A Travellerspoint blog

May 2017

Why does every good trip start with that cesspit Gatwick?!

View USA & England (St. Albans and Shaftesbury) & Latvia & Israel on vikramonthemove's travel map.

large_5f4790f0-eb1f-11e9-b997-65cc24ca44bf.jpgThe very cool "smartphone" type TV screens on airbalticI've come to believe that God punishes me for all my sins in life by letting me fly through Gatwick [Gatwick-travel-guide-1254033]. Over the last 10 years, so much has changed in my life - good, bad, ups, downs, etc. The one thing that's been consistent is how sh*t and inefficient this airport is. And needless to say, every time I connect through Gatwick, they're always shuffling airlines and terminals.

I left that London that morning in the wee hours of the day. yes, wee hours. 4am! The Easybus pulled up at 440a and I was in Gatwick by 6a. I schlepped it to the N terminal and caught the train to the S terminal from where my airbaltic would depart. Their counter hadnt opened yet and I was so darn sleepy - sat around there waiting for it to open (seating is so pathetic here).large_5f480620-eb1f-11e9-b2b4-05f6a7f1351c.jpgThe very cool "smartphone" type TV screens on airbalticIt finally did, by 7a. I checked in and thought I could use the BA lounge as airbaltic codeshares this flight with BA. But turns out that they'd let me use the lounge only if I were flying a oneworld or oneworld codeshare flight. Shame!

headed to Pret, bought myself something to eat (and something for the flight) and whiled away my time for a good hour or so. Did some window shopping and eventually headed to the gate. LGW is so crowded, and seeing as it's LCC disneyworld, you're often surrounded by riff raff unlike LHR that has a more genteel crowd in comparison.

My flight was full! The queue itself spilt out of the boarding area into the neighbouring gate (where they were boarding for Faro, Portugal) and several of those passengers joined our queue! LOL We had to tell them that we were headed to Latvia.

Anyway, the plane was a brilliant CJ2000, you could tell it was new. I liked the ipod style screens instead of the traditional big ones. Flight departed and I was all set for my first trip to the Baltics. Read my Latvia blog here [travel-blogs/141531/summary]


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Thank God that computer outage didn't affect my flight

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This entry picks up from my return from Israel.

I was pretty concerned that my flight not make it to LHR given the embarassing BA "IT systems" glitch that crippled flights out of LHR on Bank Holiday weekend. fortunately, the end result was a 40 minute delay. The immigration queues at LHR were so darn quiet that you'd never guess that so much drama had ensued the previous night.

I wasn't the hungriest - so caught the Tube to Earls Court [Earls-Court-travel-guide-1253267], checked in and called it a night. I had to wake up uber-early for my flight to Latvia.


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De Paris à Tel Aviv

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It happened rather quick! I alighted from the Eurostar and chose to leave my luggage at St. Pancras. They have an option where they can directly deliver the luggage to their centre in LHR as well, but apparently you need to give them a day's heads up.

The walk from st. Pancras to the Tube stop takes forever.

I made it to Oxford St., walked around that area and caught the tube back to St. Pancras. Ate at Pret, and then caught the Pic Line to LHR T5. Checked in, had lunch at wagamama (after checkin) and boarded the flight to TLV. Needless to say, it was crowded.

And the weather... LOL, it was pouring after what was a really sunny day in London!


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I'm home - when do I leave?

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large_5ca08cd0-eb1f-11e9-b38c-effc877376b1.jpgArrival at Heathrow - first time I got a good view of 2 aerobridges getting ready to attach to the planeMy entry into London [London-travel-guide-364480] wasn't the most dramatic or anything, other than I slept very well and was totally ready for a recharge. The arrivals lounge was nearly closing when I went but begged them to stay open enough for me to shower. Fortunately, even though my SEA-LHR and LHR-VIE were on two separate PNRs, the BA desk at SEA were kind enough to check my luggage through to VIE.

I hopped on the Pic Line and alighted at Pic Circus. Felt so odd NOT to alight at Earl's Court as I'm normally used to! I wandered around that area, popped into Superdry for a bit, had an awful chocolate shake at Godiva's and headed back to LHR, this time to T3. Picked up my boarding card and headed to the AA lounge which was infinitely better than the BA one. Our flight to VIE was a mile away from the lounge, and was full. The flight pushed back on time and it was smooth sailing from here on.

Follow this journey in my Austria blog [travel-blogs/141276/summary].


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The first of several arrivals

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Cut to Saturday. I was waiting for my passport to be returned from the Consulate of Israel, I was already packed and had to have left 2 days prior. Yep, S was without me in Austria for the first 2 days! It was a nice sunny day in Seattle. The FedEx folks came home by 930a. So I had ample time for a last round of packing, some telly and the uber came at 4pm. My BA flight to Heathrow [Heathrow-travel-guide-1254813] would leave at 7pm.

To me, the coolest sight in SEA-TAC was seeing BA and Virgin Atlantic parked side by side! VS flies its 789 to Seattle daily. I spent time at the lounge, boarding was promptly called by 630p and we were airborne shortly after 730p.


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