Sunday, 29 March 2015

Long haul to London

Our trip started the way it was going to continue in that there was a difficult but it was overcome thankfully! First hurdle was in Christchurch due to fog. There had been flight cancellations in and out of both Christchurch and Auckland in the morning which led to flight delays all day. The lady that did our tickets was very doubtful I would get onto the 5.55 flight and then the next flights were all full. I was seriously thinking that I would have to go home and then try again on Saturday. James was confirmed so he got on the flight and then I had to wait with about ten other standby passengers and wait for my name to be called. My flight must have been looking after me as only four of us got on and I was one of them!!

We got to Auckland with about four hours to spare but ended up needing that much time as the link between LA and London was down and so no boarding passes could be printed. Thank fully they got it sorted and we got our boarding passes after about an hour. I had paid for an upgrade on my staff travel ticket but unfortunately the flights were almost full so I didn't get to be in business class with James. Luckily I had an empty seat beside me so had a bit of space. The flight went well and James and I met up on the airbridge. In LA even though we were just in transit we still had to through immigration. I also needed to get issued with a proper boarding pass as only had a standby ticket. We got to immigration security and my fingerprints were scanned and unfortunately they didn't match my passport. I had to be taken into the immigration secured office escorted by a big burly security guard. Luckily as I was in Transit I was priority and got seen quite quickly and was cleared. It was a bit scary though and I did worry at one point that I might get sent back to NZ - I must not look like much of a threat. James was waiting for me outside the door and lovely lady from AIr NZ (who was called Lovely) came to check on me and helped to hurry things along.

We made it to the gate with plenty of time to get my boarding card issued and unfortunately still no upgrade, even James didn't get into business class as it was full. He did get a premier economy seat though and he very kindly let me sit in it and he had my economy seat. It was nice to be in the nice seats with yummy food and a bit more space to spread out and the ability to have a better sleep.

I had a good flight although James didn't fair so well with not much leg room and the flight was much more crowded so no spare seat beside him. We arrived in London on Saturday morning which was a bit odd as we had been travelling for 30 hours and had left Christchurch on Friday evening.

We had a lovely taxi drive through London to our hotel and it felt surreal seeing Daffodils and blossom. Our hotel was right by St Paul's cathedral so after we checked in we had a coffee and then went and explored the beautiful St Paul's. James struggled with the no photo policy so just and to embrace the ambience. He was able to take photos from the top of the dome though as it was outside. I had been up there last time and so didn't go with him as the staircase is very steep narrow. The staircase winds up through the cone and is metal and open so you can see right down so not great for my fear of heights. James enjoyed it though and got some good photos.

After St Paul's we walked across to the millennium bridge and along the South Bank to the London eye. We decided to not go on it though and instead walked over to Big Ben and Westminster Abby. We were starting to get tired so decided to catch the tube home. The queue was really long for tickets so we decided to just jump on the bus. The buses no longer take cash and we didn't fancy having to go queue up again so tried to use our credit card to pay. It only worked for one ticket but the conductor let me on anyway.

So nice to get back to the hotel and then had dinner at the English pub down the road it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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