Back in the Groove
Off to the Land of Milk and Honey. I mean Heathrow Terminal 5
- Something a little different? Maybe…
- Off to the Land of Milk and Honey. I mean Heathrow Terminal 5
- British Airways Galleries – South Lounge Complex
- British Airways BA295 – London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare (Club World)
- Into the USA, Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- The Wonder of Micro Center
- More Food Adventures in Chicago
- Exploring China Town in Chicago
- Back to O’Hare T5
- British Airways BA296 – Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow T5 (World Traveller Plus)
- Welcome back to the United Kingdom
- Well, that’s a bit different.
4 am. A bit later than usual, granted…
After closing the laptop down for work, getting something resembling rest and completing my packing, it was time to get an Uber to that wondrous place – Digbeth Coach Station.
Well, it beats dealing with the coach at 2 am… just.
There may be some satirical commentary there – but I’ll gloss over that for now. Thankfully, Uber was playing ball, and a ride arrived in good time to take me over.
Arriving at the coach station, I began to be aware of the life around me.
Nothing like an empty coach station in the early morning.
As slimmed down as it ever can be.
Thankfully, there was not long of a wait – as the coach had come from Wolverhampton – thus, it was single-crewed, and pretty empty. Whilst the coach filled a fair bit, I had a spare seat next to me for the ride to Heathrow Airport.
Unlike last time, there was no dead battery on the coach, so we were good for the journey. For me, this would be a one-seat ride to Heathrow Terminal 5.
The coach would call at Birmingham Airport, then down to Oxford to call at the bus station and the outskirts (with planned pickups in both locations), then the Heathrow Terminals, with an expected arrival time of 8:15 in the morning.
For the most part, it’s a simple nighttime drive. And that’s fine by me – I prefer the coach at night, as it’s a safe and speedy run.
Of course, arriving near London early in the morning means one thing – traffic jams. And there was plenty on the M40 as we approached the M25.
The M40 at morning peak. Wonderful. At least it’s not the M1…
And that’s why we build buffer time in people – especially anything near London after 7 am.
Thankfully, the delays were short. Eventually, the coach was making its way down underneath the North Runway at Heathrow and through to the Central Terminal Area, where the coach discharged a lot of its passengers – as well as picked up a few who were connecting onward to Gatwick.
It took everything not to get off here.
Once the coach departed, it was time to get my junk together as the next stop would be my stop – Heathrow Terminal 5.
Another wet day.
Unload in progress.
Arriving at Terminal 5, I grabbed a trolly to put my luggage on and made my way inside (and took one of the lifts that bypassed the terminal – Ones I have never noticed before).
Into the land of Milk and Honey
With me walking into Terminal 5, it would be the first time in a long while I’ve taken a long-haul departure out of this terminal – I’ve been too used to departing from Terminal 3 (and I’ll note, I would be missing my traditional DanDan noodles in the Cathay Pacific lounge).
I headed over to the Club Check-in area, as I had to complete the formalities to get a boarding pass.
Even though there was a queue, it was a five-minute queue at best.
Once at the check-in podiums, the agent checked where I was going and began the check-in process. For the first time in forever, I was challenged and requested to bring up my ESTA status. That took a minute or two to find (and thankfully, I didn’t file that email in the wrong place). I was also asked to provide my COVID-19 vaccination status.
With the agent satisfied, they began to process my luggage, with two bags going for a trip – well, one bag via the belt, and the other would have to go via oversized luggage.
The agent then had a surprise for me – British Airways had upgraded my ticket from World Traveller Plus to Club World!
I’ve forgotten when I last had a battlefield upgrade, but here it is. I was assigned 59D on the upper deck on the A380.
At that point, I didn’t know what the seat was, but a battlefield upgrade is a battlefield upgrade.
With the formalities complete, I dropped off my second bag and headed to the hot mess that was security.
It’s almost as if the security agents have had enough with them… what’s the best term… short-tempered and snippy with everyone who was attempting to go through security.
It also didn’t help that one of the two priority security lanes was shut and agents were moaning that the entry lane he was manning was for passengers requiring assistance only.
I ducked out from the hot mess and went through regular South Security. It took around 10 minutes to be processed (With my main bag being pulled).
After they were satisfied I was carrying camera equipment, I was let on my way).
Now there was one task I needed to complete before I headed for the lounge – Crisps. One of my American friends loves British-flavoured crisps. By that I mean Cheese and Onion, Prawn Cocktail and Sweet Chilli (as far as I can work out US crips go Plain, BBQ, Salt and Vinger, Hot and Sour Cream in most cases).
As luggage space was at capacity on the way out (and I’m realising I’m going to need a larger suitcase next trip), I resorted to buying crisps at Boots.
And yes. They saw me a mile coming. I could have got 30 packs for the price I paid for 4 in that branch.
With crisps in hand, I decided to make tracks for the South Lounge at Terminal 5. Whilst the B gates lounge was also an option, I just needed to find a spot to plonk down.
Dealing with Heathrow security took a lot out of me.
Next: British Airways South Lounge.
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