I'm back after a bit of a break - just busy with preparations for the biggest show of the year - namely 3GSM. I'll write a bit more about the show itself and Mobile Complete's experience at the show in a later post. Here I'll just talk about the 'trip' to and from Barcelona.
The trip out was mostly uneventful. I and Dave had purchased two separate tickets - one between SFO and London, and another between London and Barcelona. We were worried about checking our luggage all the way through to our destination, but it turned out that the first leg was with British Airways, and the second with Iberia - and they were both code-shared flights, so checking the luggage all the way to the destination was no issue.
Incidentally, our VP of Prod Marketing made each one of us carry boxes of collateral (we got the last printed set literally minutes before our flight out), so it was imperative that we received our luggage on time - or else we'd be doing hand-puppets at the conference. Believe me, carrying heavy boxes of collateral turned out to something no one was really willing to do - but with the VP and CEO behind the cause, there was little option :)
Anyway, we got to Barcelona, but our luggage decided to take a trip of its own - it was lost - which is always sooo much fun. Our suits AND the collateral were all lost - so you can imagine the anxiety. Iberia promised that our bags would make it to us early the next morning (Sunday - which was setup day), but nothing showed. We spent all day Sunday setting up the booth; when we returned to our hotel - quite relieving to see that the bags had made it!
However, Barcelona has some strange 'no-irons-in-rooms' policy, which meant we both wore crumpled suits, ties and shirts the next day because the hotel's laundry service was done for the day...
The only thing I'll mention about the way back - Heathrow is a most undesirable airport to transit through. Yes, I understand their need and desire for security, but if they are going to inherit some of the paranoia from the Americans, they should also try to learn from the efficiencies here. I waited more than 1 hour - yes 1 whole hour - in the transit security line. Clearly all the American travelers, weary after a 10-hour flight were moaning and groaning, very frustrated with the entire situation. People were missing their flight connections left and right...
On top of that, once we got to the 'Flight Connections' checkpoint, the woman there tells us that only one bag is allowed beyond that point - that means one bag in total, not one bag and one laptop bag, no - one bag ONLY. I saw people frantically stuffing two bags into one - and all sorts of weird stuff. Why did they not tell us that when we were getting on? Poor Dave had to go back out, come all the way in to check-in one of the two bags he was carrying. Quite ridiculous!
Only two of the 6 security posts were operational. This is Heathrow we are talking about - one of the world's busiest transit airports! After I finally got through, I went to the complaints desk to make my point. The only response I got was, 'sir we are very sorry...we are trying to get more resources to be allocated to this post'. I asked, 'but this probably happens everyday...' - the answer, 'yes sir - it does.'
My recommendation - avoid traveling through Heathrow if you can; avoid the pain!