Travelling Home

Watching my Macbook being tossed down a rolling ramp by harassed security staff makes me wish I was anywhere but Heathrow airport. Tony sent me a link to an article that claimed that travellers passing through Heathrow suffer from higher stress levels than fighter pilots, riot police and Formula 1 drivers. Since I travel a lot I try to do everything I can to make sure that I wouldn’t be stressed now. I stayed at an airport hotel last night as I couldn’t bear the thought of transferring through Heathrow. (Virgin had already posted an announcement apologising for the amount of delayed luggage as it sometimes takes up to three days for them to get luggage from connecting planes when they are supposed to have it within an hour.) I never wear clothes that require belts and I no longer carry any make-up or liquids. My shoes have laces and zips so that they are easy to slip on and off. And I make sure that I arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before my flight.

I was in quite good form today as I got up early and had a leisurely breakfast before leaving the hotel. The security queues were long but I wasn’t pulled out of the line for a random search so it didn’t bother me too much. I was stopped last week when travelling to Vienna and was made stand in one of those machines that takes multiple x-rays of your body. If you thought security was annoying before wait until they make you stand on an x of the floor with your hands above your head as you try to understand the instructions required to get into the three positions they want.

I have started paying for internet access at airports as checking my email and being able to write in this blog help me to feel relaxed. And I have also been really lucky since I managed to find a seat to sit on. Terminal 3 is basically a large shopping centre and I can’t imagine that it has anywhere near enough seats for all the people who are walking through it. Now I just need to mentally prepare myself for sitting on a plane for 12 hours…