Flying to Seattle

We had a good sleep overnight at the Thistle. Very comfortable and quiet and the bed was lovely. We set the alarm for 6am this morning and we were up and out by 640 to get our morning POD back to the terminal. There were two just waiting at the Thistle and they whisked us along to terminal 5 in about 5 minutes. Brilliant.

Heathrow seemed normal to me. We went straight to security as we’d checked our bags in last night but there were no massive queues to be seen either at the check in desks or at security. I suppose it took us about 45 minutes to get through to airside. Would have been quicker but Bob got knobbled for having some hand gel in his daybag.

Got a bit of breakfast in Wetherspoons which was not very nice but filled a gap and didn’t break the bank. Boarding was called at 830 and we wandered to the gate. Pretty quickly it was announced that due to a late arrival of the aircraft our flight would be delayed from 940 to 1010, not too bad. Boarding started. There wasn’t a spare seat. Nice newish 787.

Then the captain came on and announced that a luggage loader had run into the plane and that it would have to be towed off the plane and anydamage to the plane superstructure inspected. Unbelievably, there was only one tow truck at Heathrow Airport and it took a good hour to get to us. Luckily it pulled the loader off and there wasn’t any damage. Weird, eh? So, we took off at midday rather than 940 but they were confident they could pull back 30 minutes of that. We were pretty sanguine about it because we were just going to an airport hotel in Seattle.

We were also relaxed because we had put airtags in our suitcases so we could monitor exactly where they were. We knew they were in the gate area when we arrived there and then somewhere beneath us when we were on the plane. That was a good feeling given the recent publicity about luggage problems at Heathrow. Also useful in Seattle when we could see them with us and even as they approached the belt. I recommend getting some and using them this way.

I must say that once airborne the flight was excellent and the service very good. Much, much better than we experienced back in January when we flew to Orlando with BA. The food was much better. Bread rolls and cheese and crackers had made a re-appearance. I can’t say the portion sizes were any bigger but given the rolls and cheese, it was fine. The snack that was served about an hour before landing was a very nice sort of savoury pasty. Delicious actually. The flight took 9 hours and 1 read, slept, watched two movies, an episode of Yellowstone and 2 episodes of Stanley Tucci cooking hiis way around Italy. The air was really clear all the way and I would have loved to have had a window seat. The glimpses we caught of the scenery as we approached Seattle were spectacular. We saw Mt Baker and a fantastic glimpse of Mt Rainier, both of which had plenty of snow on them still.

It was quick to get through immigration and customs. Much quicker than either Orlando or some of the other East Coast airports. There were quite a few desks open and we were through in less than an hour despite landing at the same time as a large Qatar flight .

We found the shuttle bus area and waited for the Marriott Residence Inn bus to turn up. Maybe about 20 minutes. Weather was nice – 24C – very pleasant. The Residence Inn was just over a mile from the terminal and we were glad to get there, shower and relax for the rest of the day. We have a little balcony overlooking a park and there in the distance we can see the peak of Mt. Rainier, our destination for tomorrow. It will be great to get underway.

Feeling a bit tired of course. It’s only 1620 here as I write this but my body thinks it’s 20 past midnight. We have to stay up another few hours at least. We’ve re-organised our luggage now we’re here so that we only have to open one suitcase over the next week probably. And we got some microwave meals from the little lobby store so we’ve got somethuing to eat if we get hungry later. Other than that….. tucking in for the evening.