Flying with Young Children

I’m typing half of this on the plane. On my left is Joe with a finally sleeping Ezra on his lap.

And on my right is Violet engrossed in Frozen.

This morning we made our way by bus, train and shuttle bus from Bromley to London Luton Airport. The whole journey went very smoothly. The kids were, on the whole, really good. Violet has surpassed herself with the number of questions she has asked today and it’s only 2pm!
Once we got to Luton we joined a long queue at check-in to drop our suitcase. I’m not sure if this is usual but there was only 1 desk servicing ALL Ryanair flights. But we had given ourselves so much extra time that this didn’t worry us. Ezra ran around the lane-ropes for all of the other unmanned desks and Violet did her best at being patient (we are learning this word and the meaning…!)

Once we had dropped our luggage we made our way to security. We made sure we poured out the water from their drinking cups and I had already put all of our smaller liquids in 2 little sandwich bags. So imagine my surprise when security took my 2 little sandwich bags and told me that they are not in the correct bags and therefore I cannot have my items back!!!!!! I was told that as they do not seal shut and are not the correct dimensions as dictated by the Civil Aviation Authority they would not give my liquids back to me. I had to go to a vending machine and pay £1 for a kinder egg type container which had 2 CORRECT plastic bags. Except I didn’t have £1 on me, and neither did Joe. Queue Joe dashing off into the departure area to find a cashpoint and then spend the money to get some change. Anyway, I could then buy the kinder egg and put my liquids from my carefully assembled sandwich bags into these official bags. Security didn’t even re-scan them. The official bags did not make ANY difference.

So that’s a big lesson learnt and tip for flying….Luton airport do not supply plastic bags for free as Gatwick and Heathrow do. You have to buy them. Despite them making no difference to the checks carried out. This is the clause for getting your liquids back!

Anyway, we then found a hot sweaty bench to sit on (Luton is undergoing building works so there is a real lack of any comfortable seating and ventilation seems to be at a minimum). We scoffed our homemade sandwiches and all of a sudden it was time to go to our gate. I made a pit stop at Pret a Mange to ask for some warm milk for Ezra. The assistant said I didn’t need to pay and it was free. Wow – what excellent customer service. I also bought 4 croissants for the flight.

We boarded the flight and it took off on time. Violet swiftly got into Frozen for the 100th time. Ezra twisted and turned on Joe’s lap for an hour and then all of a sudden looked up at his daddy and snuggled his face into Joe’s neck. Asleep.

The flight went better than we could have expected with a 4 and 1 year old.  At 30 weeks pregnant I discovered I cannot bring the fold-away table down without it touching my bump (I don’t like things touching my baby bump).

So now we are here. Let the summer holidays begin!

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