Prescription for Disaster

Friday, 24 July 2015

Dirty Immigrants Need Not Fly (apparently)

I was assaulted by an old lady today - and it may have been a hate crime. 

Well then. 

I have to compliment British Airways for their incredibly accommodating (and patient) London City Airport - kudos and many thanks for sorting me out today. 

After another round of infusions in London I was due to fly back to Dublin later this evening, as usual. As luck would have it though, my infusions finished very early (no crazies on the ward today delaying things) and, feeling pretty rough, I went to the airport about 5 hours early for my flight in the hopes that I could get on an earlier plane (do people still do this?).

Looking a bit like death warmed over, with my arm bandaged from the cannula stabbings earlier in the day and my hospital wristband still on I shuffled over to the check-in counter, explaining my plight and asking if I could possibly get onto an earlier flight. I was kindly directed to Customer Service (just behind me) and off I went, politely waiting for the two agents to finish dealing with the person in front of me.

I was called forward, opened my mouth to speak and then just saw a blur of yellow - an older British man in a bright yellow polo shirt had run to the BA counter, barged in front of me and started screaming - and he was travelling with a banshee. 

His wife, a short, angry British woman hauling two massive suitcases on a trolley, was LOSING HER BRAIN at her husband, at the customer service agents and at ME!

She was just screaming about the gross incompetence of the airport staff and security - she had forgotten to take one of her bags off of the luggage collection belt and hadn't realized until she had already left security, and then security wouldn't let her back in to get it.

She was absolutely LIVID and shouting at the customer service agents like it was somehow their fault - her husband was yelling at her to calm down and he's never travelling with her again, she's screaming about how they just got back from Malaga and her glasses are in there and some thief is going to nick her glasses if she can't get back in there-

The customer service agents told her that they would help her after they were finished with me (who was hanging onto the counter for support) when she saw my Canadian passport on the counter, rammed me with her overloaded luggage trolley until I was out of the way and on my knees and screamed (I kid you not):


The agents jumped to their feet to see if I was okay as I kind of gripped the customer service counter and hauled myself back up - the woman (with no concern over me) now in a heated match with the customer service agents and her husband about airport security being called, and not for them to help her find her bag. More so to take her away and test her for drugs. 

They then stood on either side of me as I gripped the counter while they changed my ticket, the two of them shouting and screaming at each other with me stuck in between. One would lean around my front and scream while the other around my back and so on - I couldn't even speak to the agents as whenever I opened my mouth the irate, tanned British woman opened hers to berate the customer service agents even more and go on about the plight of her glasses. 

I finally stood up tall, glared at this little bulldog of a woman and snapped at her to go join her husband on the other side and leave me the hell out of this. That unleashed a tirade of fury and security was called, causing the two of them to scamper off to call the police on the customer service agents for not helping them.

Oh holy hell.

My ticket now being kindly changed to an earlier flight with disability assistance, I was directed to the 'priority assistance waiting area' just around the corner to sit down, regroup and wait for the wheelchair porter to take me through security. 

But I got there the entire area of 6 priority waiting seats, surrounded by a priority boarding partition and covered by signs stating that this area was specifically for 'those awaiting scheduled assistance, persons who are disabled or unable to stand' - it was fully taken by an African couple repacking their 4 large suitcases all over the 6 priority waiting seats and yelling into their mobile phones. I shuffled over, interrupting her phone argument, politely pointed out the signs above, around and ON the chairs and told her that I was here to wait for a wheelchair, could she please move some of her things so I can sit down.

She said no, and for good measure dumped MORE of her belongings onto all of the chairs. 

So I sat on the floor and leaned against the rubbish bin until the porter got there a few minutes later, at which point the angry unpacking woman shouted to the porter that I wasn't even disabled, I just wanted to get through security faster 

I hate people sometimes.