Travelled back last night from our winter break with the family in Israel. As I write this from the warmth of my kitchen watching the rain pound down on the windows I feel a sense of pride that we made it back reasonably easily with all our luggage and all our children. The anticipation of travelling with lots of kids is definately worse than the actual journey. We didn't need any spare changes of clothes or any sick bags and the only down side was that our eldest two kids didn't contemplate sleeping at all.
We flew with our favourite no frills ticketless airline which provides a great service to London Luton. As we approached the gate to board the plane I looked in wonderment at the huge line that had built up for boarding. Perhaps it is my laid back attitude, but I know that there is a seat for each passenger on the plane. However people looked like they were lining for concert tickets that were about to sell out. They were adamant not to lose their place in the line. As we were travelling with so many children we were allowed in the special assistance line. In order to reach this line we had to cross through the first line of passengers as it stretched from one side of the airport to the other. You would think that when people see us approaching they would stand aside. Boy in the middle was pulling a Trunki, eldest daughter was pulling her suitcase, dear husband had a suitcase and a large bag and I follwed behing pushing the stroller, holding a baby and with 3 carrier bags of food just in case we are delayed for a couple of days! No one looked like they wanted to move for us. Dear husband noticed a familiar face in the line and chose that spot to cross through the passengers. They begrudgingly shuffled aside but my stroller is wide. I was happy to wheel over as many feet that got in my way as my main concern was not to drop the baby. We got through and the gap narrowed behind us in a split second in case anyone else should try and take that space.
We lucked out on the plane and got 6 seats for the 6 of us. There was some crying from our girls before they fell asleep but there was no tutting from other passengers that I noticed. Of course there was the moment when both babies had fallen asleep that boy in the middle was desperate for a wee. Thankfully eldest daughter took him down to the toilet and was a great help. Later on though when she needed to go boy in the middle wouldn't return the favour and accompany her and I had to go with Baby A who was asleep at the time over my shoulder. There definately isn't room for 3 people in an airplane toilet and it is pretty impossible to provide any assistance at all with a sleeping baby in your arms. Thankfully she is nearly 8 and just wanted me there for moral support for when she flushes the toilet and it makes that scary loud wooshing noise.
On landing at Luton - no toilet emergencies this time - we asked our ususal question. Can the groundstaff provide us with the stroller before the luggage carousel? Answer came back as no. Nothing new there then.
was happening. A plane was stuck on the runway and the bus couldn't get past. Typical.
Finally the bus reversed and 15 minutes later we were out into the terminal. We managed to queue jump through passport control as an official took pity on us with all our bags and children. We made it to the luggage carousel. Babies were relieved to be re-united with their stroller and dear husband went off to find £2 to pay for the no frills trolley. As we were the last passengers through we expected to see our three bags all travelling round the conveyor belt.