Posted by: MummyTravels | April 15, 2012

The final pregnant take-off

It was only a matter of time. As the weeks and months ticked down towards D-day (delivery day) and I tried to pack as many flights into my second trimester as possible, there had to come a final take-off before I was grounded.

Armed with a letter of fitness to fly from my doctor (just in case), I was literally squeezing the last flights in just before my third trimester started, landing back in the UK at 27 weeks and six days. Admittedly some airlines will continue to let you fly well into the final stretch of pregnancy, but even if the rules say it’s OK, I’m not sure I fancy wedging myself into an airline seat at 32 weeks. Just in case.

And heading to the isolated Azores, the Portuguese island chain in the Atlantic which is the westernmost part of Europe, 1,000km from the nearest land, seemed a fitting way to finish it.

But arriving at Gatwick felt quite a different experience. After countless flights during my life, this would be the last time I’d take off without either my child alongside, or left behind at home. Well, until they were old enough not to want to travel with their parents any more.

As ever, the baby radar was on full alert – spotting the Dad with young baby cruising through WH Smiths, noticing for the first time that there’s a kids’ play area near the upstairs restaurants and spotting the separate baby changing room as I trudged the long corridor to the toilets. Sadly the only branch of Giraffe was landside…

Best of all, from check-in to reaching airside took less than 15 minutes, even on a Saturday afternoon. Top marks Gatwick (its recent overhaul appears to be paying off). I can only cross my fingers and hope it’s as smooth next time.

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Responses

  1. Hope you have a good trip (and also that you’re baby-to-be is a much better flier than mine) x

    • Thanks! And here’s crossing my fingers too…

  2. Gatwick will only improve as its owners are investing in it and plan to challenge Heathrow. A bit worring that it seems to have caught the Heathrow passport delay disease though (see: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/transport/passengers-suffer-twohour-wait-to-get-through-gatwick-airport-passport-control-7660241.html). Wouldn’t fancy two hours standing in a queue with a baby bump or a young child.

    • It’s already miles ahead of the last time I travelled through (a while ago, as Heathrow is much closer) – didn’t experience passport control coming back, but completely agree, two hours with a bump or baby would be hideous, especially after a long flight. Surprised they don’t even have wifi though.


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