Day 98 – 11th April 2020, Homeward Bound

welcome home sign

This morning found us at the Novotel T1-3, which is close to LHR terminals 2 and 3. After a good nights sleep, we headed down to the lobby, checking out the arrangements for breakfast. Sitting on a lobby table were multiple identical brown bags, each of which contained:

  • Container with cornflakes
  • Container with a veggy sausage and scrambled egg
  • Brown roll, butter and jam/marmalade
  • Individual portion of cheese
  • Utensils and napkin

In addition, they had tea, coffee, milk and juices. Just grab a bag, tea/coffee and milk, and return to the room. They also had a microwave available to warm up the sausage and egg. All in all, not a bad brown bag breakfast.

The Toronto flight departed at 12:05, so the others were picked up from the hotel at 09:15, so Judi & I headed down to say our goodbyes. We did capture a final photo, but unfortunately, we didn’t have a camera or laptop, so didn’t get a copy. At 11:00 we returned to the lobby, for our 11:15 pick-up. Cruise Consultant Charaine was flying to New Zealand from T4, so we brought her with us, convincing the van driver to head to T4, after dropping us off.

AC B-787

AC B-787 Dreamliner

Arriving at T2, we were met by the same chap who escorted us through T5 yesterday. Wow, the new T2 is a vast improvement over the original terminal built in the mid-1950’s. Opened in 2014, it is named the Queen’s Terminal. We were escorted through check-in, security and then the extensive hike to to the furthest gate in the “B” zone. Kudo to Viking for providing such excellent service.

As we reached our gate, the Toronto flight was pushing back from their gate, right on time. We read Kindles at the gate, until boarding our B787-900 commenced, about 50 mins before scheduled departure. We were fully loaded and pushing back about 5 mins early. With only 1 or 2 flights per hour, we taxied directly to the end of the runway, being wheels up about 6 min after our scheduled departure time. LHR is often up to an hour between push back and wheels up.

Air Canada B-787 Business Class Seat

Photo courtesy of “Travel with Grant”

The Air Canada flight was OK, we like the Business seat layout better than BA, but we find the BA seats more comfortable, especially when the A-380 flies to YVR during the summer. Since these are exceptional times and full service is curtailed, I am only providing brief notes, not my usual in depth flight review.

Similar to yesterday, the only drinks served were bottles of water, with snacks provided about 1/2 hr after take-off and again about 1 hr before arrival. Between those snacks, all we received was water.

  • Snack # 1:
    • Corn and lima bean salad, with a little lettuce & dressing
    • Quinoa and chick pea mixture
    • Brown roll
    • Chocolate cake
  • Snack # 2:
    • Bag of apple slices
    • Granola bar
    • Banana bread
    • Roll
    • Cheese

While not the usual standard of catering, the snacks were fresh and edible, keeping the hunger pangs at bay.

On arrival YVR, we had multiple levels of Government checks to go through, prior to entering the arrivals hall:

  • Health Canada – they set up office on the overhead walkways, with about 8 agents, shortly after departing the aircraft. Each individual or family group received an individual meeting with a single agent, ensuring each agent was > 6′ apart. We submitted the form we received on board the aircraft and then discussed quarantine arrangements and any assistance we required.
  • Customs & immigration – normal YVR process
  • Health BC – effective 10th April 2020, British Columbia requires all returning residents to submit a quarantine plan. We submitted the form online and developed a written plan, which we provided. Once reviewed and approved, we departed the airport.

Outside at passenger pick-up, our son and DIL brought 2 vehicles, leaving 1 of them for us to load and drive home. Once home, we started our 2-week quarantine period, but received a welcome sight. We can’t get hugs for 2 weeks, but the sign is safely attached to a bulkhead.

welcome home sign

 

6 thoughts on “Day 98 – 11th April 2020, Homeward Bound

  1. Hi Andy and Judi! I started to follow you in early February and it was an incredible journey every knot of the way! My husband and I were very, very relieved when both of you and all the passengers were able to disembark from a “clean” ship and were able to get safely home. I was especially interested in the voyage as the coronavirus spread across the world because I did have a family member on board. Your wonderful posts eased my concerns though I must admit I felt pretty much the same way as your children did! I do not want to go into detail on a public post however I would be happy if you sent me a private email and I will respond more fully. In the meantime I am thrilled you are home and will soon be out of quarantine and hugging your grandkids! I must add that I realize the amount of work that you have put into all the posts and here is a very big thank you for the posts and the photos!

    Like

    • Thanks Mona Liza – The 5 yrs old most definitely, as he came down outside last night asking for us to read a bedtime story. We sat inside and he sat outside on the patio and we read a story for him, with the screen door closed and ensuring separation.

      He is down every day knocking on the window and waving. This is toughest on the kids.

      Like

  2. Been following your blog. Even though you missed some places to disembark and explore, it looks like you had a trip to remember. Best part was the Welcome Home by your grandchildren. Welcome to this side of the pond and this side of NA.

    Like

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