British Travel = Total Joke ? discuss....

Posted by Craig Wednesday, 10 June 2009 ,

Blogging in-flight (but not in-air)
Thanks to British Airways, 'The Worlds Favourite Airline' but sadly 'Not the Worlds Most Punctual Airline' this post comes from in-seat whilst my BA flight to Dubai is stuck at gate A18 of Terminal 5. Yes no surprise, like every BA flight I have been on in my life, it's delayed ! 2 hours this time due to some problem with one of the tips on the wing. Of course the time it takes to do the Engineering work is 1.5hrs- but we still have to get the Engineers to the aircraft. No doubt they are stuck in Aberdeen or somewhere and have to fly in. Come to think of it, it is lunchtime right now- so I'm guessing they won't turn up for another hour or so. Why is everything so complicated ?? A classic comedy of errors.

Prediction: 3hrs minimum delay, likely will have to swap aircraft at some point.

Getting to the airport - early morning disaster
I always like to take public transport to the airport wherever possible. I've got an optimised regime. Taxi to Cambridge Station, train to Kings Cross, Tube to Paddington (optimised in terms of lifts), Heathrow Express to the airport. Of course today was a nightmare as the majority of tube drivers in London decided to go on strike.

To the tube drivers... I know public sector workers don't live in the real world, but surely you've realised there is a recession ? I think the last thing we need is to cripple the capital by not allowing ordinary hard-working people to go and do their jobs. Why don't you just mount a publicity campaign to get your point across ? Actually, I know the answer to that one- because then we'd know how much you get paid and then there would be zero sympathy for you. Far better to make everyone's life a misery. The next time I'm in India with a bus driver that works really hard to survive, a tear will come to my eye at the thought of you in your unionised environment working away merrily feeling so hard done by.

Got to Kings Cross this morning and queue about 1 mile long for taxis (reckoned at least 1hr wait). Went to catch bus, only to be hit by rain. A stroke of luck spotted taxi and ended up grabbing that to Paddington. Of course I've saved the receipt (£15) to claim this back from the Tube Drivers Union. Yeh, I know I won't get the money back, but I'll sleep better knowing that some downtrodden workers Union payments will have funded the need for someone to spend close to 1hr writing me a letter telling me to go away and no doubt justifying their actions.

Terminal 5
The one good thing about todays travel experience is Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Absolutely superb in terms of experience and amenities (including shops you'd actually want to buy something from). Actually, it's better than Cambridge for shopping (probably not a good analogy though).

Things were so good I had to keep reminding myself that I was at an airport in the UK. Not quite the usual experience of dirty walls, no aircon, the usual buckets every 100m to soak up the dripping roof. As usual let down by no trolleys though.


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