Regardless of whether I have a toddler with me or not, I find travelling a stressful experience.
It might be because of the whole checking-in process in Lagos (you know, the opening of every suitcase, rummaging through them all and then being asked ‘what of me?’).
I actually don’t think it matters where I fly to or from, until I’m on that airplane, I can’t relax.
Yesterday’s flight, however was a different story altogether. Some things made me furious, but other things made it all better. I don’t know how to feel about Emirates any more!
So – here’s what pissed me off.
My meal choices were a) Nigerian chicken stew (typical Nigerian chicken dish cooked in spicy tomato sauce, accompanied with plain local rice, sauteed local spinach with onions and fried plantain). Or b) Fried croaker fish fillet (on a bed of tomato sauce, accompanied with jollof rice with sauteed green peas and plantain cubes, garnished with fried onions).
Now if either of those meals are to your taste – that’s just great. For you. If they aren’t to your taste, well… There’s not much I can say. Personally, they’re not for me. And I don’t eat fish anyway. What’s so wrong with making one of the dishes a Nigerian dish and the other something else? This is actually the second time this has happened flying Emirates. I suppose I should have known better and booked a special meal for myself? At least I wouldn’t have had to wait three hours until after take-off for something to eat or drink. Or maybe I should just fly Business Class all the time (poor LagosDad!)?
Another thing which the airline definitely needs to look at is their children’s meals. I have flown Qatar Airways in Business Class and in Economy and although Vinay has refused to eat the food (being so fussy and all), it’s actually looked and tasted appealing. Mini burgers, French fries, etc. Actual children’s food! I could not believe it when I saw his meal yesterday. It was a big hunk of deep fried fish. With a couple of tasteless potato wedges and boiled carrots. It looked awful. I don’t know anyone who would eat that.
V was hungry and had a bite of everything – but wasn’t impressed and ate no more.
About thirty minutes after they cleared the meals, V started throwing up. All over the blankets, himself, everywhere.
He couldn’t be changed into his spare clothes as one of his bottles leaked in his bag and wet all his clothes. All I will say on that subject is that I didn’t pack that bag.
Cabin crew were aware of what had happened as I’d gone to the galley to get rid of all the blankets, etc.
After V had thrown up enough times for me to need more airsick bags, I pressed the call button.
It took forty minutes for someone to come and see what was going on. FORTY MINUTES. And I kept pressing the button so that it made the ‘ding’ sound. But still. Forty minutes. I’m not impressed.
Once I eventually got more bags, he was a bit better. He was thirsty though and everytime he had some water, he’d throw up again.
Meanwhile one of the crew had come to check on him, and took some details (how many times had he been sick, what had he eaten, medication, etc.). They contacted a medical team on the ground and I was told we had to wait until everyone else disembarked before we could see someone.
When we FINALLY landed and everyone else had gone, we went to First Class where the medics were waiting. They asked a whole bunch of questions, checked V’s temperature (normal) and told me I could go with them to the medical centre and see a doctor right away or see my own doctor.
Vinay was fine. He was chatting to the head of the flight crew and was excited about finally having landed. And I decided we’d just go home and see how he did. I really thought it was probably just air sickness.
And then he threw up again. All over the First Class seats. Haha!
I changed my mind and we went to the medical centre. The medics drove us on one of the golf buggy thingies and Vinay was so excited about the siren, the horn and the speed!
We saw a doctor who prescribed some medication to settle his stomach. He said it couldn’t be air sickness as it would have started when he was younger and earlier on in the flight and was probably just a gastro issue.
We finally got home at about 4 am. And Vinay is fine.
So – Emirates definitely need to rethink their meal options. Also, I know the crew are always busy on flights, but if you can repeatedly hear the call bell – go and see what the hell is going on!!
The Emirates staff were very efficient when it came to V needing medical attention. In the air and on the ground. I was impressed.