Cold Chicago, Warm Planes – To Chicago with AA and BA
Toronto Airport… Oh Toronto..
- Let’s Play “Stacking Discounts!” (The Introduction)
- We’re going where the air is free (NX210 to LHR), BA Galleries Lounge AA Flagship Lounge
- AA87 London Heathrow T3 to Chicago O’Hare T5
- Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- One Time Exception – Millennium Park
- Back to O’Hare T3, American Airlines Flagship Lounge
- AA4253 Chicago O’Hare T3 to Toronto Pearson T3
- Toronto, Oh Toronto…
- The British Airways Galleries Lounge, Toronto
- BA098 Toronto Pearson T1 to London Heathrow T5
- Arrivals Lounge, Homeward Bound
- Warming up slowly…
Toronto, Oh Toronto.
After getting off the E-Jet, it was time to play run the risk with Canadian Immigration. Thankfully with the new E-Jets, you actually get a proper jetbridge as opposed to going to the ground, then trying to find your way around the ground with awful signage.
Up the jetbridge – sponsored by HSBC…
The resting E-Jet, readying for the turnaround back to Chicago.
And a new discovery – they have bouncy travellators here. Those of you who have been through Heathrow Terminal 4 will know what I mean about bouncy travellators (they’re a rubber continuous belt… which has a rather bouncy effect when you walk).
To the Travellators!
*bounce bounce bounce*
Soon enough, it was time to descend into Dante’s Inferno – or Canadian Immigration as its known by most people.
Fun times ahead…
Heading through the transfer queue, I was seen to quickly by a border agent.
My immigration form was stamped (but strangely not my passport) with my travel plans confirmed, and I was sent on my way.
Normally when that happens, it means trouble is ahead…
Next stop was to the luggage belt, where delivery of the baggage was rather prompt (compared to last time), with both bags actually making it out in a reasonable amount of time. So these E-Jets have a reasonable hold space too (or they’ve worked out how to load two bags that belong to the same person onto the same plane at American Eagle. Miracles take a little longer).
With both bags in hand (or let’s be honest, one bag on top of another), it was time to deal with Canadian Customs. This is the bit I was dreading as this could mean a very long time in customs if they don’t like the stamp and scribbles on the customs form.
I handed over my form, and was waived through.
With that it was off to tote my bags to luggage transfer. I was quizzed what flight I was on (confirming I was on the later flight and not the earlier flight which was in the final stages of boarding and closing). With those formalities completed, I dropped my bags off and headed into Canada for a short while.
I headed up to the departures level… and found I had left my boarding pass at the baggage drop off point.
Oh well. It would be impossible for me to go back as the drop off point was in the secure area, so it was easier to queue up and get a new one issued.
I queued up at the BA check in desks for about 10 minutes to get a new boarding pass issued, and with that – it was off through airport security to get back into the secure side of the airport.
Eh? I suppose it’s not called “Buddy”…
Where I managed to set off the archway detector when going through security.
After being informed it was a random screening (how nice), I was offered the choice of a backscatter scan or a pat down.
One pat down later, I was sent on my way, and up to “The Hammerhead” (with a short break to get the cheapest possible headphones out of the Best Buy Express machine… well I need some decent headphones for the upcoming flight and the coach journey home).
Heading to the Hammerhead…
That’s a bit different.
No, these aren’t restaurant seats… these are gate seats with power and a place to work or relax. A very nice innovation there Toronto Airport.
Although some of the sign postings have room for improvement.
After entering the hammerhead, it was time to head up to one of my favourite lounges in North America… the British Airways Galleries Lounge.
Why? It’s a place that some good things have happened in the past. I wouldn’t be disappointed this time either…