Terminal 5 Blues

Woke up this morning, got those Terminal 5 blues!
Woke up this morning, got those Terminal 5 blues!
Now our bodies are in Lyon,
And we're waiting for baggage news!

The flight from SFO to Heathrow was pleasant enough – I even slept surprisingly well, though not enough. The food was OK, too, and we arrived on time, which gave us enough time to make our connecting flight 90 minutes later if things went well.

The lines at Flight Connections and Terminal 5 Security were the shortest I’d ever seen (I don’t know if that was despite the security officers strike or because of it); we had at least 70 minutes left to make our flight when we started to put our carry-ons onto the X-ray belt.

Diane’s bags came out right away; so did most of mine. But not the tray with my electronics and toiletries – that went into the special scrutiny line. And it wasn’t because of the electronics; it was the toiletry bag.

I’d bought a set of TSA Approved Travel Toiletry Bags last year – I use one for toiletries, one for some of my travel electronics, and two are waiting to find a purpose. Diane thought they might have been a little large, but I’d had no problem anywhere in the US or Australia. I hadn’t reckoned with Terminal 5 security.

There were five trays ahead of mine waiting for special scrutiny; the officer was very courteous and very thorough. A mere twenty minutes later, it was my turn. The officer took out a couple of the items and put them through a chemical scanner – no problem. Then he grabbed one of the one liter ziplock bags that Heathrow gives to passengers and tried to put all of my toiletries in it – they didn’t quite fit.

I was going to tell him to throw away what didn’t fit (I could buy more toothpaste!) but he surprised me and handed it all back to me and said “have a good flight”. Lesson learned – next time, I’ll make sure my toiletries fit in their bag (I have a couple of spares now!).

I repacked and we dashed to the gate, arriving with a couple of minutes to spare. We’d done better than Diane’s brother, whose plane from Denver was delayed four hours – he texted me to let me know that they were being rebooked on the next flight, which arrives at 11pm.

The flight over was fine, and clearing border control was simple. We got to the baggage claim as the bags started to arrive and waited. And waited. And waited. The belt stopped; our bag was nowhere to be found.

Lyon Airport has a self-serve kiosk for reporting missing baggage; I entered all my data, and got a text verifying my claim. Two minutes later, I got another text saying that they’d found my bag; it was at Heathrow and would be on the same plane to Lyon as Diane’s brother; BA is supposed to deliver it to our hotel (the Intercontinental – very nice). We’d brought a couple of days’ worth of clothes as carry-on, along with our meds and toiletries, so it’s not a big deal as long as it actually gets here!

After we got settled, we went out for a light dinner. The hotel concierge suggested a place, but as we were walking there, we saw L’echo des Galets and decided to walk no further. It was quite pleasant, and not terribly expensive (two crêpes and 50cl of wine for EUR 34).

We strolled around a little longer enjoying the scenery; tomorrow, we have a Silk Tour at 10am. Diane’s brother and his wife are supposed to join us – I hope we’re all awake for it!