Tuesday, March 30, 2010

T-1 Airbourne

I would love to claim to be one of those big souls who easily let their bug bears go. Sadly though, this is not the case. Around December, I delivered firm instructions to He-Who-Manages-Our-Finances-and-Holiday-Currency to convert sterling into dollar. HWMOFaHC chose to ignore this. The rate was then around 1.58-1.6. In the last month I requested/nagged daily. Then I panicked when it hit 1.41 dollars to the pound and decided to take unprecedented action and do it myself. Given the amount we were going to change, this was going to pay for at least one dinner in the US! I started stalking Amex and Travelex until one came up that worked, and committed. When we turned up at the airport, the rate had worsened by 13 decimal places. Turns out that if you order Euros or Dollars online through Amex, they guarantee the rate. This is our travel tip numero uno.

Anyhow, the Hubs and I kicked off our trip as we always do, with fish:

He claims this is a romantic date-like experience. I know that this is really to keep me away from duty free, but let him have it. Therein lies the romance, I guess. Sadly though, we had to rush it since the lady at the check-in confirmed that the additional security checks on American flights meant boarding was often delayed. What I'd forgotten was that Virgin always gets a raw deal at Heathrow, ever since the dirty tricks campaign from the late 90s. I've always loved the Virgin blimp over the (delayed) London Eye gimmick. Totally worth getting lousy slots at BAA airports. They won the war on wit. Besides, even if they pay their crew less, they still keep them strike free, happier and in the air. I don't think I've ever heard of strike actions at Christmas or Easter. All the crew I've met have been helpful and cheery, very unlike the belligerence I expect from BA.

The rush to the faraway gate was pointless in any case. The plane landed while we were queueing for a rights-defying search. If anyone doubts the impact of terrorism, the boarding area of a US-bound flight would throw that into relief. Shoes off, crutches inspected, coffees emptied, bags unpacked, boobs caressed, crotches groped, underthings played with. The upside is that it gives waiting passengers time to check out the other passengers, several of whom were virtual billboards for crimes against creativity and independent thought. There was even a guy in navy linen, fly at half mast, wearing a fedora and carrying two Starbucks*. There is entertainment in everything!

*we then saw him the next day at 8 am, in the same clothes, with the same coffee combination!

1 comment:

An American Girl in London said...

all kinds of crazies want to go to america! we have to be careful!!