I think about taking my children on an airplane, I break out into a cold sweat.   (I’m not alone – Alyssa from Keep it Real has avoided flying for the same reason!)  Wondering if my fears were founded, I surveyed some of my more flight-savvy mama friends.  Here are some things I learned: 

Do not fear flying with a baby.

Gosling Gina estimates that she and son Drew have flown together an astounding eighteen times over the past five years, so she’s got lots to say on the subject.  One thing she pointed out is that many new parents fear taking an infant on a plane, anticipating that their wee ones will scream the entire time, inciting the wrath of every other passenger and subjecting them to the death-stares of others for the duration of the flight.  It turns out, this is not the case.  Gina reports that, when this happened to her, the stares she received were actually sympathetic ones, and that most of her fellow passengers were overwhelmingly kind, and tried to help Gina in cheering and comforting baby Drew. 

Amanda, from Parents for a Peaceful Planet, had an even better, and common, experience – her six-month-old just slept and ate all the way to Wisconsin!  Especially for little ones, constant feeding is your friend.

The FAA doesn’t care how cute your kid is.

Many mamas pointed out that flying with kids has become increasingly more complicated with the more stringent regulations that have been put in place over the past couple years.  All of the liquids the children require have to conform to the under-three-ounce rule, with exceptions for formula, juice and breast milk, and even those have to go through a screening process.   And, as Amanda points out, if you somehow manage to fail to follow the rules, no matter how reasonable or innocent your mistake, airport security personnel have no problem tossing your things in the trash.  Luckily, there’s no shortage of public information about the rules out there, so you can study up in advance.  The Ithaca Airport has a great collection of links available here

Choose your partner carefully.

Gwynne, our gorgeous young gosling who is still in the pre-kid phase of life, has become an expert at learning from her fellow goslings’ mama mistakes.  As a girl with an actual fear of flying, Gwynne’s solution is to supplement flying with children with an extremely patient husband and father, so that she can zone out in her Dramamine coma and still emerge from the flight intact.  Gosling Sandy has a story involving a flight to Taiwan with two children and a lot of confusion over trying to place said children various kinds of airplane adaptive equipment, none of which seemed to do the trick,  the postscript to which is “Oh, and Mike (Sandy’s husband) slept the whole time.”  After hearing this tale of woe, and one in which Gina’s partner Pat leaves all the luggage on the airport curb….twice,  I can’t help but think that Gwynne hit the nail right on the head.

Prepare and pack perfectly.

The general consensus seems to be that the portable DVD player is the best thing that ever happened when it comes to flying with children of any age.  Customer and mama Diane Goodman-Daniel also suggests snacks (so k ids don’t have to wait for meals to be served), magnetic paper dolls, Magic Treehouse books for kids ages 4-7, and really anything else that can keep your children entertained.  Gina has one brilliant caveat – don’t ever pack anything expecting that your child will be the one carrying it… even the most diligent kids have a tendency to accidentally leave the portable DVD player in the airplane bathroom on the connecting flight.

Even with all that extra wisdom, I’m still a wuss when it’s comes to flying, certain that my kids would be the very first toddlers ever detained for questioning as potential terrorists (or that I myself would be detained for questioning for making such a joke at a security checkpoint.)  Still, someday I will brave it, and one thing will ease my suffering … the ability to leave from the Ithaca Airport, which is a mere ten minutes from my house.  As a NYC girl at heart, I spent my pre-upstate life flying in and out of LaGuardia and JFK airports, which means adding at least two extra hours to your trip even before you check in at the airport, even if your apartment is right across the highway in Queens.  (I don’t know how it happens – it’s like those airports have a supernatural zone of slowness cast around them.  Everything moves at a snail’s pace, night or day, holiday or not. It’s one of life’s great mysteries.) 

By comparison, and in its own right, our lovely accessible regional airport seems like an excellent place to start a trip.  So, we’ve partnered with the folks at the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport to launch our Buy Local, Fly Local contest.  Become a fan of the Airport on FB, and write on their wall, “Mama sent me!”   You’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of our fabulous Cooperative Games, pictured below, a surefire way to keep kids entertained while in flight.  Earn an extra entry for commenting on this blog post with your own story or tips about flying with kids, and if you’re about to take flight for Spring Break, our thoughts are with you! 

The Co-operative Games display at the Goose. Visit us on Facebook to see more!

-Meryl at the Goose

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