The Home Alone franchise stands as one of the foremost, defining collections of films ever produced for families. A Christmas tale of a young boy’s independent misadventure, there are messages of bravery, inventiveness and a never-say-die attitude present throughout its run, that gave every child the confidence to warn off a couple of misfit criminals, should it be required of them. However, what we are about to say may leave you (Macaulay) sulkin’ but it must be said- Home Alone sets a bad example in childcare. It’s no secret that parental figures are nigh on non-existent during the series, as well as the bad-blooded ‘Wet Bandits’ trying to steal the McAllister’s possessions, and even hotel staff are aggressive to a lost little boy. This is where we drew the line. At Airport Angels, we are passionate about the safeguarding of children, and therefore we do not approve of the ‘oopsie where’s Kevin?’ attitude the franchise is dependent on. We aim to be the antithesis of Home Alone adults by ensuring the safety of children under our care.
Home Alone had a 5-film run, so we’re going to countdown the 5 promises Airport Angels employees will keep while they chaperone students at the airport. The film that Kevin watches in the first Home Alone is ‘Angels with Filthy Souls’, and we want to prove to you why we’re Angels worth trusting.
Now that we have our mannequins in order, let’s get this cardboard cut-out party started!
- Polite service
Adult figures are constantly rude to Kevin and this derisive nature is not something we tolerate at Airport Angels. From Mr McAllister to Marv, and even Mr Hector the concierge, we witness condescension, mocking and plain rudeness when adults talk to Kevin. At Airport Angels, we only hire the friendliest staff to join our team; we promise to be polite and respectful to all our clients, never calling the students “little jerks” for spilling a drink or wanting their slice of pizza. We do our best to accommodate the students in the strict time schedule we have. The airport is a busy place and each team member has multiple meets during a day but should the students need the bathroom or food, we will escort them to find what they need. Meal deals, coffee or just a full bladder, we know where to take you. Hey, even if they want ice cream we’ll try our best to make it happen for them. They want two scoops? Make it three. They’re not driving.
- Taxis on time
Speaking of driving, we have a team of taxis working as part of the Angels team; if you’ve read our previous blogs you’ll know that we hire black cab drivers and liaise with coach companies to facilitate the transport of students from the airport to their schools. Think of the airport shuttle in the first Home Alone, except when we head count we don’t miss anyone. Our dedicated team of drivers ride around all day safely dropping off countless students to their schools, host families or back to the airport. When many students land, they’ll see the size of Heathrow or Gatwick and say, “boy, it’s scary out there”, but the black cab brigade (their unofficial title) will put all students at ease. Our team is personable, friendly and very chatty; they love having new arrivals in their cars. Although, many of our drivers aren’t so crazy about a 12’ pizza being devoured in the back seat.
- Safe from danger
One of the biggest concerns we hear from parents sending their children away is the threat of danger to their kin in another country. Airports are generally getting safer as more security is being hired and checks become more rigorous. Once students pass through a system of controls and checks, an Angel is holding a name card up, waiting to meet your child. From here it’s a comfortable walk to meet the taxi team and they’re quickly sent on their way to the school. We are yet to encounter a couple of Harry and Marv characters carrying crowbars or throwing bricks, but, in the unlikely scenario this did happen, we’d protect your child and escort them through the airport faster than Buzz can eat pizza. The process is reversed on departures, only we add the additional check of asking the travellers what’s in their bags. We do this to avoid getting flagged up at bag checks. We also talk students through hand luggage and help them remove any contraband items. As a rule, we say no liquids, no knives and certainly no Christmas ornaments- we all know how dangerous they can be in the right hands.
As Kevin said, “you guys give up or are ya thirsty for more?” Ok, let’s keep going.
- Never miss a meet
Our team spend hours planning each day of operations. It’s a painstaking process organising meets for numerous schools, tour companies and sometimes celebrities (no, we haven’t met Macaulay… yet), but it is necessary to ensure nobody misses a meet. We create spreadsheets and timetables for our workers to guarantee an Angel will be waiting to greet you or your family, whatever time of day it is. We won’t use excuses like, there’s been a power outage and the phones won’t work, and we certainly won’t send a group off to Paris, only to realise we’ve left one behind. We have our list and we’re checking it twice so we won’t ever forget or lose a student. Timing is important to us as we aim to make the airport experience the smoothest part of any traveller’s journey. However, we will add, keeping hold of your passport is your responsibility unless you travel with a school guide- if you can’t find it, you may have left it drying off in the microwave.
- Accompanied always
This is the heart of our service; our core value. We strive to provide chaperones who pride themselves on safeguarding those under our care. An Airport Angel never leaves a student unattended because safety is paramount in our role. This is why, unlike the opening scenes in Home Alone 2, we won’t leave your child alone to talk to a strange man. Not even a fake-tanned, future President. We don’t allow a stranger to say, “down the hall and to the left” because our team know exactly where they are going and anyone travelling with us is protected from terminal to taxi. Our team members are not a bunch of hot-heads like Marv, nor are they a dopey, sockless Harry; we only hire Kevin-types. Those that can get the job done no matter the situation. We will never encounter a ‘Give this to Kevin’ moment because we know where every student is at all times. This is the Airport Angels promise.
These are the 5 promises of an Airport Angel. After reading this we hope you’ll agree that we are not what the French call, “les incompetents”. Our system is designed to safeguard children in the most efficient way to create the best experience for anyone who uses our service. So, if you’re a worried parent, you can drop Munch-inspired scream and enjoy your winter break- safe in the knowledge that Airport Angels will safely care for your child. Merry Christmas ya filthy animals!