Start to worry if your airline starts handing out bottles of water!

12 Jul

It’s never a good sign when you’re at an airport and an airline starts handing out bottles of water.

There I am standing in what I thought was a priority line for frazzled mothers when I noticed that the line I had been escorted out of was moving a lot faster than my ‘priority’ line. We’d been standing waiting for quite a while and my mum’s knee was starting to hurt. The kids were starting to squabble and my back was aching.

A very well-groomed girl started making her way down the line, handing out bottles of water. My stomach dropped. We were going to be here for a while.

When she got to me I pointed out that my special line wasn’t actually moving and the general line was. Through several layers of foundation and some super bright red lipstick she explained that my Brisbane to Sydney flight was experiencing problems and they’d have to manually check us in, but only for this flight, like the fact that other passengers wouldn’t be affected would make me feel any better.

I looked down sadly at my three children. During this entire working holiday I’d been a picture of perfection. I’d been a regular Mary Poppins. I was all fun and laughter. I hadn’t snapped at them one. Now, calm mummy was gone. She’d been killed by a computer glitch.

Taking deep breaths I knelt down and started playing with them, determined to pass the time productively (by colouring in). It was great until I lost feeling in my bottom and had to stand up to restart the blood circulation there.

They really should lace the water with sedatives. My stomach was in knots. What if we were stranded here? I’d already passed a family lying on the floor covered in blankets. Would I survive an experience like that? Could I be a stranded passenger calmly catching some sleep on the filthy airport floor? I think I’d be more like the irate passenger demanding they find me a flight, or a hotel.

They, another very pretty lady (with very drawn on eyebrows – is all that make up really necessary) came up to us and said they’d move us to the front of the queue because we had kids. At first I was elated but when I looked up at the faces of the other passengers I realised they were having none of it. They didn’t give a stuff that I had three kids with me. They were first! Who the hell was I to cut in?

I smiled an apology and received several versions of ‘stink eye’. I broke eye contact with the angry mob and concentrated or sorting out our bags and not losing a child in the crowd.

Walking away with my head down in a proper gesture of contrition we headed to the nearest toilet, followed by the nearest coffee stand, before settling down to wait at the gate (the flight would be delayed by nearly an hour).

It wasn’t the best flying experience I’ve ever had but what’re a few hours between capital cities compared to other much worse travel horror stories?

Still, with kids, it’s always going to be hard to travel. Or in the words of the very hung-over gentleman standing behind me in the line…”Thank fuck the fucking kids aren’t here with me or this would be fucked!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

 

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