Sunday, March 30, 2008

Travel highlights

Some highlight of the experience on British Airways:

Finny screaming hysterically as we board the plane in Seattle. Kicking and thrashing about “GO TO NANA’s HOUSE!” “NO GO IN THE AIRPLANE” fellow passengers were sympathetic, not so for the London to Lusaka leg where the scene was repeated with great drama and enthusiasm. I am thinking by this point that I would sure like to go to Nana's house, too!

7 long hours in Terminal Four at Heathrow. Me, whining about how dirty the airport is and how bored the kids are, and complaining about the late opening of the new, fancy ‘Terminal 5.’ This turns out to be a blessing in disguise. "At London Heathrow Terminal 5 we’ve created a natural, logical journey that’s so calm, you’ll flow through. It shouldn’t take long to get from Check-in to Departures. Transferring and arriving are just as simple and calm. Spend the time you save enjoying the excellent range of shops, cafes and restaurants. Or simply relax and be wowed by the world class architecture."

Apparently Termial 5 did not live up to the hype: "Today BA has cancelled 37 inbound and outbound flights of the 331 it was due to operate. This is on top of the 208 flights that the airline was forced to scrap in the first three days of operation of the £4.3 billion terminal....15,000 bags separated from their owners, etc." "It was 20 years in the planning, cost £4.3bn to build and its staff underwent six months' training before it opened. But none of that could prevent Heathrow Terminal 5 from descending into chaos on its opening day yesterday after the baggage system collapsed." Whew. Terminal 4 was just fine, thank you very much.

Finny catching some zs on todd's shoulders as they stroll terminal 4; Owen sound asleep before takeoff.

More hysteria when the little guy wakes up on the plane. Finny FINALLY sleeps on the plane about 8 hours into the flight, sleeps through landing, sleeps as the cleaning crew boards... We make our swaddled way along the tarmac to the customs terminal. Then, Finny stops sleeping! ...more hysterical screaming, inconsolable crying. We are gratefully ushered into the VIP/Diplomat line by airport staff behind 3 VIPs instead of 2 huge groups of Rotary International students. The student groups sail through and we are the last ones to get everything stamped and inspected. In the meantime Owen is sweating, looking pale and finally, is throwing up.

Only one lost bag; it reappeared intact a few days later. Whew.

We are met by Todd’s friend and co-worker, Msanide (sporting his ‘Obama’ button). Finny refuses his carseat, Owen, aka Mr Safety, is without a proper seatbelt. I am starting to feel ill as well. Eventually we make it to John, Amara and Vivian’s house and stumble into the guesthouse. We sleep. And sleep. And sleep some more.

No comments: