The Downside of Traveling for Free

May 28, 2008 by Kailani  
Filed under my family

Earlier this week, our family flew to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii for my uncle’s funeral service. We were only going for the day but since we were traveling stand-by, we had to make sure we brought along a few essentials just in case we couldn’t make it back home.

You would think it’d be a piece of cake considering that I travel for a living. However, I just couldn’t get my act together. How in the world can you put all your 3 oz liquids into one quart-sized bag? And what do you mean I can’t pack those bottles of Vitamin Water in my rollerboard? Do you know how expensive it is to buy water in the airport terminal? Oh, and even the baby’s shoes need to come off while going through security? *sigh*

But the worst part was when we were trying to get back home and found out a later flight was canceled. They were moving all confirmed passengers up to earlier flights making it almost impossible for non-revs to get on . . . and we had a party of 6. It wouldn’t have been too bad if it were just us grownups because we’re familiar with the pitfalls of traveling for free, but I had Girlie Girl and Baby Bug with me, too.

To make matters worse, I committed the #1 parental cardinal sin. Yup, this professional traveler and supposedly organized Mommy didn’t pack enough diapers. As I used the very last one, I prayed to the Airplane God to PLEASE let us get on the next flight. It must have worked because it was music to my ears when I heard our names called. Unfortunately, they only had 3 seats available and Dad insisted that we take them. This just goes to show that no matter how old your children get, you’ll always sacrifice for them. Thanks Dad & Mom!

Now I’m sitting on the plane and congratulating myself for making it this far without too much incident. Girlie Girl had to sit by herself but had fallen asleep right after take-off. Baby Bug played with my iPod for most of the flight and didn’t even kick the seat in front of her. She did spill juice all over her dress but I was able to change her clothes. Things were looking good.

When I saw the lights of the Honolulu International Airport, I breathed a sigh of relief. We made it! And as the tires touched down onto the runway and I watched Baby Bug happily licking her lollipop (don’t judge me) it happened. I felt a warm liquid spreading in my lap and down the side of my legs. I sat their in disbelief. Baby Bug just peed all over me.

My mind started racing. I could use the burp cloths in my diaper bag to construct a diaper but realized that I didn’t even know how. Sad, huh? Maybe I could find some duct tape in the galley and just tape the whole thing together? And what about me? Would it be too obvious if I walked off the plane with a blanket tied around my waist?

I made a decision. As soon as the plane parked and the seat belt sign went off, I made a mad dash to the lavatory. Luckily, a really good friend (and fellow Mommy) was working the flight. I asked her to leave Baby Bug’s diaper on but change her back into her juice soaked dress (juice is better than pee, right?). I woke up Girlie Girl and told her to stay in her seat until I came to get her. Then I went into the lavatory to clean myself up as much as possible. Luckily, I was wearing black slacks so the wet stain wasn’t too noticeable. I just hoped I didn’t reek of pee! I ripped off the wet seat cushion and replaced it with the extra one we always carry on-board, apologized profusely to my friend, and made a hasty exit with my pants stuck to my butt.

I think it will be a while before I travel with the kids again.

Anything like this ever happened to you? It would be nice to know that I’m not the only one.

About the author:
Kailani is the owner and founder of An Island Life. You'll find her sharing her daily life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii. She is also the founder of the group review site - Family Review Network. Follow along on her adventure of a lifetime this Winter as a member of the Vaseline Dry Skin Patrol!
Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • Kirtsy
  • Technorati


36 Responses to “The Downside of Traveling for Free”
  1. Krista says:

    Oh no! At least it was only pee… ;) And you were almost there!
    I don’t think I’ve had anything like this happen to me… yet! But I only have 1 and he’s only 1!

    Krista’s last blog post..A Day of Remembrance

  2. Corrie says:

    You’re not alone, we made it home with no diapers to spare (thankfully she didn’t have a messy one until we got home)

    I think next time we’ll drive or wait until she’s 6.

    Corrie’s last blog post..Too legit to quit!

  3. Noreen says:

    I walked around toontown once with peed on pants. My daughter thinks it was funny and reminds me we saw mickey and mommy had her pee on me

    Noreen’s last blog post..Happy Dance!!

  4. Cathi says:

    I didn’t fly with my kid’s however I bet NY has many stories he could tell about flying with me!! Luucyyyy!! Like the time I stopped the plane on a flight from LAX to JFK at the top of the runway so the first officer could check some leakage I spotted on the wing. NY didn’t know I was the culprit until we landed in New York.
    My daughter-in-law could share stories with you Kailani. When we lived in Florida, she would visit from California and she flew ONT-DFW-FLL and back many times with 3 little ones under the age of 5. I flew out to fly with her a few times but she did fine alone. This was stand-by also. Always the last ones to board. Only once did the agents give her seats that weren’t together. It truly angered NY as he was monitoring her flights on the computer and he could see that the agent had given two people that weren’t traveling together seats together right before issuing Mindi seats far apart. Silly agent!!

    Cathi’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Ouch!

  5. Joanne at frutto della passione says:

    I have had some pretty close calls (almost missed connections twice) but luckily travelling with my little guy has always worked out well. He’s eight now and a travelling pro! When he was 11 monthes old he flew for the first time with me (and before the liquid limitation) I had two carry ons (one each) and for an eight hour flight I had 20 diapers (2 per hour plus 4 just because) 2 changes of clothes, snacks, drinks, toys, books and blankets. He only needed to be changed 3 times. He spent the entire flight playing with the cups off the meal trays and didn’t need any of the other stuff I brought!! :)

    Joanne at frutto della passione’s last blog post..Pascoli part 1

  6. Melissa Markham says:

    Too funny! (well, from the outside looking in of course!) Just think, it could have been worse. My worst flight experience was flying with a child who woke up with a stomach virus. She had done well for awhile, we got on the plane and during take off, she proceeded to throw up in my hands….I couldn’t get a bag out fast enough. My oldest son was with us and he helped me get an air sick bag and all…yuck!

  7. Qtpies7~ says:

    I had to fly from Germany to Arizona to Minnesota and back to Germany with 3 kids, by myself.
    I blocked it all out.
    There was crying, screaming, horror. But I blocked it out. I won’t go back there!
    I later flew again with 3 kids and 7 months pregnant by myself.
    The security dogs could smell a sandwich in my bags but I couldn’t for the life of me find it, but finally security got tired and just let it go, lol. They pushed my little man around in his carseat in a wheel chair and even helped me with all our bags. I don’t think they wanted to deliver a baby right then.

    I can’t imagine doing it now that I am older.

    Qtpies7~’s last blog post..When it rains, it pours or Sam couldn’t be topped by Drew

  8. Alyson @ 3 Ps in a Pod says:

    Kailani -

    Now that you have provided me with a good giggle for the morning, you win some serious brownie points!!!

    And while it has not happened to me yet, I consider nothing impossible with this 3rd child so just give me time. And just think, now that it has happened to you, you are ahead of the game!!


    Alyson, the 3P’s Mama

    Alyson @ 3 Ps in a Pod’s last blog post..What’s in MY Name??

  9. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    Ok, I had to laugh while reading this – couldn’t help it. :) I haven’t flown with the girls in years, but I could so see this same thing happening to me!

    Deb – Mom of 3 Girls’s last blog post..Thursday Thirteen #42 – Random ’stuff’ going on

  10. Kelly @ Love Well says:

    You poor thing! What a nightmare!

    We’ve flown a bunch of times with the kids, and since I really, really don’t want anything to go wrong, I’m always over-prepared. And in that way, I bet the fact that you fly every week probably hurt you. It’s hard to switch gears when you’re used to operating one way and now, all of a sudden, you have kids in the mix.

    Kelly @ Love Well’s last blog post..My New Look

  11. Write From Karen says:

    The ONE time you don’t have extra diapers – I swear, that’s my life in a nutshell. LOL

    I’m sorry to hear the trip was stressful. It sounds like you handled it pretty well and poor Baby Bug, she was probably what was up with the sudden wetness factor. *grin*

    Have a great day, GF.

    (By the way, I’ve moved: – long story).

    Write From Karen’s last blog post..Slowing Down

  12. Renee says:

    at least you had a plan of action. How many other moms end up in that situation with no way out? Poor mommies.

    I’m sorry it happened to you though.

    The only mishap that I ever had while flying was trying to change DD in the lavatory on that super hard changing board, in the back of the plane on a bumpy flight and the mess was stuck to her really bad. I ran out of wipes! And then there was someone banging on the door trying to get us to hurry up. :rolleyes:

    Renee’s last blog post..Too polite for today’s society?

  13. annaliza says:

    i haven’t experienced that on the train, but in a restaurant! yep, a restaurant–even more stupid; or was it a wedding…

    what’s worse? the pee on the chair that is changeable or a ton of cracker and food crumbs on the airplane chair and the floor?? that’s what happened when we flew from CA to florida. i was embarrassed. at least you know how to clean up the mess!

    BTW, you’re right. the pic is san diego. :)

    annaliza’s last blog post..Throwback Thursday: Bando Nurd

  14. Amy @ The Q Family says:

    I don’t remember if that ever happened to me. Maybe it did but I just blocked it out and never want to remember it. :) We did flew with them when they were young to Thailand. 24 hours flight with 2 small children. I’m sure there were some mistakes I made that I locked it in my memory. :)


    Amy @ The Q Family’s last blog post..Carnival Cruise – Day 2 – Fun Day @ Sea

  15. UptakeInOH says:

    I’m so sorry about the stress, but you have to admit it makes for a great story. ;)

  16. diana/sunshine says:

    oh no! although it makes for a great blog post, i would hate to have actually lived through it. you sounded more calm and collected than i would have been.

    sorry, i don’t have any nightmare stories like this one. thank goodness =)

    diana/sunshine’s last blog post..use it as a phone

  17. Desert Songbird says:

    I feel for you. I’ve flown non-rev a couple of times with passes from my niece; luckily I only got bumped once, and I was with my sister not kids. I think you were brave to non-rev with the kids, but I can see why my niece won’t do it with her four-year-old and her three-year-old twins. Yowsah!

    Desert Songbird’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – On Vacation

  18. Carey says:

    At least you made it home. I have never flown with my kids(ive only been on an airplane once, and that was when I was like 3).

    Carey’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  19. Lulu says:

    I would say that you are the most awesome traveler EVER! Frankly, I would have been in tears and so would have my child. You deserve a SuperMomTraveler medal!!

    Lulu’s last blog post..Nature vs. Nurture

  20. Lulu says:

    BTW, I got so wrapped up in your story and my comment, that I forgot to give you my sympathies. I’m so sorry about your uncle.

    Lulu’s last blog post..Nature vs. Nurture

  21. Melissa says:

    We were traveling from Moscow to JFK (10 hour flight) and had my 14 month old daughter as a lap seat. The flight attendents were hooking on the bassenet when my daughters diaper shifted and she peed all over my lap. I had to sit with wet pee on me for the next 9 1/2 hours, plus 2 1/2 more hours at the airport and travel home. Next time, I am bringing a change of clothes for me too.

  22. Shawna says:

    Oh no!! Life of a Mommy! That’s never happened to me that far away from home. I’ve never been on an airplane with my 2 year old. She did completely drench herself, me and the floor outside my gym and in the middle of a department store. Pretty embarassing.

    Shawna’s last blog post..Shockingly…Heartwarming

  23. matt says:

    Glad you can laugh about it now.

    matt’s last blog post..New “Breeze” Litter System from Tidy Cats (Product Review)

  24. Chief Family Officer says:

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as I read this post. I feel so bad for you but at the same time, it’s so awful that it’s funny.

    And no, you’re not alone. My friend flew to England a couple of years ago with her then 18-month-old. At the beginning of the second flight, she gave him a bottle of milk so he could suck during take off. Well, not long after they were in the air, he threw up ALL OF THE MILK ON HER. She’d had the foresight to pack a clean top for herself, but not pants. So she had to wear milk-vomit coated pants for the rest of the trip!

    Chief Family Officer’s last blog post..The Drugstore Game: Walgreens Coupon + Tips

  25. Jane says:

    Oh, what fun!

    Not quite this bad, but we did have a poopy blowout diaper as we were boarding a plane (the last ones on) – and the pilot was nice enough to hold up the flight long enough for us to change it in the lavatory. It was a short flight out of a small airport (Eugene, OR), which helped, but I’m not sure what the other passengers were thinking.

    Jane’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  26. TheAngelForever says:

    Ugh, sorry you had such an adventure home. Hopefully things are settling now that you are back. See, thanks to your story I am even more glad that I said NO to that wedding. Well, that and the costume sheet that came today for everyone to pick things out – ick!

    TheAngelForever’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – 1 Year Portraits

  27. Mrs. Earthworm says:

    Just opened and read Kailani’s ordeal on her return flight to Honolulu (my goodness, we had to find out through her post? Thank goodness for blogs!).

    That’s one of the great things about Kailani, she never complains about life’s situation. She is quite a resourceful person (even as a child). We’re glad that she was able to handle the situation as well as she did.

    As for having a similar kind of situation happening to anyone else? Would a pet situation qualify? Let me explain.

    I had to take my small Maltese dog to the Vet. He always lies down very quietly on the towel on my lap, but this time, he was acting a little nervous and just before we reached the Vet’s office, he did IT! Pooped all over the towel and some of it got on my pants (yikes!). Pulled over into the Vet’s parking lot.

    Now what do I do? I can tell you I wasn’t smelling like a rose and neither was he. So do I go all the way back home and change or go in for his scheduled appointment? I was soooo happy when I spotted two bottles of Mr. EW’s water peeking out from under another towel in the back seat and I was able to clean both of us. Explained what happened to the staff (they were so nice and said we didn’t “smell” and said it happens so I felt a little relieved). After we got home, we both took a bath.

    BTW, although we didn’t make it on the same return flight as Kailani, we were able to catch the next flight out–First Class! I’m glad there’s an Airplane God for parents, too!

  28. Jessica says:

    i took the baby to office max yesterday to buy labels for a garage sale. she was sitting on my hip and all of a sudden my whole side is soaking HOT wet. i tried to get through the checkout without moving her and making it obvious and grossing the poor checkout dude out… but it didn’t happen. i wrestled with my purse, credit cards, credit card machine and the baby who was trying to throw herself out of my arms. finally i admitted to the guy that “she just peed on me”, signed the machine, took my receipt and ran out. that wasn’t the first time it happened. just the freshest in my mind. pee gets cold quick too.

    Jessica’s last blog post..twenty-nine days.

  29. Kila says:

    Yeah, I’ve been peed on, too. And pooped on, while wearing light colored blue jeans! How fortunate that you were wearing black pants! It probably wasn’t noticeable!

    Kila’s last blog post..Spring Band Concert…

  30. Grace says:

    Thank God my 4 year old is not in diapers anymore when we travel in August this year! But yeah, I had someclose encounters of the diaper (or lack of it) kind. I once ran out of diapers and had to put a folded towel on her instead and just hold it with my hands the entire time. No more travelling (long haul) until the kiddo is off the paper panties in the future!

    Grace’s last blog post..all about Harry

  31. Holly Schwendiman says:

    Wow – home never looked so good hugh?


  32. Marlene says:

    I think things like this happen to us all and most people don’t mention it. It’s a vey great bloggers like you who share your story and make a lot of us nod and smile because we have been in some similiar situation before.

    Thanks for sharing the story :)

  33. Mary @ Adventures in Mommyland says:

    Traveling with the kiddos is always rough. I usually just try to roll with the punches and make the most of it! ;)

    Mary @ Adventures in Mommyland’s last blog post..Do you like to swim?

  34. CPA Mom says:

    no, not pee, but I was thrown up on by my son during a flight. And I had no spare clothes for me.

    CPA Mom’s last blog post..Current Giveaways

  35. Michelle in mx says:

    what a day!
    what a trip!

    Michelle in mx’s last blog post..We are off!


See what others are saying about this post...
  1. [...] to say, I’m going to be switching to Pampers as soon as I get home. Maybe then I won’t get peed on during our plane rides. Hmmm . . . I wonder how they would hold up in the swimming [...]

We Appreciate Your Comments

Thank you for stopping by!
If you'd like an image next to your comment, you need a gravatar.

CommentLuv Enabled