Flight 1- London Heathrow to Belgrade Serbia
Boarded: 12:50 UK Time
Departed: 13:50 UK Time
Heathrow; the first of many airports we were to visit on out journey to Australia and probably one of the more interesting ones as there was quite a lot to do and a lot less waiting time than the others. Once we managed to drag our bags into the terminal, we then got a bit lost and ended up wandering around for a bit before we were able to check in. Not so much fun when you’re carrying enough to last 6 months! After successfully finding where to go and collecting our tickets with Air Serbia, it was then off to the magic place where bags are wrapped. As we weren’t going to see them again for hours and hours and travelling through many different airports, we thought it was probably for the best that they couldn’t be tampered with at all without it being quite a struggle and very obvious. I’d watched a film about it on the airport website so I knew what to expect but when it came to it, it really wasn’t. There was no carefully balancing the bag and making sure all the plastic wrapping was even as it was spun around. Nope, the bags were thrown on to the spinning plate and quickly wrapped up in a spidery cocoon. Never mind, it was wrapped and we were ready to drop them off at the check in desk. This turned out to be a lot easier in our heads as now there wasn’t really anywhere to grab and drag them so I grabbed a luggage trolley to use which turned out to have wonky wheels and was very difficult to push. That was until Codie had a go and discovered I hadn’t pushed the bar down to release the brake and was just shoving it about. Oh dear.
After dropping the bags off, it was time to face the security checks. It took an hour to get through as it was utter chaos and nobody really knew what to do. At one point during the baggage scans, there were two lines of people merging into one to get through the scanner themselves. No-one was really telling anyone to go or which side to go and so there was a constant delay and rather than helping, there was a lot of sighing instead. Grrrrr. I understand that there needs to be a lot of checks at airports but no-one is particularly thrilled about having to take various items of clothing off so perhaps be a little bit more understanding when the rules aren’t clear and we get confused! Following this fun, Codie’s bag set off the alarm and so we had to go to one side to have it hand searched and checked for drugs. It turns out that the iPads set the machine off as we weren’t told we needed to take them out. Grrrr again. At least I didn’t set off the alarm; that was a lovely surprise as I normally do for some sort of metal I’ve forgotten about!
Once we’d managed to get through there, we had a little sit down in the waiting area and spoke to a few people. I spoke to my mum and Tish but not for too long as we hadn’t got much time to go and find something tasty to eat before the gate opened. Terminal 5, I thought, would have a lot more shops than it did as I imagined it to be bigger than Manchester; perhaps this is because this terminal is long with a low roof rather than huge and tall. (Isn’t reading about airports fun?!) We walked about for a bit looking in a few shops at sunglasses and other holiday things before settling on a cafe to get a ham and cheese baguette. Don’t get me wrong, it really was a tasty sandwich but you can’t call something toasted when it’s lukewarm and the cheese is still solid. We then went to a little WH Smiths to get some bottles of water and a magazine for the flight before heading to the gate and watching the planes take off. This is when it got more exciting as we’d got all the rubbish check in stuff out of the way and now we were free to enjoy the journey. I watched the planes taking off outside for a while, it was mental how quickly they took off one after the other. I’d hate to be in air traffic control, it would be absolute chaos! I can’t imagine the panic when something happens and they have to alter everything, I don’t think I could handle it!
The flight itself was actually quite nice although the plane itself, an Airbus something, was tiny and so it was more like a flying bus. It wasn’t the most fun flight ever with the lack of foot space but we were lucky in that it wasn’t the longest of flights. As it was all still quite exciting and the length of the journey ahead hadn’t quite hit us so we were quite happy sitting and reading the magazine I’d bought although we had a lovely surprise part way through; a free meal and a drink! It turns out that it was all included in the price we paid and I have to say, receiving the menu to choose what meal we wanted was very fun. In the end, we both opted for the cubed chicken but were quite disappointed when it arrived and it wasn’t cubed at all. False advertisement. It was nice though so for a scrumptious meal you weren’t expecting, I suppose you can’t complain about it’s shape (unless it’s a really strange shape like an octagon). I really like flying so I enjoyed watching all the land pass underneath us and the seeing the changes in cloud formations but I was more than happy to land and stretch my legs for a bit.