First Flight: Conclusion (Part 2)

This is part two of our First Flight stories. Read the first part here.

After what seemed like the longest 7 hours flight from hell with Lil’ A who was crying almost the whole way, boy, was I glad to landed in Jakarta. The smell of ‘kretek‘ (cloves) cigarette welcome my nostrils like a long lost buddy, I was home!

My brother, Danny met us at the airport and we all went back straight to a hotel since at that time my family were still living in Balikpapan, East Borneo.

The next morning, we were ready to tackle another leg of the journey, a two hours flight to Balikpapan. Oh and guess what, the mystery of why he was super cranky during that flight was solved in the morning before the three of us went to the airport again! Top tooth popped out! No wonder!

We flew with Garuda Indonesia. Superb services as usual but I noticed they handed out an infant seat belt and since I thought it was only a two hours flight we did not buy Lil’ A his own seat, so technically, he was an infant lap. What shocked me was how this infant seat belt works. You attached it on your own seat belt through a hoop, buckle your baby, and voila…you have an attached baby on your lap. Can’t help but wondering what would happens (knock on wood!) if there’s a bad turbulence. My baby will be my air bag, literally! This experience later turned into my finding of the best gadget for tiny traveler after we were back in Dothan…CARES. Do check out my review for CARES and visit their website.

We also flew to the place where I was born, Makassar and where my Oma (Grandmother) lives also where I still have some families. It was only a 45 minutes flight from Balikpapan.

For our flight back, it was quite an experience as well.

Our flight was delayed for over 30 minutes in Jakarta and it was late, passed Lil’ A’s bed time, so understandably, he’s cranky and tired. Saying goodbye to my brothers were hard so I guess I lingered a bit longer and we were a little late. By the time we reached the gate, they are already boarding and when I pushed his stroller in with him crying and screaming, saw this Korean guy, presumably Korean Airline’s staff talked in broken English to his Indonesian staffs and pointed at my screaming boy. Mind you, he wasn’t exactly talking in a nice tone although I barely catch what he was saying. All I could hear was he repeatedly saying No, No, No.

Excuse me – “Are you talking about my baby?” as I came facing him. He was quite shock to see me staring at him like that. I just can’t stand people like him, talking about my baby as if I’m not even in the room! He told me that I can’t board the plane if Lil’ A is still crying. Boy, did that got my blood boiling! Told him straight in his face that my baby is tired, it’s past his bed time, and chances are he’ll fall asleep any minute and we have a long way to go home also it’s not like he’s an infant lap who fly for free, and he can’t tell me that we are not allowed to fly just because he’s crying. Furious of his reactions and I was so ready to pick a battle with him, when an Indonesian staff, a lady approached me and said it’s better if we boarded last until every body else are settle because they had another 15 minutes delay. Well, that is understandable and makes sense. How hard is it to explain this in a nice way instead of pointing at my baby as if he’s such a pain in you know where?! So I sat there waiting and  he did fell asleep even before we boarded the plane.

Sometimes you just have to stand up for your baby when things are tend to discriminate you! It’s not easy flying with a baby alone – but it’s doable. Get your game face on and don’t be afraid!

We made back home in Dothan in one piece, well except for our checked in luggage that somehow didn’t board our Delta flight until the next day.

In total, we flew with 10 planes during the whole trip, 50 hours of flying time, travel about 23,379 miles by air, went to 5 different cities in 3 different countries! To ‘introduced’ my family and friends back in Indonesia to my baby…priceless!



  1. May 15, 2010 / 12:07 pm

    Oh my gosh…you are SO brave. I don’t think I could ever do all of that by myself…even with all of your great tips. But I just moved from the Midwestern US to Boston, so I am going to have to start doing a lot more flying…and I’m sure that some of those trips will be without my hubby. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, I will think of this post and know that I can do it!

    • May 17, 2010 / 3:53 pm

      More like I had no other choice, Kate hahaha. My husband couldn’t take time off work so I had to go home alone. Thank you for your kind comment

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