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domestic flights

It had to happen … part 2

ravel stories - Perth 2006This entry has been delayed by the loss of my notebook - I managed to leave it on the table in a busy cafe last week.

After our disastrous flight over to Perth I was hoping for a much less eventful return flight. My mum took the kids to the local park for a run around while I re-packed the bags (always a much harder task than the initial packing!). Unfortunately Zavvy did not take a nap and so the only sleep he had was about 10 mins in the car on the freeway.

Both my parents came to see us off and so at the airport Mum and I took the kids to check-in while Dad parked the car (the carpark at Perth airport is woefully inadequate and so he had to park some distance away). Once inside the Qantas terminal I realised that the new self-checkin machines are not just for Sydneyites. But luckily there was someone there to assist people with their checkin. I say luckily because even though the assistant insisted that it is really easy, my booking was obviously complicated and instead of a boarding pass I was given a direction to see the counter staff. And so I ended up checking in the traditional way.

We joined the long snaking queue for security checks and I ended up having to take off my bangle, boots and watch while all of my cabin luggage piled up at the end of the x-ray machine conveyor belt.

At the gate it was obvious that the flight was going to be full. People were standing, bags in hand, waiting to rush the doors as soon as the boarding call was made. Over the years I’ve discovered that unless you are in the first ten or so people then you may as well wait until as late as possible to board because otherwise you end up in a bottleneck on the airbridge or in the aisles onboard the plane. And so we waited until the crowds has almost dispersed before giving my parents a tearful farewell and joining the queue. Unfortunately the passengers had been terribly slow at boarding and we were still caught up in a traffic jam - plus we found people sitting in our seats (they had misread their boarding passes).

We found ourselves seated in the bulkhead row. I suppose the checkin clerk had thought that would be useful for us (or maybe the computer allocates those seats to holders of infant tickets) but as Zavvy is way too big for the bassinette the bulkhead seats are actually more inconvenient, particularly as you have to put all of your carry-on luggage in the overhead locker (which were mostly full meaning that I had to put my bags in other lockers.)

And so the flight began. Zavvy was restless and overtired. Loll was happy to read his books. And we were seated with other women and their babies so all was well with the world. There was a spare seat between us and the next passenger, a woman travelling with a lap toddler and so we negotiated to share the seat for meal times.

Our meals were served. Zavvy sat on my lap and ate his brother’s meal of pasta as he didn’t want his own meal of steamed pureed veges and chicken. Loll ate bread rolls, cheese and a little bar of chocolate. Once the other toddler had eaten I put Zavvy in the spare seat and had my dinner.

After dinner the crew gave out chocolate icecreams. The kids tucked in. A little while after that Loll complained of a sore tummy. So we all traipsed off down the aisle to the toilet, a very squashy affair. He said he didn’t feel like being sick so we went back to our seats and I gave him a plastic bag in case he felt sick and told him to sleep (it was now around 9pm). All the other babies were asleep but Zavvy was wired and I was trying to keep him quiet by looking at the inflight magazine because I was getting dirty looks from the other mothers.

Then I felt a tug on my arm and turned to see Loll vomitting all over himself. Unfortunately he was half asleep and missed the plastic bag. I jumped up and put Zavvy on my seat but somehow he managed to tip a water bottle all over our saet and he was upset. Luckily the woman next to us called the flight attendants - I asked them for a plastic bag for Loll’s clothes and blankie and for them to take Zavvy away so I could clean up.

To their credit the crew responded quickly and got out the “biohazard” kit with rubber gloves and plastic bags and lots of Chux wipes. Poor Loll was upset and his clothes were soiled. I hadn’t packed spare clothes for him (being only a domestic flight - my bad!) and so I had to take off his shirt and get his sweater from the locker and he had to stay in his jeans. The crew swapped over the seats and put a blanket on mine (because it was wet).

Once we were cleaned up the crew brought Zavvy back to me. He was covered in stickers from the dining carts and had a “Biohazard - Do Not Enter” attached to his wrist - he had had a lovely time.

Soon it was time to land. We were seated right behind the crew seats and an overtired Zavvy was flirting with two female flight attendants. As we touched down Zavvy yelled out “weeeee” which made them laugh. Then he was calling out “oh, wow - lights”. He also pointed at the attendants and said “mummies” (he’s just discovered the difference between males and females, except that all men are daddies and all women are mummies) which the crew thought was quite hilarious.

For once I got up straight away once we pulled into the gate. I wanted to be off the plane as soon as possible. Hubby was there waiting and both boys were delighted to see him - they ran across the hall and gave him big cuddles.

Once we retrieved our bags I was able to get out some clean clothes for Loll and we were on our way home.


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