Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Dreading the airport

Time to fly home

It's time for the kids to come home, after 2 eventful weeks spent with my parents. I'm flying out on Thursday afternoon and coming back on Monday. I'm pretty sure my mum can't wait to hand them back to me, especially after last week end. Not only Ethan slammed a door on Ciarán's fingers, they also had to go to the hospital because Ciaran stuck a Lego up his nose (I know you're laughing, and I was too when I heard the story. Does that make me a bad mother?!). Thankfully it was nothing serious. He sneezed three times and the little Lego piece came out. 

I'm happy to see them, but I'm dreading the journey back on my own with the two. Flying with 2 kids is a military operation. I'm used to it, so I already anticipated every step of the way. I will travel very light and I'll have the buggy so Ethan won't be able to escape. All the liquids will be in transparent bags, passports and boarding passes will be ready to be shown, and hopefully the customs officer won't decide to hand search my belongings (considering the state of my "Mary Poppins" handbag, I'd be mortified if that happened).

I'm basically ready for everything. Except incompetent and unhelpful airport personnel. And I already know I will face some of them, especially in Nantes, where I'm flying from. On one occasion, I was only travelling with Ciarán, and the Ryanair check-in staff was not very friendly:

"You can keep the buggy or check it in with your luggage"
"I'd rather keep it, it will be easier..."
"The departure gate is upstairs and there only are stairs to go down the runway"
"That's fine, I suppose there will somebody to help me out"
"No, we're not here for that"

That's exactly what happened. No airport staff would assist me. I had to ask a passenger to help with the buggy while I was carrying Ciarán and the bags downstairs...

On another occasion I was yelled at by a customs official because I wasn't going fast enough through security. In my defence, I was pregnant and Ciarán couldn't get through on his own without touching the security gate. Instead of getting a bit of assistance, all I received was:

"Will you hurry up, we're not gonna spend the whole day doing this"

Exactly what to say to a pregnant hormonal woman. Needless to say the whole thing opened the flood gate and I was crying all the way to the departures, where of course there was nobody again to help me with the buggy...

On the opposite, Dublin is the perfect airport. Staff is friendly and helpful, and there is always someone offering help when I'm struggling a bit with the kids. 

The icing on the cake? You are always greeted with a big smile at the passport control desk. Sometimes the officer even cracks a joke. And that's what makes all the difference after a tiring journey with two over-excited kids.

What about you? Do you have any horror stories about airports or is your experience mainly positive?