Sunday, September 07, 2008

Berlin September 2008: Arriving in London-Heathrow (LHR) from Berlin-Tegel, Germany (TXL)

07SEP08 London-Heathrow International, London England (LHR)

I was jolted awake by the touch down on the right runway. I continued to sleep until we blocked in at the gate. I did hear the pilot say that we had blocked into the Satellite terminal so we would have to take the train into the main terminal.

It was quite a long way to get from the plane to the train. It is a series of walkways, escalators, signs and elevators. They do have a board with a few flights that have to take a shortcut, which is cool. There were about 6 flights on that list including flights to Miami and Los Angeles.

I cleared Immigration quickly after waiting a bit for a train to show up. I then cleared Customs and looked for the signs to the in terminal train. I could have also taken a bus, but decided against that this time as I had done that once from T4 to T5 which was an O.K. experience.

Once I made it to the platform, I noticed that the next train was in 10 minutes. Bummer. I waited and sure enough in 10 minutes, we were out of there. Sadly, there is no direct way to get from T5 to T4, so the train first went to T1,2,3 and then I had to wait another 10 minutes for a train to T4 that takes 4 minutes. Come on Heathrow, I think I know why you did this, just so you did not have to have special trains just go between the terminals, but you do have one that goes from the satellite to the main terminal? It should not take a customer 28 minutes to get from T5 to T4 by train!

Once in T4, I re-printed my boarding pass, got my security checks and then headed for the security area. I cleared without any issues and headed for the Club. Once there, i showed my credentials and entered. I had a little trouble connecting to the Internet, but eventually it worked.

I also headed up to the "tower" and watched planes depart. It was great to see Virgin's B744, Air India's B777-300ER as well as Jet Airways' plus a few BA's Airbus A319s.

It was soon time to go, so I headed to the gate where I got a seat at the aisle in the first Economy class cabin of the Boeing 777.

Leaving from gate 9 always gets me as it is farther than it seems from the HoliDeck.

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