Since I have travelled on an airplane with children TWICE now, I am not an expert. Actually three times, but the first time was when Paul was only 2 months old, so that probably doesn't count. However, I have learned a few things that have helped us.
#1) Bring a stroller for the little guy. Paul is fine walking, prefers to walk, and it wears him out. Win, win. Charlie would also prefer to walk (or run) to keep up with Paul. However, the kid is slow. And the Denver airport is huge so it is a lot easier to just plop him in the umbrella stroller, take it all the way to the gate and then pick it up when you get off the plane! We never used it once when we were in California but it was nice to have as an option.
#2) Drink Beer. Before you get on a flight with children you might feel nervous. What if they scream? Or fight? Or won't sit still? What if they lick the floor and get Ebola? Beer will help simmer down these fears.
#3) Pray for sleep. No matter what time the flight is or what good intentions you have about scheduling around naptime, this is a hit or miss situation. It is better to just pray or cross your fingers or bargain to give your left arm if your baby will just sleep for one hour of the flight.
#4) Bring Toys. Paul is in school now so is all about a backpack. We let him fill his pack up with the toys of this choosing and he could entertain himself on the plane. This is also nice because if the older one is preoccupied then you have two hands to deal with the younger one or drink another beer on the plane.
#5) Technology is the shit. We let Paul pick a movie, put it on the ipad and got ourselves some earphones. DONE. My friend mentioned this summer that the earphones are key because the plane gets really loud and they can't hear the beloved Disney movie and then everyone is pissed. The earphones help with this scenario.
#6) Food, food and more food. This is especially true with child #2. His attention span is a whopping 1-3 minutes. So you have to be ready. I brought suckers, cookies, crackers, bananas, applesauce, and more. I would bring an entire apple pie if I thought it would help. The sucker kept him occupied for about 6 minutes. That was huge.
There you are! My very informative list about travelling with children. Any tips you would like to share?