Formerly - A look at the ups and downs of life with a double pushchair!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Returning home - good old Easyjet again.

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.

As we touched down to land Baby A finally closed her eyes and slept.  So we sat in our seats and decided that getting off last had to be the best option. We sat and sorted out our bags. The crew were so desperate to get home that they carried all of our 4 bags down the steps to the waiting bus on the tarmac. There was barely any room for us on the bus but I managed to take a seat from a 3 year old who then moved to sit on his mums lap. The bus was off to the terminal. Should only be a few minutes now. After about 3 minutes the bus came to a halt. We were at the back of the bus at midnight in the dark watching the windows steam up. All the kids started writing messages and drawing pictures on the windows.   People started grumbling and swearing politely to themselves. Finally dear husband shouted down the bus to find out what
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.

We spotted 2 pieces and waited for the third. No more bags seemed to be appearing and so I decided it had gone to Copenhagen as that was the other flight being checked in with us. Then there was a loud beep and the whole system stopped. Together with one other family we were the last people there and that was it all the luggage was out.

As if by magic a member of baggage handling appeared from a door and told us that the beep indicated a stuck bag. Please let it be ours. Eldest daughter was panicking that her tattoo kit was packed in the missing bag and boy in the middle was almost asleep on his Trunki.

The conveyor belt juddered awake again and we all held our breaths and then cheered as the stuck bag turned out to be our final suitcase. The other family were quite distressed but then noticed that their bag had just fallen off the carousel and they could have been on their way a while ago.

Our car was waiting for us which proves the Meet and Greet service does work and we all squashed ourselves and our double stroller, 4 pieces of hand luggage and 3 cases into it. Travelling is so easy!

As we pulled into our driveway at 1.30am UK time which was 3.30am Israel time all 4 kids finally were asleep. We managed to carry all 4 up to their beds and they all carried on sleeping.

The bonus of the whole trip was today. They had already missed the first two days of school so I felt compelled to have to send them in their tired states but luck was on my side. The heating had broken at school so they all had a day off. 1 extra holiday day at home watching movies and watching the rain drip down the windows.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back! Glad journey home at least didn't involve weeing in bottles..
    Just went to visit Gan Iris for Ayala next year. Very different, much bigger premises but same friendly faces. Only problem, she's probably fully-booked for September. Aargh..