Saturday, August 12, 2006

Travel from the UK

OK, so of course I am not a HUGE fan of traveling for work, especially only a few weeks before getting married, but to wake up in the UK on Wednesday to the terror warnings was a little too much. We were scheduled to fly out the next day, 8/11, and pretty much all over the news was the fact that even though they had arrested 24 individuals, they still thought up to 40 were out there so the extreme restrictions were imposed on all travel in the UK especially to the US.

So here we are, calling our corporate safety team (who was useless). They reco'd taking a cab to Paris (likely $1,000 or more) and flying out of Paris. We felt that we'd be safest in London since they had the most strict security.

We got to the airport at 6am for our 10am flight. The Flight boarded at 12 and we sat on the tarmac until 4pm. We knew we were in trouble when they said "we are being required to stay here until all the passenger logs are transferred to and approved by the US, and now for a movie". I saw 4 movies during that trip:
1. RV
2. Stick It
3. Lucky Number Slevin (Which was my favorite!)
4. Thank Your for Smoking (Another awesome movie)

We played a game in called "find the Air Marshals" and I won because I spotted the guy next to me within minutes. For national security reasons I won't divulge my keen perceptive skills online. I then ID'd another Air Marshall by how he interacted with my guy. One of my friends ID'd a 3rd, and after we landed we found out that we actually had 4 Air Marshals in Business Class alone! (we were right on our 3 of 4). After we landed I hinted to the guy next to me that he was an Air Marshall (I figured I wouldn't blow his cover while in the air) and he was subtle but let me know I was right, so I thanked him and told him we really appreciated everything he was doing for us.

Final thoughts on London, basically all the prices for food and clothing etc in London were identical to the US but in Pounds, therefore everything costs double! I couldn't believe it and pretty soon you had to stop doing the conversions because it was depressing. Needless to say we spent a lot of money (I didn't have a dinner under $60 and they weren't fancy (and of course in the UK they weren't that good. If you haven't been, just know that they don't care as much about food and the meals are pretty poor).



Dale said...

That is crazy, when all the sh*t hit the fan I was thinking if I knew anyone who was traveling... didn't even think of you!

So what was it that tipped off the air marshall to you? Was it the machine gun and camoflauge?

MrsJ said...

Good to hear from someone who was coming from the UK...I don't think I've ever tried to look for an air marshall, but I'm glad there were so many on your plane.

On prices in the UK - I had to fly through there a few times coming back to the US from Naples and it was depressing even to buy snacks!