Sunday, October 19, 2008

London October 17, 2008: Arriving at Gatwick from Central London

19OCT08 Gatwick International, London England (LGW)

I detrained and followed the signs to the North Terminal where I arrived via train a few minutes later. This was my first time departing from gatwick since Continental started their Heathrow service back in March. Many of the check-in areas were now replaced by Emirates check-in counters. By October 26, I think it will be all gone as there will no longer be service to Gatwick from Houston or Newark.

I used the kiosk and received my boarding pass and took an aisle seat with the window currently open. I then did my security checks and headed for the security lines. Good, there were no lines so it was smooth sailing which was a plus.

Once inside, I found the IRIS office and as it turned out it was not open until 7:30a and it was now 7:23a. I did not see any activity inside, so I am assuming that it will be opened late. The drawback is that the Lounges are on the other side of the airport and I don't really want to be going back and forth today.

Hopefully the wait won't be too long.

At 7:30a, the two agents showed up. After a few minutes of back and forth, they re-registered me and I was on my way. Hopefully, it will all work when I return.

I then headed over to the Emirates Lounge and relaxed until it was time for the flight.

London October 17, 2008: departing London

19OCT08 Canary Wharf, London England

The alarm clock went off at 5:00a, aarghhhhh. I had only crawled into bed 2.5 hours earlier. I got my act together, then went and checked on the Journey Planner Web site at where exactly was the bus located. It was in the same area that I was the previous afternoon.

At 5:44a, I headed out and was at the bus stop in no time. There were two others behind me as well. At about 5:50a, the N550 appeared and I was on my way. I somehow think that this bus was a little late, but I am not complaining at all.

I spoke with the driver and told him my intentions and he said he would let me know when to get off. In about 12 minutes or so, he called me forward. There was also another guy who was catching the same bus as well.

Unfortunately, the #11 passed before us as we were held at the traffic light. The driver was really good though and said that we can catch up with it at Trafalgar Square so stay on the bus. We did and sure enough at Trafalgar Square we caught up with it.

In the brief time I spent at the bus stop waiting, I heard two girls talking about the relationship that the other had with a guy. Apparently, they had just broken up and she was not taking it well. I could not help but overhear them talking about. The one who had broken up wanted sympathy and the other was just not having it. How insensitive, I thought...

It was 6:24a when the #11 deposited us just outside Victoria Station. This gave us six minutes to make the 6:30a Gatwick Express train. This was going to be close.

We hastened our steps and made it to the station by 6:25a and noticed that the train was on track 14. We both started to make a run for it and was onboard the train by 6:27a. At exactly 6:30a, it pulled out, 35 minutes later we will be in Gatwick Airport.

At about 6:45a or so, the trolley buffet came by. I thought this was odd as the announcement had said that there was no service this morning and had even apologized for it. I brought that to the attention of the guy and he smiled.

At 6:51a, the conductor came by and I purchased my ticket. It has been a while since I rode the Gatwick Express and the price had gone up considerably, it was now 16.90 GBP for the one way fare. The Heathrow express fare is 16.80 GBP.

We pulled into the station at 7:04a.