Saturday, January 05, 2008
Picture the scene: Dublin Airport New Years morning at about 5am. Me and the 3 kids go to check in as the husband parks the car. I key our booking reference number into the little green express machines. It doesn't work so I have to go join a queue which is stretching the length of the departures area.
Five minutes into queueing I realise that I've left a pouch with all 5 passports on the little green machine and run back only to find they're not there. Panic city....
Airport authority people started helping me to look. We went from one aer lingus person to another asking if they'd been handed in. We tried customer services desks, we tried airport police. Nothing. I kept wandering back to the little machines hoping one of them would just spew out the passports but nothing. I felt like puking.
I was afraid to think what might happen if they didn't turn up. Two of the kids (the foster kids) had never been on a holiday, ever. And this was a 4 day trip to Disneyland Paris and it might not happen cos I had lost the passports. Oh good jaysis the only reason I wasn't crying was not to panic the kids even further. Minutes passed. Nothing. The same aer lingus staff kept approaching and asking if they'd turned up. Nothing. One airport authority person kept saying "they always show up". I wasn't reassured.
One very helpful aer lingus person seemed to take charge. He got us an area to sit in. He pre-selected our seats so that "if" they turned up we could check straight in no queueing. He told me not to panic.....some chance; I felt like screaming.
I couldn't possibly sit still and circled the green machines anxiously. Another Garda approached and asked what was up. I told him I'd lost 5 passports. He looked at me like I was a complete toolbox. He just said "Follow me" and walked off. I told him I'd alrerady visited airport police and he said nothing and kept walking. I followed him down an escalator and over to a quiet corner of the airport. At a black door he said "wait here" and disappeared, only to reappear 20 seconds later with a pouch full of 5 passports!!! I nearly cried and he was TOTALLY unimpressed that I almost tried to kiss him. Happy days, prayers answered, holiday and Mickey Mouse were now firmly back on track. Big thanks to that Garda and whoever handed the passports in.
So all that lay between us and Big Thunder Mountain was a couple of hours in the sky......woohooo.....