Friday, January 25, 2013

Bangkok: It Depends on How You Define "Easy"

We're back, one small person larger, to continue on this ever crazier experiment in world travel with kids.  Our daughter, Baby C (7 months old), joins her brother, little D (almost 21 months old), in the craziest family she doesn't even know she's part of yet.

On top of this I broke my ankle at the beginning of December.  This trip got shortened and downscaled (it was supposed to be up to Laos to visit a friend and check one off the bucket list), and the doctor gave approval to start weight bearing 6 days before the trip, so we decided to go ahead anyway - not only to take two under two to Asia, but to do it with a gimpy Mommy.

The story on how the trip came to be is a mistake fare.  It was a pricing error quoted in Myanmar kyats at the "floated currency" rate after the currency had been devalued.  So we ended up with a sweet round trip from Myanmar to the States in business class for pretty cheap, the caveat being that the trip had to originate in Myanmar.  So we booked a one-way out to Hong Kong, and it being January with really low flight loads, were able to redeem four Global Premier Upgrades and get us all into Business Class on the way out, too.

Chicago-Hong Kong is flown on a 747, and we were in business class.  There are two 4-packs of seats (with two rear facing and two forward facing) next to the aft galley.  The downside is, it's loud and busy, and if you are a business traveler looking for a restful flight experience, you should not want to sit here.  The upside is that if you are a family of four with two small children, these seats are perfect!  They are far away from *everything*, especially the rest of business class where passengers might not like to be disturbed.

Traveling with kids is just made exponentially easier.  There's a lot more room to spread out toys and supplies, everybody has their own space.  The kids did great.  C slept a long time in her car seat, lulled by the white noise and vibration.  D ate like there was no tomorrow.  He took a bit of a long time to wind down enough to sleep on the lie-flats, even though we had talked about "a bed on a plane" for about a week.  He ended up wanting to fall asleep in daddy's arms, then transferring over to the bed.  Finding Nemo helped a lot.  He got about 6 hours or so of sleep on the flight, and woke up as breakfast was being served.

We took a mechanical delay out of Chicago, which delayed us about an hour, when we only had about 2hr5min of connect time in HKG in the first place.  Because of the crazy way we booked this (one way flight to HKG connecting to intra-asia award to BKK), we weren't sure how this would play out.  After we claimed the stroller at the top of the jetbridge and came down the ramp, there were two agents yelling for Bangkok passengers.  They asked me who I was and lo and behold, my name was on their list!  We had checked a bag all the way through, and apparently, that's how they saw my "connection."  Boris the Agent then escorted us through security and all the way around to the Thai boarding gate.  He coordinated with the Thai agents to get boarding passes printed, seats assigned, and checked bag located, all while flirting charmingly with Miss C.  He was awesome.

The downside of this is that I had to practically run the length of HKG on my gimpy ankle.  That wasn't so good.  But we made it.  The Thai flight was awesome, even with tired kids, who were lap children on this particular flight.  We were so proud of them.

Upon arrival in Bangkok, we found our bag on the baggage carousel, in spite of the delay into HKG - awesome.  And then it was a cab ride downtown to the Grand Hyatt Erawan, where after getting installed into our 1 bedroom suite and a light snack, everyone fell blissfully asleep for a solid 5 hours.

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