Sleep? What’s that concept? Off to Heathrow T3 – Long Way Home
In this adventure:
- I’ve got to stop looking at odd routings and thinking they’re good ideas
- Sleep? What’s that concept? Off to Heathrow T3
- Lounge Fight – Cathay Pacific and American Airlines Lounges
- AA99 London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare
- The Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- The Nutella Cafe
- Fooding Around Chicago
- The Canon 100D – Good for aviation photography?
- Camera shift – from EOS 6D to EOS R
- Back to O’Hare, Air France Lounge
- AY10 Chicago to Helsinki Vantaa… with Air Italy?
- 2 hours and 20 in Vantaa
- AY1335 Helsinki Vantaa to London Heathrow
- Busing back
- Long Way Home or short way back?
Sleep? What’s needs that concept? Off to Heathrow T3
To say I had a crappy run-up to this trip would be akin to saying “another day in the life of someone who is trying to bash a VMWare Horizon system into some sort of obedience”.
In addition, during the day – I wasn’t’ feeling overly hot, so by the time I put on my out of office assistant and walked home from the office – I was running late again. By the time I got my bedroom at home, my body told me to get some rest.
The next thing I knew – it was 8 pm. Time to finish packing.
To be honest, I could have done with more rest – mainly when I would need to hit the ground running when I landed in Chicago. But it seems my body wasn’t wanting to do that game.
I got the ski bag of doom packed out, as well as the purple spinner all loaded. I also decided on the hand baggage bags for this trip.
I’ve been using a Hot Tuna rucksack that is plenty spacious… but can be overpacked way too easily (I once fitted 16kg of crap in one for giggles). To control myself – I brought the new Lufthansa Backpack into play, along with the ever falling apart side-bag which is still doing a sterling job.
That’s not to say that the rest of the luggage was in tip-top condition. The suitcase handle has a mind of its own, and the ski blade bag has seen… what’s the term? Duct Tape fixes everything.
None the less, at 1:50 I was on the kerb outside my block of flats waiting for an Uber… and I released I forgot one thing.
Nothing important. Just the Canon 6D… the camera and the main thing I actually needed this trip
I ran back into the flat, grabbed the camera and ran straight back into the cab for the ride to Digbeth Coach station. Thankfully, an understanding Uber driver is a wonderful thing in the world.
Ahh, Digbeth at 2 am in the morning. Home of taxi drivers chatting, people who aren’t awake me with my luggage traipsing through the terminal
Thankfully there was only a short wait after I arrived – and before I knew it – Coach 212 to Heathrow Airport had pulled in.
I think my timing is getting a little better on this front.
NX212 Birmingham Digbeth to Heathrow Central Bus Station
Price Paid: £40.80 return
Boarding the coach, it seems National Express has been investing in checking tickets, with them investing in bar code scanners and electronic data capture systems – as opposed to paper lists.
This is a good step forward for the company.
Boarding the coach – there were a few people on it – but not enough to make seat selection an impossibility. Rather – it was sparsely filled.
With the coach loaded, it began the journey that would take it through Birmingham Airport, Coventry, Banbury and Heathrow.
I was hoping to take advantage of this and get some sleep. Sadly, on local roads, I got near enough nothing. However pulling on trunk routes out of Coventry, I managed to doze off for near enough 2 hours on and off.
Also I got to practice something too.
Not the best sleep I’ve had on a coach ever (and boy – did it mess up my hair), but trust me – it would do to start the day.
Getting off the coach, I grabbed a trolley and my bags for the first great push of the day to Terminal 3.
It feels good to go here. Turning to Terminal 2 on the last trip felt… wrong.
I popped out from the tunnels and at Departures.
I headed to Zone A – The American Airlines Premium Check-in area in the vain hope that didn’t have to wait too long, and I could get in the lounge fast to unwind
Unlike last time, where it was closed until 5:40 in the morning – people were at desks and checking luggage in at 5:20 in the morning -and more importantly, accepting people for check-in.
This is a good thing.
There was a pre-departure interview to carry out. With that requirement satisfied, my bags were accepted for travel, and a boarding pass issued.
It was time for the next major hurdle to jump over – security. Whilst entering Terminal 3 from Zone A gives you great access to the main security gates, I strongly advise people to walk down a bit to FastTrack security if you have access to it
It takes a grand total of 5 minutes to queue up, be screened and be out of the security zone – whilst being compliant. That’s the sort of speed airport security needs to be
That, and you skip the wonder that is Heathrow Airport Duty-Free. Which is never a bad thing per-say.
With security done and dusted, there was a trip to Dixons Travel needed. Why? The Skullcandy headphones I used during the last trip had decided to die a few days before travel.
So what did I replace them with? More the same. But in a snazzy colour scheme. I just like the sound these have.
The one thing I noted was how quiet T3 was. I’ve been through here at various times – but this time – it just felt quiet.
With that done, it was time for a choice of lounges. This time of morning I have the choice of:
- The British Airways Lounge
- The Cathay Pacific Lounge
- The American Airlines lounge
Sadly, the Qantas lounge was closed until well after my flight departed.
Do I even need to tell you which ones out of the three I visited?
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