I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

DONE4 lounges now

Yes, the puns on the ticket name never end. I type as I'm sat in the Gate 1 lounge in Heathrow's terminal 4, having arrived just before 8pm despite getting out of my cab at 1845 or so. This lounge is new to me and, indeed, the fourth lounge on my trip:
  1. Gibraltar's Peninsula lounge
  2. Terminal 4's gate 10/Lounge pavilion Terraces lounge
  3. Dubai's Terraces lounge
  4. This one
Mind you that's me stretching the truth just to get a pun, having failed to use it earlier. This could actually qualify as the 5th or 6th lounge (Terraces in Terminal 1, used prior to my one-way ticket to Gibraltar, not actually part of the DONE4 ticket; and the arrivals lounge in Terminal 4 from Wednesday morning, but who really cares about arrivals?).

Been jumpy as fuck all day today. This is like my first trip to San Francisco back in 2001, doubled. Back then that was my first ever long haul flight, the first time I'd ever been more than 1 hour outside of the UK's timezone, and the longest I'd ever spent outside of the UK in one go (2 weeks). Well, now I'm flying double the distance and going for double the amount of time -- although I did in 2002 spend a little over 3 weeks on mainland Europe. The good news is that I tend to only get jumpy, nervous, and frankly worried about what I'm doing when I've got dead time to fill and the football on TV isn't enough to keep me occupied. I panicked a lot today about the stuff I was packing -- was it enough, was it too much, was I forgetting something, why can't I just accept the objective truth that all I really need is a passport, ticket, and credit card, etc etc. But it's all over now because as of 6pm I've had a definite pattern of activity to follow with no time to consider once again the outright madness of my trip.

That pattern of activity, of course, relates to the outright madness of my trip. Upon arrival at T4 I, along with nigh-on everyone else, would tend to head straight towards the check-in desks. Not so today, for as more attentive readers would have noticed I am travelling on a ticket dated tomorrow. When I bought the flights there were no spaces on any BA or Qantas flights to Sydney today and the best they could do was fit me on tomorrow's BA15, but since last week spaces became available. The flexibility of my ticket allows for date and time changes to happen for free, and because of that I was able to queue up at the BA ticket desk today and, like a truly seasoned flyer rather than the charlatan I actually am, say
I have a reservation on BA15 but my ticket is dated tomorrow, I'd like you to endorse this, thanks.
Bish bash bosh, Greg at the desk did it straight off. When I asked for him to similarly endorse the ticket for the BA flight numbers for Sydney-Auckland-Sydney he told me it wasn't necessary, though. Not sure about that but I'll sort it out in Sydney I guess.

So, next stop, fast track security. In these times of heightened paranoia, "fast" is most definitely a relative term, even more so when there's only one scanner working for two queues of people. The most puzzling thing to me though is that not once has anyone measured my hand luggage. I'm beginning to think that all BA (and BAA) staff must have had amazing training enabling them to determine whether a bag fits on the bins purely on sight, since that's now 3 times in a week when my bag -- which fits the dimensions exactly, and to my mind therefore is one that should raise an eyebrow or two -- has gone unmeasured.

Once through security, I'm home and dry. After flying from this terminal last Saturday I am of course aware of where the lounge is, no wandering around like a lost fool this time! And so, opposite gate 10, I present my boarding card to be granted entrance.
You're welcome to use this lounge, sir, but your flight will board at gate 6 and there is a lounge directly opposite that one. This lounge also tends to get quite full.
Well, that's me told -- the charlatan is unmasked and here I am in the lounge directly opposite gate 6. My entrance itself was not without incident, however: the kind lass manning reception asked me for my BA Executive Club membership number, as for some reason it was not on my boarding pass and not associated with this flight (meaning I wouldn't earn all the miles and Tier Points!). Turns out my account is in some kind of triple limbo status with no system agreeing with any other about how slim/podgy/fat a cat I really am. All fun and games, innit.

So, who'd have thought I could write so much nonsense about a simple 2 hour trip from home to this lounge? Mind you the reason I spout so much is not that I'm bored: my first ever work experience assignment was as a journalist on a local rag in Sutton and I twigged the other day that the main reason I write this shit is because I just like writing; I don't mind the sound of my own voice, but I really like the sight of my own text. The fact that some people enjoy reading what I write -- and may even mean it when they say that ;-) -- is icing on the cake.

Mmm. Cake. Time to go see what free scran and booze I can retrieve before boarding my free-scran-and-booze laden 20-odd-bastard-hour flight.

PS, Phil, if you're reading this, ta muchly for the BT Openzone subscription: muchly muchly appreciated. Imagine a little thumbs up symbol in place of this sentence.


Fistynuts said...

What no updates? You can't leave us hanging on like this! :-)

Fistynuts said...

I am reliably informed that WORLD OF DSF will be updated as soon as said DSF gets to a net connection. Don't worry, the WORLD OF DSF still exists!