International travel

In September/October 2019 we took Jacob on his first international holiday to America. Given everything that has happened we look back at that time and know how lucky we are to have had that experience. I wanted the trip to be special for everyone, so I did a lot research and preparation before hand. I reached out to QANTAS through the Chief Executive’s Office to get assistance on the long haul flights. The communication from the Chief Executive’s Office was welcoming and provided us with genuine assistance. Unfortunately the Cabin Crews on our flights did not seem to receive the communication and did nothing for us. I was not looking for preferential treatment but it would have been nice for them to get Jacob’s meal (just a child’s meal) right. Due to travelling to America before I knew the impact of going through their customs after a long haul flight and the crowds involved. I went onto the US Customs and Border Protection website and found the links to find the port we were entering through (https://www.cbp.gov/contact/ports). From there I sent an email explaining our situation. We received a great email back advising us that when we arrive someone will be at the gate to assist our party through. On the day, we did not see the person, so we asked showing the email correspondence. Unfortunately, our contact was away unwell but the person who we asked then looked after us and took us through customs, which meant we were able to stay together and avoid the lines. It made an incredible difference and we were very grateful. Australian Border and Border Control (Sydney on two occasions) could learn from this, as they think it is alright to separate a child from their parent, leaving the child alone in a busy thoroughfare, this was even after explaining that the child had special needs.

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Super Dog flying
Jacob and doggy hats flying
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