Britain, I'm so back 'home'!!

London Travel Blog

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A typical grey day in Seattle Tacoma International airport

It seemed like a really really long day! I left early morning for the airport although my flight wasn't until 11am to Chicago (yes, don't we all just love transitting through ORD!). It was a dark grey day in Seattle which was a surprise after months of brutal sunshine. The best part about checkin was how easy security check was. They've introduced some sort of new scanning facilities due to which, thank goodness, one doesn't need to remove one's shoes or laptop.

I sat by the gallery (one thing I love about the SEATAC airport) watching the runway, although it's a fairly quiet time for international flights and honestly, who cares about a bunch of Alaska Airlines 737s taking off!  I had some yoghurt parfait at the airport, and bought a bagel sandwich for the flight. The flight was smooth, and surprise surprise, landed on time in ORD! My connecting flight to Heathrow though was being progressively being postponed by 15 minutes - postponed finally by an hour.

The usual display of international flights in the afternoon at Chicago O'Hare (ORD)
Thank God for my Kindle, although it was kind of annoying waiting in that pigsty excuse of an airport with not enough seats and folks and their food strewn all over the outdated carpet.

Boarding finally started, they boarded the 1st, Biz and Exec Platinum members. As my turn came next... well guess what? I was upgraded to Business Class! That's one of the perques about being an AA frequent flyer and flying AA over BA. I'd never get this on BA as they'd give BA FFs preference. There was another part of me that was hoping I'd be on the brand new herringbone Biz class seat (777-300ER) but we were on an older 777-200 so no such luck. This is the seat where the bed slopes (isn't the lie flat). My neighbour was another lucky sod - he'd been upgraded to Biz class as well using his partner's miles (who lives in Dublin, where he was headed).

My main course - gnocchi and asparagus
Flight finally took off but at this point, I couldn't care less as I knew I'd be in mile high comfort for the next 8 hours.

The FAs came out, took requests for drinks and main meals and disappeared for a few minutes whilst I caught up with the 2nd installment of that Insurgent/Divergent franchise (funnily enough, I saw the 1st back in April, on another flight). After meals and desserts were served and the FA's cleared the trays, I tried getting some shuteye but it was the general fatigue and the sloping bed that impeded my sleep. What shocked me about AA was the lack of snack service (or at least a bar) even for Biz class. Nothing to eat if one's hungry outside of the meal service. After a few hours of sleep that I somehow managed, it was time for breakie! It appears that they were out of the menu choices so everyone got the same vegetarian choice, which was very good - parfait, fresh fruit and a croissant (or bread/hot roll of choice).

Dessert was incredible strawberry tart. It had a sour'ish taste as well.
Tea and juice were promptly served during and after.

What was cool about this flight though was access to the arrivals' lounge in T3 as well as priority immigration. London appeared a nice sunny day, and thanks to the uberquick immigration, I was off to the Arrivals' Lounge on the 1st floor in no time. My first job for the day was using the shower (the lounge was empty, barely 10 passengers!), and then a very paltry breakfast. That said, it was enough to keep me going for hopefully, the entire train ride to Cardiff and saved me from buying food.

I opted to take the Heathrow Connect instead of the Tube as I wasn't headed to Earl's Court but to Paddington instead.

Starters on the flight - wine and warmed nuts
Just that, there's this really weird listing in the self purchase kiosk which lists Paddington as "London Paddington" (doh), so my self purchase attempt failed and I had to buy my ticket from the desk after all! Anyway, easy peasey ride into Paddington (for half the price of H-EX) and from there, it was a 15 min transit to my train to Cardiff. This is probably the first time I've not had to step out to a London road so I'm not going with my usual "so good to be back in London", but honestly, it did feel like I was "home"!

WalterC says:
I wish my arrival into London was just as quick!
Posted on: Feb 23, 2016
Vikram says:
I enjoyed Wales but it was a little too "slow" for me. Especially public transport. Had this been England and i'd maintained the same list of places, I'd be done within 3 days!
Posted on: Jan 28, 2016
skippyed says:
We are heading to UK in September for best friends wedding. Thought about spending some time in South Wales while there as I haven't been for over 20 years and Vaughan has never been!
Posted on: Jan 28, 2016
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A typical grey day in Seattle Taco…
A typical grey day in Seattle Tac…
The usual display of international…
The usual display of internationa…
My main course - gnocchi and aspar…
My main course - gnocchi and aspa…
Dessert was incredible strawberry …
Dessert was incredible strawberry…
Starters on the flight - wine and …
Starters on the flight - wine and…
Appetiser was quinoa with beet and…
Appetiser was quinoa with beet an…
Invitation to use fast track Immig…
Invitation to use fast track Immi…
The SEA-TAC international terminal…
The SEA-TAC international termina…
Iberia headed home from Chicago to…
Iberia headed home from Chicago t…
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photo by: ulysses