The complicated way to get home...

Trip Start Aug 16, 2004
Trip End Aug 13, 2005

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Sunday, August 14, 2005

Well at the end of the last entry we were all ready to go home and had got to Newark Airport without any problems. The shuttle to JFK airport was 15 mins late but nothing to panic about. So we arrived at JFK Terminal 7 thinking how we would fill our 3hrs time and walked towards the British Airways queue, having already been informed by email that there were no meals on the flight. Well, apparently since we'd received that email, all sorts of chaos had let loose in Heathrow that consequently meant that all flights to Heathrow had been cancelled, although we were told to just come at the same time the next day and we'd be able to get on the same flight, just a day later. Well, obviously the staff at JFK don't know about strikes in the UK very well, as we knew there was a very slim chance that we would be flying on Friday night either. In any case we had to be back in Wolverhampton on Saturday morning to go to my friend Jill and Paul's wedding. Well surprisingly for me I didn't hit panic mode, and we got our free phonecards from BA and went around the corner to the payphones. So whilst Graham was busy speaking to BA I rang home to let my parents know what was happening. Well the lovely lady at BA managed to change our flights from JFK to Newark Airport and to fly into Birmingham, arriving at 7:35am on Saturday morning, with Continental Airlines. We would be tired but we would make it to the church on time! As it happened, the new flight was also the same flight my uncle and cousins were flying on as they were coming to visit my parents for a week. So at least we would all be travelling together. We had to queue up for a while to get our tickets stamped with BA approval to go with a different airline.

Well BA also put us up in a hotel and gave us free dinner and breakfast the next day so we weren't particularly unhappy, and had a very nice sleep and feed at the hotel. The next day, Friday, we checked out of the hotel and went back to JFK airport. We spoke to the Ground Transportation people and they booked us seats on a different shuttle to Newark. This one went into New York first and then after changing buses we went to Newark. We arrived at Newark at around 2pm and tried to check in. Unfortunately they wouldn't accept our stamped tickets and this is when I hit panic mode. After nearly hperventilating I sat with the luggage whilst Graham went to the BA terminal to get our tickets written out so that Continental could accept them. after about 30 mins Graham reappeared and we checked in. Last hurdle to clear was the security and wouldn't you know it, we had those pesky little 'S's on our boarding passes again. Luckily we saw the funny side to this, since we weren't in any rush as we still had 5hrs before flying. So finally, we made it into the departure lounge. At this point I decided I'd better let Jill know we were coming. I'd managed to keep it from her since January, but Paul and Jill's parents Janet and David knew. Well I think she was pretty pleased to hear that we'd be there, barring any more disasters!!

In the airport are these scanning machines that when you leave USA you must scan your passport and give your fingerprints again so that they know you have left. Don't forget to do this as you will get a warning letter or a fine or something.

A couple of hours later we met up with my uncle and cousins and although boarding was late we were eventually on the plane, and departing from the gate. Then we sat in the plane for over an hour not going anywhere. Apparently this was due to a storm but this was when I really thought they were going to tell us to get off the plane and go home. Well eventually we took off, 90 minutes late, and arrived at Birmingham at 8:30 ish the next morning. Managed to get out of the airport within 40 mins and luckily my parents and brother were there to pick us all up.

Once back home there was no time to spare. It was a quick shower and change and then we were picked up by Andy and Fliss to go to the church. I don't know how we did it but after having no sleep on the plane, we both managed to stay awake all through the ceremony and reception and even had the energy to dance! It was a really enjoyable wedding celebration and now Jill and Paul are on their Round The World trip. You can check out their travelpod here.

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