“Direct” Flight to London

20 Sep
2012

We wanted a direct flight when flying to London, didn’t want to transfer. Of course, no flight is truly direct. Here’s what we went through to get from A (Lake Geneva, WI, USA) to B (London, England, UK).

Drive to Harvard, IL (40 minutes)

Our travel day started with a drive into Illinois. We had been staying with my mom in Wisconsin. She was nice enough to get us through step one. However, we learned one downside to not knowing what day of the week it is — I misread the schedule. We were an hour early because it was a weekend instead of a weekday. Woops!

Metra Train to Chicago (1 hour waiting, 90 minutes on the train)

The Metra into Chicago was pretty uneventful. Unfortunately, there was a couple behind us on a second date. They were going to spend the day in the city. The guy made boastful statement after boastful statement. The lady ate it up and agreed with everything. They were perfect for each other. I avoided turning around for over an hour, but when we got up to depart, I saw that they were exactly as I had pictured them in my mind.

On the Metra with too much luggage.

On the Metra with too much luggage.

Drive to O’Hare (30 minutes plus Champagne time)

In Chicago, instead of taking a cab like we had planned, a friend volunteered to give us a ride to the airport. We even had time for a little intermission of lunch and Champagne. Yum!

We're ready, Virgin Atlantic.

We’re ready, Virgin Atlantic.

Fly from O’Hare to Heathrow (7 hours)

At O’Hare, the security line was nonexistent. We got through in a matter of minutes. After browsing through the duty-free, we settled in for a wait. Our plane left on time and arrived in London an hour early. I watched The Dictator and 2 Days in New York. Lisa watched the new Sherlock Holmes movie. If it wasn’t for the douchey guy in front of me not wanting to trade seats so I could sit next to Lisa (and then spending the entire flight with his chair tilted all the way back), it would have been a perfect flight. Luckily, my seat neighbor was open to a trade.

Underground to Arsenal Stop (60 minute for customs, 70 minutes on the train)

Safely through customs, we grabbed our bags, stopped at the ATM and grabbed some pounds, then headed to the Underground. We probably walked 4 miles inside Heathrow that day. The train ride itself took an hour.

Note: this is an easy way to get into the city from the airport. Don’t bother with a cab — take the train. Or take the train into the city, then grab a cab from there. Taxi rides from Heathrow can set you back $100+.

Drive to Destination (15 minutes)

Our friend met us, as promised, at the Arsenal stop. We jumped into his Mini, made about 500 turns to go basically straight east, and arrived intact. We’d made it … now we just had to stay awake!