Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One way plane ticket to Berlin

This is what I had to buy today. Not that anyone is going to Berlin but I have ended up in yet another crazy travel situation with Zoe.

Zoe's dad and I share our electronic calendar and you would think that would help us coordinate at least major travels. Well, one day he came over to my desk and asked if when my calendar said Munich for two days, did that mean I was actually going to Munich? Because, he had just arranged to go to Gothenburg for a writing workshop, which he had arranged with 5 others who could only do those days. Yes, I replied, when my calendar said Munich, I was actually going to Munich. I thought about possibilities for a few moments, including sending Zoe to Gothenburg with her dad and arranging daycare there (it doesn't cost anything to take her on the train but she is a full fare plane ticket these days), but that was vetoed by him. I actually contemplated for one second to ask a friend to pick up Zoe from daycare and stay the night with her but since this friend has never been alone with Zoe, although he adores her and she gets along with him, I didn't think it was an actual possibility. A proper babysitter was out of the question for the sheer price of it, considering it would be 4pm to 8am and then 4pm to 11pm again the next day. The only real option was for me to drop Zoe off in Copenhagen with my mom. Luckily Copenhagen is sort of on the way to Munich from Stockholm where we live so I went ahead asking my travel agent to book tickets. Tiny detail was that I cannot leave before 5pm the day I go to Munich because of a meeting at the university. There was literally only one option for flights, leaving me with one hour in Copenhagen to drop off Zoe before my continuing flight to Munich left.

Today I then called up Scandinavian airlines to find out how I get my 2 year old from the terminal to the arrival without having to go back through security. I simply don't have time for that and if I miss my flight onwards to Munich, I miss my meeting the next day. The airport told me that they have not provided non-passengers with gate passes since 2006 due to security restrictions, and it is therefore not possible for my mom to come into the airside area to pick up Zoe. I then asked for unaccompanied minor assistance, well aware that this will cost me extra. But since Zoe is not 5 years yet, they were not able to find anyone who can follow her out. I honestly thought for another three minutes that there has to be someone I can ask to take her out. A nice grandmother type or another mother with a kid who can understand the situation. It is a 500 feet walk from the point-of-no-return doors, through the luggage hall and out the big doors to the arrival hall. My mom will be waiting right there. But I guess this is one of those things you just don't do.

This is why I found myself booking a ticket to Berlin with a discount airline for my mom. It was only a couple of dollars more than the unaccompanied minor service would have been and she now has a boarding pass so she can come through and pick up Zoe. Considering how easy this was I am a bit amused about their 'no gate pass policy' since 2006. Most things can still be bought by money.

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