Syd-LAX-BOS

Guile99

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Hi everyone

im flying SYD LAX BOS in fortnight's time on American Airlines (booked through Qantas). Premium Econ SYD-LAX and First LAX-BOS. There's a 9 hour layover in LAX.

Im travelling with an infant. Would appreciate some advice:

1.) Have a fair few luggage but was advised it's a pretty easy pick it all up in LAX and then drop off in the next room on the transit belt? I was contemplating sending the luggage by sendmybag if it was going to be a hassle, esp given I have a baby in tow.

2.) I understand AA has a first class lounge in LAX? Ill be needing to stop and recharge/ sleep!

3.) My understanding is that bassinets are first come first serve basis. The front row (9) Syd-LAX is already taken, does that mean there's no way to use a bassinet elsewhere? Not sure how im supposed to carry a baby in lap for 12 hours lol so anyone got any suggestions, feel free.

4.) I had a quick look online and it seems ill be able to book the equivalent of a maxi (with infant seat) online once I get to BOS. I land at midnight. Any suggestions?

5.) First time travelling with Bub so advice appreciated!

6.) Where best to get a pre flight covid test? I heard private labs taking ages (4-5 days in some places) so was planning to just go to one of the pop ups 2-3 days beforehand (maybe ill go consecutive days just to be safe). Not sure how to prove results to airline etc?

thanks!
 

RichardMEL

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I can have a go a 1 and 2.

1. Yes it's relatively straight forward from customs clearance to the bag drop belt (at TBIT it involves two ramps) but if you have a *LOT* you may need some assistance there. I'm not too sure how that works though.

2. QF First and Business lounges at LAX are currently closed. AA have an AAdmirals Club/Flagship lounge in T4 (and a smaller one in T5 with just a club lounge) but be aware that you need higher status to access. a Ticket in First on domestic flight like LAX-BOS is *not* enough to get you in. You can probably buy a day pass to access the club lounge if you do not hold QF Gold or above status but honestly you would NOT want to spend a significant time there. There's not really any quiet areas that I can recall, certainly no little sleeping rooms or the like unfortunately. WIth a tired and cranky bub you may want to look to book a day room at a LAX hotel to have a nap and just some downtime - a relaxed freshen up etc. that is my suggestion.

AA club info page: Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
 
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RooFlyer

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For 6, see here:

 

eric2011

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If you choose a hotel day room, I've used the Crowne Plaza in the past. About 5 mins away and free shuttle runs about every 10 mins. Was around $90. All this was before covid so don't know the current situation
 

Seat0B

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For 5. I travelled many years ago SYD LAX with a 2 year old and returned some years after with a 5 year old and an 8 week old. Plus a lot of local tripping by plane in the US whilst living there. So sympathies in advance. And advice I can offer depends a bit on the age of Bub, but as you said infant, I assume under 2 years.

If a baby, they are pretty easy to manage, even though it’s exhausting for you. They have no idea of time or jet lag and so will pretty much stick to whatever routine you currently have. Bring plenty of changes of clothes for Bub for the inevitable “poonami” and I would also pack a full change for yourself just in case that stuff leaks onto you! Pack at least 50% more nappies and wipes than you think you might need to allow for delays etc. a couple of small light, quiet favourite toys will also help pass the time for the baby, if not for you. If breastfed, feeding during descent and landing will help with the ear pressure issues, but most babies still cry a bit - which also helps because they move their jaws. If bottle fed, be sure to get the bottle prepared and warmed so you can use it on descent for the same reason. Flight attendants get busy with chores at that time and may not be super helpful, so warn them out well in advance. If Bub is attempting foods, take your own and plenty of it. You are supposed to be exempt from the 100ml gel and liquid rules for baby care, but I have seen a lot of people have issues with that at security, so try to get things that are less than 100ml like those pouches of yoghurt, custard etc. a baby bjorn or something similar is really helpful to have your hands free for bags, passports, security etc.

If Bub is walking, then a few supervised laps of the plane can help burn off some energy. But you have to supervise or people get really aggravated (Pretty fairly) if a rampaging 2 year old runs up and down the aisles. Take some new and interesting toys, preferably without small parts that can be dropped/lost and definitely without annoying sound effects - this might buy you a bit of time. Also, in this age group, they might even watch a bit of IFE if you are willing to permit this. Again, I recommend plenty of changes of clothes as things will spill and sticky mess is a given. Pack some familiar snacks, and even a few treats - I always took the view that all bets were off on a flight. Also try to keep things under the 100ml limit again just so you don’t have to argue. You should be able to get juice boxes on board for drinking during flight. Take a mini pillow and familiar blanket and try to insist on quiet time with eyes closed, even if not sleeping. for this age, also encourage sucking or chewing on some food on descent to help with ear equalisation. You could even practice in advance getting them t9 blow their nose into a tissue as that will help (good luck with that one!)

If you have a crawler, I just send you my deepest respect and sympathy as that is just hard. They hate to be confined and can’t really be let off the leash - some flight attendants will permit a supervised crawl in the aisle, but some won’t. For an older crawler or toddler, you might also consider whether a judicious dose of Baby Panadol or similar might soothe them enough to get a bit of sleep, but only if that suits your parenting values, of course. I certainly took whatever respite I could get!

Ignore any awful people who make rude remarks about children on planes. They are just grumps and don’t take on their cough. But do your best not to disturb others if you can (ha ha good luck with that one). Also look for anyone who smiles at you or looks sympathetic-they probably know what you will go through and you could ask for assistance like - could you hold the baby while I go to the loo. And also, could you hold the baby while I slam down my meal. With a no seat allocation infant, those things are hard to manage. I know you might not be comfortable handing over your precious Bub, but sometimes on a long flight you just need a moment of help. And there are some lovely people who would be pleased to help you, but probably won’t offer for fear of seeming creepy or critical of how you are managing. Sometimes the flight attendants will help, sometimes not.

About 3 - the bassinet. I would move heaven and earth to get one, otherwise you will literally have to hold the baby for the full flight. Call the airline and ask for that, now. I know for sure that Mr Seat 0A and I have been moved from our self selected QF J seats to other seats, no explanation offered to us, and when we boarded, there was a family with a baby in the seat. So clearly it does sometimes happen especially if those people who already took the seats have no real reason for needing the bassinet. Similarly Seat Daughter had to fly internationally with a broken ankle, and she was given the front row in PE on QF by the window for more leg room to elevate her leg, even though that was already taken. So it is definitely worth asking. Of course if the people who have the seats also have a baby - no luck. Even if asking for it doesn't work, once you board, see if you can smile and ask nicely if the people there would be willing to swap seats. Stranger things have happened.

best of luck @Guile99. It's not easy, but you are introducing your little one to a great life experience.

edit: typos
 
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Seat0B

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Also, re lounges in the US, I second the comments from @RichardMEL. Lounges at US airports are NOTHING like Qantas lounges and are seriously disappointing in my experience. So I would also agree with @RichardMEL and @eric2011 to consider a day room at an airport hotel if you can manage it.

We were travelling as a military family when we travelled with the small children, and made massive use of the excellent USO facilities at both LAX and SFO, which offer the same sort of amenities as a day room at a hotel. So I can't recommend any particular hotels. But the concept is right.
 

Guile99

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For 5. I travelled many years ago SYD LAX with a 2 year old and returned some years after with a 5 year old and an 8 week old. Plus a lot of local tripping by plane in the US whilst living there. So sympathies in advance. And advice I can offer depends a bit on the age of Bub, but as you said infant, I assume under 2 years.

If a baby, they are pretty easy to manage, even though it’s exhausting for you. They have no idea of time or jet lag and so will pretty much stick to whatever routine you currently have. Bring plenty of changes of clothes for Bub for the inevitable “poonami” and I would also pack a full change for yourself just in case that stuff leaks onto you! Pack at least 50% more nappies and wipes than you think you might need to allow for delays etc. a couple of small light, quiet favourite toys will also help pass the time for the baby, if not for you. If breastfed, feeding during descent and landing will help with the ear pressure issues, but most babies still cry a bit - which also helps because they move their jaws. If bottle fed, be sure to get the bottle prepared and warmed so you can use it on descent for the same reason. Flight attendants get busy with che is at that time and may not be super helpful, so warn them out well in advance. If Bub is attempting foods, take your own and plenty of it. You are supposed to be exempt from the 100ml gel and liquid rules for baby care, but I have seen a lot of people have issues with that at security, so try to get things that are less than 100ml like those pouches of yoghurt, custard etc. a baby bjorn or something similar is really helpful to have your hands free for bags, passports, security etc.

If Bub is walking, then a few supervised laps of the plane can help burn off some energy. But you have to supervise or people get really aggravated (Pretty fairly) if a rampaging 2 year old runs up and down the aisles. Take some new and interesting toys, preferably without small parts that can be dropped/lost and definitely without annoying sound effects - this might buy you a bit of time. Also, in this age group, they might even watch a bit of IFE if you are willing to permit this. Again, I recommend plenty of changes of clothes as things will spill and sticky mess is a given. Pack some familiar snacks, and even a few treats - I always took the view that all bets were off on a flight. Also try to keep things under the 100ml limit again just so you don’t have to argue. You should be able to get juice boxes on board for drinking during flight. Take a mini pillow and familiar blanket and try to insist on quiet time with eyes closed, even if not sleeping. for this age, also encourage sucking or chewing on some food on descent to help with ear equalisation. You could even practice in advance getting them t9 blow their nose into a tissue as that will help (good luck with that one!)

If you have a crawler, I just send you my deepest respect and sympathy as that is just hard. They hate to be confined and can’t really be let off the leash - some flight attendants will permit a supervised crawl in the aisle, but some won’t. For an older crawler or toddler, you might also consider whether a judicious dose of Baby Panadol or similar might soothe them enough to get a bit of sleep, but only if that suits your parenting values, of course. I certainly took whatever respite I could get!

Ignore any awful people who make rude remarks about children on planes. They are just grumps and don’t take on their cough. But do your best not to disturb others if you can (ha ha good luck with that one). Also look for anyone who smiles at you or looks sympathetic-they probably know what you will go through and you could ask for assistance like - could you hold the baby while I go to the loo. And also, could you hold the baby while I slam down my meal. With a no seat allocation infant, those things are hard to manage. I know you might not be comfortable handing over your precious Bub, but sometimes on a long flight you just need a moment of help. And there are some lovely people who would be pleased to help you, but probably won’t offer for fear of seeming creepy or critical of how you are managing. Sometimes the flight attendants will help, sometimes not.

About 3 - the bassinet. I would move heaven and earth to get one, otherwise you will literally have to hold the baby for the full flight. Call the airline and ask for that, now. I know for sure that Mr Seat 0A and I have been moved from our self selected QF J seats to other seats, no explanation offered to us, and when we boarded, there was a family with a baby in the seat. So clearly it does sometimes happen especially if those people who already took the seats have no real reason for needing the bassinet. Similarly Seat Daughter had to fly internationally with a broken ankle, and she was given the front row in PE on QF by the window for more leg room to elevate her leg, even though that was already taken. So it is definitely worth asking. Of course if the people who have the seats also have a baby - no luck. Even if asking for it doesn't work, once you board, see if you can smile and ask nicely if the people there would be willing to swap seats. Stranger things have happened.

best of luck @Guile99. It's not easy, but you are introducing your little one to a great life experience.
Thanks! Great tips! Bub is only 3 months old and 100% breast fed so at least some of those problems we won't have to worry too much about for now!

I rang AA (not very useful) re: bassinet and they advised it's first come first serve. Row 9 already has a few taken seats (and im guessing 9 D/E or H are the only ones with a Bassinet anchor point) which further complicates thing. We debated taking 9C/9D or two of the middle row and hope for an empty seat next to us (we're getting one of those inflatable plane pal beds) but settled for 10A/C with the thought that, given the very few numbers travelling at the moment, one of us can sit there with Bub and the other can find a quiet seat somewhere in economy and nap!

Im hoping to get to the airport early, request a bassinet and hope they'll shuffle row 9 and give us a bassinet + a front row seat!
 

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RichardMEL

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I am amazed you can't reserve a bassinet seat. Don't you have to book the INF as a pax even not in their own seat? Surely AA's system should then allocate as appropriate?

(stupid question from a non parent perhaps!)
 

Daver6

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I realise you've paid for Y+, but I'd expect that Y cabin to be VERY empty. I'm sure a bassinet could be available there if all else fails. Failing that, a full row of seats perhaps.
 

twiningb

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It's also possible that the LAX-BOS sector counts as premium transcontinental and you get lounge access, depending on equipment. LAX Flagship Lounge is decent enough but with nine hours I'd probably agree with the suggestion of a day room at a hotel.
 

Matt_01

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I am amazed you can't reserve a bassinet seat. Don't you have to book the INF as a pax even not in their own seat? Surely AA's system should then allocate as appropriate?

(stupid question from a non parent perhaps!)
I think all the booking and seating systems are different and it has been several years since MissM was an infant. From memory I was able to select R1 on the QF 737s when they had the bassinets, not even sure if these are still there as I pay little notice. I also recall that 5A was not available to select, not a big issue as it was not my preferred option however as I was curious I called SST and was advised that 5A was reserved for PAX with infants.
 

Danger

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Guile99, if it's just you and junior travelling, I'm happy to give you an AA systemwide upgrade (SWU). If the stars align, that would bump you up to business class SYD-LAX. If you're not familiar with SWUs, check out this thread, particularly my posts one and eight. If you're interested, simply send me a private message.
 

MEL_Traveller

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It's also possible that the LAX-BOS sector counts as premium transcontinental and you get lounge access, depending on equipment. LAX Flagship Lounge is decent enough but with nine hours I'd probably agree with the suggestion of a day room at a hotel.

Unfortunately it looks like only the following transcon flights are eligible based on class of service:

  • New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX)
  • New York (JFK) and San Francisco (SFO)
  • Los Angeles (LAX) and Miami (MIA)
 

Guile99

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Guile99, if it's just you and junior travelling, I'm happy to give you an AA systemwide upgrade (SWU). If the stars align, that would bump you up to business class SYD-LAX. If you're not familiar with SWUs, check out this thread, particularly my posts one and eight. If you're interested, simply send me a private message.
Thanks! just PM-ed you!
 

Guile99

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I realise you've paid for Y+, but I'd expect that Y cabin to be VERY empty. I'm sure a bassinet could be available there if all else fails. Failing that, a full row of seats perhaps.
yeah, that's what im hoping too. Having said that, AA is stopping all flights to and for Oz/US from September 1st onwards as a result of the pax cap so not sure if we'll see a surge of people trying to leave before then!
 

Guile99

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I am amazed you can't reserve a bassinet seat. Don't you have to book the INF as a pax even not in their own seat? Surely AA's system should then allocate as appropriate?

(stupid question from a non parent perhaps!)
yeah I think each airline is different but AA says on their website, first come first served at check in. I rang the hotline, said the same thing. Infant (under 2) can fly free on lap but yes, they do get issued a ticket too so the airline is aware. Quite how they think an infant can be carried in lap for 12 hours is beyond me though lol
 

MEL_Traveller

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Further to Danger's amazing offer... if you do upgrade to business class for the SYD-LAX flight you will then be entitled to AAdmirals Club access in LAX during your layover. This is under oneworld rules where the long haul class of service grants eligibility for the short-haul or domestic flight connection. Just show your inbound business class boarding pass (SYD-LAX) at the AAdmirals Club together with the onward boarding pass to BOS.
 

Guile99

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If you choose a hotel day room, I've used the Crowne Plaza in the past. About 5 mins away and free shuttle runs about every 10 mins. Was around $90. All this was before covid so don't know the current situation
Is the crowns
Also, re lounges in the US, I second the comments from @RichardMEL. Lounges at US airports are NOTHING like Qantas lounges and are seriously disappointing in my experience. So I would also agree with @RichardMEL and @eric2011 to consider a day room at an airport hotel if you can manage it.

We were travelling as a military family when we travelled with the small children, and made massive use of the excellent USO facilities at both LAX and SFO, which offer the same sort of amenities as a day room at a hotel. So I can't recommend any particular hotels. But the concept is right.
i emailed the USO lounge and turns out ADF can access it too (I’m an army reservist)! Bonus! They have COVID limitations so it’s not fully open but better than nothing! Thanks for the tip!
 

Guile99

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If you choose a hotel day room, I've used the Crowne Plaza in the past. About 5 mins away and free shuttle runs about every 10 mins. Was around $90. All this was before covid so don't know the current situation
Crowne renamed to Sonesta, just mailed them and they said they don’t do day rates! Boooo
 

Seat0B

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i emailed the USO lounge and turns out ADF can access it too (I’m an army reservist)! Bonus! They have COVID limitations so it’s not fully open but better than nothing! Thanks for the tip!
That's great news for you @Guile99. We were also both ADF going to USA on posting, and got the royal treatment. They had plenty of quiet space, a kitchenette with food/snacks supplied and even some sleeping areas back in the day. Maybe email them for more details of what they have on offer. I can't imagine it is worse now than it was in 1992! Plus the staff and volunteers were very lovely, all "thank you for your service". Perhaps you can post a bit when you get there so I can hear how it all went.
 
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