Saturday, November 1, 2014

Frequent flyer

Last time I checked into the lounge they cut my gold card in two. Not because I am not gold anymore but because it had expired. Since I now have a combined credit/frequent flyer card I'm supposed to use that. Except I don't like running around with a credit card in my hand when I rush to a plane and I often let Zoe hold the 'tickets' too, which in my case is the card, in her case mostly a paper boarding pass (why they can't also put her boarding pass on her card is beyond me but it's probably because she flies on a child ticket). I grumpily went to the website and ordered new cards for both Zoe and me. When I got them it turned out she has been downgraded from silver to basic, mainly because I tend to buy her tickets on my miles so she doesn't earn nearly as many as me. But it did get me thinking of her amazing skills as a frequent flyer. Here is a list of her coolness when it comes to flying:

1. Zoe has security down. She walks up to the conveyer belt as a pro, takes off her jacket without being asked and guides the process of what goes in which box. She always insists on taking off her shoes and in the US I have to explain this to the officers who always point out that she doesn't have to because she is a child. These days she goes through the metal detector first but when she was little I would go through first before turning around and call her to come through. When she is through she asks me if I can ask the officer to 'touch' her. In Europe they always do it, very smilingly because she is so serious about it. In Stockholm where they have the shoe tester, she asks to use that too. So much for not letting strangers touch your child, but Zoe thinks this is an integrated part of security control. Oh and last time, I walked away and she was the one reminding me that we forgot our carryon suitcase.

2. Zoe enters the plane with a nice 'hello' to the flight attendants and asks how far down we are going. Then she counts the rows to the number I tell her, for example row 12, and hops in by the window. She buckles up herself and her doll and tells the doll not to be scared even though it is going to say 'boom' when we take off. She picks out the menu and tells me what we should get (most of the time she orders a small bag of chips). Recently she has realized that we fly through the clouds and is very fascinated by it. She wonders how soft they are and why the sun is always above them.

3. She still likes to take naps during the flight and fall asleep immediately with her head on my lap. But mostly she watches a video or play a game on her iPad.

4. Upon exit she says goodbye to the flight attendants again.

5. Zoe is now able to exit the airport by herself! A couple of weeks ago I had to drop her off with my mom in Copenhagen and continue to another city myself, but I only had 40 minutes between planes and didn't have time to go out and back through security again. We have been in this situation before: once I bought my mom a cheap ticket so she could go through and pick Zoe up airside, another time a friend of a friend who worked in the airport helped her out. This time I asked her if she thought she was big enough to go through herself and she proudly agreed. Luckily I was changing to domestic and it turned out that the exit at that part of the airport is much shorter than the international main exit. I had told her that if she didn't want to, of course I would exit with her and simply just risk missing my plane (Zoe's sense of safety is after all more important to me than any business meeting or lecture I might be doing) but when we got to the doors, she could see her grandmother on the other side through many layers of glass. She lightened up and ran off, forgetting to hug me goodbye.

All in all, she behaves like the frequent flyer she is. 4 years old and everything. 

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