2022 Trip – Day 1

The moral of today’s story is never to rely on a bus to get you to an airport!

After a reasonable night at a Heathrow hotel I gathered outside the front door at 0820 for the once per hour bus to the terminals. With a last check-in time of 0930 and a travel time of about 15 minutes this seemed just fine.

However, by 0855 there was still no sign of the bus and the small group gathered to wait for it were getting rather desperate. Inquiries in the hotel revealed that (a) they didn’t know anything about the bus as it was run by Heathrow and (b) that there was a 40 minute wait for a taxi. In the end, a woman traveling to Korea and I spotted two people getting into a large taxi and persuaded them and the driver to take us as well. The kind gentleman explained that he had been bitten by the none-appearing bus before and now always reserved a taxi!

I have to say that running a bus service between hotels and the adjacent airport only once per hour is ridiculous! Having he gall to call it the “Hotel Hoppa” is even worse. It can’t possibly take more than 20 minutes to go to the airport and then round the nearby hotels. What does it do for the rest of the hour? My theory is that it used to be more frequent but the service was reduced during Covid and the bus people discovered how much they enjoyed working less.

I arrived in time to check in but it had been a close run thing! My time for breakfast was greatly reduced and I had to resort to a hot sausage sandwich which I gobbled down in order to get to the gate on time. I needn’t have bothered as the flight was delayed by about 45 minutes due to late arrival of the aircraft. With more than two hours to scheduled in Helsinki I was able to be mellow about this.

The flight was uneventful and on a modern wide bodied aircraft with in flight entertainment in the seat in front. There was however no exciting in-flight magazine; perhaps this is a Covid thing.

It is a good job there were only a few people in front of me at immigration as it took much longer than it used to, with questions about where I was going and how long I was staying. Blasted Brexit!!

The flight to Oulu was full but on-time and I was collected by Mira and her friend Mila (yes, confusing). It seemed that Mira had returned from holiday on an earlier flight and Mila was giving her a lift back to Finn-Jann.

After saying hello to Timo, admiring the very nice new guest building and eating dinner I went to bed.