The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sweden Update

As I've been posting, my parent's headed off to Sweden to visit mom's family.

Mom's staying for another few weeks, but Dad left the other day to come home - and was scheduled to fly through Heathrow on British Air.

Just heard from him a little while ago - he made it back ok - but was basically out of communication for a couple of days and caught in some horrid travel delays.

said there was no delay at all - or other traffic really - in Stockholm but since he was connecting through Heathrow to JFK he wasn't allowed to bring any carry ons. He knew this before hand and had run out on Thursday to purchase another small suitcase (to put his carry on stuff in). Basically he had his passport, some swedish Kronas, and his wallet and credit cards with him. That was it.

Got to Heathrow without any problem but then found his flight to the US was delayed substantially - he was supposed to have a 3 hour layover, turned into more like a 8 hour layover. This wouldn't have been so bad since his one of his best friends lives 20 minutes from Heathrow, but he happened to be in Wales this weekend and so no one was home. Anyway, he was forced to go through security twice at Heathrow - after leaving the relatively domestic/within EU flight and going to the international terminal as well as once in the terminal trying to get on the plane. Security, which was as friendly and helpful as they could be, were opening up and screening everything including envelopes, books, eye drops, cell phones, etc.

Dad had purchased some Toblerone chocolate in the airport in stockholm and was hoping to eat it while waiting for his flight, but they took that away from him too. He's a bit upset they didn't have any extra food for him on the inside and spent a small fortune on airport food while waiting.

Interestingly, after he finally got on the flight, as they were pulling away from the gate the plane was held on the tarmac and everyone was screened once again and compared to the airplane manifest paperwork.

Door to door was about 30 hours and they ended up losing his checked
in carry-on bag. He filed a claim but they have no idea where it is
(its disappeared from the computer system). Luckily he put his camera in his other bag, but he's lost his cell phone - and more importantly - the gifts he was going to bring back for my son. Interestingly, with all the security hassles at Heathrow and basically doubling the time of his trip, his only real complaint was with the baggage claim customer service (or lack thereof) at JFK. But a snotty attitude's to be expected in New York, I guess (at least thats what I keep telling him).


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