Wednesday Afternoon: Must be time to head to the airport – Summer Tier Points
In this… epic.
- When will I learn to jump on a fare?
- Wednesday Afternoon.. off to the airport
- EI273 Birmingham to Dublin Airport
- Some time in Dublin
- The Travelodge in Swords, Dublin Airport
- Pre-Clearance fun at Dublin airport, 51st and Green Lounge
- AA725 Dublin to New York JFK – Business Class
- A bite to eat in Manhattan.
- Back in the Secure Area, Flagship Lounge and AAdmirals Club
- AA2652 JFK to San Francisco International – Business Class
- The Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
- Do the BART into San Francisco, The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins, San Francisco
- Saucilito: Which ferry to take?
- Exploring some of San Francisco areas
- The Crowne Plaza, San Francisco airport
- Early start at San Francisco airport
- AA168 San Francisco airport to New York JFK – Business Class
- The joy of terminal swaps, BA Pre-departure dining
- BA174 New York JFK to London Heathrow – Club World
- Early morning swapsies
- BA828 London Heathrow T5 to Dublin Airport – Club Europe
- Donunts and coffee shops – Exploring Dublin
- FR666 Dublin Airport to Birmingham Airport
- 600 TP: Done
The run up for this trip… shall we say… has been more stressful than usual.
By that, I’m spending hours on support calls and fixing things rather than actually packing and prepping stuff for travel. This was still the case on Wednesday morning where I was mostly packed… and quietly praying I didn’t miss anything.
Eventually, the time to go came.. and I made it as far a the front gate before remembering I had missed one important thing: the Intercontinental Two-for-One voucher.
A quick dash inside, and voucher in hand I was once again ready to head off, with the Uber dropping me Birmingham New Street.
Once at New Street, I went to the machine to confound myself how I’m getting to Birmingham Airport.
With a ticket in hand I headed to Platform 1, where the Virgin Trains service to Euston. I jumped on for the 10 minute ride to Birmingham International. without much fuss, the train delivered me to the next station
Exiting Birmingham International station, I followed the signs for the airport and airrail link. Of course, there were some travelers who jollification started a lot earlier than planned, with some people not understanding a “a train every two minutes” concept, and holding the doors to the shuttle open.
Eventually, we got under way, with the four gentlemen swearing like sailors – only to shut up when they saw a child.
Sometimes the best lessons are learned the hard way
I exited at the airport station, and left the gentlemen behind, and headed to the self check-in kiosk to get my boarding pass for the flight. And yes – I still love paper boarding passes – it’s part of the romance of flight to me. Your view might differ.
After navigating the silly Rockwell Collins software (and the awful user interface), I had a boarding pass.
Now for the next challenge. Security. And let’s just say that that I should had learned a lesson about BHX security and holiday times, with a 20 minute wait to clear.
At least the queues kept moving, and I was cleared quickly. Which helps. Once in the queue to be screened, the process was quick and efficent.
With that done, it was time to play dodge the perfume sprayer in Duty Free – because the next priority was to get coffee. Because. Coffee.
With an Iced Americano in hand, I headed to the International wing of both Birmingham airport – nominally to watch planes coming in, but also to watch for my A320 to arrive too.
So.. it’s summertime. And that means Birmingham Airport is moving its summer traffic at a rate of knots.
Also preparing to depart was an Emirates Airbus A380
There are various debates about the A380 – with proponents and detractors on both sides. But it can pull off one trick with the travelling public – the ability to get young and old to stop and watch the plane move and take off.
Even at Birmingham Airport (which gets two of them a day visiting).
I also noticed the inbound Aer Lingus A320 pulling into the airport. That was my cue to head to the gate at number 43.
I was cleared at the gate with my boarding pass zapped. With that formaltiy complete, it was time to wait again
After a short wait for passengers to bussed off the plane (as they are travelling though the Common Travel Area – and thus deemed a UK arrival), it was our ten to board the waiting flight, our gate was opened – and I took my leave of Birmingham to begin the next adventure….
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