Two for the Price of One: The Long Road Home
In this epic…
- Two for the price of one? Or when two become one?
- Off to Manchester Airport on the edge of my seat…
- BA Domestic – BA1387 Manchester Airport to London Heathrow
- Heathrow Transit, American Airlines Flagship Lounge
- American Airlines – AA87 London Heathrow to Chicago, Main Cabin
- Streamlined Immigration?
- The Crowne Plaza O’Hare
- Evening adventures with the Sony A5000
- The Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- Off to O’Hare, American Airlines Admirals Club
- American Airlines – AA1205 Chicago O’Hare to Boston Logan
- A Boston Omnishambles
- British Airways – BA202 Boston Logan to London Heathrow Terminal 5 in World Traveller Plus
- Transit and changes… from holiday to work, British Airways Galleries North Lounge
- British Airways – BA974 London Heathrow to Hamburg
- IBIS Budget St Pauli, Hamburg
- Trade Show 101 (or… don’t sleep on your glasses).
- Pounding the Halls of AIX – What you might had missed…
- A Walk around the Hamburg Dom
- Rushing back to Hamburg Airport
- British Airways – BA967 Hamburg to London Heathrow
- Homeward bound
- Mixing business with pleasure
With me out of the plane, it was a short walk to immigration.
Thank you G-EUPC!
Off we go to immigration!
I once again chanced my luck at the eBorders passport clearance machines – and to my shock, the machines actually worked for once.
Stranger things have happened at Heathrow Airport.
That done, I headed straight for the exit – making sure I was exiting towards the North end of the terminal as I had unfinished business at Heathrow to take care of… namely paying £62 and getting my luggage back
Down to arrivals.
I cleared the UK Customs zone without any issues, and headed back into the public zone. With that cleared, I headed back to the Excess Baggage Company to pick up my two bags.
Thankfully I still had my luggage receipt and after paying the £62 – I was reunited with my left luggage that I had dropped off four days ago.
Now for the next challenge – how to get home. Whilst it was nearly 8pm, I had some rather harsh limits coming on top of me – namely the last train to Birmingham (unless I wanted to be stuck in London for the night).
I therefore chanced it and brought a Heathrow Connect Ticket, hoping to change at platform level at Central.
Getting on the Heathrow Express, I noted that wasn’t going to work – mainly as I had mis-timed the connection for the Heathrow Connect. Again.
This would mean I’d have to stay aboard the worlds most expensive train ride and pay the excess.
I’ve written about Heathrow Express many times. Whilst it does get you from Heathrow to Paddington in 15 minutes, I still think it’s a complete and utter rip-off compared to Heathrow Connect or the Underground.
However, I was time-pressured. They had me by the short and curlies. It was time to pay up and be done with it.
Inside Heathrow Express
My luggage, a power bank and me.
Thankfully, you can upgrade on the train – which makes life a lot easier.
At Paddington, I got off the train… and my rucksack decided to open all by itself. A hurried re-pack by dumping stuff into the suitcase – and I was on my way again to the taxi rank.
Paddington Taxi Rank.
I’d normally take the tube for the short hop to Marylebone, however 1) I’ve got too much trash and 2) the Bakerloo line station for Paddington had been shut for refurbishment work. Considering that the Bakerloo line is a key transport link from Paddington to the West End and beyond… that’s rather idiotic as well as inconvenient.
Thankfully, there wasn’t much of a queue for the taxi rank, and I was soon in a taxi to Marylebone.
Yeah. I somehow think that card reader wasn’t broken.
£6 and 10 minutes later, I was outside Marylebone… and heading to the ticket vending machine. Why? 1) I needed a ticket and 2) there was a train heading off Birmingham in 5 minutes.
A quick race down the platforms, and I was aboard the Chiltern Clubman to take me home.
Why always at the far end of the platform? Why Chiltern Railways?
Chiltern Railways London to Birmingham
As this was a late evening Chiltern service, there were more stops than normal between London Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill.
I chose to sat at the back of the train – not because I was lazy, but because when I got off the train at Birmingham Snow Hill, it would be a shorter walk to the escalator… and a short hike to the taxi rank
An emptyish Train. Not that I was objecting.
The train journey was nothing of note. Just the usual A to B aboard a speeding Turbostar/Clubman. The only minor hiccup was the ticket inspector clipping the wrong ticket.
I guess I wasn’t the only person who was asleep that night.
Just under 1 hour 50 minutes later, the train pulled into Birmingham Moor Street. That was my cue to get up and get to the door as in 3 minutes, the train would be at Snow Hill.
Up we go!
Exiting the train, I headed up the escalator, and into a black cab for the final hop back home.
Just drive please….
8 days, 9,164 flown miles, nearly 15k of steps a day, I was back at my front door.
And I won’t lie – whilst I had spent until 2am the next morning starting backups and getting some sense of normality back in my life, eventually I went to sleep.
The next thing I knew it as 5pm on Friday evening when I woke up. 15 hours out cold. That was painful.
Finally: Mixing Business with Pleasure.
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