F***ing terror panic..!
London Travel Blog› entry 27 of 28 › view all entries
Well, I've had a few days added to the trip when I was so ready to go home...
Leaving San Francisco went smooth, the captain said we'd probably even be early in Heathrow because of the good flying conditions so I was happy. I couldn't sleep though, it's amazing how much longer the flight felt compared to the London-Washington DC even though it was only 1 1/2 hour more. Going into Heathrow the captain started talking about delays and cancelled Air France flights, I still had a good 1 1/2 for my connecting flight, so wasn't that worried, untill we were told that transit was closed, so we had to collect our luggage and check in again... We were stuck on the runway for 1/2 h, before they managed to find a gate that was available, and the first thing we saw on the screen in the lounge we entered was BBC World with one big headline reading "Terror Plot!" which they seem to shout every second day overhere, so I couldn't get myself worked up over it, and everyone from the plane were calm, they just wanted to get some information on what we were supposed to do. The baggage collection area was chaotic (nothing compared to the check-in area I soon realised) and the machine kept spitting bags out in all directions. Finally I got my backpack and made my way to terminal 4 where the line for the information-desk was all the way out on the street. A helpfull BA-guy told me I had to rebook my flight and could either go to the website (as if that would be up and running under this pressure), queue up or call a free number. I figured the phone option was the best shot, but finding a pay-phone was a bit of a mission, everywhere people were standing with heaps of luggage, or pushing their way through the crowd with crying kids and heavy loaded trolleys. When I finally found a phone, it took me 40 min to get through to an operator, and the first available flight he had was sunday, 3 days later! What could I do? Besides, I could always go and stay with my girlfriends in my old flat, luckily they both came back from holiday 4 days ago.
Next mission was to find Anette who had been on an earlier flight but just too late to get out before most flights got cancelled. The clever girl had called her parents and told them to call my mum so she could then tell me that Anette would be at the meeting point in terminal 3. Although I thought it would be a long shot since that was 3-4 hours earlier, I swung my 23 kg heavy backpack (which almost doubles my size or so it feels anyway) on my backpack and weaved my way through the crowds again... At the meeting point Anette stood with her sandwich and looked very tired with the whole thing. There was no information for her, SAS was very un-informative.
In the end we decided to try and get a bus to Copenhagen, it would only take 24 hours, and at least it was guarantied to leave. At this point I still hadn't managed to get hold of any of my girlfriends and I was getting worried that we would have to sleep on Victoria station. We weren't the only ones with that idea, and everything was sold out till saturday on all 3 coachlines, we could get to Paris, but not much point in that eh'? Finally Razwana answered the phone, I was so happy to hear her voice, after 27 hours without sleep my faith in everything was staring to waiver, and I couldn't face being stuck to the backpack for much longer. So Anette and I went to Baron's Court, ate some food, saw the news (tried to anyway since my head kept falling down to my chest) went to bed and had positively the best sleep in 2 months.
Today (friday 11th) we went back to the airport to get Anette on a plane, I couldn't be bothered to try and would rather make sure Anette got herself sorted. She was put on standby for 14.05, and after 3 hours of waiting, she got the last available seat, on business! So she ran away with her little transparent plasticbag, leaving me feeling very jealous... She just called and had enjoyed the flight very much, with real glass and all ;-) There were almost 15 who was on standby who got on each departure at SAS, so I'll try my luck with BA tomorrow.
Now I'll go and get some food and some sleep, Razwana had a work-do, and Kati is working, so not much of a friends reunited there, but then I get to sleep..!