Baby Food and Al Qaeda

Am understandably getting a bit apoplectic about prospect of harrowing 24 hour (if everything is on time) trans-Atlantic marathon avec bébé this Wednesday.

Not to mention this is the first time I have done the journey with a bébé since some jerk-off had the great idea of trying to smuggle explosives in liquid form and therefore heralding the dark days of liquid restrictions.

I call British Airways (they of the “family friendly” policy) and finally am connected to service agent.

“What sort of provisions do you have for families travelling with babies as far as bottles and baby food go?” I ask.

“There are none.”

Hmmmm. “How am I supposed to make up a bottle for my baby on the plane? Can I bring a sealed bottle of mineral water?”

“No. That would be a security risk.”

“Then can I bring on those packs of sealed pre-prepared baby formula?”

“Yes, but security will make you open it and drink from it before you get on the flight.”

Family friendly, my _ss. “But my flight is almost ten hours long, and those boxes are only good for an hour after being opened.”

“I’m sorry, but you must open it.”

I’m one step ahead of him here. “Because it’s a security risk?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Then can I bring on baby food?”

“Only if you taste it first.” I’m starting to wonder if I’m actually talking to a human being, or if BA has not in fact replaced their service personnel with droids.

“But it’s the same as the formula, it’s only good for an hour after being opened.”

“I’m sorry, but it’s a security risk.” I try to detect a shred of empathy in his voice, to no avail.

“Then can I order an in-flight infant meal? I used to be able to do that.”

“We’ve actually changed our policy ma’am. Now we only provide meals for passengers who have seats, and as your infant doesn’t have a seat-“

“She doesn’t get a meal,” I finish for him.

“No, she doesn’t.”

“So you’re telling me that I can’t bring on any baby food that will be good for the duration of the flight, or any water so I can make up bottles, and that you don’t provide infant food anymore… am I to conclude British Airways expects babies to subsist on cabin air for a ten hour flight?

Silence. No laughter, not even a chuckle. It has to be a robot, I decide.

“And is that the extent of your family friendly policy?”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Very impressive,” I conclude, and hang up.