Growing Old in Style – Off to Heathrow with National Express
- 40.. wait? You’re 40???
- Off to Heathrow with National Express
- Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 and British Airways Galleries First
- BA936 London Heathrow to Düsseldorf in Club Europe
- Düsseldorf airport and the most boring lounge… in the world (Lufthansa Business Lounge)
- CX376 Düsseldorf Airport to Hong Kong International Airport in Business Class
- Hong Kong International Airport and CX The Arrival
- To Hong Kong aboard the Airport Express
- Over to Kowloon on the Star Ferry
- Exploring Kowloon
- Holiday Inn Express, Sheung Wan
- The Peak during the Evening and Night
- Riding the Ding Dings and Causeway Bay Presents “The Force Awakens”
- Mong Konk Ladies Market – or the “Hard art of haggling”
- A Symphony of Lights (Pictorial)
- Temple Street Market or “Haggle more”
- Back to Hong Kong International Airport
- The Pier First Class Lounge
- CX253 Hong Kong International Airport to London Heathrow
- The Great Rush Home
- 40 up
After some minor partying with friends, I headed back to the flat to continue packing the little bag I’d need to take to Hong Kong with me.
Then I made the mistake of dozing off on the sofa. Thankfully, I woke up with a few minutes to spare to grab my bag, and an Uber to the coach station.
And when I got to the coach station… this sight greeted me.
Yes. That was the queue for the Heathrow and Gatwick (with most of the passengers heading to Gatwick it seems).
So much so, as well as the coach, there was an additional minibus to handle the expected traffic.
On top of that, the actual National Express coach arrived late. Another good sign things weren’t going to plan.
The queue wasn’t that pleasant a place to be as people jostled to get a better position.
At the time the coach was meant to go, boarding had commenced as every person tried to get to the front of the queue to drop off their luggage.
I was travelling light, so when the driver inspected my ticket, I got on coach and nabbed my preferred seats which have a little more legroom than others.
The coach continued to fill up slowly… and I mean slowly.
Finally at about 1:35, the coach reversed with a very much abbreviated run for the main coach – it seemed the shuttle bus would stop at all stops, whilst we would be stopping at Coventry, Heathrow Central, Heathrow T5 and Gatwick.
I cared about the up to T5 part.
So off we went into the darkness of a Birmingham night, as the coach sped to Coventry Pool Meadow coach station.
With a short stop in Coventry and time to reorganise the passengers, we were off again – this time on a non-stop blast down to the Heathrow Complex.
And I tried to get a few winks on this blast… and failed at the attempt.
So I settled in and tried to get comfortable as I could – again.
Eventually at about 4:10 in the morning the coach went under the runway at Heathow Central, and popped out at the Central Bus station.
With a short stop to unload a few people, we were on the road again, this time to my stop – Heathrow Terminal 5.
A short 10 minute drive, and soon we had reach the stop I needed – Heathrow T5. I thanked the driver, and headed off into the T5 complex.
Overall: It seems National Express can’t cope when there’s a full coach of passengers late at night and with a delay of 20 minutes down (which the coach driver to make up). Obviously, the coach made it to my destination only slightly late, but there could had been a lot better organisation of boarding and filtering passengers at the coach station in Birmingham to speed up the journey.
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