En route to Japan

Not at all impressed by British Airways or Flight Centre. Firstly we were bumped to the morning flight to Tokyo and told that it was the only one. Nope, the previous flight is still there and would have lets us get up at a reasonable time. The fact that we were transferred without even asking our permission and lied to about it annoys me.

What annoys me even more is that fact that we are sitting in the centre row near the back of the plane. A bumpy ride and I can’t even look out the window. I specifically asked for a forward window seat when we were booking the ticket and BA and Flight Centre didn’t do it.

Add this to BA’s other faults and in future I’ll try not to fly BA for long haul. I really hope the Qantas flight back from Japan works out better.

I got very little sleep last night after using the internet connection and with the worry of waking up for the flight. It turns out that I could have worried a little less. Daylight Savings ended for the French on Sunday morning, so we had an “extra” hour to sleep in. This caused me great concern when I woke up at what my watch said was 4am but the Zaurus (and acting alarm clock) showed as 3am. It wasn’t until I had consulted the Lonely Planet and web that I could go back to sleep.

The St Michel RER station was only a couple of minutes from our hotel. Trains run straight through from this station to Charles de Gaulle Airport and carrying the luggage was far easier than with a normal metro station. The early hour meant that the train had plenty of free space for our bags. It was by far our easiest trip between the city and the airport.

When we arrived at CDG Terminal 2 we discovered that we still need to catch a bus to Terminal 2B. Had a bit of a wait for the free shuttle, but fortunately we were running early.

Terminal 2B was almost as boring as Terminal 1, the circular grey concrete monstrosity that we had used during our honeymoon, only a lot more modern. We ended up going through passport control twice as the poor signposted tax refund office is outside of control. We had already checked in our goods, but fortunately they still stamped it, with a warning to bring them next time.

From our gate window we could see a now defunct Air France Concorde parked besides the tarmac. It was a BA Concorde that greeted us on arrival at London Heathrow. Surprisingly, the weather was again sunny in London.

One positive for BA was that a couple of nice groundstaff greeted us and the two Japanese tour groups going on the early Tokyo flight and took us in our own bus from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1. After waiting in yet another really long security check queue we finally had a chance to explore the Terminal 1 facilities. There was plenty of seating and shopping and the terminal was clean and bright. Much better than during our arrival. B pointed out Roger Moore and his wife as they walked past us in the terminal.

After spending 11 pounds in the Harrods shop on a souvenir gift for family we were left with 97p. What can you buy with 97p? Not anything from Burger King. Newspapers cost 30p, sweets 49p and there were some chocolate bars for 95p. We bought the latter and donated the 2p to charity. All gone!

Boarding for our flight was delayed for over an hour while a damaged freight door was repaired. It was hot in the terminal and there were no drinks unless you had Pounds Sterling. The shops at Heathrow really should take Euros.

Once in the air, seated uncomfortably, we had teriyaki chicken for dinner. Surprisingly the beef lasagne ran out before B could order it. Food was okay and at least there was some fresh fruit in the salad. Really miss fresh fruit.

Time to try to get more sleep.

Filed under: