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8:36am on Sunday, 6th June, 2010:

Bussing it to Heathrow


Having experienced the drama of travelling to Gatwick by bus, yesterday I came to Heathrow by bus.

So, next time it'll be by train, unless there's engineering works.

The bus was supposed to leave at 15:35. We were told on our tickets to be there 10 minutes early. Would that the driver had also been given such instructions: we eventually left at 16:00. The journey was uneventful until it started to rain. The sun roofs were open, and rain came blowing in. Passenegers struggled to close them for maybe two minutes with no success, before one of them went over to ask the driver how to do it. The driver pressed a button, and they closed. Most passengers seemed pleased, but I wasn't: it meant the driver hadn't looked in his rear-view mirror for at least two minutes, as otherwise he'd have noticed what was going on.

We finally rolled into London Victoria at 18:40, instead of the 17:50 we had been promised. As my bus to Heathrow was at 16:35, I missed it. Oh well, I could always catch the next one, at 19:00.

Yes, I could — if I paid another £6 for a ticket. Apparently, busses, have to be an hour late before you qualify for a refund. OK, so even adding this to the £15 I'd paid for a through ticket it comes to less than a train costs, however I know when I'm being ripped off.

When we got to Heathrow, the driver said that this was the only stop he made here and we should all get off. I got up, went to the front, and he told me to sit down. He had to park it in a bay first. OK, fair enough — so why did he stop to tell us this was his only stop when it wasn't actually the stop? If it was so I'd look an idiot in front of the other 6 passengers getting off at Heathrow, it worked.

The bus from Heathrow to the hotel cost another £7 (return). I finally got to the hotel at 20:00.

I'll be taking the train back when I return on Wednesday, I think.

Referenced by Three Pictures.

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Copyright © 2010 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).