If the kids get noisy at a restaurant, we can go to the car. If they start fighting at the movie theater, we go home. If all hell breaks loose on an airplane, we can... well... we're screwed.
We left Chicago and flew to Kansas City. We stayed on the plane in K.C. and then flew to Seattle. In total, we were on the plane for about six hours.
I'm happy to report, getting on and off the plane was the biggest challenge of the whole flight. Julie had Eliana and a huge diaper bag full of supplies and snacks. I had an equally large backpack full of "entertainment" plus Darwin's heavy and bulky car seat. Luckily the kids shined at this point. They walked ahead of me, single file, to the back of the plane. They looked like seasoned business travelers.
Bringing Darwin's car seat, while cumbersome, was great. It basically made him a non-factor on the plane. He's used to his seat, was comfortable, could easily sleep and didn't complain about getting out of his seat. It was basically like a long car ride for him.
As for everyone else, they did amazingly well. There were a few moments of bickering here and there, but nothing noteworthy. We had a good rotation of entertainment including iPhones, the DS, coloring books, sticker books and the DVD player.
One thing I learned: Be proactive about bathroom breaks. The kids wait until the last minute to share their bladders' intentions and Murphy's Law says they will have to pee as soon as there are four people waiting in line for the loo. Also, about 30 minutes before landing is a good time to make everyone take a potty break. Otherwise it could be an hour before you have access to a bathroom again.