I am not usually a complainer. I am not usually a ranter BUT …
We all have our favourite airports right? Pre-parenthood me picked these largely to do with lounge access (I’m looking at you Doha and Heathrow!), perhaps a nice bar or cafe for a little pre-flight drink but no more. Parenthood has changed me! Now I am a parent I look for different things – friendliness and helpfulness of staff, speed of security, availability of nice and clean changing facilities etc. So why was it so bad?
Firstly let me say. I thought we had it all planned. I thought we would get through no problems. I had timed going through security between feeds when I knew Baby E was going to be happy. Well where did it all go wrong?
I am not going to name the airport in question but first things first… I’ll admit I didn’t buy a fast track security pass. I didn’t think we needed it and the airport really didn’t seem that busy. How I wish I had bought that pass! You can’t actually see the security queue until you are well past the point of no return! Next time I am buying a fast track no matter what! The queue on the day in question turned out to be long. My worries started. Baby E is not a great fan of the baby carrier but for the forty minutes we were in the queue she was a little angel. Things were looking good as we arrived at security. THEN
Of course our bag got pulled to one side. We are formula feeders (no debate necessary 😉 ) so obviously we had liquids, properly packed I might add. We had researched several feeding options before we decided on Aptamil Ready Feeds. These are bought in the Aptamil Starter Packs for Hospitals but at 70ml each, don’t contravene any flying regulations. I understand they have to check, I really do – I have no problem with security – none whatsoever! What I do have a problem with is the speed in which the checks are carried out. Checking and stopping for a five minute chat (with friends about non work related stuff) so there is a fifteen minute gap between bags – I definitely have a problem with! I also have a problem with you dropping my carefully packed milk on the floor!
But of all things, I have a problem with you taking half an hour before you check my bag, while my baby screams for her milk! A little more compassion and common sense would go a long way!
As soon as we were through security – one of the rudest experiences I have ever had at an airport – we decided to find a quiet spot to feed Baby E and get us parents some much needed caffeine. We settled on Girrafe! I’m a big fan of this chain. I use to take my visiting nieces and nephews all the time to the one in Richmond so thought this would be the family friendly option! All was going well until I realised I needed to sterilise a dummy. I asked for some hot water to be told for Health and Safety reasons this couldn’t be given to me. I wonder if I asked for a cup of tea with the teabag on the side if they would have had the same reservations? In fairness, our waiter was very apologetic and offered to do it for us! I politely accepted his offer. On his return he told us that he had sterilised the dummy and had dipped it in cold water so it wouldn’t burn my child! Obviously this dummy was now useless! At this point, I was at the end of my tether! I just wanted to get on the plane.
So this is my plea to airports – I’m not asking for special treatment, I’m not asking for less checks. What I am asking for is perhaps a little more efficiency, a bit more compassion and a little more common sense!