Here I am on the last day of Vacation 2003. Today I return home. I start in London and end at home in Brantford.
I arrived at Terminal 4 after the seven minute walk through the tunnel from the Heathrow Hilton over three hours before the plane was to depart. The line at the British Airways check ins for flights to North America was huge. The flight had not appeared on the screens yet but I pretty much knew that check in would be in section A. It was and I got in the line. Something between 60 and 90 minutes later I made it to an agent. I then found out that they had given my prebooked window seat to someone else. I was more annoyed about this than the long wait. They said they would get them to check at the gate to see if any become available. So off I went to security.
The wait at security actually wasn't too bad. They were up to their usual levels of efficiency, testing for gases in the laptop computer bag and so on. For a change, the gate wasn't half a mile away and I got there and waited. Things were running a bit behind because of the "late arrival of the aircraft". After checking several times it became apparent that I wasn't going to get my window seat. When I boarded they apologized for not being able to locate a window seat. So, I ended up in the middle with people on both sides. I hate non window seats.
The flight, BA 93, left a bit late but was able to make up the time. The route back was almost the same as the route over and was fine until it got close to Canada where there was some weather causing some grief. It didn't cause too much bumpiness. The flight landed a bit late but something unusual happened when we got to the gate. We were required to stay seated with our seatbelts done up and not move until the fight had been cleared by Canadian Customs and Immigration. This is surprisingly hard to do after an eight hour flight but we survived and then we were cleared to leave after about 10 minutes. As we left the plane we saw police and immigration officials interrogating at man that may have been from the middle east in the business class section as we passed through to leave the plane.
Being October 2003 S.A.R.S. screening was still in full swing and there was this form that had to be filled out. One of the questions was something like "Do you have a cough?" With the cold still in effect I truthfully answered the question yes and this triggered a visit to the S.A.R.S. screening nurse. After a bunch of questions and taking of my temperature I was declared clean but if any further symptoms showed up, go see my doctor. None did.
The rest of the process at the airport went without a glitch and I headed for the Ground Transportation centre in Terminal 3. The Airlink driver came and I arrived home around 5:00 P.m.
The trip is now over and it was very enjoyable, all be it very busy. What did I enjoy the most? Well, I think Rome, Capri, Sicily, and Venice would be the highlights in no particular order.
Originally Created: February 8th, 2004
Final Edit: February 18, 2004 5:14 PM