Sunday, July 29, 2012

The PCS Files: Flight Logistics

We are beginning our trek to Japan tomorrow. Holy crap. Like, for real. HOLY CRAP.

We will be flying out of Tennessee early tomorrow afternoon and after a layover in the middle of the US, we will make it to the West Coast by 8:00pm. We had assumed we would get a hotel that night before catching our flight to Japan the following morning, but when we started talking about it, it didn't seem to be working out very well.

We have to report for our military flight to Japan in the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday and if we're not getting in until 8:00pm the night before, we might only have a few hours to get to our hotel room and sleep before having to get up for the next flight. So, I called the USO at the airport we'll be flying into. This is our first time on military flights, so we weren't sure what to expect. I talked with a lovely woman who told me about the facilities available to us once we arrive. There will be a family room with a crib, cots, and mats on the floor. There will be a USO Luggage area where we can drop off our checked baggage until the next morning.

She also informed me that we will need to get our boarding passes a few hours before dawn and that we can start lining up for them just after midnight (?!). All four of us have to be in line for them, so that should be interesting.... We also have to pick up our baggage from the USO Luggage area shortly after they open up the boarding passes so we probably won't be getting much sleep. After we get our passes and luggage, we will still have 3-4 hours before our flight actually leaves for Japan.

So... what the heck are we going to do? Here is my plan.

Try to get the girls to sleep on one or both of our flights to the West Coast tomorrow. If they will only sleep on one, I hope it's the later one so that maybe they will stay up most of the night. Once we get to the West Coast, we are going to try to keep the kids up all night. I HIGHLY doubt it will happen, but even if they sleep for a few hours in the middle of the night, they would probably do okay. Airports are usually much less crowded at night, so I'm hoping we'll be able to find a spot for the kids to run around and not bother anyone. The reason we'd like to keep them up all night is so that maybe, juuuuust maybe, when we leave for Japan the next morning, they will sleep for a majority of the time on our 10-hour flight. When we arrive in Japan, it will be the middle of the day. It would be great if we could push through the rest of the time and put the girls to bed at a normal time that night.

Of course, plans always SOUND great... but they are simply plans. Who knows if things will go anything like we hope they will. My main is to just go with the flow. The last thing I want to do is fight with the kids in a crowded airport or on a cramped plane. So, please send us some good vibes, positive thoughts, prayers or whatever you prefer. We will probably need it. I don't know when I'll be blogging again, but I hope to keep you updated throughout our travels if time (and internet) allows. Sayonara!


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