￼After a 2 hour delay leaving Granada due to a technical defect with the plane (which required an engineer to come up from Málaga to fix) – apparently the rear door wouldn’t close properly; whether it arrived at Granada in that state or just chose our moment to give up the ghost I don’t know – we took off towards Madrid knowing we were surely going to miss our onward connection to Heathrow.
As it was the plane from Madrid was also delayed but, by the time we had deplaned in a different terminal, the gate had closed so we queued at Iberia customer services with others in the same situation and varying levels of chill until we could be attended to. Finally our turn came and it quickly became obvious that very few opportunities to continue our journey that same day remained. We quickly agreed having a full day to rest before going on to Japan was the wisest option, so despite the onerousness of the plan, we agreed to a route from Madrid to Heathrow, via Barcelona!
Our representative, José Luis (who was patient and good humoured and seemed to understand that everyone’s problem was massive to them personally) assured us that our cases would follow us, and that we didn’t need to do anything ourselves in that regard. He also apologised that we wouldn’t be able to sit together on the first leg, though he had found us the last two seats together on the final flight into London.
As it was, for whatever reason, once boarding at Madrid closed, the seat beside Gail remained unoccupied, so I gave up the extra-legroom Emergency Exit seat I had been allocated to sit beside her – there was no contest!
The flight itself was uneventful, though it felt peculiar to us both to be landing an hour later, after already travelling for 8 hours and still not having left Spain!
Another departure area, another wait, another plane (though this one operated by British Airways, providing complimentary refreshments and so a couple of glasses of wine ameliorated the repetition) and another couple of hours and we were finally descending towards London, to our fourth airport of the day, nearing the end of the first leg of our journey East.
I’m only glad we hadn’t planned to connect directly to Tokyo, and that we now have a breather before we return to Heathrow and catch yet another plane to fly the twelve hours to Haneda International Airport, Tokyo, Japan!