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10:51am on Thursday, 16th April, 2009:

Questions, Questions


Heathrow, terminal 4: this once-bustling terminal is now a wasteland, following the departure of British Airways for terminal 5. This is why the cheapest flight from London to Las Vegas (via Houston) departs from here.

Yesterday, I took the precaution of checking in online, to avoid the queues I imagined there would be here. I changed my seat allocation, too, so I wasn't in a D aisle seat next to a complete stranger, but in a C aisle seat with two spaces next to me. All went swimmingly well up until the point when I tried to print out my boarding card: it told me that I would have to check in at the airport so I could show my documentation to a real person.

Hmm, that would have been useful to know before I spent 15 minutes answering their questions.

So, I arrived at the check-in desks this morning, but was diverted to a check-in machine. It asked me the exact same questions that had been asked by the online system. Great. OK, so I answered those, it printed off my boarding card, and no human looked at my documentation at all — I could have put my wife's passport in the machine and no-one would have known (well, I guess she probably would have).

I've no idea how come I'm now due to sit in seat 37J, though.

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Copyright © 2009 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).