Heathrow, United Kingdom
51° 28' N 0° 26' W
Jan 17, 2002 20:15
Distance 505km

Text written in: English

Departure from London Heathrow

We arrived in London Heathrow at 1430hrs after an uneventful flight from Belfast.  Erin enjoyed a sandwich and juice on the flight.  Our bags were going straight to Colombo so all we had to do, in theory, was take the flight connections route to Terminal 4.  However we had plenty of time to kill before our late evening flight to Sri Lanka.  We left the confines of Terminal 1 and headed out to the central bus station above the underground.  Once Erin had looked at the numbers on the front of the buses we retreated inside to visit the foyer of the London Underground station (Piccadilly Line).  Then we walked along to the Heathrow Express station serving Terminals 1,2 & 3.  We boarded the first available train and travelled to Terminal 4, about a five minute journey away.  The first class compartment was brand new, clean and well maintained.  I browsed through a magazine left by a customer and found a free commercial postcard, a rather good omen I thought.  Upon reflection, five minutes is far too short really to appreciate a quality commuter train.  It felt as if we had not been on a train for years.  Certainly this was no Caltrain service or the Victoria Falls Safari Express, but I realised that I missed travelling by rail. 

It was only a five minute walk from the Terminal 4 Heathrow Express station to the main terminal building.  I thought it looked rather cavernous and empty.  There was certainly not much in the way of shopping.  It was only 1530hrs and we could not obtain our onward boarding passes until 1830hrs.  We found a corner near the Sri Lankan Airline counters and settled down to wait.  I took the children out to the Hilton Hotel, which was connected to the terminal building via a covered walkway.  Erin was keen on the buffet restaurant but I assured her that mummy had taken a few snacks from home and this would keep us going until we boarded our aircraft.

It was a long old wait for the check in desks to open but eventually staff arrived and we received our boarding passes for our flight to Colombo.  We passed through immigration and security checks and finally arrived in the departures hall.  There was no shortage of shops, bars and restaurants in this area.  We have had no problem taking it in turns to look after the children whilst the adults look at Harrods, World of Whisky, Hamleys and various other stores.  I have taken the opportunity to price digital cameras.  The quality of these new cameras has increased of late, just as the prices are also starting to come down.  They might not be as good as film but they are the future.  I have two Canon cameras on this trip, one for colour and one for black and white.  I have been informed by Dixons staff that a digital camera can do both.

It will soon be time to board the aircraft.  I can see people crushing forward already on the off chance.  I hope that priority boarding is given to families with young children.

Photos / videos of "Departure from London Heathrow":

Ruth Burnett travelling First Class on the Heathrow Express to Terminal 4.