Saturday, 6 August 2011

Immigration? AGAIN?

Everyone expects to go through immigration when the arrive to a country. Passport control, queues, baggage collection, grilled on purpose of visit.... But I haven't left the country! I'm still here!

In order to collect my bags from the luggage area, though, I had to go back through immigration control. So I get down there and I explain to the BAA (UK version of TSA) person that I'd not actually arrived from anywhere, that I was a standby passenger, and hadn't got out today. She says, "What passport?" "USA." "You have to stand in that queue over there. Take a landing card and fill it out." Ok... ummm.. when it asks "flight number" and "last port of call", what do I fill in? Oh, I leave it blank. Right.

So I wait. And wait. And wait. And wait in this queue. Finally, its my turn to go through Passport Control. The officer asks me for my flight info. "I haven't actually flown anywhere. I'm a standby passenger and didn't get on my flight, so I just need to collect my bags." "So you've already been in the country?" "Yes." "Then you don't need one of these [landing cards] and shouldn't be in the queue at all. Go on through." IF I WASN'T SUPPOSED TO HAVE STOOD IN THE QUEUE AT ALL, WHY THE (not going to swear) DID THEY DIRECT ME HERE?!? Really? I did explain to them the whole thing.

So, over an hour later, I'm finally through a queue I didn't need to be in, and have my bags. And I'm waiting for a taxi to come collect me and take me to the hotel I've booked.

In the rain.

Ahhh London. Got to love it.

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