Monday, September 30, 2013

"Ta, London - Had a Wonderful Time!"

And London replied, "Not so fast, American tourists!"

Despite leaving two hours earlier than we'd originally planned to get from "the country" to Heathrow, we missed our flight by five minutes.

Literally.  British Air closes the gate at 3:55 p.m. for their last flight of the day to Los Angeles at 4:15 p.m.

After three different Tubes, we finally got to Terminal 5, Heathrow.  Heathrow is a confusing tangle of  escalators and elevators and the odd dead end.  At one point we had to walk over a glass-floored "bridge" high over the 5th floor below us.  As I am fearful of heights, this was traumatic. 

At Bag Check, a mounful-looking man in uniform, looked at his watch and sadly said that we'd just missed our flight.  He then directed us to the reservations clerk to "re-book" the exact same flight the next day.  The fee was 275 pounds ($412.50 approximately.)  We could have gone out earlier, but the up tick in price would have been even more murderously high than the stabbing we'd just suffered to Ye Olde Pocketbook. 

To add to our pleasure, British Air had just installed a new computer system and our agent wasn't familiar with it and had to keep calling other agents to come help her out.  She finally was able to confirm the change and give us security passes.  We'd have to line up the next day to get the boarding pass.  More fun!

I went outdoors for a much-needed cigarette and personal brood time and Richie went in search of the centralized hotel system for Heathrow.  My only instruction to him had been to get a smoking-permitted hotel.  I didn't care if it was twin, double or a bag of dirty bedding on the laundry room floor.  

He was successful and we were soon fixed up with the Park Inn Heathrow, including a cheauffeur-driven car to the hotel now and back to Heathrow at 11 a.m. tomorrow.  We'd just become gate dwellers until our flight departed.    It would be just like flying non-revenue.

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