Blog entry by Nkiruka Sowari
I wanted to
travel with a two tier cake; big stuff 20kg weight. I packed it in a strong
carton box and supported it as best as I could. When I got to the airport,
there seemed to be a well rehearsed ‘we don’t check-in cake’ statement every
direction I faced. It seemed like they put all the airline staff in a room and
they had to recite this slogan every morning.
Ok you don’t check-in cake, I understand. So what are my options? I get the same reply ‘We don’t check-in cake’. Yes I got that the first time, but what can I do? How do you usually transport cake? '‘Passenger has to carry the cake on the lap'’.
Did you see the size of that box? It can’t enter the tiny space between my body and the seat in front of me, besides it’s a 20kg projectile hazard in the plane. They look at the box, I see the understanding in their eyes, I mean it’s obvious. I thought I was making some progress, till I again got the well rehearsed slogan ‘we don’t check in cake’.
I asked to see someone senior to know what their fears were. I guessed, but they needed to spell it out. Finally, the ‘oga’ explained that they need to be indemnified if anything happened to the cake. Ok great! I am willing to sign an indemnity form. “Really madam?'' ''But we don’t check in cake''.
At this point, I was about to pull out my hair. To cut the long story short. After engaging and re-engaging and making them understand that I knew the risks and was willing to still go that route, as I frankly had no choice; they agreed and handed me the form.
When I saw the form I understood their confusion, cake was not a line item. The form had cameras, computers, television sets and the likes listed. No cake. But still, we need to use our sense na. I signed, checked in and got into the plane.
While trying to get comfortable in the plane, I heard the air hostess bellow my name with the word cake at the end of a sentence. Haba! I was asked to come down from the plane and meet the baggage crew on the tarmac. An important looking man stood there with my signed indemnity form asking if I knew what I signed. Yes I do, bros I am not dim. He asked for my boarding stub and I was asked to tick fragile and sign again. Also sign on the cake luggage sticker stub itself. ‘Wahala’.
I was then free to go. It might interest you to know that the cake arrived my one hour destination in one piece. Well almost, a few of the stenciled figures fell off, nothing major.
Rules are meant for a reason and that reason should be well known by all enforcers so they will be able to share knowledgeably to the receivers. Some scenarios simply have to be taken on a case by case basis and not followed foolishly. The basis of the rule has to be fulfilled. The drama ended well this time, but it would be a while before I forget the phrase; ’we don’t check in cake’.