Sunday, May 15, 2011

23 Hours of Travel

All I have to say is Z is an amazing traveler. She is great, sleeps loads, barely cries, smiles at everyone and is just a pleasure. Tons of people always tells me how great she is after every flight. After this past flight, I couldn't be any happier about that. It made my near breakdown at JFK and Heathrow more manageable.

My flight into JFK was 1.5 hours late. This changed my 2.5 hr layover a bit tighter. And my flight was leaving from a different terminal. I knew I was in trouble when changing terminals and I had to go outside. In transfer terms OUTSIDE is as bad as it can get because you have to go through security again. As I entered the check in area of the terminal, I know, it's like I came in from the freaking parking lot, and I head them announcing our names for final call I really lost it. I'm wearing a huge backpack, pushing a stroller and bawling. I explained to security that I didn't think I would make it. They were amazing. They helped my get all of my shit onto the belts, go through the metal detectors and even had an elevator waiting to get me to my gate. I was running with my 30lb backpack and made it by the skin of our teeth. We settled in, had an extra seat and enjoyed the flight...until we go to Heathrow...

Where my 1.5 hr layover with British Air turned out to not be anywhere near as long as we needed. Please tell me what the point of having your own terminal for your airline is when you have to go through security AGAIN after you deplane. Needless to say I had to how down a few old ladies (after saying excuse me about 10 times, her husband telling her to move over and about 10 other people sprinting by) I may have clipped her with the stroller. She proceeded to look at me like I had just punched her in the head. I said sorry and took off running. As I got into the security line and asked the security corraller if she thought I would like my flight, she looked at my ticket and said "Probably not." and then walked the F*CK away. That's it. No help, no moving to the front of the line, nothing. Just a, "Doesn't look good." She managed to reiterate that sentiment about 10 min later while I was still in line with a, "You're not going to make it, but you can try." Well thanks for your f*cking support. Oh there were so many names I wanted to call her.

That said, once I got to the actual conveyor belt they were nice and let me wheel the stroller through where the wheelchairs go instead of breaking down the whole thing and putting it through the xray. I was off running again and of course the gate was the LAST one in the terminal. I ran there and found that I was one of 7 people in line although the boards had also said "Gate Closing." They wouldn't take my stroller on board like they would from JFK because they said they were at 100%. Ok whatever, I wouldn't need it to transit or anything. Then we walk on and the plane is half empty. 100% my eye, she was just being lazy and didn't want to lift my stroller onto the plane.

So we sit down I have the car seat all strapped in when the flight attendant tells me I can't use her car seat. WHAT?! She says BA requires a forward facing car seat. I tell her I just got off of a BA flight, where I used a rear-facing car seat. Why would you use a forward facing car seat, especially for an infant when every car seat/automobile manufacturer requires rear-facing. We would all be safer if we could travel rear-facing. SO WHY IS MY BABY SUPPOSED TO FLY FORWARD FACING?!!!!!!! Then she said that I couldn't even use the seat for take off and landing because the straps had to go in under the bottom of the seat and not across the top (as with infant seats when you're using them without the base). So what do I have to do? Hold her on my lap. My lap is apparently a lot safer than a freaking car seat. So they gave me a great little seat belt for her, that would you know, stop her from flying across the cabin. They helpfully informed me that I could always put her in the seat once we were in the air, you know, not during the most dangerous time when flying, take off and landing. I was already near tears again because I thought I was going to miss this flight and now just when I've kind of calmed down I'm near tear again. The thing is there is no recourse once you're on the plane. If you don't listen to them you don't fly and get air marshalled off the plane. So needless to say I begrudgingly did as the requested thinking the whole time that this was like once of those authority social experiments where you got people to do something they knew was wrong just because someone in authority said to do it. Thankfully we made it just fine but I probably won't be flying BA again until Z can sit forward facing to avoid this issue again.

We have now been home for just over 12 hours and are so happy. Liam is getting used to Daddy duty again and will be taking over full time while I'm at my SA job this summer. It isn't ideal, but we're going to get through it. For right now, I'm looking forward to hanging out with Z, doing nothing school related and just being a family unit, even if it's just for a week. :( I can't wait for mid-July!!!


  1. that is a horrible travel story. I'd write to BA -- seriously -- about the car seat thing.

  2. I don't know what I could tell them. I think BA and Qantas are the only airlines that do it, but it's CAA approved and required. No idea wtf that is, but I'll try anyway.