Wow, I actually had a good flight even more wow as it was on BA which I always have low expectations of. It started off well, with a remarkably attractive and helpful girl at the check in counter. Not the usual miserable hag who makes me feel bad because I actually want some say in where I might want to sit on the aircraft. It was almost a shame that check in was so quick and painless.
Heathrow Terminal 4 is still awful, lots of rubbish shopping nowhere to sit and tiny departure gate areas that can barely handle a third of the passengers destined for the plane all milling around. Then add in electric carts driving through the middle of the crowd beeping like demented microwaves and you have a recipe for boarding chaos.
Ended up with a seat at the back of the cabin against the bulkhead, which I normally hate as you cant recline the seat properly but it all worked out because I had the middle seat next to me free. On a full plane i kept waiting for the huge guy I knew was going to plonk himself down next to me, making the next nine and a half hours a frenzy of shoulder rubbing and arm rest fighting.
The other seat was taken by a South African pilot who flew private jets for a living. He turned out to be great company and with a weakness for red wine, which suited me fine! Unusually for me we spoke for about 4 hours, and even more unusually had many of the same views on the world, ranging from the strategic differences between the Boeing 787 dreamliner and the Airbus A380, via religious extremism to the absurdity of American homeland security.
I then managed to fall unconscious for four and a half hours, thanks at least in part to the five bottles of wine I had consumed, waking 20 minutes before touchdown.
Managed to keep my thoughts to myself whilst being fingerprinted and photographed at immigration and then interrogated at customs about how I met my friends in the States. The purpose behind these inane questions elude me completely, it would only take the minimum of preparation to be able to answer completely unflustered and just contributes to a very negative impression of the whole concept of homeland security.
Getting downtown is really easy from seattle there are local buses that take about 20 minutes or so and only cost $2.00 now thats good value.