After 6 very long months and lots of paperwork, we finally receive the Brunei visas and we are off! The last 5 nights before we get on the plane are spent in a plush hotel in central London because… well… we can. On the company’s dime. Nice! The Hubs and I agree that we will take a taxi over to the flat on D-Day to clear out some last minute stuff and get our suitcases sorted.
So the night before our flight, we have a lovely last evening with our friend Anya, complete with pizzas at the latest hip place, and Hubs and I agree that getting to the flat for 6am and then taxi to Heathrow around 7am to make our 11.30am flight would work. An hour in the flat is “plenty of time” (more on why we left the flat so early for Heathrow later). What a mistake…. Turns out we actually have a LOT of sorting out to do, obviously we are in denial about how much time it would take to go through all the leftover stuff. We end up throwing away 4 bags full of rubbish and run around til the moment we get into the cab at 7.15. Haven’t even had my breakfast yet and already pooped.
So the (main) reason we go so early to Heathrow is that Singapore Airlines has just moved to Terminal 2 and Hubs wants to check out the lounges. He is a man who usually arrives 2-3 hours early at the airport under normal circumstances but the prospect of checking out brand new lounges in a brand new terminal is tempting and I have to reign him back from wanting to go even earlier.
We arrive at the airport after battling rain and morning traffic but it’s difficult to appreciate it. It is a sparkly terminal from all the newness but I think it’s all a bit same-y. That and it’s hard to muster up enthusiasm when you’re exhausted. The best I can do when I see the Slipstream is “it’s really big”.
One thing that perks me right up though is the VAT refund office. I have NEVER in my life said that before but a) they have a dedicated office that doesn’t remind me of the inside of a prison or torture dungeon and b) there is exactly 1 other person in the queue. Hallelujah! Happily we also check in all of our 5 bags without a hitch as we have managed to cram 99.8kg of our stuff into our bags vs 100kg of allowance. We are on a roll!
But then boo we realise that the Singapore Airlines lounge hasn’t even opened yet… umm.. why are we standing around at Heathrow 3 hours before the flight again?? So we decide to try the Lufthansa lounge instead. It is literally their opening day and it is looking bright and airy. Somehow we get into their Senator Lounge.
After 20 minutes, the Hubs is feeling antsy so we move on to the Plaza Premium Lounge. The tone is more subdued compared to the Lufthansa lounge, this one has a lot more dark wood and spotlights etc.
By this point the crazy morning (that had started at 4.30!) is catching up with me and I refuse to go check out the United Airlines lounge. So we park ourselves there for a while.
And then it’s suddenly time to board. OMG I AM LEAVING MY HOME OF 17 AND A HALF YEARS. I take a picture to commemorate.
To be continued in Part 2…