You certainly cannot dash or rush anywhere with 2 kids, 5 cases, 4 bags and a buggy. The cases and bags kept falling over, we couldn’t manage them ourselves and couldn’t locate a trolley. The promised liason with our son-in-law at this location was yet to materialise. Tick, tick, tick time was marching on..
We finally made it to the lift. While the benefit of this airport was the proximity of the rental car drop to the main terminal, it also meant the only available lift was busy. Most people waiting for the lift were in the same boat as us, but had way more help than we did. In fairness one glance in our direction and they could smell the panic. They allowed us into the first available lift and we made our way to the check in desk in double quick time.
There was an emotional reunion between the parents and their kids, but icy cool stares guided me directly to the check-in desk. Our flight was at 5.15pm and it was now 4.38pm. My daughter had done a great job preparing the check-in staff for our tardiness. The next flight was also checking in but as it was full we had no chance of getting on that if we missed ours. If that happened we were looking at tomorrow and another 5k for tickets.
“Passports please”. I turned to my husband to ask for the satchel with the passports (all six of them), but a frantic scattering and searching among the assembled bags suggested it was not there. I knew it was there, it just hadn’t jumped out at them yet. So frustrated I stomped over to my family, fuming that I was the only one capable of locating it. No-one dared say what they were thinking as I checked among the various bags, in the buggy, under the baby until I finally accepted it wasnt there. Tick, tick, tick.
I hoped it would be in the car, back at the rental centre. I suddenly felt as if I had been squeezed into a glass bottle that was quickly filling up with washing up liquid, it’s viscous slimy, green liquid frothing up my legs, belching into my stomach and now engulfing my throat. Everyone was looking at me, a mixture of disgust and disappointment all over their faces. I made a bolt for the lift. My son-in-law, caught my eye, much like a whippet out of the stocks after the hare, he vaulted the bags and hurtled toward the car rental centre. I got into an empty lift, (maybe I could beat him) but instantly collapsed to my knees and screamed. I knew now it was futile, our flight was boarding in 20 minutes and we hadn’t even cleared security or checked in yet.
As the lift docked I met my son-in-law hurtling toward me with the missing bag and sat nav both which had been languishing in the passenger seat in the car. ( yes my seat, my fault). I tried to catch him but he was on a mission and it was all I could do to keep up with him. By the time I arrived back I was thrust to the front of the queue ignoring the irate passengers waiting to book in for the later flight. I snarled at them trying to avoid the gaze of my family as they waited with bated breath to find out if we were going home. I glanced at the clock it was 4.55pm.
The check-in assistant typed in the information, she seemed oblivious to me, refusing to acknowledge me as I constantly sought answers to my question “Will we make the flight?” A supervisor was summoned, they chatted off stage left. Perspiration was flooding down my neck, I was flushing, I needed a shower, I wanted to cry. I glanced back at the kids their little faces watching me hopefully. The adults in the group eyed me with great contempt. Finally the supervisor came forward advising that we could proceed but had 15 minutes to make it to the flight.
I let out a howl of relief, then joined the others as we grabbed the remaining luggage and bolted into the security hall. We had no special treatment, no access to express security and we hadn’t packed with security regulations in mind. No-one knew what was in any of the bags. The line for security was 10 lanes deep, for a nano second we breathed out despondently, then in my loudest voice I said our flight was leaving in 10 minutes. People turned to stare; we were dishevelled, inappropriately dressed and, all too apparent, in a total state of panic.
I felt like Moses at the Red Sea; the line parted without a word allowing us to pass through. We flung our bags onto the trays, but that same panic only drew attention to us in security, and sure enough bags were removed for further inspection. I could feel my heart thumping in my chest as I had no idea what might be in the bags. I heard a final call for our family booming down the corridor as I watched and prayed that the searches would prove fruitless. Minutes felt like hours, I needed to pee, finally we were all re-assembled and ran like a herd of bison onto the gate and into the plane.
The doors closed behind us as we found our seat and sat down. There were sighs of relief, there was even laughter, my husband suggested this was much more preferable to waiting around in departures and me? I burst into tears………………