Once again, I’m committing to Blogtober, but whether I’ll make it happen or not is another thing. One day I’ll manage all the days without having to catch up at weekends or something like that. For now, Happy Blogtober.
When I was a kid there was this show on the television around 7/8pm and it followed the ground crew and staff around Heathrow I think. It was around the time EasyJet and budget airlines were a new-ish thing. There’d be customer service issues and people getting stopped by customs and things like that.
There was nearly always someone running late and had to be tannoyed as it was the final call for boarding at their gate.
Well, that was very nearly us.
When we flew to Copenhagen in the summer, our flight flew out and back into gates in the same sort of area so I took the chance that our flight would leave from there this time. How wrong was I?
We got to Gates 40-59 and our flight wasn’t on the list. At first it looked like maybe it just hadn’t been released yet so we waiting for a few minutes when two other flights leaving at 6pm appeared on the screen but no Copenhagen flight. I checked the Kayak app – no update. Reloaded the Stansted Airport website and there it was Gate 32!
Great so a 10ish minute walk back to the main terminal bit, get on the shuttle and a whole bunch of more flights of stairs. We got almost back to the shuttle and I had to sit down. Between the weight of Rex and the weight of the bags combined with my mask, I couldn’t catch my breath. I stopped and sat down with my eyes closed so I could shut out everything else and just focus on remembering to breathe (And breathing deeply) when a chap stopped and asked if I was okay and did I need any help. I said no but then began to wonder if I should have just said yes at least to get me to the shuttle.
We made it to the shuttle just as another one arrived. There were a family at the other end of our carriage discussing going to Copenhagen and which gate they were supposed to be at. We got to the first stop which is Gates 1-19 and they were then talking about whether they should be getting off there. To which I asked which gate they were going to because Copenhagen wasn’t at Gates 1-19. Yep going to Copenhagen, so I said you need Gate 32 and they were really grateful for the help.
I checked that I had our boarding passes and it said that boarding closed at 5.30. It was 5.35. I started to panic a little. I couldn’t update anyone on where I was up to and if it carried on how would I tell Chris that we’d landed etc.
Thankfully when we got to the gate, there was still a queue and who should in the queue ahead of me – the family from the shuttle. The dad of the family offered to help carry one of my bags to the plane. By the time we got to the plane, either everyone was boarding via the front door or they’d already closed the back door (there were lots of people already on board so I wondered if we were holding everyone up a bit – oops!) He offered to carry my bag right to my seat. His seat was right at the front of the plane and mine was right at the back. What a superstar. (Although I think his partner was annoyed that he helped me…).
Rex and I had the window and middle seat which meant that Rex could wear the extender/baby seat belt and still stand on my leg/the chair and look out the window. There’s a line in Me and The Sky, where Beverly sings “But I took my first lesson came down from the sky, And told my father I’d fly for the rest of my life” and that pinged into my head as Rex sat with his faced glued right up against the window looking at the other planes or the shrinking buildings as we took off.
In the aisle seat, there was a lady, who by her accent I think she might have been German. She was so lovely. At one point, Rex was being squirmy and got out of my grip. He shimmied across the chair and then was holding onto the arm of the chair and her arm, reading the screen of her phone. A bit later he then tried to help empty her handbag! I was so sorry and kept apologising. I think she was just grateful he wasn’t one of those kids who screams all the way!
At one point, two flight attendants walked down the aisle and I think they thought because they were in the back bit no one could hear them or something but they were discussing how people get on the flights without reserving their seats together with their families then get on board and ask to switch. One of the flight attendants then says “Just book your seats together!” to their colleague. I guess if there are free spaces it’s a little easier but I think our flight was fully booked (or near enough) so moving people around wasn’t very easy! There was a lady with a baby in front of us and she moved to the other side of the aisle so she could have two seats but other than that it was full.
When we arrived at Copenhagen Airport, the flight was about 10 minutes early. The flight attendant assisted me getting the back down the steps but she couldn’t help any further. That was fine, once we got into the terminal I could grab a trolley and readjust everything.
We followed the signs for baggage claim and ended up at a different passport control queue to the one we used in the summer. Thankfully the queue was moving pretty quickly. When the border lady saw Rex in the carrier on my bag she smiled and waved at him then said goodbye as we left (I even said thank you in Danish and she sort of laughed – either it was appreciated or it was really bad lol). It was easy to find Rex’s buggy at the Oversized Baggage Claim as that’s the first one as you get into that bit, but our suitcases were right up the other end (if you image a T, Oversized is one end, our cases were the other end of the top of the T and the exit was in the middle. Getting the luggage, buggy, Rex and I to the exit was hard work and I was really beginning to hurt (not just ache!), thankfully as soon as I got through the door, there was Jaxon and Chris waiting for us – it was so good to see them both. Chris was as little panicked as we’d only got 15 minutes on the car parking outside so we needed to get a move on. We got to the outside door and Chris’s work friend P was there waiting for us. He took one case from me, Chris took the buggy and off they set about getting everything and everyone into the car. It was the first time I think I’ve ever been in a left-hand drive car, so at first, when I got in I joked something was missing while holding my hands up like you would on the steering wheel. As we drove through Copenhagen it was really unnerving being so close to traffic and not be the driver in a way!
When we got back to the apartment, P and Chris got everything unloaded to the pavement outside then Jaxon, Chris and I worked at getting everything inside. Jaxon was a little trooper and worked so hard! He kept coming back and I tried to give him light things to carry then he decided he could manage one of the heavier bags too! (I hope he didn’t hurt himself!)
Once we got the boys to bed, Chris and I sat on the sofa and watched Suits – I haven’t watched it in a number of years so might need to catch up on Season 6 just so I remember what’s going on before Chris and I watch the next episode (only 5 episodes missed of Season 6 so that shouldn’t take long to catch up on).