What an adventure getting here! Due to some rather sloppy math on my part, I arranged to have a flight to the states that didn’t leave until 16:00. This meant that even with the outside chance of having to worry through traffic on the London Transit route 285 to Heathrow, I could leave as late as 11:00.
So what was I doing sitting ready to go, packed and set at 07:45 this morning? Bad planning!
I awoke at 06:00 and even with the special effort of trying to sleep-in, I could not stay abed past seven. I hate the waiting part of travel, as I believe I have mentioned before in my blog, much of the travel I do is just waiting. I would have waited at the villa this morning, but I was sort-of hoping that there would have been an earlier Virgin Atlantic flight I could have gotten onto. That hope was dashed when I checked in so I just took the original booking, progressed to the departures lounge, had a bit of lunch, did a bit of pursuing through the shops on the concourse and then decided to go for a walk. This was my mistake.
It never occurred to me that in Heathrow Airport there were parts of the secured area where one could walk from a secure area of the terminal to a non-secure area of the terminal without passing a checkpoint.
Still having three hours to kill before my flight, I decided to walk the concourses. I got to the end of three of the arms of the four arms of the concourses but then got to a place where when I turned around I was told I was headed the wrong direction. There were no signs to indicate that I had done so, no guard as I walked past the point of no return. They were there, when I tried to get back to the departures lounge, however, and the end-result was that I had to follow the signs for International Arrivals and Internal Connections to be screened for the second time this morning to get into the departures lounge at Heathrow.
After that, I decided to wait the remaining hour watching the crowds pulse by as I watched for my flight to come up on the departures board. When it finally did, I made my way to the gate, watching some woman complain that in a spot-check she had to confiscate the cheeses she was carrying in her carry-on as they would not be allowed on the plane.
The flight has been going good so far and in a matter of a few more hours, I should be landing at Newark. I guess I’ll put my PDA away and watch a film. (God! I wish I was one of those people who could sleep on planes!)
I hope wherever you are today, your day is going well!
Don Bergquist - 19 May 2007 - Somewhere Over The Atlantic, VS001