The trip didn’t start brilliantly. The previous night American Airlines called and left a message on my work phone to say they were oversold on the flight across the Atlantic and they wanted us to re-route via Chicago but unfortunately they only had two seats on that flight. WHAT?! (stronger language would have been appropriate) Why did they think that I would be happy with that? What did they think I would say “Sure 2 seats is fine, one of us will just stay behind in the airport lounge”? Given how much I fly, I have a high frequent flyer status on American Airlines (because they are part of the same grouping as BA) and so in fact does Chloe (Helen also actually but not the same level as the two of us). Why are they not finding someone else to dump off the flight!?!
After many phone calls by the travel agent she finally spoke to someone at AA and told them to get lost. They said OK. But we hadn’t been able to check in and get our boarding passes. So we went to airport early to hopefully get it sorted out there. Fortunately we were dealing with a BA check in person and he was extremely helpful and after a reasonably length time he managed to check us in and issue our boarding passes for the US flights as well. A reminder again of the shocking service American ‘airlines’ (to encompass all of them) give!
Helen is becoming a bit of celebrity spotter in the lounge. On the trip home from the UK in July she saw Frances O’Connor (no I would have never known who she was but Helen did … Mansfield Park apparently). Yesterday evening she came back from toilet and said ‘Ben Kingsley’ sitting behind us. And now him I know … Lawrence of Arabia; Ghandi … Oscar winner. Chloe kept trying to get a photo of him and eventually got one this morning when we disembarked in London.
The flight from Cape Town to London was uneventful and pretty smooth so we all were able to get some reasonable sleep. We had a 3.5 hour layover in London before our flight to Philadelphia. I was again reminded of the different service level of American airlines. Just checking into the lounge took 5 minutes (not exaggerating). It has never taken me that long to get into a lounge. Usually they just scan your boarding pass and you’re in. Not with AA though – passports; security questions and an access controlled door to the lounge. They did eventually let us in.
As I type this we are mid-Atlantic. I love modern technology … WiFi on planes. Had a WhatsApp conversation with Michael, dealt with some emails and typing the blog. Good use of the 8 hour flight. Hopefully the rest of the travels go smoothly (as they have so far).
Until tomorrow …
P, H & C