The coast line of the UK during our flight to London.
We landed in London close to on time, but there was a problem with the boarding ramp. Seems it got stuck about a foot from the plane, so we now have to wait for them to bring out a staircase and attach it to the rear of the plane so we can get off. About 10 minutes later, still waiting for the stairs to come out to the plane, we are told the ramp is now unstuck and we will be getting off the plane from the front as originally planned.
Off the plane, through the area for connecting flights where they check your passport & tickets, and up to the security check point for Terminal 5. Once through security, we had about 2 hours before our next flight.
There are a lot of shops and a few restaurants here, so we walked the length of the terminal checking out our lunch options. Yes, we will be served lunch & dinner on the plane, but we know how that will be, so we are eating here first! Based on a recommendation by our good friend Louise (http://www.travbuddy.com/1morespicy) we decided on Giraffe. Thanks Louise, the food here was very good, the beer cold and the service was not bad either! Lena decided on a chicken sandwich with fries and some kind of foo foo drink, while I went for the fish & chips and a beer!! Hey, I'm in London, got to have fish & chips right?! After we filled our tummies, We wanted to check out some of the shops, but when we rechecked our boarding time, it said to go to the gate now. What! I thought we still had another hour, but if the sign says to go to the gate, we go to the gate! We found our way to the elevator, which took us down a level, then we made our way to the shuttle train which took us to the other end of the terminal and to our gate.
Inside Terminal 5 at Heathrow
We found our gate quickly, but now realize we are early and could have spent some time in the main terminal. Oh well, we are here now and don't want to risk going back and being late. There are only a couple shops on this end, so there wasn't much to do to occupy our time but sit and wait.
Giraffe inside Heathrow's Terminal 5
About a half hour before our scheduled departure time, they started the boarding process, but wait, we have to be rescreened and checked before we can board! Because of a recent security breach a week or so earlier (not through London) where some nut job got on a plane with flammable liquid and attempted to light himself on fire during the flight headed to the States, EVERYONE boarding the plane had to have all carryon luggage searched, and we had to be patted down and checked! Well I'm very glad they are being thorough, but this did take some time to do.
Once through the additional security check, we made our way down to where we would board the busses taking us to the plane, but wait, another glitch in the system and we are stuck waiting again! We didn't find out until we finally boarded the plane, but it seems the original plane we were to take home had a mechanical problem, so they had to get us on a back up plane. This took some extra time, so we sat and waited while only two busses drove back and forth getting all of us to the new plane!
Lena's chicken sandwich & fries
Finally on board, we found our seats, which we had assigned ourselves back in Stockholm when we did the self check-in and seat assignment, and bingo, first row right behind first class with a window and isle!!! No one sitting in front of us, and lots of leg room!! This will be a comfortable flight if nothing else! :)
The sun was setting now here in London as we waited to take off.
We are about 90 minutes behind schedule, but I am not concerned, we are finally on our way back to Maryland!! Next time we fly to London, we plan to stay a couple of days to visit Louise and see some of the sites. Got to find a place called the Feisty Goat!! hahaha (movie reference)
Sunset as seen from our plane before we took off from London.
Good bye London, see you again soon!