I wasn’t going to blog about my flight (and the events leading up to it) back to Lagos because I’d already posted about my flight to London. I really didn’t think it could be that different. If anything, it would be better – because it was a night flight and V would (hopefully) sleep. More fool me…
I had to buy a new return-ticket from London to Lagos (and back to London). The price difference between economy and premium economy was really too much – and since I wasn’t planning to take V with me, I bought an economy ticket.
When I arrived in London, I called Virgin and added Vinay to my booking and asked how much it would cost to upgrade to premium economy. £1500. I don’t know what I was thinking, but in a moment of madness, I told them to go ahead and upgrade me. I gave them my card details – not from our joint account, because I already had an inkling that Hub would freak out!
Over the next day, I started feeling incredibly guilty and decided to ‘downgrade’ us to economy again. I called Virgin. Luckily, my bank had blocked the payment (thank you Lloyds), since it was a large one and they were able to keep us in economy. Phew!
So, two days later it was time to leave (the time went so quickly!). The day was very stressful – running around Oxford St so I could do VATs, packing (yes, my fault for not starting sooner) and generally stressing myself out. Once we (my parents came to drop V and I off) arrived at the airport, I spent forty minutes in the VAT queue. I was so annoyed by the end of it. While I was in the line, my mum was walking V up and down in his stroller as he was getting a bit tired, hungry and cranky.
After VAT, I went to check-in and was told “the infant hasn’t been added to your booking”. WHAT? Apparently this wasn’t a problem, I just had to go to the ticketing counter and pay for him.
While I was there, I asked the man about upgrading to premium. I had my fingers and toes crossed. It HAD to be less expensive than £1500. It was… £314. YES! I handed over my card (from our joint account, this time) and smiled. I felt so relieved. Every little bit of space mattered. He processed the payment and then started tapping on the keyboard. Made a phone call and said, “I’m so sorry. We don’t have any seats suitable for passengers with infants in premium economy for tonight’s flight. I’m so sorry – I was looking at tomorrow night’s flight.” WHAT? I felt like punching him in the face, but managed to restrain myself. Just. It took another 10 effing minutes to refund the £314.
Went back to check-in and the man behind the counter was a cocky bastard. He flicked through our passports, claiming he couldn’t see valid visas and we wouldn’t be allowed to fly without them (duh). I found the relevant pages and showed him. “Oh yes. Perfect.” Idiot. We had five pieces of luggage to check-in (don’t ask). He tagged all the bags, including the stroller. I was very undecided as to whether I should take the stroller up to the gate or check it in. Only because the last time we took it to the gate, it was the very last item to come out when we landed. We landed at 5am, and we didn’t get it until about 10am. So, it was a bit of a dilemma. I had to take it anyway – I didn’t think I could manage a long walk to the gate with the bags, etc. Plus my arm has been hurting a lot from carrying V so much. While trying to sort everything out, my mum kept saying in the background, “Ask him to put an upper class tag on the buggy. Then it will come out first. Just ask him.” This was extremely annoying and I did my best to ignore her. Then she went up to the counter herself and tried to explain what she wanted him to do. He looked at her like she’d lost a marble or two. Dad and I were trying to get her to stop talking – but it didn’t work too well.
The last piece of luggage was V’s new car seat – it was already in a carton. A big carton. It didn’t fit on the belt, so we had to take it “under the escalator and leave it there”. When I turned around, the Virgin check-in hall, which had been over-crowded when we got there was virtually empty. HOW LONG HAD I BEEN THERE?
V was screaming in his stroller (because we weren’t moving) when we said goodbye to my parents. (I hate saying goodbye to them, it always makes me a bit teary.) While we went through passport control and security, he decided it was time to take a dump. After cleaning him up, I had to go straight to the gate. No time for duty free 😦 I was hoping to find the handbag I didn’t find in Selfridges!
When we boarded I realised we didn’t have one of those front seats that they usually reserve for passengers with infants. I was further back. I didn’t have an aisle or a window seat. I had one of those effing seats in the middle of a row of four. WTF? It was about 9.40pm (ish) by this time. And V was still quite wide awake – trying to make eye contact with random people and smile at them. We sat and I watched. I watched each person walking down the aisle – hoping that they weren’t coming to sit next to me.
They told us to switch off our phones and fasten our seat belts. And still no one had come to sit in the aisle seat next to me. YES! So we had two seats. When V fell asleep, he lay on the next seat.
However, before he fell asleep, there was a lot of:
Watching the two people across the aisle (that had only just met) make out
Eating Petits Filous at 2am
I think he slept from about 3 – 5am. And he slept through the landing. Thank goodness.
Our luggage, including the stroller, came out pretty quickly and we were home by 7.30am 🙂
I’m still not travelling alone with him for a long time!