Sunday, January 18, 2009

London Jan 16, 2009: Leaving London-Heathrow (LHR) for Houston-Intercontinental (IAH)

18JAN09 Central London


I was up an atom really early at 5:00a.  By 5:36a, I was on my way arriving at the train station by 5:45a.  he next Heathrow Express was at 5:55a, great, but it said "BUS" next to it.


I inquired and was advised that due to Engineering works on the tracks, there was no trains between 5:15a and 7:40a.  Wow, I thought, it was a good thing I got up really early this morning.


I got my ticket and headed to the bus bay for the now 40 minutes journey.  The guy behind me was upset as he now has to take a cab since there was no sign by the kiosk where he got his ticket.  The agent assured him that there was; he demanded a refund anyways.


I thought about sharing a cab with him, but knew it would be substantially more than the bus, so declined to even go entertain that thought with him.


I would have to take the bus to Terminals 1, 2 and 3 stop and then take the shuttle train over to Terminal 4.  I think I should be fine in terms of time.


At 5:56a, we departed into the cold morning.


The bus really sucks as the lights don't work so I could not read the magazines I had planned to read had I been on the train.  Instead I used my computer using the glow of the screen and the backlit keyboard to work.


18JAN09 London-Heathrow International, London England (LHR)


We arrived at the airport at 6:27a much ahead of the 40 minutes promised.  I disembarked and headed downstairs and followed the directions to Terminal 4.  Eventually, I made it to the Heathrow Express shuttle beneath the airport.  In a bout 10 minutes a shuttle showed up and I arrived at Terminal 4 at about 6:45a.


I picked up my boarding pass and cleared the very light security lines and headed for the Holideck Lounge.  It was still dark out so it made for an interesting time seeing the landings.

Kenya Airways (KQ) Boeing 777-200 at the gate

Northwest Airlines Airbus A330 taxiing to the gate.  You can see the beautifully lit Terminal 5 in the background.

A British Airways (BA) Boeing 747-400 is landing.

Another Boeing 747-400 taxies to the gate.


At about 8:00a, I made my way to gate 3 for my 8:40a departure. So I am walking down to the my gate and I see two agents coming off the jetway.  I continue my walk and when I look right, lo and behold it is the Qantas A380!

 

This is the first of three aircraft received by Qantas.


I chatted with them for a bit and they advise that it came in yesterday for the first time and now does thrice weekly service to Sydney, so guess where I'm going pretty soon :-).


I took some pictures, but as they were calling my flight as a last call, I had to go.  I got a window seat, so hopefully I will be able to take some pictures from the plane on taxi out to the runway.


I went to my gate, got my boarding pass and boarded after being asked some security questions.