Ella finds the check-in process an ordeal but feels she has mastered it. She waves her mother back into a quiet corner of the departures hall, then strides to the desk, carefully weighing up the personality of the airline attendant as she approaches.
Placing her laptop bag on the ground and manhandling an overweight suitcase onto the conveyor, Ella hands over her ticket and passport briskly. The smartly dressed check-in lady raises an eyebrow as she thumbs through the passport.
“Under 16? I don’t think that you are allowed to travel alone. You will have to be escorted.”
Ella is unfazed. “I’ve travelled back to England tons of times on my own. It’s absolutely fine.” And with that, she flicks her perfectly straight, well coiffed hair.