So I am going to try and put together a series of blogs discussing our trip to England which starts today, Friday November 16, 2012 and ends on Sunday November 25, 2012. You know when you are sitting at the airport waiting to board your plane or even when you are flying, this is such a great time to reflect and also ponder what lies ahead of us over the next 10 days. Of course we are both excited about heading across the pond to see friends and family, in particular I am as I have not seen my parents and close relatives since Christmas 2011 (time really does fly by as you get older)! However, the potential travel adventures that are encapsulated into the English landscape are unmentionable given the myriad of opportunities out there. Traveling around the country with Heather has enabled me to gain a much better appreciation of my true ‘home’, England! Do I have extensive plans at this stage to visit places in particular? No, but that is the great thing about England because you don’t have to plan, spur of the moment works so well in this country because of the close proximity of everything. Some people may not like this, however I love the fact that you can drive a hour and be in something completely different, meanwhile having visited several wonderful locations in between.
Backtracking a little here to how things started this morning….. We finished our packing which again proves to be such a difficult task, not because either of us likes to take plenty of clothes but because we are both so indecisive on how much luggage to take ‘in case we find something we just have to bring back’….I think those are Heather’s words and not mine! We usually fly out of Memphis as that is more convenient, maybe a hour drive from Jonesboro but we found such a great deal on flights from Little Rock we couldn’t turn those down despite LR airport being close to 2 hours away. The last 24 hours has been spent waiting on hold for over 45 minutes with American Airlines trying to get Heather’s name changed on her frequent flyer account and then I had to fork out an outrageous $30 to get my 8600 miles back as apparently they had expired. Just another money making scam if you ask me but that’s life I suppose.
Arriving at LR airport we parked in the long term ‘peanut lot’ as the Arkansas folks like to call it, which at $8 a day is pretty reasonable for airport parking. We had checked in last night online figuring that all we had to do was drop our bags at the baggage drop off area. Well what we didn’t anticipate was the incompetence of AA customer service and only one rep checking in folks. We probably waited in line with at least 20 others for about 30 minutes before getting our bags checked in. To put this into perspective, for anyone who has not ventured to Little Rock airport, this is just a small locality and not comparable with the likes of JFK, Hartsfield-Jackson or O’Hare. One of the positives of this airport was getting through security which was a breeze and really didn’t take any time at all.
After finding out that our flight to O’Hare in Chicago was delayed by 10 minutes, we both ventured down the terminal to Starbucks for a quick pick me up, the service was great and the drink/cuisine very tasty indeed. I think Heather was a little worried because by the time I got back from wandering around purchasing a couple of magazines, the rest of the flight had already boarded and we were one of the last few to get on.
One last topic on this blog is the wonderful yet sometimes annoying mobile boarding pass option. As mentioned, we checked in online yesterday evening and were sent a URL to obtain our boarding passes which on our iPhones would just show up and we would go through. Testing this before we went brought up the QR tag, and even getting through security was fine without any issues. However, when it came time to board, I tried to bring up the pass and to my annoyance the only pass that would appear was the Chicago to Manchester flight!! Is this a flaw in the AA system or maybe just my personal lack of knowledge on how this system works? Either way, I am hoping to not have any such issues on my next flight.