Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Naomi Should Have Waited A Week

One week into the grand opening of Heathrow’s much vaunted and equally vilified Terminal 5, my husband, son and I were scheduled to fly to London. I watched the news reports with growing concern, trying to figure out how I could cram a week’s worth of clothing into a carry-on. Ultimately, I was too lazy to attempt the Rubik’s Cube packing job and checked everything but my laptop. When we arrived in T5, we sailed through immigration and straight on to baggage claim where, within minutes, our bags appeared on the gleaming carousel. It was too good to be true. We enjoyed a coffee in the four-story tall architectural confectionary of glass and steel framing, and marveled at the details before walking about fifty yards to a taxi. No queue.

We had a similarly stress-free experience on the flight home, now two weeks into British Airways’ public relations nightmare. Our wait time at check in was less than five minutes. Security was a streamlined affair with zero wait time. And there was a sleek and modern coffee lounge within a few feet of our gate with an electronic screen giving up to the minute departure and boarding information. As an added bonus, when we got to San Francisco, our bags were there too.

Maybe the bugs are worked out, or maybe we just got lucky. I was just happy not to have to go "Naomi" on anyone.

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