flightmum











{April 8, 2013}   Freedom Flight

As a mum, it goes without saying that my kids (especially when they were young), preferred me to do things for them or sit next to them. As opposed to their father.  My younger kids constantly fought over who got to sit next to mum at dinner time. When they woke up in the morning, they’d crowd me in bed while my husband had half the bed to himself. I’d tend to have two children sandwiched around me and one child with the coveted position of lying ON me. Their dad is a good sport about all this. He knows the kids love him immensely.

I don’t know if the kids gravitate towards me because of the mother/child bond OR because of the irregular hours I work. They never know when I will be available to kiss them good morning or tuck them in at night. Their dad always had more regular hours.

Anyway, no complaints.  I am very lucky. 

Many years ago,  my husband and I and our two boys were trying to fly home on standby. (Our daughter was just a figment of our imagination). The passenger agents called our name but said she only had 2 seats available and did we want to take them? We only needed 3 seats as our youngest was 18 months and would have been lap held. I asked if I could sit in the flight deck and she replied with an affirmative. My husband and I discussed the different options.  Basically,  we could pass on the seats and wait half the day in the airport for the next flight.  Or, I could sit in the flight deck while my sweetie sat with our 3 year old and a laptop held 18 month old for a five hour flight. It was a no-brainer. Ha ha.

We decided to go for it and boarded the aircraft. There were some tears as I headed left towards the cockpit and the kids and husband went right towards their seats. My husband gave me a brave smile and off they went.

I strapped myself into the jumpseat and waited for take-off. Once airborne,  I explained to the pilots that my husband and young sons were stuck in the back, while I got to have adult conversation.  We all had a good chuckle. All of a sudden,  I had a drink and a newspaper in my hands. It was a very relaxing and carefree flight…one I wouldn’t have had in the back of the aircraft with two little boys vying for my attention. It was a shame about being separated…but that is the sacrifice I made for my family that day. You’re welcome.

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{March 12, 2013}   March Madness

Last month, my mum invited the kids and I to come visit her during our spring break when the kids would be off school. Talked it over with the hubby, and we decided it was a good idea, even though he had to stay behind and work. 

Since we exclusively fly standby (get on the plane only IF there are empty seats available),  I tried to pick a time and date to travel that OTHER passengers wouldn’t necessarily want to travel. I picked the Sunday right after school ended as I had to work around my boys’ hockey games. Big mistake!  Every province has their spring break during different weeks. So, even though most people going on holidays would probably have gone away already, Sunday was a BUSY travel day, because a whole other province was rushing home after their week off!

The flights looked terrible and were oversold for the whole day, but, I decided to go for it anyway.  I figured, other passengers might misconnect their flights and we might get lucky. After all, SO MANY of my flights that I work are forecasted to be full, but we end up having empty seats. You never know!

After hockey, off we went to the airport with fingers crossed and lots of snacks, books and electronics. We missed the first flight. No problem.  Off we went to sit at the next gate. No luck. I felt good about the third flight as it was a much bigger aircraft.  When we didn’t get on, I heard the gate agents saying that NO  (cons) employees got on that flight except the two that sat in the flight deck.  Didn’t get on the next flight either.  Started to get nervous. The thought of being at the airport (again) for twelve hours by myself with 3 children for a one hour flight, mind you, did not really appeal to me…let’s be honest.

Thankfully,  the children were well behaved.  Perhaps they saw my crazy look and knew that they better not upset mummy, or else there would be he’ll to pay.

As we were walking to our NEXT gate, a man stopped me and said that I was very brave to be flying standby with three young children.  I agree and added, ‘or perhaps stupid’. Anyway,  off we went and waited once again for our names to be called. My kids were starting to get a little antsy by now. Who could blame them?  I was too. When I approached the gate agent once again and inquired about whether he thought we had any hope of getting on his flight, he rudely answered: No cons are getting on. That was it for me. I was tired. I wanted to go home.

I broke the news to the kids, but mentioned that we’d try again the next morning. Perhaps the flights would be better.

When I got home, I checked the flights to my destination for the next day, and they were just as bad. I called my mum and explained the situation.  I couldn’t stomach spending the whole day in the airport again, so we brainstormed and came up with the idea that I’d wake up early and drive the 5 hours to her home (10 hours round trip with a 9,7 and 4 year old. Gulp). 

In the end, I got some kind of virus and ended up throwing up all night long instead, so that killed that plan. But, I did fly out of the small downtown airport and finally made it to grandma’s 24 hours late. 

 

 



et cetera