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Hi all. It’s Kara. I thought I’d start off this post. I’ve written the airport letter identifier combination above so many times I might as well get it tattooed by this point. It’s hard to think about how long the travel day is. I usually believe it’s about the journey and not the destination but with long haul flights that is absolutely NOT the case.
I took my pup Kona to my dad and sister’s yesterday (thanks you two!!!) and then headed to mine and Gayle’s new house. Oh. Did we mention that in the run up to this trip Gayle sold her house, we bought a new house together, and I’m moving from my current house and putting it on the market 5 days after we return? (The Bestie college roommates are back together!) To say things have been a little hectic is a bit of an understatement so I’m hoping to read and rest on this travel day!
We thankfully have a 1:30 p.m. flight so didn’t have to get moving insanely early. We had a mostly leisurely morning and then headed to the airport with a stop at Panera to eat lunch at 10 a.m. - because that’s what you do on a travel day.
We arrived at Fast Park and boarded our shuttle bus. Sadly for him, the guy that got on the bus right after us realized he had left his wallet at home so our travel day was certainly going better than his was. He departed the bus and we headed over to the airport where I promptly ran into my former colleague Julie who was returning from Florida with her family.
We headed up to the United ticket counter and THANKFULLY we had done all the pre-check in steps (and by we, I mean Gayle took care of those things) and we avoided the hideously long line and walked right up to the express bag drop.
We went straight on through security and got settled at our gate. There was some pretty bad weather yesterday so a lot of folks were still trying to get out of Indianapolis. Thankfully, our flight out of Indy was not impacted by this.
We boarded for Indy and had a smooth flight up to Chicago. We proceeded from the B to the C terminal where we got to enjoy the beautiful Polaris Lounge for the duration of our stay in Chicago. I actually didn’t take any pictures in here which was silly. We both enjoyed some food and drink. We chatted with a couple from Dallas who got caught up in the storms the day before and ended up driving to Chicago to catch the same flight we were on to London. Their bags still showed as if they were in Houston.
(Gayle: We had enough time to enjoy the incredible showers, but elected to skip them this time!)
We headed to our gate area about 20 minutes before boarding was to begin for our flight. Another flight was still in our boarding area but our flight continued to show the same time and that same gate so we waited. And waited. And waited.
Eventually, the crew showed up to board our flight and after what felt like a load of chaos and confusion we boarded and took our lay flat seats in Polaris first class. (Gayle - FINALLY! We had this booked in 2019, but disaster struck early. I swear I didn’t exhale until my tushie landed in that seat!)
This is an extravagance but it made me (Kara) feel far less haggered when we arrived than I normally would. I wouldn’t say I got great sleep but it was very quiet and I definitely rested a lot. It took a large amount of the awfulness out of the awfulness of international plane travel.
Unfortunately, we sat on the tarmac for a LONG time - over an hour. Which ate into our already minuscule 90 minute connection that we needed to make in London.
As for me (Gayle), I had a plan! As soon as we left the ground, I told the flight attendants I was skipping dinner service to get to sleep, downed some melatonin, and donned my ear plugs & eye mask. I scored 5 hours of sleep, which is a huge win for me on a red-eye flight!
We were both ready to deplane (after a nice onboard breakfast of French toast, fresh fruit, and yogurt) and basically took off running through a maze of tunnels and walk ways to get to the international departures area of the exact same terminal. Thankfully, we made it to our SAS flight to Copenhagen with a couple of minutes to spare and took our seats. And, with that, I think it’s time to move us ahead to the next day…
Gayle: WHOA. No. I didn’t “basically run”, I had to flat-out run! Something I’m not conditioned for. The frustration, anger, sweat, and panting made for a ridiculous experience. I lost track of how far we walked, how many luggage scanners, ID checks, and shopping areas we had to traverse at Heathrow. I knew it would be bad, but not that bad! Let’s just say I’ll be avoiding LHR in the future if/when possible! (That’s so sad because I LOVE London!)
Disclaimer: I (Gayle) am a travel agent with Authorized Disney Travel Planner agency - Off to Neverland Travel. Contact me today for a no-obligation quote!
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Next up… Welcome to Copenhagen