Different Airlines – Same Routes – To Chicago with American Airlines and British Airways
Or “Oh Sandy. You came and you gave without thinking….”
- Cheap Flight? In the autumn? Which planet are you on? (The Introduction)
- To London, BA Galleries First, American Airlines FlAAgship Lounge
- AA99 – London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare International
- Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- One-Time Exception: From Addison to Downtown – Riding the L
- Trials, Tribulations and Sandy
- O’Hare T3 and the American Airlines FlAAgship Lounge
- AA98 – Chicago O’Hare International to London Heathrow
- Homeward Bound (THIS SECTION)
- Oh Sandy… (The Wrap-up)
As I’m on the ground, it’s time to head back home where I can unpack and sort my life out in peace… but first, I actually need to get home…
As I was heading to the UK Border, I wasn’t in that much of a rush – so it was a gentle walk to T3 processing.
I noticed for once IRIS was open, and I went through the tensa-barriers to it. I looked into IRIS… where it promptly crashed when I tried to get through.
After pressing the exit plunger, I was called over to a manual desk where I confirmed I was registered for IRIS, and told to use e-passport gate next time.
I was then let on my way into the United Kingdom and onto baggage claim downstairs.
By the time I arrived downstairs, luggage delivery had commenced, with my bags on the belt. I hefted them off, popped them on a trolley and cleared UK Customs.
After exiting to the joy of T3, there comes another joy – and that’s the joy of getting out of Heathrow. As I had a held return train ticket (and I didn’t want to pay another penny to National Express), I headed down to Heathrow Central Train station, and missed a Heathrow Connect service by a minute. Grumbling, I paid up for a Heathrow Express ticket – the full £19.
Heathrow Express – Heathrow Central – London Paddington
Class 332 – Express Class
Yes, I know only a fool pays full price for Heathrow Express, but by this point, I just wanted to be heading in the direction of home.
I managed to get onboard the service, and relaxed for the 15 minute ride on the Great Western Mainline Fast lines to Paddington Station.
The train itself was in good condition, with all the amenities you’d expect.
There was a full ticket inspection too, so no one got away without paying.
Soon enough, Old Oak Common reared up on one side, and North Pole Depot on the other – indicating we were closing in on Paddington.
By the time the train was passing the Western Approach, I was up and ready to go.
Overall: Still one of the most expensive train journeys… bar none really. Still, it did the job getting me to Paddington. But £19 still….
From Platform 6, it was a slow drag towards Platform 12 and the taxi queue. There was no wait for a cab for the £6 ride to Marylebone, and soon enough, I was outside Marylebone station putting my luggage back on on back.
After entering a station, a train to Birmingham been called. Perfect timing as always, I headed to barrier with a rather crumpled ticket (which was still valid much to the ticket inspectors disgust), and I boarded the train.
Chiltern Railways London Marylebone – Birmingham Snow Hill
Return portion held.
Today I boarded the first train heading out of Marylebone – a “slow” service that would take 1 hours and 50 minutes to get Birmingham. Ordinarily, I’d prefer a faster service, but this service helped as it dropped me off at Snow Hill station, which would be an easier place to navigate to a taxi, rather than Moor Street Station and the revised Birmingham Road network.
The train did its thing, and sped me along England’s Green and Pleasant land to Snow Hill station (with more stops than I’m used to, but I’ll live with it as it will make my journey easier).
AS it was off peak (and half term), the train remained relatively empty.
Soon enough, the train begun the approach to Birmingham Moor Street, then its final stop – Birmingham Snow Hill (the business district of Birmingham)
From there it was a final drag of all my stuff from the bottom of Snow Hill station, up the escalator, through the barrier with another look disgust having a dog-eared ticket and into another cab to take me the final couple of miles home to my front door.
Coming up: Oh Sandy… (The wrap-up).