Taking long haul flight is definitely not my cup of tea and the only times were those trips to Europe. Due to time zones difference, most of these flights leave Hong Kong in midnight. Passengers normally went to sleep shortly after the take-off and rushed to the immigration upon arrival next morning.
In consideration of the adverse impact brought about by covid-19, our mid-night flight to UK was rescheduled by BA to the afternoon.
We were quite astonished when we arrived at the airport. Those glorious days where the Chep Lap Kok Int’l Airport was full of people jumping around were gone. There were just a few airline counters opened for the check-in service while most of the shops and restaurants were closed until further notice.
As there was nothing we could do, we quickly finished our departure and moved directly to the boarding hall.
There was a speculation that people leaving Hong Kong to UK may left in trouble during departure. In addition, suspicious persons would also appear near the boarding hall to closely monitor people boarding UK flights. Frankly speaking, I didn’t notice any of these.
Boarding completed very soon as there were not many passengers, slightly taking up half of the available seats.
Unlike what we usually have in the past, most of the passengers were coming from groups of family. Young couples with preschool kids, single mom with little girl in one hand and dragging big baggage with the other. Family like us with a teenager was relatively uncommon.
Same as us, every family came with a lot of baggages: back sacks and hand carried bags that fully used up their in-cabin baggage allowance. One can hardly imagine how to pack them inside those small compartments. While I was wondering how to put my baggages, the cabin crew said to me “Just put wherever space is available !“. I had no choice but push my super large back-sack into the compartment of a nearby seat. For the single mom previously mentioned, she was just sat right behind me. After settled down her little girl, she tried very hard to put her extremely heavy baggage into the compartment but without any success. Finally with the assistance of passengers nearby, she managed to complete the impossible task.
Kids usually can’t get used to long hours of flight. Being tired and under unstable turbances, screaming and crying are inevitable. Under this situation, you are really out of luck and there is nothing you can do. Situation is a little bit wired with this trip was that none of this happened. So were those typical “HK papa“, “HK mama“, calling cabin crew for service or snacks were gone. What I observed was that quite a lot of the parents looked uneasy and many of them were focusing on their phones, watching email or replying WhatsApp messages.
To be honest, the cabin was so quite that seems a little bit daunting.
Someone said with a smile:
All those who leave are fugitives. We don’t care !
But somehow have you seen such groups of high quality “Fugitive” before?
Um ⋯ I’m shallow and I have never come across them. However, I’m very lucky this time !
同我們一樣，差不多每個家庭也會用盡行李限額帶着多個手提喼及背包，頭頂細小的行李箱根本就不夠用。當我正在猶豫之際，路過的英航服務員隨意一句 ”Just put wherever space is available ! “，我只好無奈地把背包往鄰座上塞進去。先前提過的那位單人匹馬的母親剛巧坐在後一排，在小心安頓好女兒後，欲將巨大的手提袋放上頭頂行李箱，但奈何實在太重了，試過幾次仍失敗，最終在其他乘客相助下才能放上頭頂行李箱。
Um ⋯ 我見識少，以前未見過，但今次有幸遇上了！
Shortly after taking off, we were served with in-cabin meal. I’m not sure if this was lunch or dinner as we were supposed to arrive at Heathrow by nine at night. Quality wise, the food was not up to expectation to certain extent. Nevertheless, we had to accept it as this might be the only in-cabin meal we would have. Somehow, it turned out that there was another round of light meal before we arrived. In between, there were plentiful supply of cookies and drinks.
The programmes available in BA’s in-flight entertainment system were quite old and boring. Combined with the intermittent failure of the control unit in front of me, I finally gave up and relied on enjoying whatever views outside or having a nap. My son who sat next to me, definitely felt boring too with the long flight. Nevertheless, he kept on watching cartoons and playing video games to relief the boredom. No matter how hard he had struggled, he was so tired that finally fallen to sleep an hour before the landing.
The flight started under the bright sun light in Hong Kong and racing against the sun for the whole journey. At the end, it won and safely arrived at Heathrow before sunset.
The immigration procedure at Heathrow is rather straight forward, border force officers simply checked our pre-approved BNO Visa and that’s it. Welcomed to UK!
Before leaving, the officer said to us “You have made the right choice 👍”.
Wow, what a mixed feeling for us.
在希斯路機場人境過程亦不算複雜，邊防人員只簡單的檢查已批核的 BNO Visa 便完成。
離開前，他更送上一句 ”You have made the right choice 👍”。
Despite everything was so smooth, we ended up leaving the airport after 10 o’clock. Quickly we jumped on the reserved pickup van and rushed to the Airbnb.
Quickly, we took a bath, went to sleep and got prepared for the fresh beginning ahead.
Finally arrived 終於安全到埗
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