Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

2006 November 9
by Ryan

Tuesday afternoon I said goodbye to Bulgaria and started my long flight home. I flew American Airlines home through Heathrow. Amazingly the flight into Heathrow was on time. Even the captain came on the intercom and said, “Well, it looks like we’ve hit Heathrow at one of those vary rare times when they aren’t busy so we’ve been given permission for our final decent.”

I had about a 2 hour layover in Heathrow’s Terminal 3. I don’t recall what the other terminals are like, but terminal 3 is essentially a high end shopping mall. It is also the only airport I’ve been to where people are actually shopping at these overpriced airport stores.

When I arrived at the terminal I checked the board and saw that my flight to Boston hadn’t been assigned a gate yet so I bought a bagel and sat down to play my Nintendo DS. I got up every ten minutes or so to check the board and each time the plane hadn’t been assigned a gate yet. After about 40 minutes I see a stream of people running down the hallway to the gates. That’s weird. I went back to my Nintendo, but those people made me nervous so I checked the board again. My flight was now labeled as “last call”. What the heck – just 15 minutes ago it didn’t even have a gate and now it’s last call!? I guess I won’t be taking a bathroom break after all. I ran down to the gate where they check your boarding pass and herd you into a small waiting room where everyone sat for about 30 minutes before boarding the plane. Last call my arse.

The plane was a 777. It wasn’t full so I didn’t have anyone sitting next to me – a rarity for my travels during the last year. I was happy to see TV’s on the back of each seat. Unfortunately they didn’t have on-demand programming. You had to watch whatever was playing on the 10 channels without the ability to stop the movie or start another one. Interestingly, I was on a USAir flight from Rome to Philadelphia 7 years ago that had this capability, yet I have not seen it since. What’s up with that? I thought technology was supposed to get more advanced as time went on.

I settled into my seat and watched The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and Talladega Nights – both of which I had already seen in Sofia, the latter only 2 days previous. It was still funny.

We got into Logan about 20 minutes early so I was feeling pretty good about the flight experience. That all changed when I was the only one at the baggage carrousel still waiting for my luggage. Yes, American had managed to lose my luggage. I filled out the lost luggage report and walked outside where my sister picked me up. I will say it was a lot easier not having to carry those two huge duffel bags.

About 2 minutes after we left the airport it started to rain and didn’t stop for about 36 hours. Super.

We stopped by my sister’s house to meet her new dog Budda. Budda was afraid of me, but I still tried to smother him with my love.

I was still on Sofia time so I woke up about 4:30am unable to sleep and started organizing a bunch of crap in my old room. It’s amazing how much you can get done in a day when you start at 4:30am. Wednesday morning I went out and got my Mustang GT re-registered. Oh, it was nice to be able to drive it again. Too bad I actually have to follow traffic laws in America.

The next step was to get a mobile phone set up. I already had the phone – a Blackberry I used with T-Mobile before going to Bulgaria – so I just needed to get a new T-Mobile SIM card to be up and running again. T-Mobile has some deal where if you sign up you get a free phone so now I have a crappy Nokia as a backup to my Blackberry.

Wednesday afternoon I got a call from the airport saying my bags were located and would be leaving Logan at 4pm. I could expect them in 4-6 hours. That’s either a really slow truck or it was going to be making many stops before mine. Well, at least they found my luggage.

The day ended with a big dinner of Mexican food and watching the Daily Show and Colbert report.

I wake up this morning (Thursday) and still no luggage. Very nice. 4-6 hours was now running just over 14 hours. I called American and they said the baggage was on the truck and would be delivered around 9:30am. Great. It was now 8am so I hop in the shower. As soon as I put shampoo in my hair the doorbell rings. My bags had arrived. I answered the door in a towel, still soaking wet and covered in soap and shampoo. Thank you very much. Well, at least now I wouldn’t have to wear the same underwear for a third day.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. Miss_Cinderella permalink*
    November 9, 2006

    Well, well…seems that when people have no direct flights to the place they are going to, their luggage will get lost most the time. Anyway,once I had a same case with the gates and my flight…but well, you have to be aware, and then you can catch the change 😉

    And oh….Budda can be a nice lil’ dog 🙂 Will you show us some pics from it?

  2. Joel permalink*
    November 9, 2006

    Ah, the indignities of modern air transport! I got that look forward to in a little of a week.

    Yeah, those 777s had the state-of-the-art entertainment systems when they first rolled off the production line in the 90s, but now it’s noticeably dated—analog, tape-based.

  3. DMFsmooth permalink*
    November 10, 2006

    Welcome Home dude!

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