It feels strange to be sat here, reading the headlines of an event we were part of. As I look at the little blond heads at the end of my four poster bed glued to Britain’s Got Talent, I check out the BBC headlines telling of sensational news at our biggest national airports.
Yes, I agree, looking back, it is incredible that there were simply no updates to explain what was going on. But wouldn’t that have caused mass chaos and stampedes?
Yes, the queues were massive, long snaking around the entire lounge areas, but it was a double whammy weekend, bank holiday and the first day of half term holidays, wouldn’t they have been there anyway?
Yes, they could have been far more organised, rather than funnelling everyone at the same time back out through border patrol, huge groups of hot, tired families and upset children, could they not have called groups by flight number?
With no chance getting near any member of BA staff or on to the BA website, which crashed or bandwith didn’t allow, there was only one thing for us to do, and that was to keep calm, wait and keep feeding the boys every 2 hours.
There was only one moment I felt my heart fly up to my mouth, ‘would all families with children under 12 walk towards the police officer to be shown how to get out’. At that moment, I am glad I was with the Big Man, that it wasn’t back in January and I was alone. His presence, ‘largesse’, powered us through calmly, politely and through every queue and we were outside far quicker than most.
I didn’t see any anger. I just saw patience. I saw families trying to make the most of their holidays with cupcakes and picnics and positive smiles.
When rumours of cyber attacks passed our ears, in the wake of the Manchester and Syria tragedies, I only felt gratitude that it was simply a disruption on technology and not on life; we took a moment and bought cards and connect 4 and played family games. We were going on holiday to be a family, spend time as a family – that starts in the car, at the airport, not just poolside or on the beach….. no amount of anger or crying was going to change the fact that no BA system was working….
In the hour we had expected to be touching down in the Med, we found ourselves back in the car we had dropped off 6 or so hours earlier, unsure which direction to head.
There was really only one place to go. To Grandad’s. For ice cream. And claiming the hug I had been wondering about and trying to work out logistically how to get while down South – no time before departure, back too late on arrival.