Tuesday, 22 August 2006

easyjet and Pirate Ships - The Long Version

While in Orléans I found this terrific toy shop (Du Côté du Bois, 24 Rue Charles Sanglier) and bought this great pirate ship (see photo) for my grandson. As is the custom in France, it was beautifully gift wrapped. A couple of days later we have the alleged terror plot and there is total panic - one of the panic measures being that hand luggage is banned from planes. Well, this package is too large to fit in my suitcase and in my opinion too fragile to be thrown in the luggage hold with all of the suitcases and other luggage, so that when I get to Charles de Gaulle airport at the end of my holiday and I am told by the young woman at the easyjet check-in desk that it will have to go in the hold I of course refuse, pointing out that it is a fragile toy. This pleasant young woman consults with her supervisor, who takes one look at the package and declares that it will have to be put in the luggage hold. Once again I point out that it is a fragile toy and once again she declares that it must go in the luggage hold. So I ask her 'what if it gets broken?' and she just shrugs her shoulders (a very Gallic gesture but not one that endears her to me) so I ask her if she will take responsibility and compensate me if it gets damaged. She now decides that I can try to get it through security and if they refuse to pass it then it will have to go in the hold. I accept this decision and after checking in set off for security (with my backpack full of camera equipment, spectacles + cases etc which they have not even bothered to look at !!). As usual my parcel and backpack are passed through the x-ray equipment and I am allowed to proceed into the boarding lounge (pas de problem).

I am told that my grandson practically sleeps with his new toy.