Thursday, September 11, 2008

Airport/Airline Logistics

Checked Bags

Ethiopian Airlines allows 2 checked bags per passenger. Since my mom, Abigail, and I all have tickets, we each get to check 2 bags (as well as have a rolling carry on each, and a "personal item" ie-backpack.) I will use the 3 totes of humanitarian aid as part of my checked bag allowance, and I will also check 3 rolling suitcases.

On Ethiopian Airlines, extra checked bags are $135 each. Thankfully, I will not go over my checked bag allowance. Overweight bags are figured at a percentage of your ticket price, I think. But again, I refuse to go over weight, and will par down my packing list if my bags are over at all. I am flying out of Dulles, so I don't know what restrictions might apply if you are making a connecting flight to Dulles/NYC.

Navigating the Airport

When we are dropped off at the airport, my plan is to load the totes, one suitcase, and several (all?) of our rolling carry ons onto a cart. My mom and I will each pull a rolling suitcase and Abigail will pull either her rolling carry on or one of our rolling carry ons. We will each also carry our own backpack/purse. I think since we will be dropped off right at the departures area, we can manage to get to the ticket counter without difficulty.

On the return trip, we will have only the rolling suitcases and carry ons to manage. Again, I plan to use the cart for as much as possible, and with my mom and Abigail there to help, I think we can manage it all (Anna will most likely be in a sling/wrap which will free both of my hands for luggage.)

Getting to/from the Airport

I plan to use my Saturn Vue to drive to and from the airport. It will be tight (especially on the way to the airport) but I figure that if I have to hold a carry on in my lap and have a suitcase take up most of my leg room during the 2 hour drive, that is really not that bad. John will drive us to the airport, so that will mean we have 3 adults and one car seat on the way to the airport. That will still allow us room in the backseat for bags, as well as plenty of room in the back for totes and bags. I hope. Seriously thinking about measuring everything out:)

On the way home from DC, we will have 3 adults and 2 car seats. This means that everything must fit into the back. However, I anticipate less luggage on the way home, and plan to reduce the number of rolling carry ons we have by packing them inside my regular suitcases for the flight home (the way I store them when they are not in use.) I have done this on other flights and found it really helpful. I don't plan to bring anything home other than our clothes/shoes, books/toys, and souvenirs. (Food, toiletries, and anything else that I have at home will be left in Ethiopia.)

If we had a minivan or a friend with a minivan, I would have no worries at all:)


Anonymous said...

Dear Grace,I'm a friend with a minivan,but there are too many miles between us to be there for you.I will be praying for a safe journey for you and looking forward to the next post.Linda

elj377 said...

Hey Grace! I have one quick tip for getting through Airport security with Abigail! Have her wear easy on easy off shoes like flip flops or crocs or clogs! If she's like my kid, the shoes have to be tied or strapped before we keep going on, it makes for less disgruntled people behind you and less stress! I flew west with my kids this summer and the shoe thing was so much easier than when I flew to D.C. with my class in April! I will be praying for your trip!

Natalie Fournet said...

Grace-Catching up on these last few is so close for you and I am so excited!!! Enjoy every minute! I look forward to hearing all about your journey!

Give B and Y kisses from their Mommy! Thanks!

{B} said...

Hi Grace,

I emailed you about bringing some items to our baby...let me know if you have any room left at all.

MKH said...

Hi Grace-
I'm just a daily follower (and in the adoption process too!) of your journey, and want to finally post and wish you luck with your trip to pick up Anna! Thanks so much for sharing your journey. Anna is beautiful! megan

Lisa and Cory said...

Thank you so much for the info...

How much can a bag weigh???

Have a fabulous trip!!!

~ Lisa

Melissa said...

Grace: The gal with the plan!
I've been checking in with you for a few months now and am so excited for you as you get ready for the big trip. Have a great time. I will be praying for you all, for a safe and smooth trip and a beautiful union with your little one.
Take care,

LoveNotes4CocoPrincess said...

Have a safe and wonderful trip my sista!!!!!

PrincessBrideJo said...

Good luck! If i lived closer I would pick you up. Of course that would add 2 car seats and I am afraid wouldn't help much then...haha.

coffeemom said...

Grace, YOU ARE GOING TO AFRICA!!! Woohooo! I am so excited for you and will keep you in my prayers this week! Enjoy every moment, say hey to Wagayu and all the staffers. Godspeed!

The Albertsons said...

Hey there!
Good luck with everything... you're going to the best place ever! I saw your comment on one of the yahoo groups about locked baggage. We did the same Dulles-Addis flight path and didn't lock anything, although we did use twisty-ties around the zippers. We also wrapped our bags in different colored duct tape, with some of the tape overlapping onto the zipper parts. We didn't have any problems. Hope that helps!

JonesEthiopia said...

Rolling carry-ons on EA have to be 15 pounds or less. We had a problem with that once we got to the counter in Dulles... And had to do some rearranging and check another bag. We didn't know that before we left, and that was one thing that was a little stressful. (I found your blog while reading another one.) Good luck on your trip. It is going to be amazing!