We did it! We successfully traveled with an infant! To say I was nervous about flying with a four-month-old would be an understatement, but I am proud to report that we all survived, and made it there and back without any meltdowns or blowouts. If that’s not success I don’t know what is.
I was pregnant when my cousin, who lives in Connecticut, announced that her wedding date would be May 20, 2017 in New Canaan, CT – the weekend before a wedding we were already invited to attend in South Dakota (Memorial Day weekend). We knew we wanted to go to both, but we honestly weren’t sure how that was going to pan out with a baby. Fast forward almost a year later and it was time to take Daisy on her first plane ride.
Tuesday morning I tweeted how nervous I was about flying with baby D, and asked for suggestions. After researching and asking friends for tips on flying with an infant, we felt as prepared as we were ever going to be.
Our flight out of Jacksonville was at 6 a.m. Friday morning, and landed at JFK at 8:15 a.m. We would then take a car service the 45-mile drive from NY to CT, check in to our hotel, and rest until the rehearsal dinner that evening. It was going to be a long day, but we were ready. I guess.
3 a.m. Friday morning rolls around and it’s time to head to the airport. ::Yawn:: We arrive 25 minutes later, park the car, unload our many things, pop the baby in her stroller, and haul everything inside. Somehow Daisy was awake and in a good mood (though she looked very sleepy!) – we were praying she’d stay that way until she fell back asleep.
When we got to the desk to check in, the JetBlue attendant greeted us with a huge smile and complimented Daisy’s hair. She could probably already see it on our faces, but I told her this was her first flight and we were so nervous! She assured us everything was going to be fine and smiled again. After spending a few minutes on her computer, she grabbed our bag and said, “You’re all set! We’ve waived the baggage fee for you. I’m so excited for you! Daisy is going to do just fine.” WOW! We were blown away by her kindness and reassurance. I wish I caught her name! What a small gesture that made a big difference for us already, and helped us relax a little.
We made our way through security, grabbed some coffee, and headed to our gate. The attendant at the gate tagged our bag, stroller and suitcase. It wasn’t until then that we checked our boarding passes to see what boarding group we were in that we realized the lady at the front had switched our seats to the very first row!
It was time to board the plane. Please be good, Daisy. Please be good, Daisy. We worked our way on to the plane, and the captain and flight crew greeted everyone good morning. As we entered the plan, the captain said, “You must be the Vinicky family!” Why yes, we are. How did he know?! Then he said, “And this must be Daisy!” He smiled at her and made her laugh, then said, “We usually don’t do this when they’re this young, but I’m making an exception,” and he handed us her wings. Daisy got her wings! We were so excited!
They showed us to our seats and helped us get situated. Once everyone boarded the plane, the captain came over the loudspeaker, welcomed everyone, and said, “We’d like to extend a very special welcome to our youngest passenger today, Miss Daisy Vinicky, who is four months old and flying for the first time.” We were so surprised and excited that we hardly saw the flight attendant standing by us handing us a bag. She presented us a JetBlue backpack and told us it was full of some goodies for Daisy, and a few necessities for Mom and Dad. WHAT?! We opened the bag to see what was inside: an O-Copter toy for Daisy, pacifier wipes, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, a pack of pacifiers, tissues, a deck of cards, a pen, and two mini bottles of wine. Seriously? JetBlue, way to go. You made this new mom and dad so happy, so much more relaxed, and made us feel like royalty.
Daisy slept most of the plane ride, and the rest she was in such a good mood. The flight crew checked on us a few times throughout the flight, and the captain came out half way through the trip to see how she was doing. When the trip was over, everyone complimented her behavior and have her hugs goodbye. They took what could have been a super stressful experience and turned it into the most memorable trip ever. The rest of the trip was great (more on that to come).
So thanks to JetBlue, Daisy’s first flight was a success, and thanks to my cousin and family, her first wedding was a success as well. It’s amazing what a small gesture that barely cost a thing can do for someone! As long as I have the option, I will always be a JetBlue customer now.