Sunday, September 21, 2008

London August 2008: Departing London-Heathrow International for Houston Intercontinental. Houston, TX (IAH)

21SEP08 London-Heathrow International, London England (LHR)

I made it to Heathrow at 9:32a, plenty of time to check-in.

I made my way to the Check-in area and was surprised how sparse it was. The entire terminal was actually not very crowded. I think one of the reasons was that the flight loads are not too bad as well as the fact that British Airways (BA) has moved more of its flights to Terminal 5.

I got checked in, cleared the almost non-existent security lines and headed for the Holideck. I tooled around a bit, grabbed some breakfast and watched planes take off. I saw a British Airways (BA) Boeing 747-400, Jet Airways' Boeing 777-300ER as well as a few British Airways Boeing 777s.

I did notice that the BA 777 that crashed landed is now devoid of the BA logo as it still sits across from the take off runway.

My flight is delayed as it arrived late so at 10:50a, it still shows Will board at gate 2. I will head over there soon though.

London August 2008: Leaving Maidstone, England for London

21SEP08 Maidstone, England

It was 6:00a when my friend’s alarm went off and he got up. Fifteen minutes later my alarm went off and I awoke fully and got ready. We left the flat at 7:00a sharp and headed for the station. The plan was to take the 7:11a train to London Bridge station.

It was rather chilly out and all of the streets were devoid of cars and people except us. A silent mist hung low over the nearby canal as we made our way to the station arriving at 7:08a

We bade our goodbyes, then I made my way onto the platform. I noticed that the sign was saying the next train was at 7:30a to Victoria and it was delayed until 7:38a, Odd, I thought. I found an agent and he said that the first train was at 7:30a and they were hourly in the morning to Victoria and that there was no 7:11a. I was a bit bothered as I knew that I printed the schedule for today and it indicated a 7:11a train arriving at 8:12a in London Bridge. Oh well.

I used the kiosk to purchase a single ticket into the city, noting that a return ticket just cost 10p more. What a deal. I also found a return ticket for the next stop in the machine so I gave it to the agent. In a few minutes I heard him make an announcement and a lady came forward and claimed it.

It was 7:37a when the train arrived and we all got on board. By now the platform was quite crowded for a Sunday I thought.

Although the train was a few minutes late, we only arrived in Victoria two minutes behind schedule at 8:34a. I made my way to the District and Circle lines as the Victoria line was still down. The plan was to still take the Piccadilly Line to the airport.

A District Line train soon arrived and I changed to stops down for the Piccadilly Line, just missing one as I arrived on the platform. The signs indicated the next one would be in 7 minutes. Right on schedule it showed up, except it said Rayners Lane as opposed to Heathrow 4 & 1,2,3 as the platform signed indicated. I still got on as I would get off at Acton Town and take the Terminal 4 bound train there. I just wanted to keep moving really.

It was quite annoying on the train as a couple came on the train and would not stop slobbering over each other. They must have kissed a dozen times.

At Acton Town, the wait was about three minutes and I was not alone. There were indeed several people on the train who were going to Heathrow. The kissing couple came off and continued their romance; I guess last night was not enough. Can someone get them their own platform?