Family Faces Travel Fiasco

July 7, 2017

in Odds & Ends Stories

Breastfeeding on airport floor

July 1st marked the worst travel experience my husband, daughter and I have ever had anywhere in the world. Beyond the massive delay and missed connection, the customer service from British Airways was horrific. It was not until we boarded our flight 6 hours later that we were able to speak to actual BA personnel. Florence and Pisa airports couldn’t tell us anything as BA gave them no info for them to relay back. Here is my exact account of July 1, 2017 through July 2, 2017.  Keep in mind, we were traveling with a 12 week old infant.

Our family stood in line for 1.5 hours as the flight screen told us to “go to gate,” no one telling us anything. They would not let us into the gate area. When we got to the gate, we were told the flight was rerouted to Pisa. We were handed a travel notice that stated the flight would leave Pisa at 21:00 and arrive in Birmingham at 22:25. The internet was not working in Florence so there was no way to contact anyone outside the airport. This delay then made us miss our connection to Dublin (flight number EI3277).

We asked for a taxi due to the bus having no car seat. We were told we would miss the flight, but then 3 passengers were given a taxi as airport staff miscalculated bus seats. We didn’t board the bus in Florence until 20:11pm, so we knew the next flight would be delayed. A shuttle just dropped us off in a parking lot with no instructions from airport staff.

The check-in desk told passengers to go through security with all bags (even large bags we had previously checked in Florence). Security then told us to go back and check bags. I had to breastfeed on the floor while my husband checked us in at Pisa since we had to check all our luggage in again before going through security.

There was no place to purchase food at the airport. No food or beverages were offered at either airports from BA.

We got on a shuttle to the airplane, but were told to get off and go back to the gate – were told of technical difficulties. Got called back to the gate to board.

We landed at midnight in Birmingham (1am Pisa time). We couldn’t find Swissport people – poor signage, tiny sign – by Thomas Cook Airlines.

We got to a hotel; the restaurant wasn’t open so no food was available. No meal vouchers were ever offered at any point of delay, at either Pisa, Florence or Birmingham. We couldn’t speak to anyone at BA or a supervisor at Florence, Pisa or Birmingham. We packed enough formula to get us through until 10pm knowing we would land in Dublin at 9pm, but since we were so delayed, we feared we would run out of formula and there were no places open to purchase more.

The hotel was not informed that a family with an infant was coming, and they were thus totally unprepared. We begged the hotel for food, and eventually they took pity on us and made sandwiches – the kitchen had already closed for the evening. We still had not eaten anything except chips on board. The hotel attempted to charge us for breakfast. Still no meal vouchers the following day at the airport, not even a mention of them.


Kristy Whitwell

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Joan July 15, 2017 at 8:24 pm

What the 'ell do you expect? You took a newborn on a flight- for YOUR OWN GRATIFICATION. You never THOUGHT TO THINK OF YOUR CHILD. I have not pity for you people who think the world owes you a living.


The Devil July 27, 2017 at 6:20 pm

Has some sympathy Joan. Must be difficult to not make any miscalculations in life.

Go to Hell for the company… Heaven for the climate. Enjoy your friends.


Kiiara May 9, 2018 at 7:45 am

Actually you’re right even though you could’ve said it gentler. It was unplanned situation, yes. But sh*t happens. And adults understand that and can adjust. Baby can’t. She shouldn’t have taken her daughter on that trip.
Oh about her complaining about feeding baby on the ground.. she could’ve waited for when she has a place to sit properly. Yes hunger is unpleasant feeling but not being fed the exact minute when you want it and having experience hunger for hours are different situations. She could’ve waited and the baby wouldn’t have died of a hour without food. No one dies after an hour without food.


I hate Joan July 16, 2017 at 9:31 pm

You shut the fuck up before I come and do
It for you. It was a fucking unplanned scenario. Rot in hell, Joan.


Lucyfur August 29, 2017 at 8:10 pm

My, my aren't we touchy… for someone who was reading a sob story (and in my estimation, that is what it was) you released a can of whoop a$$ –on yourself…. get a life.


Mandy July 18, 2017 at 8:13 am

I don't understand the conclusion that the OP traveled "for her own gratification." There was no mention of the reason for the trip. Perhaps a family emergency?

I would think that traveling with a newborn is a challenge under the best of circumstances.


lucyfur August 29, 2017 at 8:13 pm

I don't understand the animosity of 'I hate Joan.' Seems like she or maybe it is a he wants to take all the problems of the world onto his/her shoulders– I have a sh*tcan of them so her you go –DUMP ON I HATE JOAN………DUMP ON I HATE JOAN………..ROFLMAO.


weyoun September 3, 2017 at 7:58 pm

Joan really is trolling idiot.


lucy September 5, 2017 at 7:33 pm

He who calls names has those names echo back


jonesnori September 17, 2017 at 7:43 pm

Doesn't anyone here have any sympathy for this family? This sounds a very confusing and distressing experience, with no help from the airline or ground personnel.


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