Will Lodge: Airports present a whole new level of logistical nightmare

The Lodge family, Mitchell, Gemma, Mila, Seth, Will and Finley.

The Lodge family, Mitchell, Gemma, Mila, Seth, Will and Finley. - Credit: Su Anderson

Superdad Will Lodge delves deep into the security rules at airports in the name of parenthood.

The comedian Michael McIntyre has a famous sketch outlining the difference in time it takes to leave the house before and after having children.

He, rather wittily, outlines how before he merely had to check he has his phone, wallet and keys and breeze through the door – whereas now it is a battle to put shoes and coats on.

Mr McIntyre is not wrong.

As well as the gathering of relevant items of clothing, and making sure the completely uneccessary items are not taken with you by the children, there is the collecting and preparing bags of ‘probably not necessary but you never know’ items for baby.

However these preparations reached a whole new level for me recently as we planned our first trip abroad with the young ones.

Most of the details for going overseas, such as a passport, insurance and the like, were relatively straightforward (though passports are not cheap one might add).

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But going on a plane – well that adds to the stress levels.

The biggest worry is going through security, and our ability or not to take sterilised water with us to make up a bottle of milk, something which could prove vital if cabin pressure and painful ears proves an issue.

Fortunately it appears the usual liquid limits have some exemptions for babies, when it comes to food.

However our lack of checked in baggage means a bottle of Calpol as a “just in case” will probably not be possible, and squash for her cup to keep her swallowing to tackle that air pressure issue will have to be bought air side.

Only having hand baggage is also a key consideration. Because baby will be sitting on our lap she is not entitled to her own bags as such, just a bag of things she may need on the flight – a definition we will be stretching.

Thinking wider than the airport, getting to and from home and the hotel at either end is also something that needs careful planning with our extended family.

We have opted for the meet and greet airport parking option, meaning we can drive almost right up to the terminal with our own car, complete with baby seat, and dump it on someone to park up for us.

At the other end the thought of a train and shuttle bus combination – without baby seat – with an accompanying price per person, was not a welcome thought.

Instead we have opted for a private transfer, which feels rather glamorous. I have always wanted to have a person waiting for me with a name board as I come through arrivals.

But in practical terms we have been able to book a car big enough for all of us, with car seat included, and which will take us door to door – all at pretty much the same cost as trying to use public transport.

I am confident it is doable. It’s all in the planning.

By the time you read this we will be back – and I can let you know if we survived.

Read more from Superdad Will Lodge here.