Playing With My Food ~
A journal about food, thought, travel, and life; by Chef & Raconteur Chaz French.

How to see London in 30 seconds…

Heathrow – A Dead Heat

I’ll start off by being polite, the employees of British Airways are exceptionally polite, the are the epitome of British. And for airline food I must say it was actually quite more than edible and even tasty (save that attempt at chocolate mousse that tasted like cake icing)….

No more Mr. Nice Guy…

The rest of the experience was something quite less than satisfying. Upon landing I was wondering why the plane was going about 3 mph to the gate, and after about 10 minutes of this we got our answer. Our gate was occupied by a plane having technical problems and we’d be another five to ten minutes. Twenty minutes later they announce that we’ve been assigned a new gate, as the other plane was not functioning.

So we get to our gate, and again we wait… now at this point I should point out that our connection time was just about an hour and we’ve now spent 30 of those minutes waiting for a gate.

Still waiting….

After another ten minutes have passed they announce that the rampway is broken and that they are rushing a driver with a staircase over… 5 minutes more….

Another announcement (guess, no, go on…) The driver is here we’re just waiting for him to get things lined up. 10 more minutes, and I’m now in the oh shit we’re going to miss our flight mode, and getting ready to ream B.A. for their utter incompentence.

Finally we start to disembark, down the stairs, into Heathrow and then up the stairs… Off we go following the signs for ‘Connecting Flights” and we go, and go, and go and go… Turn the corner and what do we find? We’ve come all the way to the front of the terminal and have to go through security all over again… No we didn’t make a wrong turn, they actually re-screen the bags, shoes off, laptops out and into a bin, All. Over. Again.

At this point I’m certain the flight has left….

We finally get through all of this asshattery and I see the departures sign and amazingly I see my flight 306 is still on the board,… with “Last Call” Gate number 21.

And so we run, and we run, And did I mention I’m in Birkenstocks?… Slip, sandal flies off and twists but I recover before taking a header in front of hundreds of people all rushing.

Thankfully gate 21 was the last gate in the 1-21 section and the terminal is a U, we came around the corner and gate there with seconds to spare.

And we go through the gate and down and down and down… when did we get this high up?… and down. As I see the plane and head for the door, I get “Excuse me, I need to check the size of your carry-on, can you put it in here?” Here being one of those metal things they use to measure carry-ons. Now, I looked up baggage limits on the B.A. Website, I carefully measured my bag, and was well within the limits. Go, on guess… yep it doesn’t fit because this hard metal frame is smaller than the sizes posted on their site.

So I have to now check my bag which contains amongst other things my laptop, my man-purse and a number of other things I had no intention of checking. So I make a frantic grab for the essentials, and am finally allowed to board.

Currently in the air over France, Landing in Paris shortly…

Wait, did you think our little drama was finished…. Ohohhhhohhoho Noooo.

Upon landing we discover that while we made the flight with seconds to spare our luggage along with any else who was on our flight was delayed.

It gets even better… mine and my mother’s luggage are on separate flights. B.A. will deliver them to us later today…

To be continued.

Update: 15:06 CET
B.A. has called the hotel and said our bags will be delivered this afternoon. Time for a nap anyway.

Update: 20:09 CET
My bag arrived around 16:30 CET Mother’s still en route, latest BA Update has it has having arrived and being delivered soon.