More Airport Drama

I have been travelling again. Honestly if it were not for having to pass through airports I would love travelling.

So on landing at Gatwick, I enquired where my buggy was. Apparently because of liquids and safety they could not get my buggy to the pier! Can anyone explain this to me?

Also, when travelling, I had a sealed bottle of water (honestly, I forgot I had it in my baby bag!) and this time, I planned it, I had a baby bottle with a little water. So I topped up the bottle with this water. Apparently this was ok, but I could not keep it in its original bottle. But, I was allowed to keep the bottle. As soon as I got to the departure lounge, I could have transferred the water back.

So the question is…

What happens to that water in those 5 seconds of passing by security?

Any explanation for any of the above will be appreciated! Explanations into the comment boxes please!

Give me back My FREEDOM

I travelled (with a Baby) recently from Heathrow onto an EU country onto another EU county and back to the UK. Honestly I was treated like a criminal at best. At worst? Well I will let you be the judge of that.

It started off very normally. Now as far as I was aware, restrictions had been lifted to non US countries. Boy was I wrong. Before I go on, I need you to be aware that I had already been away from home for 3 days attending a conference. So, there I was armed with Baby food and drink and Baby in tow, beginning my travels.

I checked in and was directed to a channel for security. At this point, I thought how nice of them, they are helping me out because I am travelling with a baby. What a joke? I was queued behind some other people obviously. They were made to strip off their jackets, shoes and even belts. They had to walk through the detector barefooted on filthy floor (there even was chewing gum stuck to the floor!). I was surprised. Anyway, if was soon my turn. My jacket was in a plastic bag and I was not wearing a belt. Thankfully my baby was not wearing shoes or I would have flipped. But try taking off your shoes whilst holding a baby and dealing with security! They took my pushchair and tried to stuff it in the x-ray machine and could not manage. So they took it elsewhere, without even warning me they were removing it from my presence. It came back damaged, though I did not notice until later as things actually deteriorated further. My bag was split into smaller bags including a baby food bag, a baby change bag and a handbag. I also had a plastic bag with our jackets as it is too hot to wear the jackets inside the terminal. I also had a sealed 1L bottle of water and a nearly empty one, bearing in mind I had to travel to get to Heathrow. Anyway, they made me throw my bottles away, despite their objections only being with my not carrying water and NOT with carrying water bottles. They gave me grief because I asked to keep the bottles. Needless to say I was made to throw them and told that I can purchase more from inside the terminal. Anyway, apparently that was the least of my trouble, because they then found my baby’s bottles. My baby has always been breastfed Milk, so my baby is not used to normal baby bottles. However, my child can drink water out of sports bottles. I had found miniature sports water bottles and used those to give my baby water and had a couple of them with me. Now those caused some trouble. They gave me so much grief. I am positive despite sanctions people could still carry baby food and drink subject to the parent testing them at security. I was more than happy to do this, but as they were not standard baby bottles they would not allow them. No matter how I tried to justify that the water contained was low salt and baby friendly, I was not allowed to keep them under any circumstance. So I said I would throw the water but not the bottles. The security started getting angry at me because they did not want to just dispose water. But had they been baby bottles I would not have been given any of the grief. I was made to explain why I gave my child that water and not other water. I was told I could replace the water with tap water. I was shouted at and humiliated. Yet my ordeal was still not over. They found the baby food. It was a sealed unit as found in the shops. I did not think of carrying spare containers with me. I was made to test it. I said it is sealed and if I open it I cannot carry it. Could they offer me some way to reseal it. They could not. I was made to throw my child’s food away.

At some point they wanted to take my child off me. I flipped. Did they really think that after shouting and me and giving me grief, I was actually going to trust my child in their hands. I flipped. I said that my child would never leave my hands. I could not understand why I was being treated like a criminal. They said it was security. Honestly. If I wanted to cause trouble, I do not even need to pay for a flight and board one. If I just left a bomb in each terminal at peak time, I would kill far more people than if I were on a flight with a bomb! Yet perhaps they are too blind to see, and so I get treated like a criminal.

I had to shut up because I though that if I said anything else, I was going to be detained and arrested. I could not afford anything happening to my child so I just shut up. By then I was so stressed, that as soon as I was able to leave security, I just burst into tears. This happened a month ago, and I still get upset at the way I was treated. Just imagine how I felt then.

So what is the point of this? Well. I thought I lived in a free country. I thought I was innocent until proven guilty. I was wrong. Apparently you are treated like a criminal if you are not the minority. You are presumed guilty and treated as such. And all because of a small minority group with intent of destruction. For Freddy’s sake, give me back my FREEDOM and don’t let the guilty win!

[Oh! Needless to say I was not treated like this at any of the other EU airports!]

Seat Belts & Car Booster Seats for Children

The new law is enforcing all children to use baby car seats or boosters seats. At first glance one may think what a great idea, but is it really?

First of all, in my opinion, I strongly feel that this law is removing my freedom to choose. Is that not a human right? That aside, as that alone is an argument in itself, here goes my argument:-

Personally, I agree with the use of seatbelts and restraints. However, I feel that choice should be given, especially as there is also research which indicates that in cases of emergency, people can get trapped by their seatbelts. I personally would not risk my child unnecessarily, thereby having a car seat for my baby. However, I have been in situations which have left me in quite a predicament. An example in point is one morning I walked to a mother and child group. When it was time to leave, the weather had taken a turn for the worse. It started raining heavily and snowing. The choice was… to walk or get a lift without a child seat. Which would you choose? Expose your child to the elements or risk getting a fine? Ok weather does not always change so suddenly, but I often find myself offering other mothers a lift, but they felt obligated to refuse because I do not have a spare car seat. If you see the size of car seats, you would understand why I do not carry a spare.

So far, I have only spoken about baby car seats. Let us talk children. Again, personally, my children will always be strapped in. It is a matter of choice. But a car seat or booster till the age of 12 or 135cm? So, if I happen to be tall, I can get away without a car booster seat? But if I am short, do I have to use a booster seat all my life? It is a good thing I am over the threshold (just!). It would be so embarrassing to use a booster seat at my age!

Yet again, it also means that no matter what, I cannot take other children in my car without planning unless a case of emergency! Talking of which, what constitutes a case of emergency? A sudden shower? Bleeding to death?

Why am I even bothering to argue. No-one is going to listen to me! After all, I am not a car seat manufacturer! And slowly slowly we are being robbed of our freedoms. If anyone is listening… leave a comment!

Bordering / Boardering on the ridiculous

As you must have heard, there has recently been yet again another security alert. This will keep happening if countries keep accepting “asylum seekers” who have no respect for their own country let alone a foster country.

Anyway, that’s another story, for another time. What I want to highlight today is how ridiculous the whole situation is. Can you imagine going to board a bus, and they tell you I am sorry, you are not allowed any hand luggage, please store everything in the luggage compartment. If you really must have a hand luggage, it has to be a see-through plastic bag. You can only have these things in the plastic bag – keys but not your car key, cash, id, medications but not liquid ones, and some baby items. Please do not forget to pass through the metal detector. Nothing in your pockets please.

Ok, I can hear you say.. but this is not like catching a bus. Isn’t it? I thought the whole point of the EU was to be part of ONE big country (like the US – ironic huh?). If this is the case, then it is like being in the same country and travelling between one area and the next, isn’t that like catching a bus?

So, the questions I have for you now are…

What’s in your pockets today? I just emptied mine, I have coins, cards, paper, keys (including car keys & fob), a mobile (with photo facilities), a hairband, and an MP3 player. This is on my average day. Yet to get a plane, I am not allowed anything in my pockets!

As you know from my previous lamentations, I have a baby. Have you ever travelled with a baby? Well, if you ever have you will know, you need a barrage of items including nappies, wipes, baby cream, bibs, spoons, baby food, milk, biscuits, muslin, spare clothes in case of an accident, a blanket, a couple of toys, a change mat, water and more. Just imagine holding that in a plastic bag. And we haven’t even gone near what you require for travel such as documentation, money, tickets etc.

What do you do with your car key? Throw it in your luggage? Throw it away? Hmm, how do I get back home?

What about cameras and other expensive electrical equipment? Are the airlines going to take responsibilty for things that get lost? I think not. Your insurance? I think not. Hmm.

Travelling with children? Imagine not having anything to keep them amused for the flight. Arghh!

Female? That time of month? Suddenly you are not entitled to any privacy. Please show what you use to all. Oh and don’t forget to highlight what time of month it it! Wasn’t there such a thing as a right to privacy?

Ever taken medicine? How often is it liquid? You can take medicine, but not liquid? Hello? Anyone there? Medicine is taken for a reason and not for fun. Honestly.

Water? Have you seen the cost of water on flights? Put aside the cost of water? Have you ever tried to get more than a glass of water? I drink around 2 litres of water on a flight averaging 3 hours. Are the airlines happy to sell (give) me water in that quantity? and at a reasonable (high street) price? Thought not.

What about shoes? How do you feel about taking off your shoes? Well, excuse me, please place your shoes on the x-ray machine and prance around barefooted please. Alternatively, stick your shoes in the hold. Or even better, save on your luggage allowance and don’t
take shoes on your holiday!

What do you do with your normal hand luggage? Is your hand luggage added to your normal
luggage allowance? Hmm?

As for being made to taste baby milk / food? I have no problem tasting my baby’s food as its all home-made, but it’s a good thing I breastfeed as I am lactose intolerant. Can you imagine what would happen in my case.

“Please try the milk”

“But I am lactose intolerant”

“Please taste”

“Fine”

Blergh… splat! (Then instantly sounds of handcuffing?)

Not funny is it? Honestly. We are being ridiculous. We are letting terrorism ruin our lives and destroy our freedoms. Please let us return to normal social norms and let us travel without hassle! Trust me, if I were a terrorist and I wanted to do something, there are loads of ways of getting things done without being a passenger. I would have to be silly to go through as a passenger if I wanted to do something. Can we stop this ridiculousness?

For more information about official travel restrictions just click here.