Friday, 11 July 2008

Terminal 5 and the 'joys' of flying with BA

With excitement, hedged with a little bit of fear and trepidation, after the recent press mauling that BA received over Terminal 5, Mrs B and I made our way to the very terminal . From recent experience of Heathrow we left ourselves what we thought would be plenty of time to get to our allotted ‘meet and greet’ appointment (aside 1). From almost the moment that we saw the signs for Terminal 5 luck deserted me and my life started to spiral horribly out of control. There was so little traffic we arrived half an hour early, a shady looking individual grasped the car keys from me before the car had even stopped and we found ourselves deposited on the pavement. Having checked in online it took us a matter of minutes to deposit our luggage and not much longer to get through security. So what is so bad about this you may be asking yourself? All I can say in my distressed state is:

Mrs B
Duty Free
Oodles of time……
My advice to any husband or boyfriend, don’t use Terminal 5 unless you are travelling on your own

BA better then Air Canada, but it was a close run thing
Still suffering from the after effects of Mrs B’s Terminal 5 retail therapy session, I staggered to our plane, accompanied by some rather large carrier bags. We made it to our seats in good time and the plane left the gate exactly on time, proceeded to the runway, fired up the engines and then juddered to a halt. 45 minutes later we trundled back to the gate and the intercom system burst into life…..

Had the additional weight of Mrs B’s purchases proved too much?

Had the airline equivalent of Nafman given the pilot the wrong direction?

Evidently not. Now forgive me if I get a bit technical here but apparently the two bits of metal coat hangers that hang off the front of the plane and predict something or other were buggered. BA then announced that while this was new cutting-edge technology that had only recently been installed they were not able to fly without it. If one of the wings was hanging off or one of the engines was smouldering away or, god forbid, the entertainment system was out of action I could understand it but being held up because the ‘something or other that had only just been introduced that attempts to predict something that probably won’t happen’ was having a bad wire day(aside 2). Thank god Mrs B had insisted on direct flights. For once our itinerary had the luxury of being able to cope with a delay of up to 21 hours before the vacation plans went tits up. Various announcements were made over the next two hours - some even good. Such as the message that the entertainment system was going to be switched on. I was fairly relaxed at this stage and the itinerary and I happily indulged ourselves in making a choice from the 25 or so films on offer, while Mrs B indulged in a little triple z action beside me. Then there came the announcement that the prongy things (sorry to get technical again) were having a really bad day so the flight might have to be rescheduled until tomorrow when they might be feeling a little better. Eeeek. That meant we would fail to make the Alaska bound cruise ship, which was bad enough, but since our friends Mitch & Joyce were getting married on the ship and I was down to be Best Man, a total and utter disaster. Itinerary and I went into panic mode and even Mrs B drifted briefly back into consciousness made the comment “Oooh, that’s not good!” before drifting off again. (aside 3).

Mrs B proves that falling asleep is
actually easier then falling off a Log

I'm sorry but how is it possible to sleep like that?

I tried talking to one of the trolley dolly’s to see what possibilities we had for finding an alternative flight out to Vancouver. He seemed more interested in making sure that he had not chipped his nail varnish or was he playing it cool? After 4 hours the prongy things evidently felt better and decided to give the ball back to the pilot. Another short delay while they put in some additional fuel, to cater for Mrs Bs purchases no doubt, then we were back on the runway. Four and a half hours late but thankfully, with full entertainment package working, we were underway. Is it just us or is everyone’s holiday just a drama ready to unravel?….. Next time on the BlackLOG find out if we manage to squander the remainder of our 16.5 hour leeway or if we actually make the cruise.

---------------------------Till next time--------------------------

(1) This is a system where you turn up outside of the terminal you are flying from, thrust your car keys into the hands of the shadiest looking individual you can find and hope he turns up with your car at the end of the trip. If you have not booked this service in advance there is a high chance you have just donated your car to a less than worthy cause. The next time you see it, it is likely to be shown on the news, parked through the window of a jewellery shop.Just think This could be your car

(Return to text)

(2) This reminds me about a story I heard about British horse racing. There is a law that states that there have to be two ambulances at a race meet at all times in case of an accident to a jockey. At one meet a jockey fell off of his horse and was put in the back of an ambulance. Instead of whisking him off to the local hospital the ambulance parked up and waited for the race meet to finish. Why? Well, because if the ambulance with the injured jockey left the course there would only be one ambulance in attendance and the meeting would have had to be abandoned. I understand the jockey died before he reached the hospital. Fantastic British logic at its very best. (Return to text)

I would have liked to have got my hands on a video of two ambulances crashing into each other as they raced to pick up a fallen jockey (The winner, no doubt, would have the privilege of letting the jockey spend his last few hours on Earth with them). Unbelievably YouTube were not able to provide such a video but I thought this one was pretty damn good Head on horse action. Incidentally why do the British Horse Racing Authority bother with ambulances when they could cut out the middle man and just have two hearses.

(3)This reminds me of a flight Mitch told me about. He fell asleep almost as soon as he got on the plane and woke up about 5 hours later as everyone was getting off. He was a little bit bemused that the airport seemed very familiar as he was sure he had never been to Montreal before. Then he realised that he was still in Vancouver and the flight had not left the ground, he had slept on the runway for the entire time. Incidentally this was the same scheduled flight that caused Mrs B and I so much trouble on our last ski trip and was just one of the many reasons that we were flying BA & not Air Canada (Return to text)
Mitch re-enacts sleeping through his delay. No sorry, he's actually fallen asleep again. Mrs B & McG are such a bad influence....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your Social Comment

This is just your opinion so feel free to say what you like...