Monday, 16 February 2009

How I Nearly Missed The Plane

After being super organised I made one vital error. It's half term and I didn't get there early enough. In addition, Gatwick are making renovations to the security area which was not mentioned in their website.

I checked in online so I needed to do was go to the bag drop. Queue there. I still had an hour so considered I had plenty of time but went directly to go through security anyway. The queue for security check was huge. The last time I saw queues that long was immediately post 9/11. However, I merrily joined the queue thinking it would move fast. Wrong again.

Thirty minutes before the flight I reach the boarding pass check. The lady at the desk happily told me not long to wait, five minutes or more. Wrong once more. At this stage I'm frantically listening out for a call to the gate. Nothing. Men walkiing around with clipboards calling out flights to be rushed through were out of earshot. I tried explaining to security hoping for a little help but they curtly told me to complete the security check and nothing more.

One security personnel decided this was a good time to tell me to get to the airport earlier. You can imagine how that sentiment was greeted! I argued with her while walking off to get the plane. I rushed down to the gate. Luckily I knew where it was without looking because I had flown many times before.

At the gate they were waiting for me. They had been calling me. To be honest the announcement could have been out while I was going through security and I didn't hear due to the number of items I had to load and unload into the x-ray machine. Thank god my darling daughter was asleep by now. Another lady decided to chastise me for being late. I lost it, burst into tears. This made things worse. I suddenly couldn't think straight and had four women bundling me onto the plane carrying my stuff. As we walked down to the plane I explained what had happened. She couldn't believe that my bags were checked in an hour ago and I only just got through. I explained my hour long wait, how I listened out for my flight and my name being called. She seemed a little more sympathetic by then. I was paraded onto the plane to my seat. Hopefully the sight if me in tears holding a four month old made the passengers less critical. I slumped into my chair and sobbed. The flight attendants were nice enough while getting us buckled in.

I am willing to admit that I should have been there 30 minutes earlier. However the lack of empathy for a woman travelling alone with her baby was shocking. Moreover that it was women who decided to 'tell me off' while rushing to make the plane. I think they must just group 'irresponsible passengers' in their heads and treat them all the same.

BAA will be hearing from me. I think I will also tweet Sir Richard Brandon begging him to buy Gatwick and bring the Virgin service ethos with him.

Right now, i'm back to being contented mummy (and baby couldn't be happier either). After a lovely Sunday roast and glass of wine I snuggled down in a lovely warm bed.

That's all for now from contented mum, still doing it her way (despite BAA).

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