pearls... and twin set.
11.05.2010 - 11.05.2010 50 °F
American Airlines Lounge, Terminal 3 LHR. 08:43 11/5/10
The plane is here, it's on the departures board so we should be OK to Dallas. It may take longer (over Norway and the North of Iceland, apparently) but we think we'll get there.
The AA lounge (that's the airline not the 12-step programme) here has been completely refurbished. Very clinical but very comfortable. Lot's to eat and drink. And peaceful. We are now totally spoilt and it seems for long-haul travel, it has to be business class or not at all. At least it's an "upgrade" and we are not paying full wack!
Another advantage of being in the airline lounge is that they have "AAngels" on duty if there is disruption and you need to rebook or whatever.
Back to Madrid (Barajas) airport. Grrrrr! You come off your plane to connect to another flight. You'd expect there to be screens to tell you which gate. And also, if you are lucky enough to be travelling "up the front" you would like, if at all possible, if it's not too much trouble, if you didn't mind, there to be the odd little sign telling you in which direction to go for the VIB lounge.
The terminal stretches to the left and to the right as far as the eye can see. There are travelators (but you have to get off to walk past the shops, of course) and signs to say where the gates are. But nothing to aid you in your quest.
Does this nice Iberia lady standing at a desk know? Of course not. And we speak a little Spanish which should help. "See the screens", she says, helpfully. But what screens. "In the middle". Nope. No screens.
We toss an imaginary coin and turn right. Ah, there's an Iberia information desk. But there are about 20 people waiting. We finally spot a screen. The architect of T4 has specified that they are "built in" so you cannot spot them. And in the area where we "tied up", as we confirmed later, there just aren't any.
Although we have plenty of time, it is slowly but surely running away.
Back to the Iberia desk. No queue now. We get a gate number and a wave of the hand as to where the Iberia lounge might be. After a half a mile or so we spot what may be the lounge "up in the loft". But no apparent way to get up there. No signs, of course. What do you expect? This is an airport.
We interrupt a conversation between two Iberia ladies and one waves towards some escalators. They seem to be going to security and a train station. But then, round a corner, on this scaffold construction, there are hundreds of signs to the Iberia lounge, right outside it. In fact you nearly bang your head on them. So there is no missing it now
The Iberia lady on the desk shrugs her shoulders at my suggestion that it might be a good idea to have some signs downstairs? She agreed. Shrugged again and said "its Madrid airport". Nuff said.
This is Spain. We love it!
Ah, the lady in the pink hat. Now sitting in this lounge elegantly sipping white wine. That's how they all used to travel. Remember the "VIPs" with Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Margaret Rutherford etc. All fur stoles, large hats and smart outfits. And that was only Richard Wattis. Ah, that's when air travel was elegant. Oh, and all the BOAC hostesses had been to Roedean, judging by their accents.
See you in Dallas (cue the music).
Spot the lady in the pink hat (John not wearing his pink one today):-