Blowin’ in the wind – To Manchester Airport, British Airways Terrances Lounge
- Don’t go you go anywhere else that’s remotely different?
- To Manchester Airport, British Airways Terraces Lounge
- American Airlines AA55 Manchester Airport to Chicago O’Hare International Airport
- Automated Processing Chaos
- Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Intstawalk: State Street Chicago
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- A wind of change
- Chicago O’Hare Terminal 5, British Airways Terraces First Lounge
- British Airways BA9294 Chicago O’Hare to London Heathrow
- British Airways Arrivals Lounge London Heathrow
- Virgin Trains London Euston to Birmingham New Street
- The Answer My Friend Is Blowin’ in the wind…
The day before: The Office Salt Mines
Being in the office salt mines has one major purpose: It pays for a lot of the travel (as well as the car, as well as the bills etc etc etc), so it’s also a useful point to begin this trip – as as I checked in online.
Drinking in the seating situation no surprise when check in opened that the plane was rammed solid. I therefore stuck with my selection in Main Cabin Extra and completed any procedure. With that done, it was time to work what VMWare was trying to implement on the Horizon platform.
As usual, I didn’t sleep much before one of these trip departure dates – normally because I complete forget to finish packing on schedule. So, with only a few hours in the tank, it was time to re-pack for the n’th time, make sure the bags balance, and finally zipping it all up for the trip to Chicago.
The taxi eventually came (after getting lost – it’s a habit of Birmingham taxi drivers be they Hackney Carriages or MiniCabs, and soon I was dropped off at the land of make-believe – Digbeth Coach Station
With the cabbie taking way too long, I was at Digbeth and straight onto the waiting coach.
Now, a lot of people disparage National Express – but I do have a few positive words to say about them – as they do offer a 24 hour service between locations, and if you need to be somewhere in a jam, there’s normally a coach going in that direction.
Shame I didn’t get the extra legroom seat though – as it was a bit tight.
Still, with a 2 hour ride to Manchester Airport, I’ve been aboard worse.
The journey was without incident, stopping along some of parts of the Midlands on the way to pick up passengers. However, the coach did its job – and arrived 5 minutes early into The Station complex at Manchester Airport.
With me off the coach, comes what I used to call “The Great Push” at Manchester Airport. Except – there’s a little side issue.
Manchester Airport has been making noises about costs and such, and so if you need a trolley to push stuff about, that’s going to set you back real money
For a major hub – it’s rather silly and smacks of cost saving.
But thankfully, my luggage has wheels these days – so it was off on the great pull through the lovely disco tunnels of Manchester Airport
However, what had changed was the path to Terminal 3 – where American Airlines is located. In the past, this was an enclosed walkway through the Terminal 1 until you hit Terminal 3. Now, you have an outside walk and multiple elevators to content with too.
Eventually, I made it to check in for the next challenge of the day. After my APIS information was confirmed, it was check-in.. where it seems my profile was out of date, with American Airlines wanting to charge me for bringing two bags (something that is expressly permitted as a Oneworld Emerald).
After a discussion (and a check on Twitter), it was confirmed I had the right to check two bags (even though the computer wanted to charge me).
With the bags dropped off, boarding pass issued and everything ok, it was time for security – and thanks to a fast-track sticker, it was all the more quicker. I’d say I was no more than 5 minutes to complete the entire process.
However, once you’re through that, it’s time to play a game called “Run the Risk”. Yes, Duty Free time.
With a clear path, I was through… and I headed upstairs to the British Airways lounge complex
Lounge Stop: British Airways Terraces Lounge
I was welcomed to the lounge, and after a boarding pass scan I was informed that the flight would be called, and to relax for a while before boarding was called. With that, I headed into the complex.
The complex – for want of a better term is circular, and pretty unique in the lounge system – with views into the main terminal, as well as views of the runway.
Whilst the place was spacious, there was a distinct lack of power plug in key locations – making it a bit tough to charge a laptop or a phone. Still, it was better than a kick in the teeth.
Food and drink in the lounge was nothing overly special – the only hot item was porridge. Everything was pastries or cold items. Not bad, but this is the sort of venue that could really do with Bacon sandwiches first thing in the morning….
Cold breakfast items
Water water everywhere…
Toast and baked items
Time however as usual is never on my side – no matter how early I early at an airport to enjoy the facilities. We were called to the gate early as we were to be bussed to the plane.
Traffic at the gate was busy, however – they had been dividing up the passengers to the point where I arrived at the gate, priority boarding had commenced.
A blip of the boarding pass, and it was down the stairs to wait to board the bus
Thankfully at the bottom, a bus was waiting. I hopped on as Manchester airport staff did their best to play sardines to get everyone aboard. With a full bus, it was a short bus ride to the stand where the Boeing 767-300ER was waiting.
After arriving at the stand, there was a short wait (as the crew were still not ready for us). A few minutes later, the doors were released for a classic walk up the steps.
With a few photos done, it was time to climb up the stairs to my chariot to Chicago… .
Next: AA55 Manchester Airport to Chicago O’Hare International
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