I go to Heathrow a lot. Usually I’m picking up or dropping off relatives coming from/ going to Pakistan and I’ve noticed a number of things.
– Before we even get to the airport, we do the customary weighing of the suitcases to find out just how overweight they are. Instead of putting the case on the scale, my dad always insists on standing on the scale, noting his weight and then lifting the suitcase and calculating the increase. Apparently this is more accurate… but you gotto feel sorry for the pour soul (usually me) who has to have their face against the floor (and near feet) to get the readings. *grumble grumble*
– You don’t need to look at the screen to find out which area of the airport you need to go. Just follow the masses of people talking really loudly (in Punjabi or Urdu) and you’ll soon find your way to the PIA desk.
– There may be 3 or 4 people actually getting on the plane but a good 10-15 people coming to see them off. This might make them feel special but to every other passenger, this is hella annoying. Why are you all congregated right in the middle of the check in? Why are you all in the queue if you’re not travelling?! You’re making the queue longer!
– Suitcases. About 70% of the passengers have suitcases from the 1970’s that look they they weigh a tonne and don’t have wheels. Even worse, some people just bring a hench cardboard box and mummify it in string. This is understandable if you’re taking something odd shaped abroad that won’t fit in a usual suitcase but most of the time it’s just full of clothes.
– The ladies are travelling in clothes that I would usually reserve for wearing to a wedding. How can you sit through a 7 hour flight in such heavy garments and make up? You are going to look like your face melted when you get off the plane. And heels too! You’re already struggling with your overweight luggage. Your inappropriate footwear is only going to this worse.
– The luggage is always overweight and not just a little bit, outrageously so. My relatives actually PLAN on taking overweight luggage and create a ‘lucky bag’. This is a bag that they’d like to take but if it doesn’t go- oh well. They’ll wait in the queue and try and suss out who the most lenient check in person is and try and go for them. Then they will try and butter up the person behind the desk (I genuinely heard one man say ‘you’re looking very smart’ and the lady said ‘don’t even try it’). One time we managed to convince someone to let us take an extra 15kg on board including golf clubs and other times we get the really anal check in person who is like hmmm you’re 1kg over, cough up. I have to add that nearly every time I go to the airport, I meet someone who wants us to check in their bag if we have room. The cheek!
– Every child is carrying their own body weight as ‘hand luggage’. Their parents are telling them ‘it’s only for a little bit’. I have experienced being that child and trust me when I say it is not a little bit and it canes your back.
– There’s always that one family that didn’t come prepared with a ‘lucky bag’ and has to open their suitcase in front of everyone and start removing things. What you notice is that they are filled to the brim with ‘gifts’ such as 5 packets of kitkat, a dozen cardigans from Marks and Spencer, Vaseline moisturising cream and random things like jam or baked beans which aren’t as nice in Pakistan. Hey…whatever makes them happy.
Over and Out!