Monday, 15 August 2011

At the airport (part 2)

Had hoped for 'Plane' sailing, but nothing in my life is simple. Checked in with Air France to be told we boarded at 6.30pm. I said 'that's a bit early for a 8.30pm flight, to be informed the flight was 7.30pm. A quick goodbye with hubby (no time for tears) arrived at Passport control and OMFG!!!!!!

My passport was fine, scanned and a few questions about when I arrived, my visa status, was I returning to SA?...I was a bit concerned about leaving the country and being allowed back in, but all was OK...Alex's passport was another had been date stamped but he hadn't been entered onto the system. Why the different surname, any proof he was my son? I informed the woman that we had all arrived on January the 19th with Peter and my other son, she made the connection on the system, entered his details and off we went at speed to the gate.

Got to our seats, leg room, bliss, plane moves to runway, taxi's and takes off on time. The screens in front of us are activated and the arse hole in front leans round (there's no seat in front of me for the emergency exit) and says 'your son won't be using the touch screen as I don't want disturbing on the flight' I was stunned, in fact so shocked I didn't even swear at him, he proceeded to recline his seat, making sure he rocked it several times. During the flight he lolled over with his arm and head into my floor space and I nudged him gently with my foot, waking him, he glared at me...I said 'touch screen, now please move out of my space that I've paid for' nudged him several more times till he got the message. The sad thing is, he wasn't interfering with 'my space'. Alex was using the remote control for the touch screen and the bloke wasn't actually disturbing us, but point made.

The seats on Air France have a gap between the arm rests and the side of the plane, making leaning against the wall impossible, the arm rests didn't lift up and when Alex slept in the floor space I was unable to lay across his seat and get any sleep. The cabin crew drew the curtain around their little bit and carried on talking throughout the flight and everyone stood to stretch during their flight in front of us, talking and waiting for the toilet, who's door was opened and closed all night.

On arrival in Paris we had to clear security, our bags went straight through, I was tired, uncomfortable, a little smelly and asked for help from the airport staff with 2 laptops, a child with his arm in a cast, the hand luggage, locating passports and told NO. I was furious when they made Alex remove his cardi, over his cast. I found the toilets, the smoking room, an area for Alex to have a little sleep and then headed to the cafe for coffee, fruit juice and croissants, to be informed we only take notes, not coins. So I find a nice English man, explain I only have British coins, the UK banks stopped my cards months ago for irregular activity, despite telling them I'm in SA and he changes my coins into notes for me.

An smooth flight to Heathrow, where Alex's Dad is waiting for us. Alex ran out the door, leapt up into his Dads arms, having last seen him in December and made the woman, stood by the side, cry.