A Travellerspoint blog

Get your act together, British Airways

View 2009 Portugal, France & California on alexchan's travel map.

We did an online check-in for British Airways last night and it said on the Boarding Pass that bag-drop opens at 5am. So we thought we'd be able to drop our bags after breakfast then head into the city for a few hours and return to the airport for boarding the evening flight.

Unfortunately when we got to the airport we were told that bags can only be accepted 2 hours prior. So there goes our day of doing stuff in London ... not that we had anything specific in mind. The alternative was to pay a hefty GBP8 to store each of our two pieces of luggage.

Having worked with an airline and at an airport before, I understand the logic and logistics ... but it does say on the boarding pass that bag drop opens at 5am. There are airlines and airports that offer an early check-in service (because they try a bit harder). The check-in lady said "Yes, I know ... I've told them many times to fix the information on the boarding pass ... the information there is definitely wrong".

Fortunately we ran into some Air New Zealand London-based crew who offered us their briefing room as a refuge for a few hours.

Arriving in Portugal I found it strange to be amongst people who had the names Fernandez, Nunes or Pereira that weren't Indian. Growing up in Malaysia, people with Portuguese names were always 100% Indian in appearance ... they are descended from the Portuguese either locally or from South India.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Portugal Comments (0)


View 2009 Portugal, France & California on alexchan's travel map.

We met a former colleague of mine, Catherine for lunch today at a Malaysian restaurant Jom Makan just off Trafalgar Square. Mmmm.

Then friends of Kim at a wine bar then a West End show after that ... my very first time at a London show despite my previous visits. We saw Avenue Q which was hilarious! Really my kind of humour ... it touched on all sorts of dodgy subjects like racism, porn andschadenfreude. Do you know what schadenfreude is? It is the joy or pleasure of seeing someone else's misfortune.

Moving on to something else you didn't know about ... I read an article in the paper few days ago that the London Underground has warmed up over its life. You know how earth has low heat capacity ... it stays cool ... that's why we have cellars. But over the years, the people and the machinery have warmed up subterranean London to the extent that it now needs air-conditioning, and this is progressively being introduced in certain areas.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

Putting the right foot forward

View 2009 Portugal, France & California on alexchan's travel map.

With the time change from New Zealand to the UK, day is night and night is day. We've previously found that if we stay up till about 6pm then getting a good night sleep, our body clocks will be more or less fine in a couple of days.

Unfortunately the local pub didn't start serving dinner till 6pm ... so we were in bed a little later.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in England Comments (0)

A stressful departure

View 2009 Portugal, France & California on alexchan's travel map.

We had a stressful departure as Kim had bought a Navman GPS for driving around the UK ... after loading the UK/Europe maps it stopped working. Fortunately we live closed to the Navman warehouse and they opened up after hours so he could swap the unit out.

It is funny that once things like that are sorted, you palpably feel the relief and calm.

But then in Los Angeles, our continuing flight to London was very full. Being on staff tickets we had to wait for commercial passengers to be accepted before we could be given boarding passes ... and guess what there was already a huge backlog of people on staff tickets waiting to get on ... some from today and a few unfortunate ones left over from yesterday.

Yes, after more stressful moments we were given our boarding passes and happily winging our way to London. Naughty thoughts soon come into my head ... "Damn! We could have booked our London hotel at a cheaper non-refundable rate rather than at the higher cancellable rate." Whereas 20 minutes ago I was standing in the line hoping like hell we'd get on the flight. Aaah! Human nature.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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