it took quite a bit of time and far more energy that i had to get here, but i made it monday, jan. 11, though i was supposed to make it to sweden the night before.
it all started when the weather started getting shitty in london. i booked with british airways to get the miles, so obviously, i was connecting in london.
we got to the airport, and i figured i would be waiting at my gate for two hours since they tell you to get there so early for international flights. once we found the check in for my flight, we saw the nightmare of airtravel. the flight had been delayed from 8:35 until 10. there were about 300 people in line, it seemed, and we weren't moving at all. plus, a few minutes in, i got an e-mail that my connection at heathrow had been canceled... bullshit.
since the flight was at 8:35, we got there around 5:30, which was when check-in started. we waited in line until almost 8:30. then once i finally got to the counter to check in, i had to pay for the extra bag, and thank god i didnt have to pay for overweight, too. as it is, the small duffle i packed full with all my liquids, shoes and nice, wool coat cost $60 because i didnt pay for it online the night before when i checked in online and got my seat. if i paid for it then, it would have only cost me $46... ugh. either way, too much.
the agent re-booked my connection for only an hour later than the original flight. keep in mind, i only had an 1:30 layover, and this new flight was scheduled for an hour later than the original.
so i get checked in, i get my boarding pass, and the guy tells us we have to take my luggage to the x-ray ourselves... another nightmare. it took about 15 min, but still, i thought i was going to have to leave moose there to fend for himself with my giant bags.
we somehow managed to make it through ok, but i still had to go through security. here's the best part... with all the threats and air terror these days, they are going on and on about heightened security at airports. i get up to where i can actually see the check point, and they have a full-body scanner! yeah! sign me up for this new technology so i can get through this line a little faster so i dont miss my already-delayed flight. but wait, theyre not even using it! ugh.
what is the point to spend all of this money on something that doesnt even get turned on at one of the busiest airports in the country, (and probably up there on the list of busy in the world)? oh well. whatever.
so i get through the scanner, and i totally forget about the swiss army card in my bag. its in a tiny pocket in the back part of my purse and i always forget its there because i never use it. and of course, theres a 2 in. blade in it... and thats too much. the metal utensils and glass glasses in first class arent just as dangerous i suppose. so the tsa agent takes my bag to the screening area and gets it out. he motions to his supervisor to ask if its ok for me to take it on the flight with me, but i tell him i dont care, and he just takes it anyway.
i finally get to my gate around 9:30, four hours after parking the car in the structure. there is nothing. its like being back in newark airport. there is practically a shopping mall out with the gates and all, but once your in, nothing. not even a vending machine where i can get a bottle of aquafina for $5. its a good thing we stopped at el pollo loco on the way, because i probably would have gone ape shit crazy if i hadnt eaten anything by that point.
but it gets better. we have to take a shuttle out to the plane. this flight is on a 747, which is one of those giant planes with two levels. apparently its too big for the gates at LAX, so you have to get bussed out. like kids from a bad neighborhood going to the better schools.
my boarding group finally gets called to get on the bus, and i end up standing next to this super valley girl, euro-traveler, LA hipster chick who will not get off the phone. "like, hey? when i was in paris?, they were so nice to me?" bla blah bla blah bla blah bla blah... after almost five hours, anything gets annoying to me, and what would annoy me in a regular situation is only amplified.
we get to our gate... which is actually an independent structure five minutes (by bus...) away from the international terminal. you can take the elevator (if youre handicapped) or you walk up a 300 ft. ramp to the jet bridge. then you take the jet bridge for another 150 ft. or so before you have to walk through the plane, to the back of the plane... and pass all of the wonderful business class bed-like seats. if nothing is more depressing than a 10 hour flight, its sitting back in a regular row in coach, with no leg room, and knowing that someone just a few feet away is in a bed. i wish i had a million dollars, because i so would have upgraded.
i get to my seat, and its on the window. at least ill have something to rest my head against for this longer-than-a-work-day flight.
eventually, a little after 10:15, we leave the "gate" and taxi down the runway for takeoff. in la, when planes take off, they go out over the pacific ocean then turn back to go over land to their destination, unless, of course, your destination is to the west... then if you turned back, youd be going the wrong way...
i checked out the in-flight movies before i left, so i was very much looking forward to watching "the time traveler's wife" on the plane. luckily, after about 15 minutes in the air, i could finally get to it.
one of the only good things remaining in air travel, on really long flights, they still serve food... for free. but not only was i going to be in the air for 10 hours and get two meals, they also have complimentary alcohol on british airways flights. oh how non-american airlines still take care of their customers...
i, of course, didnt realize this until the chick sitting next to me gets her red wine, but its ok. i am so exhausted by this point that i dont really care anymore.
"pasta or turkey?" said the flight attendant. and i dont really want a thanksgiving meal on the plane, so i go for the lasagna. it was decent, especially for plane food, and it hit the spot.
i finished my movie, found rascal flatts on the music on demand station, and looked for an outlet for my computer. apparently the plane was too old to have a plug, so i just checked out the map.
it was somewhere near the hudson bay where i last had my eyes open, and other than a few restless moments when i would wake up to hear "love who you love," i was pretty much out until the northern pat of the uk.
i woke up to a pretty sunny sight out the window, and our continental breakfast was served not long after.
yogurt, some oj, and thats about all i ate of it.
as we made our way down to london, the sun faded behind us, and i officially lost a full day to travel.
we were approaching our destination, and as we descended on the city, i looked out the window to see the cars driving on the "wrong" side of the road. when i was turning my head to look out, i said to myself, they drive on the other side, its ok. but when i actually saw it, i swear to you, i thought, theyre driving on the wrong side of the road!
eventually we landed, and i was in the uk again, even if it as for just a few minutes.