We finally boarded our plane bound for London at 23:30pm.
We didn’t take-off until midnight, on account of the fact that Athens Air Traffic Control wouldn’t let us leave until an amended route had been finalized. The captain explained to us that the aircraft and crew had been cobbled together at the last minute, since the original aircraft couldn’t be repaired in a reasonable time (faulty fuel gauge). Air turbulence on the originally planned route meant that they needed to negotiate a slight alteration/diversion.
Also; the aircraft was smaller than the original (200 seats instead of 260), which meant that some folks didn’t get a seat at all. Luckily for us, the Swan Hellenic group got priority. There was a mild brown-trouser moment at check-in, when we were told by the check-in clerk that Tracey wasn’t on the Swan Hellenic list (due, we assume, to the fact that her booking had been added later than mine), and that she was ‘on reserve’. We both looked at one another, a mutual sinking-feeling creeping over our weary faces, thinking; how much worse could this get? Fortunately, a small number of passengers had accepted the offer of a night in a hotel and an alternative flight on the following day, which meant the clerk, after some considerable discussion, could give Tracey a seat after all (pheeeeew!!!!!!)
We landed at a very quiet, and almost deserted, Heathrow Airport at approximately 1:30am. Due to the lateness of the hour, our Hoppa bus tickets were worthless (they stop running at 11:30pm), so we had to take a 15-minute taxi-ride to the airport to pick up our car… which cost us a whacking £30!!!
It’s a long way to North Yorkshire from Heathrow Airport. We arrived safely home at 6:10am on Tuesday morning… tired… but happy to be home.