Could you imagine a place where so many restless people are hurrying to be somewhere else?
London Heathrow, Terminal 2, is just this place. But the degree of automation has become impressive. We inserted our flattened passports into a scanner, which knew where we were going, our flight number and then allocated us seats and boarding passes!
One large case was sent away, to reappear in Christchurch New Zealand, and our small spotty cases – containing every crucial paper, pill, nightclothes and etc., – stayed to hand.
We had elected to travel by National Express, which meant leaving home at 8.0 am and reaching Heathrow at 11.0 am. Our flight was not until 10.44 pm!The waiting was almost silent: the only announcements are for flights closing, and all information is on the displays. We found a Mexican lunch, and an (early) Italian supper!
The Singapore Airlines 777-300 – with triple banks of 3 seats – seats 300 people, an unimaginable number on such a plane whose wings looked delicately elongated against the evening sky…
We were given a delicious supper, and then allowed to sleep right through until breakfast was served just before Singapore…with the smoothest landing ever.
Breakfast? By then it was evening in Singapore, hot, crowded, and with streams of people hurrying along the Terminal’s shopping ‘boulevards’.
Our onward flight, (Singapore to Christchurch aboard a 777-200) re-programmed to depart an hour later, was delayed to allow passengers from Vietnam to join..but cabin lights glowed brightly enough to prevent sleep that night, and pre-breakfast orange juice came 2 hours before we ate…
And then, suddenly, we were descending into Christchurch – and the Great Adventure was about to begin.