A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about heathrow

Day 1-- Outbound

Canada Water to Shanghai... And every disco, I mean plane, we get in!

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Having not got much sleep (from excitement and a slightly deflated airbed) we were up early and left Josh and Henna’s with 4 and a half hours till our flight- perfect start! We arrived at Canada Water station looking like two of the Teenage Ninja Turtles (without the cool masks and bandanas) and realised pretty quickly that apparently rush hour doesn’t end at 9am as we assumed and a busy tube is no place for two oversized packs. For size reference Izzy could literally fit into her bag. Hitting our first hiccup we rerouted via the overground, tube and then train before we reached Heathrow just over an hour later than our original plan. We were pleased we allowed so much time otherwise our trip may have been over before it began.

Feeling a little sweaty and already wondering if we had packed too much we went to check in; the easy part right?! Wrong apparently... with no return flight from New Zealand all Virgin staff went in to meltdown. After an hour of faffing, on their part, a manager overwrote the problem and our bags were on our way! Through security- simple! It was then time to find somewhere for a lovely last English supper and traditional airport pint before scouring duty free. With over an hour to our flight we checked the board for our gate and in big red letters saw ‘gate closing’... how is that possible?! Cue sprint through London’s biggest airport to the furthest gate possible... only to sit on the plane for an hour and wait for everyone else to board! All that needless worrying and anxiety, but at least we were officially on our way to starting our trip!!

Around 11.5 hours later and at God knows what time we landed in Shanghai excited we were half way there. We headed to the transfer desk with our passports and visas ready to find we couldn’t actually continue on the journey without a flight booked out of New Zealand (getting very worked up that we should have been told that in England) we looked for flights; well Izzy did on some unrealiable WiFi in front of some unhelpful staff, as my phone didn’t work as China helpfully have Google disabled (helpful to know for our visit later). Booking literally the first flight we came across, more issues continued as they couldn’t find our tickets on their database. Probably as they tried to check literally 30 seconds after the transaction completed. Eventually it refreshed and we were allowed to proceed to 'Quarantine' around an hour after our arrival. Apprehensive about what this would entail, we followed a man who didn’t say a single word to us on a 15 minute tour of the airport. Quarantine, we found out, consisted of a man stamping our boarding cards and sending us down a corridor then closing the door behind us. Left alone in we had no idea what was going on and eventually wandered out to the departures area. With a rather unimpressed initial opinion of China we had around 4 hours to waste until our next and final flight.


Posted by Bears on Tour 13:14 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged flying shanghai airports virgin traveling heathrow drama outbound_journey Comments (1)

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