airberlin: the transatlantic edition

Flying with a toddler is always a gamble. You can bring as many toys and snacks as you can stuff in your carry-on, but nothing is foolproof and you can never predict how your tiny monster  will react to being force to stay in a cramped, little space (and by two years old, economy seats even kids can find economy seats cramped)  for the duration of the flight. You can’t always predict how an adult will react to being forced to stay put in a cramped, little space either so let’s just get that out of the way.

Lucky for us, headphones proved to be a big hit.

We flew airberlin for this flight and again they proved themselves to be the child-friendliest airline we’ve flown yet. After take-off, the children, and there were a surprisingly high number of under-fives on this flight, were handed tin pencil cases with crayons, a game, and lanyard with airberlin “IDs.” It was the perfect distraction for my least favorite part of the flight when you’re in the air, but still can’t unbuckle your seat belt.

The next 7.5 hours in air passed mostly without event – except for the migraine turning the inside of my head into jelly. I kept it to myself until I just couldn’t. So there you go, sometimes the problem on the flight is the grown-up.


air berlin

One of the wonderful things about living in Europe is how easily we can travel from one amazing city to another. So far, we’ve done most of our traveling with the Deutsche Bahn or major, national airlines. I’ve heard a lot of bad things about the budget carriers (who hasn’t) and was worried that the usual difficulties and annoyances would be expounded tenfold with a baby. Then I found a really good deal on tickets to Barcelona…on airberlin.

And when the choice is between doing something amazing and staying home its hard to say “nein.”

I was a little worried leading up to the flight. Jon assured me that airberlin, being German, would be ordentlich. He was right. In some ways airberlin was no worse than any other airline and in some ways it was a little better.

Case in point: the baby kit

baby kit

The flight attendant handed us this along with the seat belt adapter for lap babies (Since S is two months shy of 2 years, we were able to take her along without buying her a seat) with a very pleasant, “Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.” Inside there was a diaper,  six pack of wipes, and a little rattle. Why an airline would willfully give anyone a noise-making device is beyond me, but it bought us some time after the novelty of the plane wore off. There was another toy for S on the way out: a beach ball.

Two weeks later and she still loves that beach ball.

According to the website, each destination has its own themed toy. We didn’t get one on the way home – maybe because they knew we were homebound? I was a little  bummed, because I was really curious about what it might be. In general, the way home wasn’t as pleasant. We were tired.  We got snapped at a little by the crew, but I try not to take it personally. We were going back to Germany after all – pleasant service is not really their forte – and it was still nicer than many other flights mit kind. 

Traveling without the eye-rolling and the tight-lipped smiles, the looks that say, “if she so much as lets one hair out of place” is really a dream. And you know what? The flights we were able to board without the looks and sneers, when the other passengers lefts us alone and the flight attendants greeted us like everyone else? Those were the easy flights. Flying with airberlin was easy.

and maybe the beach ball didn’t hurt.

**It should go without saying (this is just a little, tiny blog), but this post was absolutely NOT sponsored in any way. We were just relieved to have a pleasant flight on a budget. **