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Dr John Hawkins

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Boxing Day - Flying to Japan

Posted on 2009/12/27 22:39:55 (December 2009).

[Saturday 26th December]
We were getting a 1pm flight to Tokyo today, which is somewhat merciful in terms of what time we needed to get up this morning (around 8 o' clock in my case, although Chie was a bit earlier). It's great living in more or less central London - Heathrow is only about an hour door-to-door.

As always we left packing until the absolute last minute, but I've got this down to a fairly fine art now, and the hour between when I got up and when we left was ample time for me to have a shower, get dressed, and throw some clothes in a bag.

Got the coach to the airport, as I don't think the trains were running today (o if they were it was a very limited service). It was a bit cramped but it's actually quite handy for us, given where we live with respect to Victoria Coach Station.

Had breakfast in the airport, and did a bit of last minute "omiyage" shopping in duty free before clambering aboard our flight. It was a bit delayed in taking off but again I think given the recent travel chaos other people had been subjected to in the UK because of the weather, we were just pleased it wasn't cancelled.

The onboard food was better than it is usually for me on today's flight. I think I understand what the problem has been the last few times I've flown - basically if you order a special meal, it seems to be created by some entirely different process, maybe even by a different company, to the regular in-flight meals.

In Premium Economy on Virgin there's actually always a vegetarian option on their standard menu, which, bafflingly, is normally completely different from the meal you get if you specially order a vegetarian meal (and I always choose the "lacto-ovo vegetarian" option so it shouldn't be the case that I'm actually getting something vegan instead). So I asked if I could just have the vegetarian option from the standard menu instead, which was much nicer than the crap I'd had the last few times I flew. Of course the danger of not bothering to order the crappy special meals is that they can't guarantee availability of the regular menu options. So I hope if I make a habit now of ordering the special meal but then asking for something else they'll get the hint that the indescribable mush the catering company always used to fob me off with just isn't really meeting the bar.

Also watched a couple of films on board. "Up" which definitely had it's moments, and some film called Post Grad, which didn't really appeal to me that much.

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