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In the grip of Star Alliance

star‘Breakfast?’ Breakfast. What. Just about off to sleep in a tiny Air Canada seat. Airbus A330-300, modern, very little space. Grumpy staff. It’s morning. Sun over Scotland somewhere. In flight maps not working – what good is that for the son of a geographer?

Get a second breakfast from passenger in next seat who’s not eating theirs, but she wants to know how to get to Esher from Heathrow. I know, sort of. London’s grey. Grey. Very rainy. Heathrow transit bus at T3 ‘The journey will take approximately 7 minutes to Terminals 1 and 2. Security is our top priorrrriiii…..’ Groan. Security checks again on the same bags checked in MTL – who put explosive in there in between? Surprise, surprise there was none.

Loads of people on a pilgrimage tour queuing to transfer, sadly don’t have an atheist bus t-shirt handy. Good coffee, strong. Try to work a bit, 3G works well for the first time in ages. MP3 player keeps out the hubbub. Help an Israeli to get an internet connection, and talk to a Canadian about the Sunderland Metric Martyr and plugs. Seriously. Online check in for evening flight.

Gate for Brussels is at the end of the world. Guy Verhofstadt is in the same plane. New glasses a big improvement. Plane tiny, 2+1, Embraer, dwarfed by the jumbo jets and new A380s parked up at LHR. Tech fault with our plane, then delay, plane sounds like its about the fall apart as it accelerates on the runway.  Why do BMI staff have such idiotic hats? And what’s with giving all passengers the Daily Mail?

Try to sleep. Perhaps 20 mins. Fail. Bags fast at Bruxelles, grey. Bus driver a maniac, home in 20 minutes. Unpack. Feel very grimy. Print tonnes of stuff for the work I’m to do in Stockholm. Wish I spoke better Swedish, and wish I had more time. Why do people vote Piratpartiet? Photocopy loads of stuff, almost get blown off bike on way home. Turns out some trees did blow down in Antwerp.

No proper food. More coffee. Iron. Pack. Shower, ahhh. Better. Knackered still. Run to Schuman, bus back to the airport, evening sun brightens mood. Security really lazy and slow, rest OK. About to board today’s third flight, Boeing 737 this time, all Star Alliance. Are any flights out of Brussels not code share or Star Alliance? Let there be a comfortable seat to rest my tired shoulders.


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