We left the house a few hours before our flight (who likes to be rushed? Not I, said the girl with a Xanax prescription) so we were happy to arrive well in advance of our boarding time. We had some United club passes we were excited to use. Never having been in a private airline club, I was expecting something glamorous like your own personal sommelier! white linen tablecloths! and Frank Sinatra entertaining us all! … but I was only welcomed by complimentary conference rooms and Coca-Cola. No harm no foul, so we grabbed a window seat and some nibbly bits, and plugged up all our devices.
John has traveled a lot and is a fantastic, cool-headed flyer. I, on the other hand, can only survive this ‘running of the gauntlet’ with a sleep mask and the right amount of a doctor prescribed narcotic. (I think this stems from the time I was traveling for work in my 20s and was seated near 2 Air Marshals and the man they were extraditing. Good times!)
The flight to London was completely uneventful, John was able to sleep a little (I couldn’t- someone had to keep on the watch for any terroristic activity) and we landed right on time. Leg one, check! But after landing, weaving through Heathrow to our next gate was endless! While we landed on time and had almost 2 hours to make it to our gate, we started to feel panicked. And then to add insult to sleep deprivation, we had to go through security AGAIN.
I like to rate the annoyance of security at each of the airports; here’s a few choice picks:
Athens, Greece – I give this the annoyance level of 1 dry cleaner closing a minute early and 1 weaving through the bank ‘maze line’ when you are the only customer there; pointless and frustrating.
Molokai, HI – I’d give this an annoyance level of 4 cell phone call attempts to a friend who is in a spotty coverage area; the lights are on but nobody’s home.
London, Heathrow- I’d give them a rating of 4 mosquito bites through your clothing and 1 gas station sandwich; extremely effective and nauseatingly painful.
So after about 40 minutes in just the security line, we ran through the airport like Home Alone and got to our gate with a few minutes to spare.
With no time to stop for a meal, we boarded the 10 hour Thai Air flight hoping and praying they had meals, even if just for purchase. Well whatever disappointment lingered from the United Club was completely abolished with hot hand towels and dining china. Thai Air is by far the best traveling experience I have ever had! The flight attendants were friendly and accommodating, the seats were roomy and outfitted with, like, a grillion entertainment channels, and the food was all hot and served on china. People were offering us wine (free!), I was watching any movie I wanted. John was, well, sleeping peacefully. It was heaven on earth. We were served 2 meals: at the beginning of the flight, a dinner service with options, but we both got pork in a tomato sauce with pasta on the side. The other sides were potato salad with a piece of salted fish on top, hot rolls with Boursin cheese, fruit, and puffed pastry in dark chocolate sauce. And wine! The second meal was breakfast service of omelets and sausage with English beans, croissants, ‘yoghourt’, and pretty tasty coffee. By far the best experience traveling we’ve ever had… It was a downright pleasure.
Arrival in Bangkok was easy and what a beautiful airport! It looked brand new and extremely clean, and the friendly Thai smile was there at almost every turn waiting to help whoever was in need. We relaxed for a few minutes and shared a 8am Bangkok/8pm US beer.
We hopped another quick flight and touched down in Krabi about an hour later. From there we hopped into a car, then that took us to our longtail boat. This was the last leg of the travel and a sight for sore eyes!
We made it!