Background (this is my first trip report)
The reason for this trip is that i planned to take a week off back in December because i wanted to see Trooping the Colour ceremony upfront( i am a royal watcher). so i booked a week off in mid June to coincide with this. the problem is that I am a notorious procrastinator because i waited until early June to book my trip. perhaps i had doubts b/c this was my first trip overseas on my own. i have been quite a browsing on on this site for a while and and read stories from fellow posters about avoiding LHR
at all costs. since i never have been to LHR
, i wanted to check it out myself. because it was a last minute trip, it would be quite pricey but i did not mind. i decided to book with BA
as i wanted to go through LHR
and go non stop
Thursday June 14th
British Airways Flight 92
i went online to at midday on BA
.com to print my boarding pass and pre select my seat. i always love window seats. iI chose a seat away from the wings of the plane as window seats on the airline wing i find distracting and they obscure the views i enjoy from the plane. I left home at about 3:30 from Markham and took the 407 ETR express to the airport. Everyone in the family advises that if you are taking an evening flight from Pearson International Airport in Toronto , take the 407 highway to avoid the 401 highway rush hour. I got to the airport at 4: 05pm at terminal 3 and dropped my bags at the drop in baggage desk. I went to to the Travelex booth at T3
to buy UK pounds and browsed the terminal before going to security and heading for the gate.
We were for immediate boarding at about 5:55 pm and i proceeded to the gate at T3
. i was somewhat disappointed to be flying the 763 as i wanted to that the later flight at 8:01pm which would have been on a 744. I contacted BA
and they advised me that specific flight was overbooked and if I had wanted to take the chance and be on that flight, I would be on stand by. I did not want to take the risk so i swallowed my pride. i was quite surprised how " squeezed" the 763 felt inside very narrow as though i was flying on an airbus 319.
I took my seat and for the 6 hour trip, sat next to a man headed for Turkey who during, taxiing , safety presentations would talk endlessly on the his cellphone. one member of the BA
crew noted this but did nothing. maybe it is fine to speak on the cell during taxing and security presentations . I do not know. He asked me questions like someone who was flying for the first time
" when shall we land in London?"
" How far is London?"
" How long does it take to fly to London?'
' How far is it from London to Istanbul?"
" How long does it take to fly from London to Istanbul?"
I am not a seasoned traveller nor with an experienced knowledge of geography so I just took guesses and gave him answers off the top of my head
As we were airborne, drinks were served first , then dinner ( choice b/w beef or chicken. i took the chicken), and before landing in London a morning breakfast. the IFE system, for some passengers, was not working and the pilot had to reset it twice, which annoyed me as i was one of those not affected.I watched : "Children of Men" and the " Last king of Scotland", the latter i did not see in its entirety as i dozed off and went to sleep. the flight was uneventful and the flight crew was quite attentive
pics during the flight
we landed at LHR
and we were taken not to the terminal but the offramp where we were put on buses to be taken to the terminal. my first impressions of LHR
were that of a very old airport ,somewhat dark, and depressing( mostly of T4
) . One of course looks forward to the opening of T5
. What surprised me was how fast i passed through immigration. they were no long lines and the immigration officer spent about 20 seconds looking at my paasport, stamping it, asking "business or pleasure" and then proceede to tell me to be on my way. Perhaps i was lucky that day. I picked up my luggage at proceeded to the train station downstairs to take Heathrow express to Paddington station, where my hotel was near by.
view of my hotel room view. i am not the type to complain, but come on
here are some pics of my trip in London.
Trooping the Colour
Wednesday June 20
British airways flight 93
I apologize for not having alot of pics for my return trip as my battery went dead on the camera at the airport and i was taking pics for the return trip. I left my hotel early in the morning to take the Paddington express at 7:45 am. i got to Heathrow at about 8:00am and printed my boarding pass at the kiosk .when i went to the ticket to leave my luggage and the ticketing agent said I was too early to accept the luggage and I should come back at 9am ( my flight was at 11: 55am) to leave my luggage. so here i was already checked in and carrying my luggage around the terminal area. i had breakfast at the italian cafe near Zone A of the British Airways/ Sri Lankan checkin desk ( forgot the name). when 9am came I dropped my bag off and passed thru security. Because i had plenty of time I browsed around the terminal where nearly all the duty free shops sold almost the same thing
I realized that I had left 100 pounds in my wallet and did not want to bring it back with me to Canada so I proceeded to buy as much as i can from the duty free shop located near gated 22/23/24. I bought a vodka , chocolates and Bailey's. the cashier asked me;
Her :" Are you traveling to Lagos or Accra?"
Me: " What makes you think i am traveling to Lagos or Accra"
Her: "Passengers for those destinations buy alot of goods at the duty free shops before flying."
me: " No, i am going to Toronto"
obviously when you buy something at the duty free you have to show your boarding pass.she asked this question because I am black and presumed i would be going to Africa and bringing alot of goods with me. But i was not offended because she was partly right. I saw passengers bound for the gate for the Lagos flight carrying bags and bags of duty free goods containing alot of alcohol.
I proceeded to gate 10 for the flight to Toronto carrying 4 bags plus my bag sack.It was at this time that the battery on my camera went off and so no further pics. we taxied at 12:30pm as no reason was given for the delay and stayed on the taxiway for eternity as I presume some flights had priority on the runway before us. the flight was uneventful but like the inbound flight the IFE broke down and was rest this time 3 times. all in all, the flight was pleasant. like my inbound flight, the flight crew was productive and and quite resilient for a full 744 flight . For this flight I chose to chicken curry and tried to finish watching " the Last King of Scotland" as i had tried to do on the inbound flight. I found the film did not spark my interest and again I dozed off. At Toronto, we landed on runway 33L due to some strong northerly winds. The plane flew over lake Ontario and we got an amazing view of downtown GTA ( I was annoyed for not having taken pics at this time). This was my first time with BA
and i would definitely fly them again and go through LHR