On main school travel days, Airport Guardians staff are at Heathrow airport to oversee the students arriving and leaving, and to come to the aid of any student that needs our assistance. So it was at Michaelmas half term.
A 14-year-old boy attending one of the schools we look after realised soon after the coach had departed that he had left his passport in his house. The coach was unable to turn back as it was some way down the road, so the driver phoned to tell us. We called the house and managed to track down the passport and in the mean time ordered a taxi to come and collect it. The taxi headed straight for the airport, and a member of the Airport Guardians team went straight over to the terminal to help the student who was quite distressed.
We reassured the student, spoke to the airline staff and liaised with the rest of the team. However, as with the best laid plans, there’s always a hitch and there was an unexpected hold-up on the M25 so the passport wasn’t able to be handed over in time for the student to catch his flight, even though it was very close-run. The airline initially wanted to charge the student full fare for another ticket, however we negotiated with them and they eventually relented and transferred the student to the next available flight at no cost.