Special assistants are great at the airport - can we have one at No 10? - Susan Morrison

85,000 passengers have been supported by the special assistance service this year.85,000 passengers have been supported by the special assistance service this year.
85,000 passengers have been supported by the special assistance service this year.
My mother has returned from her sojourn in Portugal. For an 84-year-old woman, she sure gets about. She flew out a few weeks ago, on a flight that left at 6.20 in the morning.

Being my mother and much given to organisation, we had to be at the airport at 4.19am, in case, as she said, they closed the gate.

Extreme travel planning has always been one of my mother’s greatest strengths, and if you had known my dad, you’d know why. We booked special assistance, and I cannot recommend them highly enough, aside from their frankly insane levels of jollity. Annie appeared to collect mamma. She was the walking personification of a spring morning, all smiles and chat.

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She loves her job. Well, as she said, people are going on holiday and everyone is happy when they are going on holidays, aren't they?

Ah, bless you Annie. Take a look at that people-packed check-in queue and you’ll see some seriously stressed out unhappy campers, and matters are rarely helped by the lads from Broxburn who have decided just to stay up drinking all night.

Undaunted, Annie chirruped away. I assume she is what is known as a ‘morning person’. I have heard of them. Just didn’t know they existed.

Annie wheeled my mother through security. My mother insists on waving like the late Queen Mother when she is ushered through the gates. She then phoned me from the departure lounge to let me know everything was fine. Very reassuring.

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There are people standing inside the retail maze waiting with samples of Baileys Irish Cream. My mother is not a drinker, but she hates to refuse a freebie.

For all I knew, she had scoffed the sample tray and then hit the departure lounge dancing on the table tops singing New York, New York. Mind you, she was in capable hands with Annie.

Special assistance is a great service at the airport and seems amazingly efficient, which in this day and age is something of a miracle. Whoever runs it should just take over running the country.

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