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We’ve been in Thailand just over a week but already our two months in Australia seem like a distant memory. It seems so long ago but our flight from Brisbane to Bangkok via Singapore went rather swimmingly.

Our flight from Brisbane to Singapore EK433 left at 2.30am. That is a crazy time to be headed to the airport for a flight but it really worked for us. We left Mooloolaba at around11pm, waking Reuben from his night time sleep. I figured he’d be tired and would go back to sleep straight away for the one hour drive to the airport. Wrong. He was like a wide-eyed possum hypnotised by headlights the whole journey.

When we got to the airport around 12pm we were pleased to have checked in online as got to jump a rather long queue. We asked to be moved to the bulkhead seats and to have the seat next to us left empty. The flight was going to be pretty full but the lovely check-in staff obliged our request.

Matchbox cars are MADE for little boy fingers!

We kept Reuben up until we got on board. He started to go a little crazy. It was 2am after all. We managed to amuse him with a couple of new matchbox cars we’d bought for the journey. Brisbane airport isn’t a bad place to wait. There’s free wifi and, at such an early hour, plenty of room a the departure gates.

Brisbane Airport Departure Lounge

On board the flight WAS verging on full but our man at the check-in desk came through for us – we had a whole row of four seats to ourselves. The armrests on the bulkhead seats don’t normally raise but the one between the two middle seats did so Reuben slept across these seats for the first three hours of the flight. For the next four hours he was a wake but mostly pleasant.

Arrival in Singapore couldn’t have been easier. I get why everyone raves about this airport. No wait to taxi in to the gate. Bags on the carousel immediately. Zero queue at immigration. Even the restroom was beautiful. There was barely even a queue at the Air Asia check-in desk. We’d checked in online for this flight too (FD3502). The whole process of our DIY-transfer between Emirates and Air Asia only took 45 mins. 

We had a couple of hours to kill between flights so found a spot up in the food court and waited it out. Reuben ran around with a new friend for an hour at least. After only six hours sleep, where he’d normally have twelve, he was beyond control so it was best just to let him go.

Getting onto the Air Asia flight was a struggle. Reuben was so tired and clumsy by this point he had two head on collisions while were waiting to board. Screaming and crying ensued. When we boarded we asked the flight attendant if we could take a row of hot seats (the good seats up the front you usually have to by $30 for) and were pleasantly surprised when they said yes. I think they could see how tired the baby was and how much we were struggling.

Sleeping in "our' hot seats.

The two hour flight to Bangkok was a dream. Reuben slept across two seats the whole way. I helped myself to another empty row of hot seats and got at least 30 minutes of quality nap time. Very valuable after only sleeping an hour overnight.

When we arrived at Bangkok there was a massive queue for immigration but we were shown through to a special queue for families with young children. What a bonus.

So… what did we learn from this experience?

  • Emirates is a great airline
  • Matchbox cars are an excellent source of entertainment for little boys
  • Ask for things nicely and you’ll get them
  • Singapore airport is beautiful and efficient
  • Toddlers will never sleep when you expect them to
  • Flying in the wee hours of the morning isn’t bad if you plan for it.
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Showing 3 comments
  • Amanda Kendle

    I’ve got a Ruben too! (but we spell his differently … long story). They look about the same age. I agree with pretty much everything you learnt on this flight, particularly about how they won’t sleep when you expect them to when you travel. But it’s amazing how adaptable and resilient they can be – my Ruben constantly surprises us on our trips.

    • Bethaney

      Hi Amanda,

      Oh I’d like to meet another little Reuben/Ruben on the road. How old is yours? Ours is almost 22 months now.

      On past trips we’ve found our Reuben really adaptable and easy to travel with but on this one it’s a different story. Maybe it’s a case of the “terrible twos” sneaking up on us at the worst possible time???


  • Erin

    I am so asking for those seats next time. We always get given the 6 seats so josh has 3 with one child and i have 3 with oe child, but the plush seats…. next time a child is crying thats on my list to do haha.

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