Hangin’ at Heathrow

Jan 12, 2009 by

We’re on our long layover at London’s Heathrow Airport right now, so I guess technically it is now Monday to us.

When we went to check in at the Grand Rapids airport, the desk agent was impressed that we were traveling internationally with no checked luggage! I said, “well, we have four flights on three different airlines, what would you do?” and he said “ahh, good planning.” (we have frequent flier tickets, you get what you get)

I decided to splurge a little for our outgoing flights and bought a one-day pass to the Admiral Club (the lounge for American Airlines). With a 3-hour layover in Chicago, and a 7-hour layover in London, it seemed like a reasonable investment. I’ve found that I no longer really mind long layovers (especially in the winter time) because you are more likely to catch flights if the prior leg has been delayed. It’s also nice to not be constantly panicked about the short time you have to catch the next flight.

So, anyways, I bought the one-day pass (assuming that Joel could come as my guest – this is the way the regular passes work). As it turns out, we were both supposed to buy a one-day pass, but since the agent at the first airport told us it should work for two people, we’ve been getting in to the lounges so far. (BTW – thanks Dave for getting me hooked on airport lounges – now there‘s one more luxury I can‘t live without)

Joel doesn’t sleep well on planes, so the lounge has provided him with comfortable reclining chairs for a few hours of napping on the ground. If you have long layovers, and have paid almost nothing for your flights, I highly recommend the extra expense. I’m trying to figure out some way to justify the expense of a lounge membership for a year, but haven’t managed that yet (maybe a boost to the economy?).

I’m already feeling Treo-withdrawal (even though I‘ve managed to get to Internet twice already). Lately, when I’m bored at an airport I obsessively check email (and more recently the twitterstream) and make all the business calls I’ve been putting off. I find myself reaching for my phone only to find it is not thee. Hmm … maybe it’s like phantom limb syndrome?

There are so many people at this airport, and from all over the world. As we were walking from our gate to the security checkpoint, Joel commented that he felt like a drop of water in a creek, that fed into a stream, that fed into a river of people.

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