Bussing Back Home – 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
- Lounging around Heathrow T3
- 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?
- Two hours and 20 in Helsinki Vantaa
- AY1335 Helsinki Vantaa to London Heathrow
- Bussing back home
- Long Way Home or short way back?
With me off the plane, and in a part of T3 I’m not sure I know, I did what any normal person would do – and followed the signs to immigration.
Eventually, I popped out of a bit of T3 airside arrivals I recognised and headed for the UK Border.
As usual, I went for an ePassport gate – and managed to break the machine properly this time, putting it into a constantly spinning loop. I don’t know – I seem to have the magic touch with these gates.
Alas, manual clearance was taking … a long time, with a good 15 minutes to clear that queue. And that in the future is going to be a problem.
Recently, the UK Government announced it would allow citizens of the USA, Australia and other use the gates. As such, reliability of the ePassport gate system needs to be solid.
I’ve filed a Freedom of Information request with HM Government – and it’ll be interesting to write about the usage and ejection rates that come from these ePassport gates.
Interestingly, I had a response from the UK Border Force in regards to this – and I’ll be sharing that this week.
With me pretty much last off my luggage was happily doing multiple trips around the belt at Heathrow T3.
At least the containers had been unloaded quickly, and I was on my way
I passed UK customs without a problem, and I was back in the UK.
Back to the Central Bus station.
I checked the clock – I had missed the early coach back home – and I had an hour to kill. I headed back to the Central Bus Station and stopped off at Caffe Nero for a drink.
Luggage to the left of me, coffee to the right, here I am stuck in the middle with you…
With a coffee with strength in hand, I fired up the laptop and knocked out a snapshot of AY10.
That killed about 15 minutes to edit the photos. Soon enough, Coach 210 arrived at Heathrow central to take me back
National Express 210 Heathrow Central to Birmingham Digbeth station
I boarded the bus – and found we were stopping everywhere on the route home. With it fighting to get out the Heathrow Area (the joy of catching anything at peak time in the UK, it was a fight off the M4, on to the M25 and finally the M40 so the coach driver could do their thing.
Add extra stops at High Wycombe Coachway and Warwick Parkway, it was going to be a slow run home – with the coach running up to 25 minutes out of the Heathrow area. It made up a good 15 minutes on the way so by the time it hit Birmingham Digbeth, it was a grand total of 10 minutes down.
With me off the coach and my items retrieved, it was time to play with the Ubers one last time. Sadly, I had a driver who decided to obey the GPS was the best thing in the world – forgetting the route the GPS had chosen was through a closed road.
Eventually, at 8 pm in the evening – I was at my front door – the end of another long haul run.
Finally: Long way or short way home?
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