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2019 - Japan - Flight Day

The first task today was to pick up Sunny, our friendly Car Parking chap from his house. We have used him at Heathrow for many years now. Normally we meet him at the terminal, but as we had to drive past his road from the Travelodge to T5, I thought it would be easier for him to pick him up. He is a lovely chap and insisted on shaking both of ours hands to congratulate us on Norwich getting promoted. I told him it was my contribution alone that had gotten us over the line. We then commiserated with him over the continued turmoils at his club QPR. At T5 we said goodbye to him and our car for the next couple of weeks.

Baggage drop off was straightforward as was Security and for once neither of us were selected for extra checks.

We booked this flights using our free BA companion voucher and air miles. As a surprise for Karen I had also taken advantage of us flying on an off peak day to upgrade us to Club World for only another 10000 miles. She was very happy to be told this.So instead of heading for the average Lounge that our Amex card would have given us access to, we were able to go to a much nicer BA Club Lounge. We took advantage of the hot breakfast on offer and settled into some rather comfy chairs. It was still rather early so we didn’t avail ourselves of the free bar until just before we left to board the flight.

We had been allocated Club seats in the middle of the plane, meaning when we pulled up our blinds we felt we had our own private little cabin. The plane pulled away from the gate on time and we on our way for the 11 hour flight. The service on board was impeccable and after we initially ordered the Pink Champagne, they were generous and regular with the top ups. Karen really enjoyed the main meal as well, me being more faddy - less so. However the very posh cheese and biscuits I chose for dessert was excellent.

I settled down to watch ‘The Girl in the Spiders Web’ which was a good plane film. I followed this with ‘Cheney’ which I was really enjoying until I started to feel sleepy so paused it to make up the lie flat bed and tried to get some sleep. However, this is now the second time is the last couple of years we have had this type of seat/chair and the second time that both of us failed to sleep properly. Never mind it was good to be able to lie flat for a few hours.

Disappointingly when the lights were put back on for breakfast (which Karen really liked - and I thought it was just OK again), neither of our entertainment systems were working. Eventually we managed to grab someone's attention who then tried to get them reset to no avail. This seems to be a regular occurrence on BA planes and they really do need to need to have less temperamental systems. (Note: the following morning when asked for feedback by BA on the flight I told them of the problem. Within a few hours they apologised for the problem and refunded us both 15000 air miles each as compensation - this was much more that the actual upgrade cost, so I was very satisfied). So instead I filled in the landing and customs card and read the newspaper instead.

Then with a sudden thud we were down (I say sudden as in our little mini cabin we had no windows and therefore had no sense of where we were in relation to the ground), and we had arrived into Japan. Now this adventure could really start.

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That was the year that was. 16 flights, covering over 52000 miles. 91 nights out of the country. 4 Continents. All at a financial cost that I am too afraid to work out. Would I do it all again? - Yes

Today started quietly. Whether that was because Neil had by now safely arrived at home, the fact that the holiday was close to coming to an end for the rest of us or general tiredness I am not sure. I

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