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Travelling Abroad With Twins My Nightmare Experience

Updated: Feb 22, 2020

Travelling Abroad with Twins the perfect flight with British Airways to the nightmare of Ryanair

So, our first family Holliday abroad was to Miami USA and Key West with British Airways and I have to say it was the perfect flight.

London Heathrow airport……. lounges and baby play area

Arriving at London Heathrow we enjoyed the play area for the children and I have to say I was so impressed with the soft play area and activities section. I do think though that they could have a bigger room but the fact that they had one was great.

Baby items collection

I ordered baby milk and some other baby snacks that I wanted to take with me. I ordered it online and simply collected it before boarding. This really allowed me to feel organised and less stressed with preparing everything.

Heading to the gate we arrived with plenty of time for me to then dismantle my MIMA PRAM and pack away in the Stoke pram bag. After practising at home before travelling it took me 10 mins to pack the bag and hand it over to a member of staff who put it down a special shoot to be placed on the plane.

All aboard the plane……

We boarded the plane and waited for our 9hr 30mins journey to begin. The boys (aged 1 ½) were so good they had there first nap and then some dinner then practically slept the entire journey. No screams and no crying. I guess we have been lucky thus far. Even the people behind us didn’t realise we had twins on the plane and the crew of BA was very accommodating with baby food. After a quick walk, up the isle which I’m sore many passengers thought I was walking the same baby twice we freshened up got changed and ready for landing. One explosive nappy and clothes change and we were good to go.

Getting off the plain with our bags and no pram was a nightmare the boys were walking at the time (slowly) which was great but we still had a few bags to contend with between my husband and I. Anyhow we managed to get through all the security check points swiftly.

Car rental and child safety in America 😳…. OMG

Now the next nightmare we had to travel out of the airport with all of our luggages to another area to collect the car. I was not willing to stay behind and separate from my husband so we took a cab unloaded all of our stuff and travelled to the car collection point in Miami.

So, we get the car after much deliberation and had to go through numerous car seats as some where faulty and simply not safe.

Anyhow we survived in our big white truck which had plenty of room for all our luggage and pram.

We had a great time for our first trip and I was so proud of the boys as I was extremely anxious about flying.

The essentials I packed for the boy’s travels:

  • Stoke Pram bag (protected my pram and kept it clean)

  • Travel cots (optional but not essential however I found that many hotels cupboards were either dirty or not up to my safety standards) Plus mine can be used as a playpen which is great when going to the beach.

  • Phil and Teds collapsible high chairs (not essential but optional it was perfect for me given that where ever we ate at a restaurant the seat fitted to the table perfectly)

  • Beans Food steamer processor

  • Flashcards, kindles, colouring book, reading books

  • A few essential toys

  • 2 Teddy bears

  • Baby milk, Ella’s, fruit bars

  • Baby Calpol

Our return flight was as our first stress free and easy with BA.

The flight from hell with Ryanair never ever again

So, after having an amazing family Holliday we set off again for another in September for a friend wedding in Greece. I booked the flights with Ryanair travelling out and then other airplanes for the rest of our travels to another Greek island then back to England via Aegean airlines.

Well we arrived at London Gatwick and went to the checkin desk and that’s when our nightmare of a journey began. We were greeted by the check in assistance who informed us that she was not sure if we could check in our baby equipment that was in one bag.

Mummy Prepped, informed and sorted?!

Prior to travelling with Ryanair, I called and had online chat conversations enquiring about our travelling equipment via phone and online chat. I was told repeatedly that I was able to carry the following:

1. Double stroller to the gate That fits into a prom pack bag.

2. 2x baby carry cots

3. and another 2 baby equipment item free of charge.

In regard to my pram I was told that I would not be able to take my pram with me to the gate. As the agent was not able to verify they asked me to call the airline or airport themselves. I called the airport to confirm information because neither the online chat nor the agent on the phone was able to answer this simple question which I believe is also on the website and was told that I could carry the pram with me.

I was never told how I should pack my two travel costs needed for my twins. Travelling with twins, luggage and baby equipment is a lot so I put my travel items in one bag and was told at the check in desk that I would have to pay for an additional bag.

We were then told to go around the corner and speak with customer service about this as myself and husband was confused as to why we were being asked to pay for baby items when we are allowed to carry them for free.

We had to inform them that our flight was leaving in an hour so we needed to resolve this ASAP. We then had to explain ourselves to not one but 4 members of staff regarding this matter and was told that we had to pay for our travelling equipment.

Once again, I had to explain to them whilst opening and emptying the content of my bag that there company policy states that we are allowed to carry baby equipment free of charge.

I even stated to all 4 members of staff evolved that I would be more that happy for them to take it as separate parts. I was told that they could not accept it as separate parts and that carrycots are considered one piece. I'm not sure where this is stipulated their terms and conditions that carry cots should be in one piece because I have not seen it.

Here is a picture of my carry cot and the picture of the bag which fits the carry cot. As you can see in the picture below the bag that fits all the parts for this travelling cot as I was not able to fit two into the one bag I opted for placing all items into one large bag instead of carrying two of these bags separately.

This is a generic bag I've used as an example of travelling cots so the bag I used was no bigger than two of these combined together. In fact, would be roughly the same size.

In addition to the travel cots I had two foldable high chairs by Phil and Ted and a baby cook pro.

Ryanair Customer Service

After dealing with customer service who then made phone calls we was then told to pay £40.00 in total for one bag over weight and for the baby items. As the time was running out of time and agreed. The gentleman whom I do not have his name but was of Asian decent with blue contacts helped us a lot and was really sympathetic to our situation caused by Ryanair. When we then went to check in we was told that we would have to hurry as the gate would be closing soon but told us to proceed the Asian gentlemen had to tell the lady who checked us in to hurry up as we did not have long as she started to question what we had paid for even when he was there present with our payment slips.

After making it through security we then had to make our way to gate 56 all the way at the end. Neither myself or my husband had heard any announcements being made nor did we see on the information board that the gate had already closed until we arrived at the gate and sat there as we then watched at 8.52 our luggage leaving the plain and then departing at 9.33.

£400.00 wasted and 6hrs later still in an airport

We then went to find out about another flight and was told that not only would we have to pay another £400 pounds but that we would have to wait until 6pm for the flight meaning that we would not get into Athens Greece until 12am that night. As we live an hour away an option to go home was possible at an expense of another £240 pounds return cab on top of £120 already paid. We decided to stay in the airport and sit there from 9-3 until checkin opened again.

When we went to buy our tickets the Asian gentleman that helped us was shocked but apologetic about our experience. When we then proceeded to checkin I was obviously nervous about what we had already experienced 6 hours prior. The check in member of staff took our bags without any question in regard to our baby equipment and we proceeded to security checks. Once inline at security we were then told that the amount of baby milk was too much for our flight, we were not told this the first-time round when they tested the milk once again another inconsistent service. They actually let us through but told us that this was not allowed and that they should not have authorised this the first time.

As a result of this I missed 12hrs of my first day of Holliday in Greece, I was stressed, anxious and exhausted. I have never experienced something like this in my life and although I am this wasn’t a British Airways flight I was and still in utter shock that Ryanair staff are not aware of there company policy's regarding travel equipment. If as mentioned before when I had spoken to someone that they said that all travel equipment should be in separate bags I would have brought two of everything because the weight is still the same and within the guidelines.

This is what Ryanair company states online:

"Yes you can bring any infant equipment you need. You can carry 2 items of baby equipment free of charge per child - 1 pushchair plus one of the following items: car seat or booster seat or travel-cot.

On arrival at the airport the 2 free items of baby equipment can be tagged for travel at a Bag Drop Desk, which close 40 minutes before the scheduled flight departure time. Children's pushchairs can be used up to the aircraft steps and after landing the pushchair will be available at the aircraft steps (provided local conditions permit this).

There are baby changing facilities onboard located at the rear of the aircraft. Cabin crew can warm baby bottles if required.

Other items of baby equipment in addition to the 2 free items can be checked-in upon payment of an Infant/Child Equipment Fee (maximum weight 20 kgs).

There is no cabin baggage allowance for infants sitting on an adult’s lap or infants aged 8 days to 23 months who are seated in an extra comfort seat. However, a baby bag up to 5kg can be carried by the accompanying adult in addition to their own cabin bag.

Infants over the age of 1 who are sitting in their own seat have a FREE 10kg baggage allowance as well as a small second bag, they also get the option to purchase a checked-in bag."

When you take into account that per child they get a free 10g baggage allowance and a small second bag and on top of that the infant equipment is max 20ks per child that's a total of 50kg each per child and I had 21 for al 5 pieces of equipment.

I have never experienced this type of inconsistency and I hope that no one else would have to experience this.

I would never travel Ryanair again in the future given this experience I and my family had to endure. Travelling with twin toddlers is stressful enough and that's why I always make sure I do my research and double check to have peach of mind. policy. I was fortunate enough that my other 2 additional flights thereafter with Aegean was easy and stress free with no complications regarding my baby equipment at all.

So that was my experience and I’m looking forward to travelling again to Miami very soon with BA and going back to Europe with any other airline besides Ryanair.

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