Day 7: Heathrow to O’Hare

April 16, 2022

The final day in London has arrived. Thanks to our 2:25PM afternoon flight, we had plenty of time to wake up, eat breakfast, finalize our packing, finish sorting all the perishables (aka. is this thing a plane snack or not?), and make sure Ellen’s flat was back in pristine and platinum Rolling Stones condition.

One more time departing the flat

We originally planned on taking the Tube back to Heathrow (same way we arrived), but due to track work, staff shortages, and the Easter weekend, we (accurately) deemed the Tube was probably not the best route.  Instead, we booked a trio of discount tickets on the Heathrow Express, from Paddington Station directly to the airport in 15 minutes. The Tube would have probably taken an hour or more.  Definitely lives up to the “Express” label!

To LHR Terminal 3 in no time!

Online check-in for our flight was unavailable, so we went directly to the American Airlines counter using the VeriFLY app to show all our Covid-related tests/tasks were complete.  We were randomly given two seats in the middle section and one on the aisle next to those. We thought about asking to adjust, but the flight was so empty (nobody was next to us), it ultimately didn’t matter. Heck, if they won’t let you sit in the completely empty exit row, then might as well have row 33 completely to yourself and drink a beer or two.

Empty row! And the air vents are back!


Adios, Heathrow


Now qualifies as “Later”

The flight was uneventful and quite enjoyable with all the extra space. Watched a couple of movies, including the latest James Bond, CODA, and maybe half of Ferris Bueller’s Day off. For the geographically-inclined, we caught a glimpse of Greenland’s southern shores at some point as well.

Passing Greenland


Greenland from 36,000 feet


Anybody concerned this plane is too large?

We landed about an hour early, and since there were so few passengers, we disembarked (from basically the back of the place) in about five minutes. Arriving at customs, we bid farewell to our travel partner Jenn. Once again, Global Entry is the best thing ever.  It took about 30 seconds to get our security check, and we were on the CTA Blue Line in about 10 minutes. (By comparison, we think Jenn eventually made it thru the Customs line in ~50 minutes.)

Well, turns out we may have been too fast to the CTA, because Matt took a bad (extra) step heading down to the L and tumbled down the rest of the stairs. A bit scraped up and bruised, but otherwise ok.

That’s what I get for taking the stairs


Those steps are tricky! One time in 2014 a Blue Line crashed on them too.

Knee wounds notwithstanding, we eventually made it home safe and sound. The early landing and Global Entry allowed us to pick up Poe from boarding, visit the grocery store to restock the fridge, and catch up on sleep. It was great to travel again and we can’t wait for the next adventure.

Here are a few remaining photos from London that we didn’t use in the blog…

We found three more of those Tube maze prints


If you are walking thru a park in London, the route probably has a name


More posters from Back to the Future Musical


Long live the King, the King is dead


Thanks for reading the blog! Diversion ENDS now

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