Turns out I was a little optimistic in my previous post, about hoping to be home in 18 hours. We get to Chicago OK where we have a three hour stop over. We all board the plane pretty much on time, maybe 15 minutes late. We sit, the plane warms up like an oven – it’s obvious the air conditioning isn’t on. The pilot tells us that there is (and I kid you not) leaking water in the coffee pot and the engineers had to turn off the air conditioning to get it sorted. Turns out the pot of coffee defeated the engineers and the plane was taken out of service and we all had to get off the plane. Now I’m sure it was more than a leaking coffee pot, especially if it was linked to the air conditioning but the pilot did tell us initially that it was the coffee pot. BTW, the same people who blocked the aisles on the way onto the plane did the same thing on the way off the plane. Honestly, how hard is it to put your bag overhead and sit down and let everyone else get on? Why do some people insist on rearranging the entire contents of their carry on bags whilst standing in the aisle?
So we all get off the plane and they tell us that a replacement is on the way. Starbucks is still open and right next to our new gate. They do a roaring late night trade. Time ticks on by. We are told that there is a plane but it needs to be fully catered and of course our luggage switched from one plane to the other. All of this took about 2 and a half hours, but by the time we took off we were 4 hours and 15 minutes late. The crew had one hour before they could no longer fly, so I guess we should consider ourselves lucky. There were some people on the flight who had been at Chicago since 5am waiting for this flight – they must have been shattered.
So anyway, it’s a pretty uneventful flight. I keep myself busy listening to music and watching some TV shows on my iPhone. The choice of in-flight movies was abysmal. I nap occasionally and we get fed.
We are on our approach to Heathrow, not that far from the ground. All of a sudden the plane starts to speed up – unusually so. At first I thought we must have come in too high and had to accelerate to get to the ground quicker. But next thing you know we are back up in the air. Turns out there was another plane still on the runway and our landing had to be aborted. Of course this mean another lap around Heathrow before we could land again, adding yet another 10 minutes to the flight.
So instead of landing at 10am we land at 1430. At least Heathrow is pretty much deserted at this time on a Saturday afternoon and there were no immigration queues, bags came off super quick and I was the only person on the bus to the car park, so the driver dropped me off at the car.
From leaving the house in Las Vegas to arriving at my house in England took exactly 24 hours – for 12 hours of flying!