Letter from Heathrow: Departure Down Under

Morning at Manly Beach, Sydney

Morning at Manly Beach, Sydney

Tonight we’re in transit, specifically in the airline lounge at Heathrow until our flight departs for Sydney.

Champagne has been consumed, following that moment of relief when one is through airline security. It was relatively painless this evening but it’s still such a gauntlet (even the ‘Fast Track’ can be slow at times): waiting on line, removing laptops and tablets and sometimes belts and shoes; getting behind someone who for some random reason is v-e-r-y s-l-o-w; getting stopped for a random body check and/or who knows what else, waiting on the other side and ‘re-dressing’ one’s self with belts, shoes (if removed), and making sure we haven’t left some important technology in one of the plastic bins. Plus, I always feel conscious of the people following me on line and *not* wanting to be one of the s-l-o-w ones, which inevitably adds to the stress of trying to go fast.

Arrgh.

On the plus side: Heathrow has implemented a new security ‘conveyor belt’ set-up in which there are little plastic dividers/sections for each person disgorging their stuff. I *LOVE* this! It means you have your own little ‘space’ in which your plastic bins sits, between the plastic dividers, and you put your stuff into a typical bin (if you fill one, you push that onto the conveyor belt and start filling another) and the people on either side of you are doing the same thing, without each other’s stuff or each other’s bodies pushing and shoving along. I don’t know if this is becoming standard practice in other airports but this was the first we’ve seen it tonight.

I asked Clive what he most hopes for in our trip Down Under and he said – not surprisingly, as I feel the same when we head to see my family in the U.S. – that he just wants everything to go well and for the family to have a happy time together. I couldn’t wish for more myself.

Clive with his son & family on the Central Coast, New South Wales Australia

Clive with his son & family on the Central Coast, New South Wales Australia

Cheers and thanks for reading. Next week’s post will be from Sydney.

5 Responses

  1. Have a great time Carol and Clive…don’t you just love getting behind someone with the long, twisty, button up shawl, the high lace-up boots, the metal-buttoned shirt and the elaborate belt…I love those security lines! Enjoy your trip!

  2. When I recently traveled from Baltimore to Atlanta, on both sides of my trip I was told that I did not have to take off either my shoes or my jacket. Only had to pull out my laptop. Oh joy! Apparently that means I look old and harmless. Have a good visit!

  3. MarthaB and Eleanor, thanks and you both make me smile!! 🙂

    Why is it that some people wait until they get right up to the conveyor belt before they even start to remove/take off their stuff. One of life’s mysteries.

    Cheers to all long-suffering air travellers.

  4. This, exactly! “Plus, I always feel conscious of the people following me on line and *not* wanting to be one of the s-l-o-w ones, which inevitably adds to the stress of trying to go fast.
    “Arrgh.”

  5. Kim – don’t you love air travel … 🙂 urghhhh.

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