After doing a whirlwind trip to California I came back with a couple of insights while flying with small children. I don't really have an issue on the plane with my kids (the airport on the other hand, oy vey! Sometimes Roman just doesn't want to walk). They have both been flying since a young age so they know the drill. I usually have a car seat for Roman and as soon as we take off he usually knocks right out. Course now that he is getting bigger he likes sitting in the regular seat too like a big person. Dominic does best when he can get down after he wakes up. He likes to stand and walk a bit in between our seats. Gives him a little freedom and keeps him from getting antsy from sitting all those hours. I like flying non stop because I don't have to worry about lugging the kids around an airport but when there is a layover its nice too because it breaks up a long flight and everyone can stretch their legs. Unless you have a short connection time and by the time you do a potty break you barely make it to your next flight which is in completely different terminal (true story, had ten minutes to spare before take off). I carry snacks and the kids tablets and now that they have wi-fi on planes I can play a movie for them on the airplane's entertainment page. Finding Nemo was a big hit on the way to California.
What I did want to mention is if you are flying and see a parent struggling don't be afraid to ask if they need help. This lady sitting two rows in front of me, her poor kid was cry/screaming for the whole first hour and a half of the flight. I mean loud! He woke Dominic up. No one offered to help her or asked if she needed anything. The lady right in front of me was all annoyed. I got up and sat with her for a bit, asked if she needed anything and just talked to her for a few minutes. I couldn't actually hold her son since I had Dominic but in those few moments, her son calmed down and at least she knew she wasn't alone. Since I was traveling alone with the kids this time it was hard for me to walk on the plane carrying Dominic and a car seat. The first flight, one of the flight attendants helped me, the second one, I struggled halfway down the plane before a nice gentleman got up and carried the seat the rest of the way for me and my last flight when we were in line to board a guy behind me carried the seat all the way on the plane for me. That really helped me a lot. I know, people with no kids wonder why people with kids have to be in the same space with them. But try to put yourself in their shoes. They don't want their kid screaming on the plane, they are probably embarrassed and tired and just wish they were in their final destination already. Even if you can't help a kind word and a smile go a long way. That's my little tip during this busy travel season. Safe travels everyone!