On my way

It was an early rise this morning for the sake of the airport.

Father Basden, the great pastor of St. Bede’s – long may and his tribe he thrive – was the consummate host during my time here. He even made sure – Bless Him – I would be fortified with strong coffee and toast with marmelade!

On the way to the airport we passed by a sight which was quite common during my sojourn: the Clapham South tube station.

BTW… I eventually asked the station manager there about their penchant for playing Gregorian chant or Beethoven over the PA. He said that the music was assigned centrally, that they didn’t choose their own music. I found that rather interesting. Still, I recall now that in the USA there are some cities wherein, in places where rapscallions might congregate and, subsequently, think about mischief, speakers were wired up and tunes suitable to the Lawrence Welk crowd were played. The rapscallions would very quickly cease to congregate in those places and go elsewhere. I am supposing that the same theory applied to the tube station.

No problems on the way to Heathrow. The trip took 35 minutes… at this early hour, that is.

Problems, however, began at Heathrow. Surprised?

First there was the queue for the queue to which I was directed by a very officious and self-confident young lady. Incorrectly directed, I might add. I rapidly figured that one out. I had already checked in via internet and printed my pass. All I had to do was check my bag. I had mentioned that, of course, but… well…. Having spotted the BAG DROP sign where there was another, shorter queue, I thus jumped out of the queue’s queue for the check in and queued in the bag drop queue, which didn’t have a queue for its queue. About ten minutes later I was through and on to security.

“But Father! But Father!”, you are no doubt saying. “THAT doesn’t sound like much of a problem! Why are complaining about problems when so far it has been smooth sailing?”

Aside from the fact that the queue (yes… I simply like typing that word) to which I was officiously and officially directed was the wrong queue, and it began as a queue for another queue – did I mention that? – and that I would still be out there now, had I not worked the problem, at the very counter itself I was issued a new boarding pass.

“Hmmm…” quoth I.

Apparently, my flight will be delayed a couple hours because of a late arrival. That will make my connection on the other end a little sporty depending on how security goes on Stateside Terra Firma.

At least there is a good lounge here. The Sky Team lounge at Heathrow is by far better than any of the increasingly dismal Delta, etc., lounges at US airports. Hands down.

And the wifi here is excellent, so far.

I can pick up my SlingBox perfectly… which I haven’t really had much chance to look at in the last couple weeks, and thus tap back in to the secular news.


After hours of unexplained, rolling delays, we have boarded.


Back in the USA, I am rebooked and waiting for my last leg to take off!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Crouchback says:

    To infinity………..and Beyyyooonnndddddddd…God Bless America.

  2. Manrique Zabala de Arizona says:

    I am imagining the Delta Airlines Press service. A conversation between the intern and the director.

    Director: “What is this?”
    Intern: “All our mentions in the press and main blogs, sir”

    D: “Just WHO is this Zul… whatever. Who is he?”
    I: “Appears to be a Catholic priest. Not very satisfied by our customer service. It’s important they know when a customer is not satisfied, is it?”

    D: “Ok, listen, take some vacation. I’ll sort this out”. The intern leaves, while the director gets rid of the unpleasant sheet…

    Yes I know. I love theather ;)

  3. Charivari Rob says:

    “I can pick up my SlingBox perfectly… which I haven’t really had much chance to look at in the last couple weeks, and thus tap back in to the secular news.”

    No, Father! Don’t do it! You’ve been mostly out of the vortex where you’ve been – don’t get sucked in now!

    Well, if you must… Just don’t read anything with the keywords Gates, Crowley, Cambridge, beer summit, profiling, etc…

  4. TNCath says:

    Delta is NEVER ready when you are. Although it’s nice to see that the Sky Team lounge looks nicer than any I have seen in the U.S. The last one I frequented at JFK was more depressing than the seats being in the terminal!

  5. irishgirl says:

    Delays….that was the biggest headache in my international travels…ugh…

    Glad to know that you are airborne and on the way home to the ‘U. S. of A.’, Father Z!

  6. irishgirl says:

    That was TOAST? At first glance, I thought it was bacon, ham, or even a pork chop!

    Oh, well-I think I need a stronger pair of eyeglasses. Man, it really ‘stinks’ gettin’ old!

    May Our Lady of Loreto, patroness of air travel, bring you safely back home to the USA and the Sabine Farm! You’ll probably sleep for a few days to get over the jet lag!

  7. Jack Hughes says:

    Fr still not home?

  8. I am on the ground in the USA. The four hour delay cost me my next flight, of course. At least my bag was one of the first off, so I had the chance to get through the rest of customs and and then get a new flight pretty rapidly. There were only a few people in the next security line, so that was a breeze.

    I am now in the incredibly disappointing Delta lounge. After what I saw at Heathrow, this is a major disgrace.

    In any event, I have communicated my new travel plans to my ride on the other end and everything is set.

  9. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Welcome back to the U.S.A. What a comedown at Delta. Been there. Have been following your venues and vicariously enjoying them all.

  10. Jaidon says:

    Welcome back, Fr. Z!

  11. irishgirl says:

    I’m glad that you’re back on this side of ‘the pond’, Fr. Z!

    I know all about delays and missing connecting flights…I had been through my share of them in my international travels!

    Yeah, you’d think that Delta would give its best customers a better lounge to chill out in! Sheesh…

    Anyway-welcome home! I enjoyed all your postings of your travels in England-lots of great memories of my own visits over there!

  12. irishgirl: The quality of the lounge since the NWA/Delta merger has really dropped.

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