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From Heathrow ...

Yes Sir .... I am blogging right from the Heathrow Airport Terminal 4, London. My flight is in another 2 hours and I had time to kill - spotted this internet kiosk and thought ... why not??

So here I am blogging right from the airport - in my final moments in the UK. I have 2 parts to narrate ....

A. Service Levels in British Airways
If anyone ever tells you that BA or BAA (British Airports Auth) are better than Air India and AAI - don't ever believe him. I had another harrowing experience with the UK airports (after my Swiss trip drama) today - though quieter minor.
I had a bit of excess baggage for which I had to pay some charges - no probs with that, I was ok with paying. So the check-in rep told me to go to the cashier (on the next window), make the payment and get my boarding pass from there.

When I went to the cashier window, it was closed with a sign 'Go to Ticket Window for payments'. So I went to the ticket window to find a 20 minutes queue ahead of me. When I reached the counter finally - the lady told me that the cashier window has reopened and I have to go back. So I went back only to find the cashier's still closed; on return to ticket window, they said they can't accept the payment because as per them the Cashier Window is open!! (As if I was lying!!). So I headed back - waited for another 20 minutes before the cashier window opened.

Trust me, I have never encountered even half as 'sarkari type' service on any if the Indian Airports. I really feel the service standards in India are better in the airline sector. Probably because they are less crowded - but that isn't an excuse - after all the west has had airline services for longer than India and processes need to be matured by now...

B. ... and btw more about London
Well - today on my last day as I was doing some final wandering on streets I realized that I missed a few positives of London (or rather of western lifestyle). Some of them are ...

There is high regard for pedestrians on the roads - firstly there are pedestrian crossing lights which are operated manually. If you are a pedestrian and you want to cross - press the button, the traffic signals stop the traffic first and then allow you to cross.

But, if a pedestrian is waiting on the sidelines of the road and the traffic signal is green for cars, even then, cars usually stop voluntarily and allow pedestrians to cross first. This was really impressive and really appreciate the 'civility' of Londoners here. [Just to clarify- this behaviour is quite normal in the whole of west and not just London.]

Another point is that there are separate lanes for Buses and Taxis and people DO NOT encroach them even on days of high traffic. Also, people follow lane discipline quite ardently.

...well there is probably quite a lot more that I can go on writing, but no point - the differences between the east and the west is a never ending topic to write on ...

I guess blogging form the Heathrow is the best adieu that I could give to London. And thus .. lemme sign off here ...

PS: I am testing Blogger Beta on this blog. If you see anything unexpected here - drop me a mail or leave a comment here.


  1. well they gave me an upgrade to me to business class... what can I say!


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