A Last Star Alliance Fling? To Chicago with United Airlines and Air Canada
- An Apology and The Introduction
- To London Heathrow, BMI Lounge, Star Alliance Lounge
- United UA923 London Heathrow – Washington Dulles International
- TSA Shenanigans, United UA221 Washington Dulles to Chicago O’Hare
- InterContinental Chicago, North Michigan Avenue
- One Time Exception: Chicago Water Taxi
- Hyatt Regency O’Hare
- United UA474, Chicago O’Hare to Toronto Pearson International in United First
- Maple Leaf Lounge, Air Canada AC856 Toronto Pearson International to London Heathrow
- Homeward bound (this entry)
- No more Star Alliance?
After getting off the plane at the far end of T3, it was time to hike to Immigration. Thankfully, they have travelators to help you along for these long slogs – it’s appreciated. Soon enough, I went through the UK border (I selected a person), and was cleared to enter the United Kingdom after a minute or so. It was then down to luggage claim, where the belt decided to take its time, before roaring into life – with my bags for once seemingly in the first container as they were within the first 10 bags.
During the wait, I checked the coach departures to Birmingham, and found there was an earlier coach (which I’d try to get on if the bags came). It was then the race from T3 arrivals to the Central Bus Station, and straight to the coach.
Seemingly, I had a “By the book” coach driver, who wanted to limit my bags. I quick repack, and I had shrunk the bags down to something that the drive was happy to accept.
There are some drivers who don’t care… there are others who do things by the book. The fact the coach was ½ empty for the entire trip is besides the point.
National Express Coach 210 London Heathrow Central Bus Station – Birmingham Digbeth Coach Station
After getting on board it seemed like I was the last person… as usual. Soon the beep beep beep of a reversing signal was playing and the coach was pushing back
The coach took its time clearing the Heathrow complex (which was still in pre-Olympics ramp up stage at this time… so long ago.
I did shoot this is March/April 2012..
After clearing the Heathrow complex, the bus made its usual route to Banbury up the M40, taking in the then spring countryside.
Whilst leg room isn’t good, it certainly isn’t bad with the modern coaches that ply the Gatwick to Birmingham/Wolverhampton route
Continuing on the M40, the coach trundled to Coventry (where there was an extended layover for a driver change), then Birmingham Airport and finally Birmingham Digbeth Coach Station.
From Digbeth, it was back into a black cab for the final leg home, depositing me back at the entrance of the flat.
A few more minutes after hauling the stuff through the gates, and indoors, I was back at my front door – ending another trip.
Next: No more Star Alliance?