Travel Tips

Surviving a 9 hr flight!! 

So I am lucky enough to be flying to Barbados with my 5 yr old son, with free return flight in Business Class, or as British Airways prefer to call it Club World. When I say ‘free’ flights we have still had to pay the taxes so not quite as good as it first seems but nevertheless this still works out less than the cost of just one economy flight so I am a happy bunny.

“How did she get free business class flights?” I hear you say? Well it’s a combination of many things, I have been a fairly frequently flyer over recent years and where possible have kept my brand loyalty with British Airways and am already a Silver Member of the Executive Club which automatically entitles you to extra Avios points every time you fly.

Combine that with an American Express credit card which also earns me avios points and which I use at every opportunity for both personal and business expenses and clear at the end of each month, then bingo this year I managed to hit the £20,000 spend and earned us a companion flight which means what ever flight I buy for myself either with cash or avoid points then BA will match it like for like (this is my sons’ return flight to Barbados) and finally I have all of my Tesco Club Card points for both groceries for both groceries and fuel converted into Avios too and there you have it – my flight paid for with Avios and Cameron’s is the companion flight.

Suffice to say I am a little more excited in doing this flight with just ‘me and him’ than I would be cramped up in economy for 9 hours and I have to say having done so much flying with him already I know given an ipad and a packet of Haribo’s he is generally quite content for the journey.

It has to be said that flying Club World was every parents dream from start to finish, dedicated check-in desk at London Gatwick Airport and absolutely no queue and the same going through the dedicated Premier line at Security, we were literally checked in and through security within 10 minutes. Happy Mum and Happy Child! Then on to the British Airways Lounge, unfortunately there is no children’s play area within the lounge as there is at Heathrow Airport but thankfully this didn’t matter as the lounge has a great view of the runway and my son was more than entertained watching the planes taking off and landing, plus the fact that his big sister works for Thomas Cook we were able to add to the fun by looking out for the planes with the yellow hearts on their tails as those are ‘Georgia’s Planes’

We were a little late boarding our flight (we were told this was because the cleaners were late for work!) but generally priority boarding was quick and easy. We had seats 10E and 10F, the ‘double bed’ in the centre which travelling with a young child was heaven, the dividing screens go up after take off and you almost feel like you are the only people on the plane. Service from the Cabin Crew was faultless, every single time the CSM spoke to me it was always ‘Mrs Shanks’ – in fact I heard that so many times during the flight he almost made me feel like a school teacher!

Food of course on the flight was superb, my son I admit is THE worlds Fussiest eater, but nevertheless the presentation of kids meals was excellent; a lovely fresh fruit platter for starter, chicken nuggets with mash potato and veg, plus other little treats on the side such as a kit Kat, baby bel cheese, fruit carton, yoghurt and a carton of Rubens. (Mum had an amazing filet steak, and later enjoyed afternoon cream tea, not to mention 9hr free bar, although I must admit being solely in charge of a 5yr old means you can’t take full advantage of it)

Of course the luxury of flying business class is of course the opportunity to use the flat beds and stretch out. My son however decided to utilise the extra floor space to set up a track play with his trains for 9 hours!!!

So would I recommend it?? Of course. Yes I know it is out of most people’s leagues cost wise, especially many loan parents, but these two flights (return) were completely FREE other than paying the taxes.

So come on Mummy’s (& Daddy’s) get saving those Avios points however you can and take to the skies with British Airways, it truly is an amazing scheme.

*just be aware that to book your flights using Avios points there will be limited availability and they will go quickly. We booked our free flights in December to fly in August.


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