Australia, July 2015 Part 1: Stockholm SYndrome
The approach to T5 is so great for plane spotting. No clouds in the sky we got cracking views of numerous early arrivals coming in from the west, and I walked to the edge of the terminal to get a photo or two before entering.
The Lounge has pretty good views too.
I'd actually been pretty fidgety all week. This is quite a stupid set of flights even for me. Until Wednesday morning i had an economy seat on this 9.10am flight to Stockholm but then managed to snag a business class seat, 1A no less (which is the only way I can get into the lounge, being bereft of shiny card since March). This would, on schedule, get me to Stockholm Arlanda for 1230 and give me just over 3.5 hours to swap from T2 to T5 and my Qatar Airways flight. This doesn't sound tight, but if it's cancelled or significantly delayed... and I'm not familiar with Arlanda...
A 6 minute delay popped up, then it corrected back to being on time and a gate was assigned: A3. I'd actually been sat directly above A3. So a quick loo break and then down to the boarding area. Nothing much happening, then some announcements: they want people to volunteer to check their hand baggage in for free, because the plane is totally full. A handful of people do so.
A queue to fast track forms so I join it. Some "don't you know who I am?" types try to ether jump to the front, or just storm straight to the desk and are horrified to discover they need to queue up. Eventually the gate opens and I am in my seat come 0905. Boarding takes forever and people still have insane amounts of cabin baggage.
The captain then proceeded to make one of the greatest announcements I've ever heard on a plane. He comes on to tell us that the T5 baggage system has crashed so they currently don't know what bags are loaded, and this is bad, so there might be a long delay while things get unloaded and loaded back on manually... and then prepares us for the "festive pageant of mime and animation that is the safety demonstration". He understands we might find our phones, or books, or tablets, or some drops of condensation on the windows more interesting, but could we please take a moment to imagine how bored he is talking about it, and how bored the crew are giving the demonstration, multiple times a day? So can we at least watch it? He then plays with the seatbelt sign.
Now, up here I have a switch and above you is a light with a picture of a seatbelt. I have no idea how this works but look what happens when I flick the switch. Magic happens. Light goes on, light goes off, on, off. Being a boy I'd love to play with this for the next 2 hours but I won't, I'll only press it when I really need you to be sat down.
He finishes off with "you should never trust a pilot". Fantastic. The round of applause he got was well deserved. We left late though. An hour late pushing back. I'm not totally panicky, but a bit. As it goes the BA magazines were plenty interesting and then we're in the air, an almost entirely cloudless journey meaning I get great views of patchwork Suffolk - East Anglia looks the same shape as it does on maps and everything! - the Netherlands, Denmark, and then Sweden. I'm intrigued by straight line "roads" (i.e., not roads) carved through forests, and finish the 580th and final level of the iOS game WordBrain, which is excellent and I am sad it's all over. Me and Helen have really enjoyed playing it together. There should be more levels..