Saturday, 12 November 2011 06:16

Five Hours of Sleep at the Airport and then Another Two in the Lounge.

Written by  Ken Ku
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London Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 London Heathrow Airport Terminal 3 Ken Ku

My adventure to Düsseldorf started yesterday at about eight o'clock at night from Manchester Piccadilly train station.  Joe and I walked from his flat to the train station hoping to catch the earlier train but unfortunately we missed it which was no big deal since there was another one right afterwards.  Thankfully it was a direct train to Euston Station in London and would arrive about 2230.  I knew that I had about an hour until I had to get to Paddington station where I had to catch the Heathrow Express.

It was a good thing that I had missed the first train because it gave me time to buy a ticket at one of the kiosks for the ticket which was £69 for the one way ticket.  If I had waited to buy the ticket on the train it would have been about £139 or something ridiculous like that!  The trains in England have probably been one of the more expensive countries that I've been to.

Once I arrived at Euston Station, I didn't have any time to waste, I had to get to Paddington right away and since I still had to take the Underground from Euston Square.  The walk to Euston Square station is very close, only about a two minute walk from Euston Station and I was able to get on the underground relatively quickly and at every station my anxiety just kept on rising.  It was already 2315 to Paddington station and there was quite a distance to walk to the platform where the Heathrow Express is and I still had to buy a ticket!  I quickly bought a ticket for the train and got with about five minutes until the train departed.  This was the last train to Heathrow, if I had missed this train I would have had to sleep at the train station and that was not an adventure that I was ready for yet.

I arrived at Heathrow Airport but unfortunately on my boarding pass it didn't tell me which terminal to go to so I got off at the Terminal 1 and 3 stop.  I wandered at the elevators there for a few seconds and then a couple police officers came up and asked me if they could assist me so I told them my situation.  They were very helpful and escorted me until we found a sign that said Scandinavian Airlines would be in Terminal 3.

I went up to the terminal to find it completely empty.  It wasn't too bad though, at least there were still people working and a couple of other passengers camped out for the night.  I walked around to find a bench that didn't have the arm rests between all the seats and tried to find a way to lie down for the night.  I found one right under an escalator and was able to get about five hours of sleep, though I wouldn't actually consider it sleep.  For most of the night, I wanted to block out some of the noise from the cleaning machines so I put in my earbuds.  However, I kept hearing voices but whenever I opened my eyes there were one one around me!  I was seriously having hallucinations!  Perhaps it is because I was super alert so that no one would steal my bags.

Around 0500, the SAS counter finally opened and there were people dropping off their bags and and elderly couple woke me because they wanted to sit.  They were very apologetic and very nice, but I reassured them that it would it was no bother at all and that I would be checking in soon myself.  I soon then checked and exchanged the rest of my Sterling for Euros and headed through security and found my lounge.  It was only 0600 at that point and I hoped that it would be open at that point.

When I checked into the No. 1 Lounge they had a breakfast bistro with fruit and yoghurt parfait, croissants, and coffee, and even eggs benedict!  After a while, I explored the lounge a bit and found that they even had a spa, a cinema, a games room, as well as this dark room called 'The Snug'.  I went inside and they were just little caves with soft mattresses shaped in the dimensions of the caves you'd sleep inside with lots of pillows and a small reading light.  The over head light was a mood light that changed from a lavender to a dark read.  Naturally, I went inside and just slept for another two hours.  Finally I had at least two hours of real sleep!

When I finally woke up at 0915, I needed to get to my gate so I checked the screen to find out that my flight to Copenhagen had been delayed to 1055!  There wasn't even a gate assignment for it!  So then I just had to sit around and wait for that to work out and figure what to do.  Finally at 1100 there was finally a gate assignment and everyone rushed to the gate.

Once we boarded the plane and was about to depart, we found out that the delay was due to bad weather/visibility in Heathrow which grounded the flights in Copenhagen for over two hours!  I'm pretty sure that we were able to depart on time but I had fallen asleep by the time we took off.  At least I'm on my way to Düsseldorf to see a friend that I've not seen since graduating high school!

Last modified on Monday, 14 November 2011 07:04
Ken Ku

Ken Ku

A photographer/printmaker/perpetual wanderer going on a backpacking adventure around the world.  Follow my journey as I discover new places and meet new people!



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