Category: Europe Sept-Oct 2006

September 15, 2006

London: use an oyster card and save money

Filed under: Europe Sept-Oct 2006 - 15 Sep 2006

The introduction of the Oystercard for the Underground in London is a lifesaver for the tourist stuck for change, and what’s more, it saves you a bomb on short trips around town. For example, GBP3.00 for a trip …

September 3, 2006

Lost Luggage, Indian Call Centres and Wayward Couriers

Filed under: Europe Sept-Oct 2006 - 03 Sep 2006

I spoke too soon yesterday! The lost luggage saga continued until 3:35 pm this afternoon, when my wayward bag finally arrived. But not until I had made numerous calls to Pune in India (although the airport is 16 km away, you can’t ring up BMI there, the airport switchboard is only allowed to give you the number of the Indian Call Centre). Interestingly, the only numbers listed in the UK for BMI other than their Admin HQ in Castle Donnington (switchboard closed on Saturdays) are all Indian numbers!

September 2, 2006

Welcome to flying domestic in the UK and we lost your luggage…

Filed under: Europe Sept-Oct 2006 - 02 Sep 2006

Our first post on this Europe trip has a happy ending, but didn’t look that way to begin with!

We had a good flight on Singapore Airlines to Singapore, but the SQ flight to the UK was delayed 90 minutes or so for technical reasons (and yes, we were waiting on the plane!). We made up some time, arriving about 40 minutes late at Heathrow Terminal 3, collected our bags and dashed off to our connection in Terminal 1 on BMIBaby to Leeds Bradford airport in the north of England.

Note: Immigration was quick for us, my UK passport allowed my wife Helen (Australian passport) to come with me through the UK/EU immigration gate.

Customs was a walk-through. Getting from Terminal 3 to 1 is a 10-15 minute trolley push. When you come off the last travelator you have to double back for about twenty metres to find the trolley route to the Terminal – it’s a bit of a push uphill! You arrive in the arrivals hall, so for departures take the lift on the left up one floor.

BMIBaby uses e-tickets, you go to one of the many machines at their check-in area and follow the prompts. We identified ourselves by a Kris Flyer frequent flyer card (you’re asked to put in your frequent flyer memberships when you make the booking, or we could have used the credit card used to make the booking) and the tickets were printed out. Then we dropped off our check-in bags at the counter and continued to Security.

Note: Security for UK flights is a bit all over the place at the moment. There are instructions on the Heathrow and Airline sites, but not all personnel on the ground seem to be up to speed. For example, you can theoretically take a lipstick on board but after the first security check a woman checking the boarding passes was telling everyone that no cosmetics of any kind were allowed, much to the distress of a few ladies. Some airline crew personnel who were passing told us that a lipstick was permissible, and  I might add that at the next security x-ray check Helen had no problem with her eyeshadow.

The BMIBaby 1 hour flight to Leeds Bradford was not crowded and the cabin crew pleasant; it was also the first airline I have travelled on where I could have bought a toasted (fried) bacon sandwich “with Heinz Tomato Ketchup” as a snack!

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