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Heath-woe airport

I am broadcasting live from Mumbai, India this week! So stay tuned for stories from my adjustment to a new way of life where the good stuff is all abstract (unless it is edible) and the bad stuff is all very tangible and in my face. But I digress from my rant about flying this distance.

Those of my friends who live more on airplanes than in their homes had better watch out for Heathrow if you have not been through there recently.  Terminal 5 was the new new thing this year for British Airways but it has been a nightmare for them, the BAA and passengers since its March opening.   So most flights to/from the US and Asia have reverted to using Terminal 4; but they stopped investing in that terminal years ago and now it resembles airports in some developing countries.  Duty free shopping is about the only working piece of infrastructure; everything else is falling apart – from peeling paint to wierd odors and closed lounges.  But the biggest problems are inconspicuous: broken baggage belts.  Most flights are leaving without transit baggage!

Myself and my passport (and the clothes I now have been wearing for 48 hours) arrived in Mumbai in great spirits.  The hazy pall at the airport in Mumbai with temperatures in the humid 90s dampened my clothes but not my spirits.  And then I discovered that my clothes would follow me two days later.  I was amused to see half the capacity of a Boeing 747-400  spewing its anger at the hapless and equally faultless BA ground staff.  Turns out this is currenlty a chronic problem with flights out of Heathrow so fly the non-stops to Johannesburg if you have to!

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