9 Aug - No More United Airlines Please

rani's picture

I woke up quite early, around 3.30am and finalised the packing. Then we head down to the lobby where we waited for a girl who wanted to share taxi with us. While waiting, we watched National Geographic channel which screened a story on the collapse of New World Hotel.

At 5.20am, the taxi and an irish girl whom I share the taxi with came (I forgot her name). She was working during summer holiday in Hyannis, and would continue her tertiary education in Budapest. She told me that she has always been a city girl, and was quite bored in Hyannis. It's funny because I couldn't tell that she's an Irish through her accent, which was very much unlike Patrick's accent. She admitted that American TV show has strong influence towards her accent.

We got off the taxi first and I said goodbye to her. We quickly checked in and I prayed for an empty flight. Then I bought some breakfast for me and Noe, with a cup of coffee of course.


The security measure, again, was quite high, just like when I arrived in Chicago. After the security check in, Noe played with a medical-aid dog. This dog is assign to detect medical problems of the owner even before the owner himself feel the problem, and the dog would also seek help when needed.


Noe also chase another toddler girl, Antonia, who was going to Chicago with her mum (Jen) and brother (Nicholas). They played together until our boarding time arrived.



We took Boston - San Fransisco flight and it was a six hours long flight. I am totally not recommending taking long-haul domestic flight in the US, particulally United Airlines, when travelling with a toddler. Firstly, they would cram passengers into small planes, there's no way you could get empty seat next to you. Secondly, they don't provide food for free, you have to pay five dollars for food, and another five dollars for drink, which was a rip-off, and I didn't know about it (or else I would buy big food for myself at the airport). Luckily I have small snacks for Noe so I didn't have to buy any food (although I was starving). Also United Airlines did not put me in aisle seat, nor bulkhead seat. I really had enough with United.

A middle-aged lady on my left (a brunette with pink shirt, and she has a bald fat husband) was disturbed by the fact that I come with my toddler. She would get tensed up every time Noe (unintentionally) stepped into her seat territory. She would show a frowning face and immerse herself in earphone. What an ugly situation.

But luckily, a lady sit on my left is a really kind indian lady who has two kids. She showed empathy to my situation and always tried to play with Noe (although Noe was too shy at that time).

If you think that the Boston-San Fransisco flight was the worst, well, you're wrong. When we arrived in San Fransisco, another surprise happened. Our stroller was damaged during the flight in the storage, under the purview of United Airlines. It was practically unusable and dangerous for the baby. So I went to the customer service in the transfer area, and they couldn't help me at all, saying that for all matters regarding baggage, I had to clear security and go to the baggage claim area. When I told her that my stroller was quite dangerous for Noe to go around, she said that there nothing she could do. She only advised me to push the stroller carefully and slowly to avoid accidents. Some advice!

It felt like a long walk to the baggage claim area. The employee there couldn't help me either, saying that I should file a complaint once I arrive in Singapore. However he kindly provided me with a spare stroller from an unclaimed luggage that I could take to the gate.

I had to clear security again, and totally stressed out because now I had to push two strollers: the broken one to be checked in and the spare one. I had to take off my shoes again and get those strollers scanned again. And nobody from United Airlines helped me (except for the baggage claim guy).

By the time everything was settled, I was very hungry. I rushed to a japanese restaurant near the gate, but the service was totally slow. By the time my meal was ready, I had the final call to board the plane.

Luckily, my next San Fransisco - Tokyo flight was quite empty and I had a seat with an adjacent empty seat, so Noe could sleep lying down. Similarly, the Tokyo - Singapore flight was quite empty too. Unlike our departure to Boston, this time I was totally exhausted. I was totally asleep when Noe was asleep, and had weird dreams too.

We arrived in Singapore early morning on Friday 11 August. We quickly clear immigration and went to the baggage claim. Noe saw Indi from behind the glass door, and I ushered him to the exit where he was reunited with his beloved father. In the mean time, I needed to file a complaint for my damaged stroller. After half an hour, I got to reunite with my family and… we live happily ever after in a cab ride to our home. Despite the lousy flight, it has been a great exciting trip for us!



Domestic Flight is always a nightmare

I had similar experience about traveling with kids. It ranges from intolerant neighbors to flight attendants with I-hate-my-job kind of attitude. It was never occurred to me at that time that a family trip was actually stress mounting experience. I wish they can be more professional in helping passengers with kids at security checking area.

I think people who get antsy easily with kids during travel should have their own private jet. As a reminder that Airlines still are public transportation.

I am glad you arrived back safely in Singapore. Traveling with little ones was never easy especially since you did it all by yourself!


Fiuh! Akhirnyaaaa.... gue bisa bernapas lega juga, rasanya deg2an asal mulai mbaca ttg nyampe bandara :D



top deh ran..
walau emang nightmare banget setiap cerita ttg airport ya..
ditunggu oleh2nya

salam utk Noe
btw, berapa cewek yang dia kejar selama perjalanan?



SUPERMUM in action!! congrats..after the long flight and jetlagged and everything..you're back 1piece with Noe..Bless You...
Tink superman pun kalah ya!!
I guess most passengers in the plane especially long flights dislike sitting to those mummies with kiddos... but they forgotten..they were kids once! uurrgghh... I tink my son willn not sit still and i guess people around me will give up their seats for me! hahahah....
Syabas Rani!

4 thumbs up!

4 thumbs up buat lo, ran!
survive sendirian bawa toddler ke amrik dgn segala keribetannya n ttp bisa ngusahain dpt pengalaman n perjalanan yg asik..aku iriiiiiii!!!
Jadi ibu emg ga ada matinya d :D

Lucky Noe

Wah... noe beruntung sekali ya punya orangtua seperti kalian...

some inquiries

I came across this site via Mr. Wang ... two things pique me:

Indrani's friendster account says he is from Cape Elizabeth High School? That is quite uncanny - I studied in the Cape Elizabeth school system for five or so years and it's quite part of my identity. I have quite a few things (both good and bad) to say about the rich town.

I rarely come across fellow francophones in Singapore besides my schoolmates, but I discover Rani is one.

Alors, c'est peut-être my culturally divided self.

United Airlines

United Airlines alone expects to rake in more than $1 billion this year in fees ranging from baggage to accelerated frequent-flier awards. That's more than 5 percent of its revenue.

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