Nothing shall last forever in this world, including my time in this fairytale, full of culture Prague city! But I am glad to move on to the next part of my trip, an awesome 6 days in London, the magical land of kings and queens that once ruled us. It can also be said to be the birthplace of English, I guess so. Time to use my perfect Singapore English to communicate, I just had that magical and unique feeling when I am on my way to London, perhaps started while onboard this flight from Prague to London Heathrow. I just had that ease and mindset of being at home, perhaps due to the increase in mental safety. Being able to see and read the words and signs, but also understand well. Obviously, our English can’t be compared to the brits, but still definitely on the understandable side. After about a week in Europe, where I have to point and draw, trying to infer meanings and thoughts, I felt so welcome in London. Happy as a 3 year old kids, I definitely make good communication and interaction with the flight attendant and also the UK Border Control agents. Life is perfect when you can say what you want to and go where you want. Perks of having English as your first language.
Alright, back to the point, sorry people, I think I have a habit of talking out of point too much. Today is different, after 2-3 days of perfect weather in Prague, today was gloomy, strong winds and raining by the time I depart to the airport. I had booked the airport transfer from Grandior Hotel to the International Airport. I would recommend this way too, after all public transport is quite a hassle and the transfer only cost 21 Euros, cheap and definitely much more convenient, for 3 person and couple of bags, the ride was definitely reasonable. I had check out after breakfast and was waiting at the lobby for my driver to come pick me up. Timing was tight as it appears to be past the agreed time and yet the driver was nowhere to be seen, me, being always the paranoid one when things doesn’t goes as plan. I approach the hotel staff to give a call to the driver, it turns out that the driver has called to informed that there would be a delay due to the weather and traffic. Rain was getting heavier on my way to the airport and traffic was bad. Speaking about luck, I am just screening my watch every min hoping that I will not miss my flight. Visibility was really low, driving overseas seems so different, the wind, the fog, it is pretty challenging to me. The driver was great after all, he seems to take some shortcut, going past farms, houses and the mountains, scenery was pretty great actually, but I really didn’t have the mood to enjoy nor to snap a picture, sorry guys. After all I am worried of missing my flight and also worried that the driver is driving me to some isolated place to rob me, HAHAH, I am really paranoid, but hey, it’s always good to maintain a high sense of awareness. My guard only went down after spotting some planes and realised that we are near the airport. By the time we arrive, the rain was so heavy and the wind is super strong, imagine it, the SUV was also blown a little to one side by the wind, that’s how strong it is. I will share more about this while talking about the flight later. Waiting to board this tinny little bird!
My baggage became drenched due to the heavy rain and I enjoyed my very first luggage wrapping experience! Costing about 100CZK for my 3 bags, hey, my heart felt pain too but decided to go ahead after worrying that it will be drenched on the cargo later while it was being loaded to the plane. And here come the worse, I swear, my worse fear came, the snobbish rule following British Airways check in stuff refuse my baggage because it was overweight and I have to pay around 60 pounds, hell no man. After some please and help, he decided to accept one and I have to ease the weight on the other one. Definitely my worse flight experience ever. After that came the news, flight delay, weather. I guess that pretty sums up the bad news for the day, not before realising that my time in London was also cut short LLL.
With the boarding pass and here we go to clear customs. Best thing to do when you experience such stuff and also plenty of time to burn, EAT, that’s the best way. Grabbing some stuff from Paul, here I awaits for my flight, pretty helped by the free wifi too. Boarding war largely delayed by about 2 hours actually, but time actually wasn’t really hard to spend, with my mum catching up on emails and me playing with my phone and instagram, however it is worth noting that the Prague airport is actually very sparse, do not expect much activity or shops like the Heathrow or Singapore Changi “Shopping Centre” Airport. I might also have gotten a couple of nice mug that represent my stay in Prague, hoping to remember every nice experience whenever I drink from it. Boarding was soon announce, similar to other Europeans airlines, BA offers the kind of slim line seats on board intra Europe flights. Known as Euro Traveller & Club Europe, the only differences between economy and business is the better food and beverage, lounge access and the middle seat being kept free, with a sort of table on it for you to share the space. It is worth noting that most internal flights seating are in a 3 – 3 configuration, so in business, you seat in a 2 – 2, either a window seat or an aisle seat. I really find it no difference from a economy ticket, seeming the most valuable offering from Business class would be the fast track ticket in Heathrow, to escape the ridiculously long queue. That’s the middle seats that will be empty in Business Class, like Seriously? the leg space was sufficient though, for a short flight like this.
To sum up, the flight was actually quite pleasant, the air was good and definitely cooling on board the aircraft. Leg space was sufficient too. Another point to take note was also the catering, throughout my flights in Europe, you do actually get catering on Lufthansa and BA but not on the Iberia Air, which makes it kind of like easy jet or Tiger Air in Singapore. I am pleased with the cabin crews of British Airways, although definitely not as good as the Singapore Girls, their crew are polished and exhibits well hospitality. It is worth noting that Europeans/Americans airlines service standards are different from the Asian carriers. I was served a cold BLT sandwich on this short haul flight which I gladly go with some white wine, the sandwich was seemly delicious which had crispy bacons which I still can remember now. I am actually hungry at this point. To do a comparison between Lufthansa and BA, I would say that the catering were on par with each other, no fills yet delicious meals. However I prefer Lufthansa Seats, despite the “leather” like seats on BA seems to be more comfortable, it gets really hot after a while and your back will sweat after landing. In terms of flight entertainment i would say BA is better? At least they provides some shared screen as in the picture, although the view out of the window is definitely more interesting.
Landing at London was actually scary for the inexperienced me, with the recent multiple air crisis and the paranoid me, I just had these weird thoughts in me. On our approach the strong cross wind actually could be felt onboard, with the plane actually jerking up and to a side, speaking about my virgin experience about the winds in London!
Finally I have reached London, landing in Heathrow, seriously, it is famous for a reason. Perhaps for being on the wrong side, it definitely lives up to its name of being the busiest airport in London. If you are planning a transit or departure there, definitely plan for more time as everything takes time here, from clearing customs to the transport. It is also huge, so plan extra time for travels between places. After all it is a well maintained airport with lots of shops. After a brisk walk, I arrived at the customs, seeing the queue, I seem to just puke and swallowed my puke back in. the queue is so freaking long, I mean like, it is about 500 people in the queue or even more than that. Clearing the customs almost took up an hour, I mean like seriously time wasting man. Really a downturn to my excitement in London, perhaps I did spend some of the time enjoying the free wifi and also chatting with a South Africa couple in front of my, whom was complaining too! There came some of my first interaction with a British, being a Singaporean does have it perks as they look me at a different light, like in awed man! Just look at that crowd, the “UK Border” signage sure look exciting!
Upon collection of luggage, I walked towards the Heathrow Connect and Heathrow Express terminals through a well thought but long tunnel. I decided to take the Heathrow Connect as it was much cheaper, furthermore, by boarding at the Airport you actually get the selection of space and seats too, no difference actually. The ride was about 25 mins long, stopping at a few stops on the way to Paddington Station. The train was about to depart when I arrive, therefore I was recommend to board first, buy tickets later. A little new for me but the conductors are actually quite efficient, allowing passenger to buy tickets while at the same time checking for valid tickets, you could even pay with card on a little machine carried by the conductors. Check out these amazing London suburbs and off we are in central London. What’s the best way of you getting to Central London?