Everyone flying has their pet peeves like aisle or windows but until now you had zero control over who was going to be sitting next to you, now flying to Japan on a long flight near a crying baby could be a thing of the past for passengers on All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines, both airlines now have a online booking tool that indicates where toddlers will be seated.
When passengers with kids between eight days and two years old reserve their seats, a child icon automatically appears on the seat plan, alerting other passengers who have yet to select their seats. (If only the same could be done for those with wide shoulders)
While there is no guarantee with the new feature since there could be last minute bookings and seat changes it does lessen the odds to be out of earshot of a screaming infant. The baby icon also will not appear if passengers booked their flight through a third party or are part of a tour group.
Okay, so what if you are flying to Japan with a baby? How can you make the flight more enjoyable for yourself as well as those travelling near you?
How to Fly With A Baby – Step by Step Guide
Always bring ababy carrier, it is invaluable at airports, on board and for plane changes.
Do your research your airline when flying to Japan: Find out what your airline will provide you so you know what is available on board your flight. If it is a code share flight be sure you look at the right airline. Learn how to request baby meals if available as well as other guidelines such as bassinet size restrictions.
Get an all in one travel system that is both a stroller and car seat when flying with an infant. If you have purchased a seat for your baby and/or intend to use your car seat abroad, check the country’s regulations as not all car seats are legal in other places. Car seats and strollers can usually both be brought for free in addition to your normal luggage allowance.
Bring your own diapers, and spare ones in case of any flight delays or cancellations.
Bring your own food and drink for your baby. Some airlines on some flights allow pre requesting (at least 24 hours in advance) for a baby meal which is pureed baby food only. It is allowed to be over the 3-1-1 or 100ml liquid rule. Babies on planes usually are likely to drink more than they usually do as the cabin air is quite dry.
Dress yourself in layers as well as your baby. Cabin temperatures can vary, and if you have a sleeping baby on top of you, you will want to make things as easier as possible by wearing layers which are easy to add or remove.
Wear a backpack when traveling with baby. It is much easier when you can keep your hands free instead of wheeling suitcases. We like the Ibagbar backpack available on Amazon for its price and durability.
Flying to Japan with a lap baby? The crew may hand you a lap belt or an extension seat belt depending on where your airline is based. US and Canadian airlines won’t provide you with one, but UK, Australian and most other Japanese airlines will.
Use the restrooms on the plane to change your baby. Most have changing tables, although they are small. Use anti-bac wipes to wipe down any surfaces. If the seatbelt light is on ask the Flight Attendent if you may get up.
If you need milk heated up – do ask in plenty of time, not when the Flight Attendents are in the middle of a meal service.
Check Travel Time and Arrival Time
When flying to Japan it is best to arrive in the afternoon or early evening. Many hotels do not allow you to check-in until after 3:00 pm, so if you arrive early in the morning, you will not be able to shower or rest after your long flight. Jet Lag can be a killer. We like Ashwagandha from AffordableSupplements.com as a way to help get rid of jet lag.
Arriving in the afternoon or early evening will allow you to check-in to your hotel, enjoy a meal, and have a full night of sleep.
When you are looking at flights, it is best to start with total travel time. This includes all layovers and connections. Some layovers are not that bad as they give you a chance to walk around and refresh. From the United States, flying to Japan takes about 14 hours from the east coast and 10 hours from the west coast. Every connection and layover adds to this time and the possibilty of delays and cancellations.
Low Price Airfare to Japan
The following are ways to save on airfare when flying to Japan:
First off try to fly outside the peak seasons! Peak seasons are the Golden Week which is the end of April through the beginning of May), the summer holidays (July and August), the New Year holidays. Flights on weekends tend to be more expensive than flights during the week as well.
Consider tour packages. Tour packages combine accomadation and airfare at low rates which are not available to individual travellers. There are tour packages for both the individual travelers and those who prefer to travel with a guide.
Check travel agents, newspapers, travel websites and the airlines’ websites for special offers and sales. Also seek out Japanese Travel agents in cities with a large Japanese population such as New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Vacouver B.C. Many airlines have a “special offers” section on their website for flying to Japan. And don’t forget about using those frequent flyer miles.
Direct flights tend to be more expensive than indirect ones that require a transfer along the way. Honolulu anyone?
Flights to Japan are generally around USD $1,200. The best rates are usually into Tokyo, but also check Osaka ,Haneda, and Nagoya.
There are numerous major airlines flying into Japan from the United States.
Japan Airlines (JAL)
All Nippon Airways (ANA)
Final Travel Tips on Flying to Japan
Stay Hydrated: The air is very dry on planes. Cabins are pressurized which means your body absorbs less oxygen. This is what dries you out so much. Buy a bottle of water at the airport or bring an empty bottle and fill it up before taking off. Also, eye drops can be of great help.
Avoid alcohol: When flying to Japan or anywhere for that matter it’s tempting to choose alcohol as a beverage with your meals or before takeoff at the airport but keep in mind that this just makes things worse as alcohol will contribute to dehydration.
Pack light and leave space in your luggage and carry on. Remember you may be under the weight limit when flying TO Japan, but flying back is what you need to plan for. If you have a full suitcase/carryon you won’t have room to buy anything and if you are close to the weight limit going that can be a costly gift you just bought for someone.
Dealing with Jet Lag can take nearly a week before your body adjusts to the time difference. Try taking either Ashwagandha or “No-Jet-Lag”
Inform your credit card and bank of your travel plans. Be sure your credit card company has no foreign transaction fees and try to find a bank that has free ATM withdrawls. We like Charles Schwab Bank for no foreign transaction fees and free ATM withdrawls globally.