We took our kids from Toronto, Canada to Switzerland on vacation. This is our adventure.
This is a multi-part series.
So it’s been a million years since I’ve travelled internationally by plane. There are so many differences from how I remember it, it’s kind of mind-boggling.
For one thing, baggage is now checked electronically by the passengers themselves. In my day, there were agents behind counters checking the bags. 🙂
This makes it sound like it was a really long time ago, but I’m only talking about the mid-1990s…that’s when my profession was flight attendant.
Anyway we’re checking bags and me being me, I watched the little 15 second video on how to attach the electronic baggage tag to the luggage.
I suggested to the family to do the same.
They weren’t interested in watching, but then struggled a bit with the pull-back method of the ticket. (ha)
I may or may not have secretly rolled my eyes… 🙄
I stayed out of it. Even though someone (not naming names) ripped the ticket. And, the agent who attended those who didn’t know what they were doing was rude and derogatory. (sigh)
But she came back a second time and fixed the mistake.
The good part of the story was that all our luggage weighed within the limit. Yay! We were finally on our way to security.
Security was packed as is typical at the onset of summer vacation. We were told to join the family line, as our youngest is 11 and thereby young enough for special line-ups. This made my girl feel quite happy.
“You can thank me for being in the special line-up!” she said. I looked around and saw tired toddlers, fidgety preschoolers, young children dropping toys and boarding passes, harried parents with too many bags and frazzled expressions…
But the whole experience was exhilarating for our kids. It was their first time flying so they were very impressed with everything, especially the girl child.
As an experienced, albeit out of practice traveller, I packed simple: one checked bag, one carry-on backpack.
Side note: I did pack everything I own though…then I heard there was a heat wave in central Europe so I unpacked and repacked the next day. Lol…when I think back to my F/A days, how simple it was… I rarely worried about details.
Youth does have its perks. 😉
Anyway I directed the kids to do the same. Keep it simple, one bag to carry on, everything else checked. Makes it easier in security.
My partner however had the electronics in a separate bag, so he had to unpack things at security which took a bit more time. That is also a change from my F/A days – we did not have laptops, tablets and phones, nor did we have to worry about converters and plugs and charging cables. 🙂
We walked through the scanner thingy, an then went to retrieve our bags.
Suddenly my girl noticed her bag was behind a glass wall. Her knapsack was getting pulled over for inspection.
It was her markers. They wanted to verify those.
Okay then. 👀
Let me say this: she felt very important at being asked questions on her contents. 😊
When we got to the gate area we had some time before boarding began. Again, I was impressed with all the new, modern conveniences. The seating used to be relatively uncomfortable back in my F/A days, but now there were leather chairs, ipads and charging stations, you name it. Much more user-friendly, comfortable, and convenient.
The boys were hungry so they left to purchase some overpriced food. The girl and I went looking for some seats. We found some at a bar-like table, with ipads and charging stations affixed to the counter.
We got comfortable.
After a while the girl started chatting on her phone. Who was she talking to?
“You’re not giving me any context,” she said flabbergasted. “Give me a reference point.”
This went on for some time.
‘Must be her brother,’ I thought to myself, smiling.
Finally she got off the phone.
“They have seats,” she announced. “They want us to go there.”
So we left our comfortable seats and went searching for them.
Guess what we discovered when we found them. Two very comfortable males seated in lounge-type leather chairs in front of a coffee-table like contraption. Without any empty seats nearby for us.
“I gave up my seat to stand beside you?” I said to them, wondering why they called us over.
“Oh,” was the answer.
There may have been eye rolling again… 😉
I left the girl with them and wandered over to the duty free store. I found a spot on the floor along a wall next to the entrance of the shop and sat down there.
Maybe I can do some people watching like this.
Immediately a guy approached me with a tablet in his hand. He wanted to know if I was a permanent citizen of Switzerland.
Nope, I told him.
Apparently, he wanted to ask me some survey questions.
Sorry, I said and wondered why he picked me. What made me look Swiss?
It didn’t take long after that for boarding to be announced. And so, we were on our way.
Stay tuned… 🙂