We enjoyed the breakfast that was served at our B & B, The White Swan. One of the reasons we like this B & B and its sister B & B, Golden Gate Hotel, so much is that we love chatting with the other guests. We discovered that we were the only Americans at breakfast today. We conversed with two sisters from England whose adult children are working in the U.S., whom they had come to visit. They were delighted to hear that our daughter had done her Junior Semester Abroad in Surrey, outside of London.
Then off we went to the airport. The trip to Hong Kong from San Francisco on a 777 aircraft takes 14 hours. We would be crossing the International Date Line. We had not taken this into account in advance, so the result was that we lost one of our days in Hong Kong. Because we have no photos of us during the next 14 hours, I’m going to share my boarding pass story. Apologies if you have heard it before.
Several years ago, we were returning to the US from England. Heathrow Airport is huge, so big that we had to take a shuttle from the counter to our gate. Shortly before our plane was about to begin boarding, I discovered that I could not locate my boarding pass. I checked every pocket and every compartment in my handbag twice, with no luck. I told the flight attendant at our gate what happened, and she told me that I’d have to back to the counter where it was issued to get a replacement.
Nick and I started to run, with great difficulty. 200, 000 people depart from Heathrow every day, and it seemed to me that they were all between us and the ticket counter. Well aware that we couldn’t get to the counter and then back to the gate before the plane departed, I was shouting, “Has anyone seen a boarding pass?” Several people replied that they had not. Finally, exhausted and defeated, I stopped running. I walked over to three flight attendants from Saudi Arabia Airlines who were coming toward me. Frantically, I explained the lost pass, the impossibility of returning to the counter, and the fact that Nick and I would miss our flight.
One of the flight attendants asked, “Barbara?” I was dumbstruck. How could he possibly know my name??? He reached into his pocket and came out with my boarding pass, saying, “Today is your lucky day. I was just walking to your gate to turn this in.” After profuse thanks, we ran to our gate and were on time for our plane’s departure. So that is why Nick always reminds me not to lose my boarding pass, and I always say that I couldn’t possibly do that, because once was enough.