After a truly wonderful time of visiting with family and meeting 2 members of the next generation, I took my leave of the East coast of the US and hied my way to the airport after enjoying a farewell dinner with my brother and sister in law.
I was flying Air Canada from BWI to London , by way of Toronto, and I learned that they are very efficient. There was no one eve. at their check-in counter until exactly 2 hours prior to my flight time. There May (!) have been some grumbling I. the line as we awaited their presence but I met a lovely person from Nova Scotia and we had a comfortable chat – and perhaps a grumble or two – as we awaited their presence. Once they arrived, everything went smoothly. The odds were in my favor and I was granted a TSA pre-check so I breezed through after checking my bag through to Heathrow. I enjoyed additional conversation with my Nova Scotia acquaintenance until time to board.
The plane was relatively small, requiring us to descend a ramp to the tarmac and then climb stairs I to the plan. A wheelchair bound gentleman had a bit of a rough go at climbing the stairs but he made it and after the usual, “someone’s in my seat … oh that’s not row 12?” We took to the air and said goodbye to Baltimore and the US.
We arrived safely and on time in Toronto airport where we herded into our appropriate lines to get our passports verified, and then to await our next flight. I said “hasta” to my Nova Scotia buddy and headed off to wait and what a great waiting area! A tablet was in front of every seat! You could enter your flight number into the device and the flight status would then display in the lower corner. Even better you could order beer from the tablet and it would be delivered to your seat!
Air Canada herded us aboard right on time with a minimum of fuss. I had a window seat over the wing so I anticipated several hours sleep but that never materialized . I did enjoy my role as herd beast during the flight. As the window seat occupant I hated to waken the two gentlemen seated next to me to attend to my biological needs, but when the man on the aisle got up to attend his. we all got up and queued up accordingly ….. mooo.
We arrived at Heathrow with no incident and then were herded into our appropriate customs line.. UK vs fast-track vs European vs i-passport vs the rest of us. The line moved quickly and I was soon released to see if my bag had also arrived. It had and was waiting next to the carousel for me. Yay!
I had bought my ticket for the express train into the city on line from home so all I had to do now was find the ticket office to exchange my voucher for an actual ticket … easier said than done. I must have walked by a zillion kiosks before finding the actual counter, but I did find it, only steps away from the platform. The train arrived within minutes and within the promised 15 minutes we were pulling into Paddington station in London. After my very first time of “minding the gap” I began to feel that I had truly arrived in London.