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Old 04-04-2002, 11:18 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: ORD
Posts: 188
3/22 - 3/29: ORD/IAD/LHR - LHR/ORD

Arrived at ORD at 1:30 pm for a 4 pm flight and checked in for the international flight at the United counter. Of the four of us in the group, only I wasn't checking any baggage which simply ment I had to lug my stuff around for a few hours.

The line for the security check was quite long but moved quickly. None of us had to undergo a full search getting into Concourse A. By 2:30 we were sitting at gate C7 of Concourse C (see http://www.ityt.com/gallery/ORD for pics). The flight prior to ours hadn't even finished boarding yet. Walked around a bit and grabbed the above photos to kill some time.

Flight 1626 (a B737) took off from runway 27R for a flight time of 1 hour 30 minutes to IAD. The flight passed without incident. We were seated in rows xx and xx.

Arrival at IAD left us with a 2 hour window to grab a bite to eat and to proceed to gate C7. I thought that was rather nice of them to keep the gate #'s the same for the transfer from one plane to the next.
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Old 04-04-2002, 11:18 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: ORD
Posts: 188
3/22 - 3/29: ORD/IAD/LHR - LHR/ORD

Arrived at ORD at 1:30 pm for a 4 pm flight and checked in for the international flight at the United counter. Of the four of us in the group, only I wasn't checking any baggage which simply ment I had to lug my stuff around for a few hours.

The line for the security check was quite long but moved quickly. None of us had to undergo a full search getting into Concourse A. By 2:30 we were sitting at gate C7 of Concourse C (see http://www.ityt.com/gallery/ORD for pics). The flight prior to ours hadn't even finished boarding yet. Walked around a bit and grabbed the above photos to kill some time.

Flight 1626 (a B737) took off from runway 27R for a flight time of 1 hour 30 minutes to IAD. The flight passed without incident. We were seated in rows xx and xx.

Arrival at IAD left us with a 2 hour window to grab a bite to eat and to proceed to gate C7. I thought that was rather nice of them to keep the gate #'s the same for the transfer from one plane to the next.
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Old 04-04-2002, 11:31 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: ORD
Posts: 188
3/22 - 3/29: ORD/IAD/LHR - LHR/ORD

IAD to LHR:

2 hours at IAD is 2 hours too many, in my opinion. This is true at least in the section that we were in. It's drab and low ceilinged, and pretty lifeless. http://www.ityt.com/gallery/IAD for the one photo I was able to grab.

The closest place to get something to eat was more than a 15-minute walk. It was a TGI Fridays. The menu was limited and the service slower than hell. It's probably because we were Yankees below the Mason-Dixon line but you'd think they'd be quicker about things, knowing that people have planes to catch.

By the time we hiked all the way back to gate C7 (at which point I begin to regret not checking my larger bag), our rows had already been called.

Boarding the B777 Overwater I discovered that my seat (31G) was a bulkhead. Having never been on 777 or a flight this long, I had a heck of a time finding the tv monitor, and disliked the lack of foot room.

The flight itself was...difficult. I was anxious and I couldn't sleep. We got 2 full meals and a snack on the way over, and arrived 6 hours and 15 minutes later at LHR. Local time was just after 9 am.

LHR is a busy busy place. Getting through customs and immigration was a breeze taking only 30 minutes. Pausing to snap a photo of my three traveling companions ( http://www.ityt.com/gallery/LHR ) after changing over some of our moneys to pounds sterling, I was immediately stopped by a police officer. Apparently photography is not allowed /anywhere/ at LHR. This fact wasn't obvious until we got out of the baggage claim area where there are signs posted all around the checkin areas. The officer was nice but terse. "No photography allowed." Just a simple statement but with a knowing eye. I thanked him and we moved out of the baggage claim area.

We made our way over to the London Underground stop and (eventually) were able to purchase a 7-day "Travelpass" for zones 1 and 2 of London. This gave us unlimited rides between and within zones 1 and 2 on the tube for the next 7 days. The cost was just over 12 pounds, and was an excellent deal. We really got our moneys worth through the 5 days there.

The tube ride to central London was about 40 minutes with the first 20 being above ground. It gave a good overview of the suburbs of London. I was amazed that just a few hours before I was on the east coast of the US and now I was on the eastern half of England.
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Old 04-04-2002, 11:31 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: ORD
Posts: 188
3/22 - 3/29: ORD/IAD/LHR - LHR/ORD

IAD to LHR:

2 hours at IAD is 2 hours too many, in my opinion. This is true at least in the section that we were in. It's drab and low ceilinged, and pretty lifeless. http://www.ityt.com/gallery/IAD for the one photo I was able to grab.

The closest place to get something to eat was more than a 15-minute walk. It was a TGI Fridays. The menu was limited and the service slower than hell. It's probably because we were Yankees below the Mason-Dixon line but you'd think they'd be quicker about things, knowing that people have planes to catch.

By the time we hiked all the way back to gate C7 (at which point I begin to regret not checking my larger bag), our rows had already been called.

Boarding the B777 Overwater I discovered that my seat (31G) was a bulkhead. Having never been on 777 or a flight this long, I had a heck of a time finding the tv monitor, and disliked the lack of foot room.

The flight itself was...difficult. I was anxious and I couldn't sleep. We got 2 full meals and a snack on the way over, and arrived 6 hours and 15 minutes later at LHR. Local time was just after 9 am.

LHR is a busy busy place. Getting through customs and immigration was a breeze taking only 30 minutes. Pausing to snap a photo of my three traveling companions ( http://www.ityt.com/gallery/LHR ) after changing over some of our moneys to pounds sterling, I was immediately stopped by a police officer. Apparently photography is not allowed /anywhere/ at LHR. This fact wasn't obvious until we got out of the baggage claim area where there are signs posted all around the checkin areas. The officer was nice but terse. "No photography allowed." Just a simple statement but with a knowing eye. I thanked him and we moved out of the baggage claim area.

We made our way over to the London Underground stop and (eventually) were able to purchase a 7-day "Travelpass" for zones 1 and 2 of London. This gave us unlimited rides between and within zones 1 and 2 on the tube for the next 7 days. The cost was just over 12 pounds, and was an excellent deal. We really got our moneys worth through the 5 days there.

The tube ride to central London was about 40 minutes with the first 20 being above ground. It gave a good overview of the suburbs of London. I was amazed that just a few hours before I was on the east coast of the US and now I was on the eastern half of England.
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Old 04-11-2002, 11:04 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: ORD
Posts: 188
LHR to ORD

On the 27th, after five quick days we made our way back to LHR. Another day of perfect weather, we left Piccadilly Circus shortly after 12:30pm via the Underground to Terminal n at Heathrow. The flight was scheduled for 4:15 pm.

While we were in line to check in, a United employee approached us with an offer. The flight we were to board was pretty full and they wanted to see if we would stay another night at a hotel near Heathrow, and then take a mid-morning flight out. The offer was: 1 night stay, hotel meal (dinner and breakfast), and $800 US United credit. We asked about a possible seating upgrade but he refused, claiming the business class section was already full.

Upon reflection, we should have taken the offer, but the short, "high-speed" nature of our five-day journey had left us drained and we really just wanted to head back home.

After waiting for the other 3 to check their bags, we head upstairs to begin a wander to Gate 21 of Concourse G.

Given the amount of time we had, we wandered Heathrow a bit more, something we didn't get to do when we first arrived. After picking up a cheesy gift or two at a gift shop, and grabbing a snack for a late lunch, we proceeded to our gate.

We had arrived so early, in fact, that the gate hadn't been opened to allow passengers access to the seating area. After about ten minutes some United staff arrived and opened the doors. Our tickets were checked, our passports were checked, and we proceeded to the seating area of Gate 21.

One of the things to note is that bored flight staff will search anyone that comes through early. There were two people in front of us as we again had our tickets and passports checked, so the staff let them proceed through and flagged our group of four for a full search.

Shoes off, bags open, we shuffled to a partitioned area with a couple tables. Our shoes and bags were all swabbed with some residue detector, which was then placed in a detection machine of sorts. Our bags were gone through in a rather haphazard manner. The whole process took no longer than 5 minutes for all four of us.

We boarded flight USA959 (a B777 Overwater) and found our seats. There was plenty of room in the overhead compartments for this flight, which was nice. My seat was 32H, and most importantly, not a bulkhead.

We settled in were read to back from the gate when the brand new LHR air traffic control computer went off line.

20 minutes goes by. 40. 60. Finally, 90 minutes later, we begin to back away from the gate. At least they were nice and served water and let people get up to go to the washroom. But being 90 minutes late means that we were now in a long line of traffic that wants to depart as well. After about 10 minutes of wandering the various pathways of the LHR airfield, we took off.

The pilot, who's been very informative through the whole delay, announces that we'll be flight a bit farther north and a bit faster to make up the time. Apparently a number of people were going to be catching another flight out of ORD to SEA and we were going to be really cutting things close.

When he mentioned flying further north, I had no idea he meant over the southern tip of Greenland. It was a spectacular sight. We were flying into the setting sun but had plenty of light to see the spectacular cliffs and huge icebergs. With my camera I was able to take a number of good photographs from 39,000 feet. I'll post more as I scan them in but Heather has posted one already.

We arrived at ORD only 30 minutes late, so we made up quite a bit of time. We were the only flight to have arrived at the International Terminal at ORD in a while, so there was no one else at customs and immigration. Unfortunately I happened to pick the slowest of the 6 available lines, which meant I was nearly the very last person to make it through. It was frustrating after a long flight and a long day.

Our ride arrived about 30 minutes after that and we were on our way home.
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Old 04-11-2002, 11:04 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: ORD
Posts: 188
LHR to ORD

On the 27th, after five quick days we made our way back to LHR. Another day of perfect weather, we left Piccadilly Circus shortly after 12:30pm via the Underground to Terminal n at Heathrow. The flight was scheduled for 4:15 pm.

While we were in line to check in, a United employee approached us with an offer. The flight we were to board was pretty full and they wanted to see if we would stay another night at a hotel near Heathrow, and then take a mid-morning flight out. The offer was: 1 night stay, hotel meal (dinner and breakfast), and $800 US United credit. We asked about a possible seating upgrade but he refused, claiming the business class section was already full.

Upon reflection, we should have taken the offer, but the short, "high-speed" nature of our five-day journey had left us drained and we really just wanted to head back home.

After waiting for the other 3 to check their bags, we head upstairs to begin a wander to Gate 21 of Concourse G.

Given the amount of time we had, we wandered Heathrow a bit more, something we didn't get to do when we first arrived. After picking up a cheesy gift or two at a gift shop, and grabbing a snack for a late lunch, we proceeded to our gate.

We had arrived so early, in fact, that the gate hadn't been opened to allow passengers access to the seating area. After about ten minutes some United staff arrived and opened the doors. Our tickets were checked, our passports were checked, and we proceeded to the seating area of Gate 21.

One of the things to note is that bored flight staff will search anyone that comes through early. There were two people in front of us as we again had our tickets and passports checked, so the staff let them proceed through and flagged our group of four for a full search.

Shoes off, bags open, we shuffled to a partitioned area with a couple tables. Our shoes and bags were all swabbed with some residue detector, which was then placed in a detection machine of sorts. Our bags were gone through in a rather haphazard manner. The whole process took no longer than 5 minutes for all four of us.

We boarded flight USA959 (a B777 Overwater) and found our seats. There was plenty of room in the overhead compartments for this flight, which was nice. My seat was 32H, and most importantly, not a bulkhead.

We settled in were read to back from the gate when the brand new LHR air traffic control computer went off line.

20 minutes goes by. 40. 60. Finally, 90 minutes later, we begin to back away from the gate. At least they were nice and served water and let people get up to go to the washroom. But being 90 minutes late means that we were now in a long line of traffic that wants to depart as well. After about 10 minutes of wandering the various pathways of the LHR airfield, we took off.

The pilot, who's been very informative through the whole delay, announces that we'll be flight a bit farther north and a bit faster to make up the time. Apparently a number of people were going to be catching another flight out of ORD to SEA and we were going to be really cutting things close.

When he mentioned flying further north, I had no idea he meant over the southern tip of Greenland. It was a spectacular sight. We were flying into the setting sun but had plenty of light to see the spectacular cliffs and huge icebergs. With my camera I was able to take a number of good photographs from 39,000 feet. I'll post more as I scan them in but Heather has posted one already.

We arrived at ORD only 30 minutes late, so we made up quite a bit of time. We were the only flight to have arrived at the International Terminal at ORD in a while, so there was no one else at customs and immigration. Unfortunately I happened to pick the slowest of the 6 available lines, which meant I was nearly the very last person to make it through. It was frustrating after a long flight and a long day.

Our ride arrived about 30 minutes after that and we were on our way home.
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