London (sans bags)

Italy has been really wonderful, a new country crossed off my list, wonderful food, lots of culture… and the only sticking point was leaving it. That is, Florence airport sucked, from not being able to online checkin (thanks BA), to the checkin agent who appeared to have never operated the system before and couldn’t even spell my name right when copying it from the passport, to the ground handlers who decided it’d be funny to leave 33 bags behind… citing weight restrictions, despite some real hefty bags appearing in the baggage hall at London City Airport. It’s amazing how one issue can completely discolour an experience.

British Airways now has a challenge. We have 2 nights in London before we fly out to Santorini, where there are only 2 flights a week, should they not get our bags back to us before we fly out, they might single handedly wreck a holiday. I’m sure that’s what “To Fly, To Serve” really stands for… so it’s time for them to step up and redeem themselves.

To top the bad experiences off, having finally got through arrivals and to the DLR station (Tube light rail), the lady at the ticket counter misheard what we asked her to do and instead of adding £15 each to our Oyster cards, in fact added £50, resulting in a long process to refund the money and more dramas than we needed.

Mum went straight to the hotel after that, the Royal Over-Seas League, while I headed to Victoria Station to meet Mal and Daniel, AFFers who are now based in London. Had a few pints there before picking mum up to head out for dinner nearby at a pub serving gourmet pies.

On Tuesday mum picked Sze Sze up from Heathrow, and we met Del and Max for lunch at Piccalilli Caff. Food was really good, but I was too hungry for my portion size, could have done with a bit more. The “caff” has an adjoining farm, popular with school groups, and a vegetable/flower garden, so Sze Sze and  took some pics there before heading off. We also met Max’s son, Sebastian.

We flew out of LHR T5 on Wednesday, a nice lounge.

Author: Sam Heathfield

I’m in my 30’s, live on the Gold Coast and have a passion for aviation and Qantas. Currently studying.