LAX to London to Frankfurt to Prague
April 27, 2022
As usual the Browns were so early to LAX that the long line to check into British Airways was for the flight before us. Oddly there were no kiosks for self check in, so after a wait we were one of the first in line for our flight. Our flight was delayed an hour that put the crunch on our layover in London. The London layover was to be 1 hour and 50 minutes to connect to the flight to Prague via British Airways. No problem right?
Except that the connection was at another terminal that the Heathrow website stated would take approximately 20 minutes to get to. Two helpful BA employees told us that we would have plenty of time to make this and one circled our map of the terminal showing us how to get on the tram from terminal 5 to terminal 3.
The plane arrived a few minutes early to Heathrow and our luggage was checked through to Prague, no problem, and there was the tram sign as indicated. Ha! Easy peezy. There was a stop for Terminal 3 our destination for the connection. I boasted that we were ahead of schedule and jinxed it. We now had to get off the tram and take a bus to terminal 3, a bus that ran every 10 minutes, a bus that we just missed, a bus that circumnavigated Heathrow and the greater city of London for 20 minutes before getting us to Terminal 3.
And then there was another security check that I would later comment that was “running at the speed of sand”. This security check was to simply check our passport to our boarding pass without a metal detector or strip search but the security person was taking close to a full minute for each passenger and I started doing the math. Crap! While we were being tortured with our increasing wait time a group of handicapped passengers started cutting through the line with their entourage of airline employees and family members. We both spoke up and told them that our flight was now boarding and we couldn’t let them pass to which they understood however we felt bad in saying this. A new security officer arrived and started getting passengers through every 5-10 seconds and we thought we had a chance to make it however were told at that security checkpoint that the gate had closed to our flight as we were now less than 30 minutes to departure.
We had to go see Passenger Service for another connection flight. Marla had noticed our seat assignments had disappeared off the BA app and later we found online travel tips that said to give yourself 90 minutes to get to the far, far away terminal known as Terminal 3 from terminal 5. We should have insisted on a new connection at LAX.
We were not alone at the Passenger Service desk as other couples from the LAX flight had missed their connection. The best they could do was to book us on a Lufthansa flight from terminal 4 to Frankfurt and then on to Prague. There was a commotion at the counter with an elderly Syrian couple who missed their Beruit connection. There was a language barrier and they could not understand that they would have to go to Frankfurt to connect and since their luggage was already on the plane they missed, as ours was, they were upset and confused about that. The patient clerk explained this at least 4 times to them and since we were all booked on the flight to Frankfurt the clerk asked us to babysit them to the next gate. Marla and I agreed to get some good karma back after losing some from telling the wheelchair posse to back off. We had about a 3 hour wait and the Frankfurt gate had not been assigned yet, which stressed this couple out even more, so it gave us time to explain the situation to them several more times.
We walked with them to the Food Court to find out they didn’t have credit cards and only US Dollars. BA had given us $20 in food vouchers but not them. We were at a self serve sandwich shop when this came to light and a nun overheard this who paid for them.
The couple Abraham and Mimi were from Syria now living in Southern California. We got them on the Frankfurt flight and the last we saw they were trying to arrange a wheelchair ( and a guide) to their Beruit flight.
Our luggage not only made it earlier but was some of the first off the conveyor belt upon our arrival.
We we finally got to Prague around midnight instead the afternoon after 30 hours of fuckery. Thanks British Airways…