On boarding the plane, I met a Somali lady with a baby, a pushchair and 2 heavy bags. She could hardly manage the baby and the pushchair so I offered to take the bags off her. Budget European flights are not designed for parents with young children or the elderly who need help boarding the plane. You take your crap on the plane if you have to take one at a time and staff are usually unhelpful, as the system seems to have been designed.
On the plane, the baby kept crying, understandably so. Sitting on a mother’s lap in an already squeezed space should make any baby cry. They are lucky not to be hindered by the ‘grown-up’ rules and just cry at the misery of budget flights. I could see the mother getting irritated and impatient at her baby. Tying to make him abide by the rules and shut the hell up. She kept shuffling him and the small pink bag on the floor, trying to breathe herself.
An hour and half later, we wait for everyone to get off so I could take her heavy bags down to the passport control. I asked if her husband or a relative is waiting for them outside. She said no and she has to take a train to Malmo, a Swedish city about 20 minutes train ride from Copenhagen airport! In this freezing cold and with all those bags and a baby?? Yes! I could picture the husband in their warm home watching TV and sipping on hot cup of tea while she goes thorough hell.
Immediately after passport control, I can't wait to be done with this and get her a trolley, put the bags in and wish her luck with her onward journey. The trolley has a space for the baby so I am sure she can take it from there. But no such luck, she goes thorough her handbag and realizes she has lost her purse with her bank card, ID card and train card, shit! She asks me to stand there with her bags and the baby while she goes back thorough the passport control and into the plane to search for it! I tell her that won’t work and she might be thrown in jail for acting like a terrorist. She doesn’t know what to do and how to get to Malmo since she doesn’t have cash on her. I tell her am sure we can find Easyjet office or some customer services desk and maybe someone has handed in her purse.
First, to the baggage claim area for her extra luggage, so heavy it feels like there is a dead boy in it! We pull that along and find the “arrival’s assistance desk”. Turns out she doesn’t speak Swedish well and doesn’t understand Danish, so I explain to the officer behind the desk in English. He immediately calls someone and after few minutes comes back to say “sorry the plane had left and they only found headphones, there is no red purse. I recommend you call Stansted airport to ask them to search it again”. I ask if Easyjet can cover her ticket to Malmo given that she has a baby and her purse is on that plane. He is quick to state that it is the passenger’s responsibility to look after their personal belongings and Easyjet is not by law obliged to purchase her a ticket. Great, now I have to pay for the damn ticket and I don't have much money myself. I am really done with this shit, Somalis at airports always in need of help, not my duty and tired of it. I tell her I will get this ticket coz she has a baby otherwise, the last species I want to help are women with loser husbands. What bothered me more was that, she was taking all her frustration out on the baby! This cute little boy, a year old, cheerful and totally oblivious to the mess his mother is in was smiling and playing loudly. You would thing that is great, no? A happy baby leaving you to sort things out without adding to your stress, but no. She seemed annoyed at his happiness and kept saying, "why is he playing? If he didn’t cry throughout the flight, I wouldn’t have been stressed and lost that purse"! Damn, depressing shit.
I came out to find Morten, who has patiently waited outside for nearly an hour while we deal with this drama. I quickly update him and ask where we can find a ticket to Malmo. I change some dollars, get her a ticket, and luckily the train to Malmo leaves from the airport so we take her to the right platform. While I wait with her and ask her to please not take out her frustration on the baby, Morten runs around asking for passengers boarding a train to Stockholm if it goes via Malmo. One of the passengers tells him yes but he would need a ‘special’ ticket for that particular train. We check the timetable and the next train will come in 16 minutes. We give her the ticket, leave her on the right platform and tell her what time the train will arrive.
I hope that baby slept in a safe and warm bed.