After a while the horror of travelling through Heathrow fades. Unfortunately since I’m sitting in terminal 3 the horror is very real. My arms are aching from carrying hand luggage that is too heavy for me and from dragging a too heavy suitcase through the airport. And these bag are not full of things that I bought or too many clothes (I’m feeling a bit sensitive after having to listen to taxi drivers laugh and make jokes about women and their clothes and shoes. I am travelling with one pair of shoes which I’m currently wearing). My luggage is all too heavy because it’s nearly Christmas and I’m carrying home presents from my friends and family. Thankfully Virgin didn’t charge me for the extra weight though I did have to pay Flybe 36 pounds on my first flight.
I never travel with extra weight and was dreading getting my luggage through train stations and airports. But people have been surprisingly helpful. Someone (a guy called Brad who told me that he used to be in a boy band in the early 90s) lifted my suitcase off the train last night and someone else carried it down a set of steps at the train station. I was quite surprised as I don’t really expect anyone to help in a city like London.
Check-in at the airport was particularly poor today. I’m flying Premium Economy with Virgin and they have a dedicated check-in for this class. However, they only had one member of staff checking people in and multiple flights going out. At one point the queue was moving so slowly I estimated that it would be another 60 minutes before I reached the front – and this with only 5 people ahead of me. Thankfully it did speed up. The security queue was horrendous but the staff at Heathrow were in good form so it didn’t seem too bad. One staff member was making jokes and singing Christmas carols which was a welcome change from bad tempered irritated personnel.
Once into the terminal I got to queue again to buy a bottle of water. The terminal is so busy there is a queue right round W H Smith. They have a staff member running up and down the queue asking people if they wish to pay in cash. This sounds good but he can’t give any change and I didn’t fancy paying nearly twice the amount owed so I wouldn’t have to queue.
Now I am going to see if I can find something to eat. I didn’ want to do this because the restaurants are all so full but I think my plane has been delayed. There isn’t a notice saying this but since the gate isn’t opening until about 15 minutes after the flight is scheduled to leave…