Monday, 2 April 2018

| journal | 2018 | 04 | 02 | flying planes and chewing seatbelts |

It was only recently I had to crack open this little list and I realised I'd managed to miss out some of the classics.

Having to be at the check in desk 35 minutes before the flight didn't leave me a lot of time, especially when my dad would drop me off at 36 minutes before. Given how many times I flew between London and Newcastle, I'd say my hit rate is quite low, but even so, the sheer number of times I've had to beg my way through security and just peg it to my plane is painful. The nearest miss was watching my plane leave without me, and being informed that I had been put on the next flight and would rejoin my luggage up north. As in, that was a success. The others are just misses.

1) I think one of my favourites is the time I was running seriously late. I took a gamble between C2 and A8 (if you frequent terminal 5 you will know they are a solid distance apart), and my risk did not pay off. The final call for my flight went up, so doing the only normal thing I could, I broke into a lively sprint towards the other end. Unfortunately, the hall was packed and going was tough. I passed duty free (normally I'd leave it smelling of all the perfumes) and thought I'd acquired a tag along. He was a youngish man, and we exchanged nods before ploughing forwards.

'where are we going?' I just pointed. Didn't have time for small talk. My shoe situation was poor at best and the pyjama bottoms I was wearing were sliding further down my bum. One hand was dedicated firmly to not losing my trousers, the other trying to stop my camera bag from hitting every single other person I ran past. I half succeeded.

Looking to my right, another man had joined my run (bear in mind we were now nearing the end of this race) and started shouting 'out of the way, she is coming through'. I did look behind. He was talking about me. A8 could not have come soon enough. I was the last passenger.

I miss my friends.

2) Or how about the time I got grouped in with the U16s and had to awkwardly flash my passport to prove I was in fact a fully fledged adult. It probably doesn't help that I don't wear makeup when I fly. Nor do I wear adult clothes. I just kind of rock up in check trackies and bed hair, looking slightly lost and confused. People latch on to the 'lost and confused' part and go out of their way to help me. It's cute.

Anyway, I checked in, strolled through security (trust, this was such a luxury. never have I strolled anywhere) and went and sat near my gate. I was quietly minding my own business when two children were planted next to me. then another, on the other side. Meh.

It was only ten minutes later when I was being herded onto the plane that I realised my mistake. I'm also not quite sure why I just go with these things. I could have spoken up and been all 'hi there I'm an adult I don't need your chocolate bar thanks' but instead I let the stewardess sit me with the other three kids and give me a lecture about losing my name badge. To  be fair, I would have just gone with it, but I genuinely wanted a window seat and there were two small people in my way.

3) The time I missed my plane twice and had to cry.

This was a bad time actually. I'd flown down to say goodbye to my nan - mid exam and essay season - and was anxious at missing so many lectures. My dad had massively misjudged the traffic and thanks to British Airway's app I got to receive notifications as my plane took off. Thanks. We rebooked my flight for the following week (even with the admin charge it was still cheaper than a train ticket) and I settled in for 7 more days at home.

Monday came round again and I was eager to be on my way. Dad was not so eager and ensured he polished off all his toast. Thanks dad. My favourite part was when he chucked me out of the car and said 'you're on your own kid'. I didn't really know what to do. So I started crying. Then I saved my tears and started crying over by the help desk where the woman said she'd help me. Use your resources wisely.

4) The speedos man. Nothing really happened but it was so funny watching a man in speeedos being chased by airport security with a towel.

5). The tea bag incident still isn't that funny and I genuinely thought I was going to get in so much trouble. Just don't fly with loose tea.

6) Well. I'm quite easily distracted, to say the least. I'm sufficiently distracted that I once forgot I was in fact wearing shoes pre-security, and got a very long way before realising my mistake. If you've ever flown from Newcastle you will know that there is a long corridor away from security, so a dishevelled youth staggering back along is probably going to grab attention. Especially when she's trying to get back before her footwear is bagged as a bomb threat. In reality I didn't have too far to go because I was met by two running men who informed me I had also forgotten my passport and boarding pass, along with my lovely boots.

7) Oh NO. See. Every time I write one, I remember another. I think I'm going to have to go and sit elsewhere because this story makes me cringe so badly. I can't type. I can't do this. For a while, every journey I made involved me hitting another human. Bus, train, by foot... you name it. I caused damage all around. I'm being quite serious here you're going to have to wait for this story because I am physically cringing. She was on crutches. 

8) Okay that's not fair, there was the time I took most of the drinks trolley down to the floor with me to make up for it. I swear. I genuinely honestly believe that they have a note next to my name, because the last two times I've flown with British Airways I have been escorted to my seat. And I still managed to kick Michael Mcintyre in the shins - you should have seen the look of fear in his eyes as I had to walk past him again.

9) Have you been to Heathrow carpark B? Well if you have, you'll know you have to jump in a little pod to get to terminal 5. This is a little known secret I'm divulging here, but I actually managed to leave my much loved DSLR in one of those pods. On my graduation day. And walk off. It was only when I got to security that I realised (cue more airport running, in my pyjamas again). I managed to enroll three members of staff to help me in my plight, and we contacted various members of security. The race was on, because as usual my dad had not built in Sophie time to the pre-flight schedule (you'd think he knew by now). Yeah so I had an escort through the airport. They loved me.

10) or the wrong plane. (PLANES). Please note this has happened twice and I'm still somewhat unsure how this happened. Or why I didn't get into more trouble than 'miss please depart this aircraft it's just not yours'.

11) In future. Don't be recognisable. Learn to blend. With furniture. A bookcase. A bookcase will save you from the armed men running round a french airport trying to locate the suspicious female leaving large red rucksacks at security. When I recounted this story I missed out my fluorescent hi tops - but don't you fear it was that detail which was being screamed across the tannoy - hence me trying to hide them under shelving. There is nothing more noteworthy than someone trying to get super familiar with the pine. It's okay. I made friends that day [I was also escorted firmly to my seat].

12) The napping man. I think. No. Just. He was asleep and then he wasn't and those two facts have nothing to do with my can of diet coke or crisps. nothing.

THE SUITCASE.



It has reached that point in this adventure where we must depart from this storytelling or else you'll stop believing I'm an adult.